Sunday, October 16, 2011

Counting up and down

For an Arts student, my life has been filled with a disproportionate amount of numbers lately. I think the only thing I haven't been counting is sheep...

In the last week I've given two presentations, one of which was filled with numbers... but I suppose, given it's a survey project, that's not exactly surprising.
Here's a graph I found in my collection, and used on the opening slide:
It's quite an early one, from September 9, 2010. Remember those days? When 395 seismic shakes seemed like a lot? I'm not saying that it wasn't - look at all those lines right next to each other - but at least it's settled down a little lately. Still, thirteen months later we're now up to about 7,600 or 8,800 quakes (depending on the source) since the time of that graph. That's a whole lot of shaking goin' on, whichever number you choose.

I'm still working my way through the survey responses... in all, there were 349 completed surveys to work with, and almost 200 respondents went on to do Part 2 as well. I've done all the initial collating & coding - now to make sense of it all and write it up!

There was a good distribution of people from across the city, and from surrounding towns. I was playing with a new word cloud program yesterday... so here are the 25 city suburbs with the most respondents, in graphic form:
Avonside & St Albans vying for top honours!

I'm not going to be putting many of the results up here... well not now anyway... maybe a bit later on (i.e. after my essay has been handed in!). Bare data & academic essays are not the most exciting thing to blog about, but I know that there is a wealth of fascinating insights & extremely useful suggestions contained within that data that will be worth discussing beyond what my little ol' essay can cover.

One more little tidbit... and another graph... because this one is about capturing the thousands of thoughts that were in people's heads that fateful shaky day back in February. The question was: what did you want information about most urgently that afternoon/evening?
It's tricky trying to boil down hundreds of responses into single words & simple phrases... but this was attempt #1 anyways. I'll be spending a lot more time yet with this data set, teasing it out into patterns & themes, and grouping all those responses, criticisms and suggestions in ways that enable something useful to come out of the chaos.

So, as of today, that's two presentations done, and two essays yet to hand in.
Starting tomorrow, I have two weeks of teaching at NZBS with the first year radio students.
Oh deadlines, why must you taunt me so?

And I've even lost my cook! He's gone & found a 9-5 job which means my free ride on not preparing dinner while finishing off these last couple of projects is over. But I can't complain... these days you'll find him behind the sexy-beast Slayer espresso machine at C4 on Tuam St - yup! That's where we've been buying our coffee beans for ages, so we really couldn't have planned it any better. Great team, awesome coffee, good times.

Oh yeah... except for those deadlines. Must get back to it then...

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