Monitoring everything

I’d love to be able to monitor everything: spending, power consumption, words read and so on – and then graph, understand and analyse it all.  I did this for a while in my job as I graphed every business trip made for a period of six years and included cost, places visited, value to my company and so on.  It was interesting (and impressed one boss) but never led me anywhere special.  Most likely I’m on the Asperger’s spectrum somewhere and love lots of data and analytics however sometime it’s all for a good purpose.

The most recent one is my Current Cost energy monitor.  While it has been helpful in some ways I need a greater level of detail and have found a way to use Pachube’s data feed to further analyse the costs to my home of electricity.  Some surprising things included the nature of the refrigerator – it keeps turning on and off 24 hours a day – and how much certain things were consuming around the house.  But, like my senior colleague at work who innovates in this area for a living, I want to break into that large bulk of ‘unknown’ costs.  I’m currently using 9 Individual Appliance Monitors around the house and even that only give part of the picture as things like the oven take direct feeds from the consumer distribution panel, so I can’t monitor their usage directly but only infer what it may be. You can see my usage on the graph at the right.

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