venerdì 23 gennaio 2015

Track your life with Tasker and - Part 2

This post is the second part of my previous post (Track your life with Tasker and - Part 1) on using for personal life event tracking

In part 1 I have quickly explained how I use simple REST API to track and store events in the's cloud.
I have also created an Android application using Tasker and I made everything available on git hub for everyone to use and contribute.

In this post I am now focusing in visualizing the information collected and stored in the cloud.
 I should admit that once again, is doing most of the job for me. Yet another reason for me to considering it a great service.

One very simple way to visualize events information is to use another cool service from the team at

On their website is written that Datahero "Create rich analyses and share your insights in seconds."

I used for something like 15 minutes and I can only agree with that statement.

I have created a trial account and in matter of minutes I was proficient in visualizing my analytical data from

You just need to:
  • connect to datahero
  • import your preferred colletion
  • create some charts using a cool visual editor
  • add your chart to a dashboard

There are way too many option for me to explain in this post but from what I have seen it is a very interesting service.

Below the simple dahsboard I have created by connecting and datahero. It took me no more that 12 minutes!!! :) dashboards

Al alternative way (there are many more ways) for lazy :) people like me is to use the great tools provided by at this link 

Even if you are not a developer you can easily build your own personalized dashboard in minutes with the tools provided.

Start by cloning the git with the following command (on Linux. On Windows can be different)

git clone

This will provide you with plenty of dahsboard layouts ready to use

and some interesting example to learn from (what else one can ask for? :) )

I am here using the two and one layout which I like it

you can find it in the following directory <YOUR DIRECTORY>/dashboards/layouts/two-and-one assuming that YOUR DIRECTORY is where you have executed the git clone command

Have a look at index.html. This is the file to modify to populate your dashboard with beautiful charts

The structure is very simple. Every chart area of the layout is a set of 3 self-explanatory DIV

Set the proper title for your chart (<div class="chart-title">) and add a relevant note (<div class="chart-notes">)

In order to add the chart you need to modify the <div class="chart-stage"> in the following way:

  • delete the <img data-src="holder.js/100%x350/white"> line. This is just a placeholder
  • add an id to the chart-stage div like this:  <div class="chart-stage" id="chart1">

The id will be useful later and will be used by the data visualization API query designer

Now we have our layout ready to display our chart which is taking the data out of the collection.
What is missing is a small chunk of Javascript which build the proper query and instruct the client to display the chart.

Don't worry this is unbelievable easy: just go to<YOUR PROJECT ID>/workbench

You will access your Workbench. This is a very easy to use tool to generate the necessary JS code for your dashboard

Select the mandatory collection you want to query and the analysis type (sum, average, ....).
In addition you might specify optional parameters like filters, timeframe, ....
You can read all the detail about Data Analysis API here 

When you have properly set up your query just hit the Run Query button and you will be immediately see a chart representing your query.

In order to see the Javascript code which generates the chart click on the Javascript tab. You should see something similar to this

That's it!! :)
Just cut&past this chunk of JS into your index.html, wrap it into a <script></script> block  and you will see the chart appearing in your own dashboard.

You should replace the projectId and the readKey with your values that you can find in your project page.

Also very important is to change this line client.draw(query, document.getElementById("my_chart") in client.draw(query, document.getElementById("chart1")

This line is telling visualization client to run the query called query and to display the resulting chart in the div with id chart1

Save your file and refresh your web browser and bam!!! Your own dashboard is up and running

Here a simple one I have created out of the data collected with my Track Me application

These layouts are fully responsive and display perfectly also on my android phone

The charts are fully customizable and have many options to set.
You can find detailed information here Google Charts

In this two part series of post I have shown you how it is easy to collect, store, analyze and visualize your valuable information.  The trick is to use smart and easy to use tools like and others.

If you like this idea let me know. If you don't like it let me know
Feel free to contribute.

Happy analytics!!! :)

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