This is an odd posting because it is a screen shot of a tiny section of a data project I am working on for my job. It has consumed me over the last week and shows sign of continuing for at least another week if not longer. How does it relate to this challenge??
Process and reflection: You have to stretch your thinking about this project’s qualifications for the challenge theme “A Stitch in Time”. I had to do that when I felt resentment creeping in because the project is taking me longer than I anticipated.
The work goal is, basically, to merge any duplicated entry for a single person in an alphabetical list of several thousand individuals so that the final list shows all activities engaged in since 2015 in one line of ‘code’ for each person. I visually scan the list, row by row (no, I could not find a consistent pattern in my trial work to create an automated procedure), until I find duplicate/multiple lines for a unique individual that I often must verify by looking at all the entries, that the entries belong to one person not two or more with the same name. I must transpose information from ‘extra’ lines of information my merging - I’m calling it ‘stitching’! - the ‘timed’ activity entries made for that individual that are recorded for activities between January 1, 2015 through January 31, 2019. All yellow highlighted lines in the art photo above are the results of stitching multiple lines; lines not highlighted had only one entry. I delete the extraneously lines for those with multiple entries after I verify that all of the additional information is stitched into the one line.
The resulting data set will be used for several purposes: (1) a complete historical record of individuals and their activities engaged in within a nationally-funded program that has provided services, resource, training, mentoring, etc. over the period noted above; (2) a list of individuals and their email addresses that allow evaluation follow-up to learn whether the program services made a difference in advancing the participants’ scientific careers for a diverse target audience; (3) an analysis dataset for examining the statical descriptions of those who participated and correlates that information with other data collected about their scientific output (discoveries, funding success, publications of their work, etc) to determine whether the program services gave them an advantage over others who did not receive the services.
So...the project is worthy and will be valuable when I complete it. It hasn’t felt ‘artistic’ in the least ... until I started picturing it in my mind as a stitching process related to a specific period of time. Whew! I told you you’d have to stretch your thinking about this challenge.
I promise I won’t bring my for-pay work into this blog again.