Weekly Whiteboard Viz: Cringe Worthy Comparisons

Weekly Whiteboard Viz: Cringe Worthy Comparisons


Last week’s episode of of What’s the Point had the following significant digit.

80 unlocks

Average number of times per day a user unlocks their iPhone, according to Apple. [The Verge]

Of course, this immediately got me thinking about how much time I spend on my phone and whether or not it was more than Lynsey. I will admit it, my phone is attached to me everywhere I go. So much so, that I went ahead and got a wallet case so that I would stop forgetting my wallet when I went out. [The number of times I end up in this situation is down to zero]. After a little research, I learned that our iPhones had a built in ability to track battery usage…cue Lynsey’s excitement to prove she’s less addicted to screen time than me.

This week, I am visualizing iPhone app usage based on the percent of battery used on each app over a seven day window. Over the course of these seven days I spent 38.4 hours on my phone while Lynsey spent 25.4 hours on her phone (insert Lynsey’s smug glare). The visualization this week doesn’t use any of the traditional chart types (definitely nothing you would find in excel). Instead, I have used colors, drawings and percentages to visualize our phone habits. A visualization like this one really allows the viewer to explore this layered data in a simple way, and it’s a great reminder that data viz is FUN.


Some interesting observations: Not surprising, Lynsey spends proportionately more time on social media than me. More interesting was how much of my battery usage was spent on opening the home screen. I think this is because I use my phone as a clock and often wake it up just to see the time. 21% is pretty significant. Maybe Lyns is right…time for a watch…an Apple watch perhaps? Finally, Snapchat is a battery  killer…but it’s so much fun!


Check out this native app (to track battery usage) on your iPhone or mobile device. The results could be eye opening, as they were for us. This data served as a great reminder that our phones are a powerful multitasking tool that allows us to get work done and accomplish tasks wherever we are. It also conjures the feeling that all technology requires mindful moderation. Track your usage and let us know what you find! It may trigger you to ditch the phone for a bit and go on an adventure.

*Warning: the comparison of this information between partners can cause sudden outbursts of told-you-so’s and booyah’s. Watch out.

Data Dan Larson is a data enthusiast who loves problem solving. He looks for ways to utilize data to optimize the world around. He’s also a papa who loves relating his findings back to life as a modern parent.

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