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My 2009 Annual Report

Throughout 2009, I recorded several dozen statistics about a) the pop culture I consumed, b) the people I talked to, c) the beer I drank, d) the places I visited, e) the vehicles I took to those places, and f) the amount of sleep I enjoyed each day. Those statistics spread across several thousand cells of a spreadsheet, which I then condensed and animated into the 2.5-minute video clip embedded below. That process took about a month, all told, which isn't a ratio I'm proud of, even if I'm happy with the result.

Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report from Dan Meyer on Vimeo.

I'll add a post shortly after this one that will address some technical notes I made throughout the process.

BTW: My 2009 Annual Report — Behind The Scenes

69 Responses to “My 2009 Annual Report”

  1. on 31 Jan 2010 at 6:31 pmLondon

    Hey Mr. Meyer,
    First off, this is awesome. I was surprised in going with a video but it really came our great, great quality too. Liked the categories, but seems like the “books” was a blur, you didn’t have a countdown like the others. Liked the solid Background was distracting. You didnt go overboard with the graphics and kept them subtle. Like the beer bottle and the gallon filling up.

    I have a question though, you should me LastFM but seems like you had a lot of information that would seem hard to get. Were there any other programs that you used to keep track?

    Looking forward to the next post on notes.
    -London

  2. on 31 Jan 2010 at 6:35 pmMorgante Pell

    Nice job! I can’t wait to see the technical notes. I’ve always wanted to learn more about these kind of targeted animations, rather than the cheap ones offered by Animoto or Keynote.

    Now that I think about it, most of the great infographics I’ve seen were videos. (Ex. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svCQJvP1S8g, http://vimeo.com/2942875, and http://volumeone.com/motion/good.php) Video, quite literally, adds a whole new dimension to the infographic: time. You exploit this dimension to good effect.

    In particular, I loved seeing the animation around the “other” elements. Its interesting that in some categories they’re the massive majority, but in others (like texts) they’re definitely the minority.

  3. on 31 Jan 2010 at 6:36 pmJasonP / InnerEd

    Wayne? Didn’t expect that for some reason.

  4. on 31 Jan 2010 at 6:47 pmDean Groom

    Just awesome – I’ve been thinking – during the info-fiasco of Australian government publishing stats on schools this week – just how important it is not not only keep records – but to present them in a way the means something.

    Just the ticket.

  5. on 31 Jan 2010 at 6:51 pmMatt Townsley

    Three comments:
    1) Nicely done. Kept my attention the entire time.
    2) Photo credits? I’m thinking about the tv shows and movies here…
    3) You’re going to use this in your classroom….how? guessing this is a “Dan Meyer is really cool project” vs. “Mr. Meyer uses cool multimedia in his classroom” post.

  6. on 31 Jan 2010 at 9:03 pmDan Meyer

    @London, let’s chat at school but I can say that music and phone were the only data sets I collected “passively,” which is to say that I didn’t have to do anything to collect them. Last.fm handled music and AT&T kept records of my mobile use. The rest required a lot of note-taking.

    @Jason, me neither. My artists list turned out weird this year, with hip-hop holding down four of the top five slots but mopey folk rock at the top.

    @Matt, (1) Thanks. (2) I used promotional stills for the TV shows and movies which exist to be publicized and reused. (3) I’m not using this in my classroom. This is just a document of my own learning.

  7. on 31 Jan 2010 at 9:06 pmMatt

    very nice indeed. This is a good example of how the choices one makes about how to present data shows not only the basic understanding of the data, but also the way the points inter-relate to tell a story.

    I also watched it with the audio muted, it had a very different effect.

    I also am looking forward to the technical notes.

  8. on 31 Jan 2010 at 10:09 pmElizabeth

    Another brilliant, fun, and funny Dan Meyer Production.

    Looking forward to the Director’s Cut. ;-)

  9. on 01 Feb 2010 at 2:17 amSunil Reddy

    So cool. That’s some extreme dedication to a long term project. Curious to know how your vision for what you would do with your data mutated and was refined over the course of the year. Well done!

  10. on 01 Feb 2010 at 4:04 amPaul Coleman

    Wow, this makes me feel we should all try this once. I’m sure it would throw up some interesting data / stats that is maybe not in synch with our world view of ourselves.
    Great stuff Dan!

  11. on 01 Feb 2010 at 4:37 ambob

    Hurt Locker was great!

  12. on 01 Feb 2010 at 5:44 amDan Meyer

    @Sunil, once I started collecting certain data sets, I didn’t deviate much from that course. I couldn’t decide in March that I wanted to track something new. The toughest consideration at the end was deciding which sets and visualizations to cut. A lot of data I had spent a lot of time gathering over 2009 ultimately went unused for the sake of brevity and clarity.

  13. on 01 Feb 2010 at 5:46 amDoug Belshaw

    Awesome.

    Really looking forward to the technical notes. It’s the 1st Feb. today so I may have to do my own 2010 – 1 month vid… ;-)

  14. on 01 Feb 2010 at 7:34 amDan Meyer

    Nice. I recommend the experience. Alternately, you could multiply your data from 11 months by 1.09 to extrapolate 12 months.

  15. on 01 Feb 2010 at 8:17 amuberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by morgantepell: Dan has really outdone himself for this year’s annual report. Catchy, informative, and all-around awesome! http://ompo.us/21

  16. on 01 Feb 2010 at 8:40 amSacha van Straten

    Amazing video!

    I was wondering if this was also done in Photoshop, Motion and Final Cut Pro?

    Inspirational stuff. Looking forward to the next one1

    Regards,

    Sacha

  17. on 01 Feb 2010 at 10:29 amNick

    Awesome. I can’t wait for the tech notes.

  18. on 01 Feb 2010 at 10:39 amAndrew B. Watt

    I like this too. I think it’s early enough in the year that I can start keeping track of certain things.

    My beer consumption graph is already at 0.0 gallons, since I don’t drink beer. Books I could do. Movies I could do. TV would be hard but I could estimate.

    Thanks for the cool idea.

  19. on 01 Feb 2010 at 10:59 amRob Butler

    An excellent way of summarising a bunch of stats that holds the attention of your audience. It also provides an interesting insight into your life!
    Thanks for sharing.

  20. on 01 Feb 2010 at 1:40 pmDavid Cox

    You actually made me care how many texts you sent and what kind of beer you drank. That’s tough to do. Nice.

    How accurate are you with your stats?

    Glad to see Porterville got some air time. If you look close, you can see my backyard.

  21. on 01 Feb 2010 at 2:12 pmmajik

    Nice graphics, but you need to drink some better beers mate, Stella & Heineken? WTF

  22. on 01 Feb 2010 at 3:54 pmChristy

    I love this…You have inspired me to keep track of my 2010. Better get it started!

  23. on 01 Feb 2010 at 6:32 pmJenny

    You don’t really need another person to tell you how fabulous this was. But after watching it I can’t walk away without sharing that.

    I’m amazed at both the technology and design and the data. Also amused by what you decided to track.

  24. on 01 Feb 2010 at 8:37 pmDan Meyer

    @Krizia, here’s my 2008 annual report.

  25. on 02 Feb 2010 at 11:42 amDean Shareski

    This is me doing my best golf clap.

    Any thought as to how visual data works in video as opposed to print? Obviously for different purposes but I was just wondering about how you felt about how you would distinguish between using either and how each conveys or tells your story differently? I think I know what you might say but I’ll toss it your way first.

  26. on 02 Feb 2010 at 11:43 amDan Meyer

    Sure, and my apologies to Morgante for not delivering these goods when he asked it earlier.

    With video, I’m able to keep your eyes fixed on one point and then, in a single frame, swap out the infographic you were looking at with another for contrast. Like turning “12 books” into “102 movies.” Or comparing my workday schedule to my vacation schedule at the end. There’s more, too, but that difference stands out most to me.

  27. [...] BTW: Referencing My 2009 Annual Report. [...]

  28. on 02 Feb 2010 at 12:04 pmWill Richardson

    Guess I can put down at least 10:04 of my time spent watching Dan Meyer videos in my 2010 (most likely vaporware) annual report. Btw, my kids liked it too, esp. the beer bottle.

  29. on 02 Feb 2010 at 1:02 pmJon Becker

    Well done, Dan. I’m planning a course module for an Ed.D. cohort of current school leaders where I’ll have them document the time they spend “doing leadership.” You and your muse (Felton) have provided incredible examples of how those data can be “reported.” Looking forward to it and thanks, again, for the inspiration.

  30. on 02 Feb 2010 at 1:27 pmRiley

    After ten years, how will you know how much time you’ve spent keeping statistics? And, will you incorporate the time it takes you to measure that time?

    The video goes too fast for me. I am barely comprehending some of these graphs when they change. I think to myself, “Ok, this is a clock chart with bars of different heights representing different amounts of xyz,” but never get to “oh, interesting, this mostly happens at 4 PM.” You give me 3 or 4 seconds to look at the depiction of your favorite tv show, read its title, and memorize its number. I get 4 more seconds to try to understand your #1-#5 graph, remember which show was which, and find something interesting in that information. I can’t easily compare previous statistics.

    I think I might want a thesis or something. Some organizational structure. The statistics themselves are not personal enough to be gripping for me. The production quality seems great but I’m too busy trying to understand to get anything out of the video as a whole. I need more leadership towards the interesting relationships between data.

  31. on 02 Feb 2010 at 5:00 pmDan Meyer

    @Riley,

    First, this isn’t, in a technical sense, an annual report, which is the sort of document published by corporations for their shareholders that includes infographics like mine, but also body copy, explanation, clarification, the leadership you’re looking for. Which isn’t to say I didn’t attempt to provide that leadership through judicious editing and careful sequencing. While acknowledging I have a lot of room for improvement next year, I tend to think you’ve discounted some of those methods.

    Second, a clear debit of video is that I had to set a pace for the viewer, whereas with print the pace is set by the reader. For a lot of reasons, I decided to roll with video anyway. So I set a pace I was comfortable with, erring on the side of something faster rather than slower because, c’mon now, it isn’t as if the pause button is some sort of power user tip for video. If you want to examine one of the infographics more closely, I’m sure you’ll figure something out.

  32. [...] ‘2009 Annual Report‘: [...]

  33. on 02 Feb 2010 at 7:37 pmMister2pi

    Completely badass. Bitchin. ‘Nuff said.

  34. on 02 Feb 2010 at 7:41 pmMark

    I’m totally jealous!! Dan, you inspired me to keep data on myself in 2009…so I did. Unfortunately, I haven’t created anything with it, because I just don’t know how to present it. I wish I knew how to create video like that.

    I was thinking about not collecting data this year, but after watching that….I’ve been inspired again. Kudos!

    By the way…my adult beverage intake for 2009 was 1067.5 servings!! I don’t feel that’s problematic yet.

  35. on 04 Feb 2010 at 9:55 pmStephen

    Seriously, you don’t call this the “Danual Report”? Ya need to

  36. on 04 Feb 2010 at 10:29 pmDan Meyer

    Gah! Where were you, like, five days ago?

  37. on 05 Feb 2010 at 10:06 amgarimpo de ideias · Auto-relatório

    [...] dy/dan blog do próprio. [...]

  38. on 06 Feb 2010 at 4:32 pmDiigo Update (weekly) «

    [...] dy/dan » Blog Archive » My 2009 Annual Report [...]

  39. [...] aiming to surpass himself, Dan Meyer has posted his 2009 annual report (and, usefully, how he did it). Not only did he have the discipline to gather all this data, but [...]

  40. [...] popular annual report, Dan Meyer has taking life tracking into a new medium with his animated 2009 annual report. A short video explores different statistics about Meyer’s life such as: pop culture [...]

  41. [...] least the upcoming Information is Beautiful by David McCandless, but possibly the most extreme is Dan Meyer’s Annual Report, which details his core stats for 2009 in cool video format. Awesome. 09/02/2010 | Tags: 2010, [...]

  42. [...] fully enjoyed watching Dan Meyer’s summary of things he did in 2009. Anybody else have links to more annual reports like this? Share this on TechnoratiStumble upon [...]

  43. on 13 Feb 2010 at 1:59 amRoland

    what is the name of the track?

  44. [...] dokumentieren, was man so in einem Jahr macht, sieht man gelegentlich. Aber selten so schick wie das hier. Man möge auch den Sound beachten [...]

  45. on 13 Feb 2010 at 8:53 amDan Meyer
  46. on 15 Feb 2010 at 4:57 pmMeg

    BSG and FNL #2 and #1….a man after my own pop culture heart! Great video, I really enjoyed it!

  47. [...] linked to the Vimeo source of the video. You may also want to check out the post on his blog or another post where he explains how he made the video. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Dan Meyer [...]

  48. [...] My 2009 Annual Report Math teacher Dan Meyer puts a year’s worth of personal metrics into the incredible video below. [dy/dan] [...]

  49. on 16 Feb 2010 at 11:01 amAll Will Be Revealed - Joshua Malbin

    [...] A friend of the blog has been known to track his consumption of various goods (eggs, vitamins of a sort, movies) in excel sheets. Game on, boy. Here’s how it’s done. [...]

  50. on 16 Feb 2010 at 1:55 pmAnish

    Would you be willing to put together a post on how your methodology for tracking the data day to day? I’d certainly like to do this, but I find it difficult to stay the course. Hearing some insight on how best to track (i.e., your excel template?) could be useful.

  51. on 16 Feb 2010 at 8:49 pmJon Hartman

    I’d love to hear more about the tools you used to make the animations and any books/courses on the presentation.

  52. [...] wiskundeleraar Dan Meyer speelt al veel langer met dat gegeven en heeft zojuist zijn persoonlijke jaarverslag 2009 uitgebracht. [...]

  53. on 17 Feb 2010 at 5:06 amBen

    I am inspired by this presentation and will do something similar to this for Lent. I think I need to take control of what I am doing and this is a good first step in recognizing my daily habits. Thanks!

  54. on 18 Feb 2010 at 11:12 amAri

    A number of people have asked Dan how he recorded his data (he uses Google Tasks and Excel, I believe). If any of you are looking for an alternate method for this type of data gathering and introspection we created a iphone app and web-app http://www.tallyzoo.com.

    Full Disclosure: the website is free to use, the app is $1.99.

    Really-full Disclosure: Before posting this I reached out to Dan to see if he was cool with a self-promotional, but relevant comment. He was. Hopefully still is :)

  55. on 19 Feb 2010 at 10:30 amJon Hartman

    @ari, No Android App?

  56. on 19 Feb 2010 at 11:16 amAri

    @Jon

    The answer is…sort of…coming soon…hopefully.

    The deal is this. We are concentrating our efforts on the iphone app and website. In the next couple of weeks we are going to release our API.

    Ideally we would like one of our Android partners to take this up. We are in some discussions with some developers now, but the API will be open to all.

    I can be reached at ari[at] tallyzoo [dot] com for further discussion.

  57. [...] Dan Meyer using images in the Math [...]

  58. on 19 Apr 2010 at 10:23 pmElizabeth

    Wow, I’m tempted to try something along these lines myself, but pretty daunted at the thought of keeping track of all that… probably I should instead focus on applying some of that organizational motivation to things like my classroom closets.

    Also, I just have to say that while I’ve been enjoying reading my way back through your archives here anyway, seeing the Avett Brothers as your #1 most listened band made me like you even a teeny bit more.

  59. on 20 Apr 2010 at 6:22 amDan Meyer

    I saw them in concert last weekend! This is where I was standing!! They sang Murder In The City!! AGH!!1!

  60. [...] but all about you! Here are a couple of varying complexity created by Nicholas Felton, Dan Meyer, and Jehiah [...]

  61. [...] assessment, we released our 2009-2010 Annual Report in the form of a video. This video, inspired by Dan Meyer, helps put the CETL’s year in perspective without the academic rhetoric that normally [...]

  62. on 03 Jan 2011 at 10:16 pmAnthony Escobedo

    Just watched this after linking to it from your 2010 December in review SLIDE. The stark contrast made me tear up even more. My condolences to you and your family. Plenty of us have leaned on you and your amazing skills for the past few years, so I hope you take the time to lean on us and those around you. Is there anything your followers can do at this time to help you?

    I’m glad to know The Cool Kids have a following on the West Coast. I saw them fall 2008 at the Dallas HOB and they are coming back around here in January. Definitely hitting up that show.

    I’ll have to check out “The Hood Internet” group you enjoy so much. I also agree with you that The Hurt Locker was the best film of that year.

    I wish you the best with 2011.

  63. [...] assessment, we released our 2009-2010 Annual Report in the form of a video. This video, inspired by Dan Meyer, helps put the CETL’s year in perspective without the academic rhetoric that normally [...]

  64. on 16 Jun 2011 at 10:12 amariel

    i came here looking for math education resources and stumbled upon this video. i find it funny that someone else likes lil wayne AND the avett bros., but i am wondering…where is the annual report for 2010??

  65. on 17 Jun 2011 at 7:05 amDan Meyer

    That one’s right here. Kind of a bummer, though.

  66. on 20 Jun 2011 at 5:44 pmariel

    Yikes. Not sure what the netiquette is for that one. :( Fail.

  67. [...] after thinking about Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report and sharing it often as a example of using data to tell storie, I decided to give it a shot. While [...]

  68. on 01 Jan 2013 at 4:43 pm2012 In Numbers - CogDogBlog

    [...] I was envious super impressed with Dean Shareski’s My Year in Numbers video – it totally was more watchable and fun then reading a blog post or a report. His idea was inspired by the data-rich, mathematically sound, and elegantly presented Annual Report by Dan Meyer. [...]

  69. on 13 Jan 2013 at 7:46 pmYour School Year in Numbers

    [...] shared a post where he has a compelling video that talks about his “year in numbers” (inspired by this Dan Meyer post), where he has compiled some information about 2012. (I made the [...]