Talking Tech Friday – Daytum

What is it?

Daytum is a website for collecting and communicating data.  You can track any type of data you like, from personal things like what you eat for lunch or how many minutes you ran on the treadmill to business statistics or anything else.  The basic service is free, but there are additional features (such as being able to track statistics privately) available for a $5 monthly subscription.

How does it work?

To create an account, put in your email address and then click on the link in the email that shortly arrives.  Enter in a username and password, and you are set!

There’s a short screencast that gives an overview of setting up your page.  Pages consist of data sets, displays, and statements.  Here is the test page I created.

A statement is just that – a free text widget you can use to highlight some data or do whatever you like.  For example, if you were tracking the books you read, you might use the statement to list what you’re currently reading.  You can also link to a specific widget, which is a nice feature.

The data set is also pretty self explanatory – that’s where you enter your data.  I created this data set of book genres from my Library Thing account by just entering in the genre tags and the number.  You can choose from a variety of display options such as bar charts or pie charts, as well as how to organize the data, such as averages or by date entered.

Entering data is very simple, and it is always editable so you can go back and make adjustments to prior entries.

There’s not much to the settings, you can choose a color for your page, change your user name or password, and upload a profile picture, if you like. Very simple.  Your account information is where you’d go to upgrade to the subscription features, or export your data into CSV files, or delete your account.

You can also add data to Daytum through their mobile site or using Twitter.

For some more examples, check out the About page.

A couple of caveats – unless you pay for a subscription, all data on Daytum is viewable to the public.  Also, there isn’t really a multi-user option, other than sharing a single account.

Possible Library Uses

I can think of a lot of uses for a simple data gathering and display site – as librarians, we are always tracking data!  I think Daytum could make it a little more interesting for the data that isn’t confidential – and I think it could be used as a fun marketing tool.  Create a page with fun library statistics and share it with your patrons.  The subscription option is also pretty affordable, so it might be worth it for the additional features and privacy options.  Any other ideas?



~ by Anali on May 15, 2009.