SWDchallenge: A low carb story

The theme of this month’s Storytelling with Data challenge is “artisanal data“. E.g. data collected personally by each participant, then analysed and visualised in a meaningful manner.

I collect quite a lot of data on a daily basis tracking habits and activities. For my submission I used weight and nutrition data stored in MyFitnessPal. Particularly I wanted to explore any connection between an effort I have been making in reducing my carbohydrates and my long lasting goal of weight loss. The goal was to show if there was a visible correlation.

The process: MFP gives you a CSV file of values per day on a selected date range (I chose a period of about 9 months or so). This was then imported in Google Sheets. Using the powerful Query function daily and sub-daily (nutrition was split by meal) values were aggregated to a weekly basis.
This was then fed into Google Data Studio to handle the visualisation part.

The initial bar chart of the two series didn’t really give a clear message so a running average of each series was added as a line. Things started to look better, with the two lines following up each other nicely. For a more clear message, a different background was placed on the period before the beginning of the change (week 4 of 2019) and after it, also calculating the median values for both periods and adding them as annotations on the chart.

The end result is below:

Hope you found this interesting!

P.S. Since the Google Sheets – Data Studio connection is a dynamic one, if import more data on Google Sheets the visualisation will be updated automatically.

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