Week 4 Summary: Data to collect

This week it was time to understand what data I needed to collect, which turns out to be a lot more than I expected.
29 March 2022

Following on from last week I have a solid idea around how my matrix will work. While I said that I’ll be going with Bubble, they recently announced a revised pricing scheme, which limits the free version. It’s been put on hold due to backlash for now, but that has me concerned, so I’ll be doing a bit more research into other no-code tools next week.

I now need to focus on the requirements and data side, before jumping into building the app so I know what I’m working towards, which will drive my solution. While this initial proof-of-concept (PoC) won’t be ground-breaking; it should provide benefits to everyone that uses it.

Requirements and Data Collection

Before build anything it’s important to understand the problems people need solved, therefore building off the “validate the idea” research I carried out in Week 1 I decided to dig a bit deeper.

What do people want answers to?

I had to do a bit of research around the questions people wanted answered, to make sure the data I collected was complete enough to answer their questions.

I decided to narrow down data collection to a single smart home area, which is going to be smart lighting.

Researching smart lighting questions

My thought behind choosing smart lighting to start with, was pretty simple. After researching the smart home space it does appear that a majority of people start out by typically buying a smart speaker and/or smart lights.

As far as researching tools I used to find questions people want answered, I settled on using  several. Here’s a few good ones, broken down into quantitative so real numbers and qualitative, with a feel around questions people want answered.

Keyword & question research

Quantitative

Qualitative

  • Answer The Public
  • Reddit (Smart lighting focused subreddits);
  • Quora and; 
  • Facebook Groups (I joined way too many..).

After a few hours of research I was happy with the data I collected, with a sample below. 

Some of the questions I ended up choosing  were backed by quantitative data, for example Google Adwords showing a search having around 1k - 10k a month.

Others questions I noted people asking were more around seeing a pattern, like  “this question keeps coming up on groups and forum posts”.

Now all this information on questions being asked isn’t really helpful in the current form, I had to transform it and extrapolate (thanks word a day calendar) my insights.

Turning data gathered into data requirements

Taking the quantitative and qualitative data around questions asked, I mapped each one to the types of data that I’ll need to collect in order to answer. Here’s my first stab at the question people want answered and the data I need to collect on each lighting product.

QuestionsData Required On Each Smart Light Product
Does Y smart light work with X smart assistant?Works with (Eco-System)
Alexa
Google Home
Siri
Matter
Best (recommended) smart light for X room?(Taking into consideration for example, bathroom requires bulbs that will work with steam / bright enough to see, kitchen needs high lumen light source to see what you’re doing, bedroom / lounge room more warm light for night time chill getting ready for bed, games room for colour changing lights, etc.)Is it suitable for
Kitchen
Lounge Room
Bathroom
Bedroom
Garden
Garage
Living Room
Study
Games Room
Cellar
Attic / Loft
Will Y smart light connect via X?Connectivity via
WIFI
Zigbee
Thread
Z-Wave
Bluetooth

Required
Hub (Zigbee, Matter, Z-Wave)
Hubless (WIFI / Bluetooth)

Eco-system (Talk to each other)
Matter
Alexa
Google Home
Apple HomeKit
Best smart light for X?Type of people
Kids
Seniors
Families
Singles
Activity
Party
Entertainment
Movie watching
Gaming
Energy Saving
Will Y smart light connect to X?Other smart products
Locks
Doorbells
Smart Speakers
Vacuums
Refrigerator
TV…
Smart light work in X country?
(Need to confirm countries to support, UK, Australia, USA, Canada, NZ - example not all smart lighting products will be available in certain countries if they’re only made will select socket)
Countries where products differ based on socket
UK

Downlight (GU10, B22)
Screw (E14, E27)
US
tbc..
How easy is X to set up and use?Might have to skip this one for now, as it’s not really data I can get easily - it’ll require speaking to many owners to get an idea.
Can you set up and control it with Y device / platform? Operating System
Android (Samsung, Google, etc.)
iOS (iPhone)
Microsoft Windows
Apple MacOS
Controllable through
Smart Assistant App
Google Home
Apple HomeKit
Amazon Alexa
Hub
Samsung SmartThings
...
Does it work / can it be controlled remotely?Controllable only when a device (e.g. phone) is connected to the  same WIFI / Bluetooth

Or controllable anywhere in the world (has internet connectivity)

There is quite a lot of information I need to capture per smart light, much more than I thought I’d need - glad I did the research. Though a lot of this will overlap with other smart home products.

I did note that certain questions like “smart light work in X country” will require me to narrow down product offers on a per-country basis. I’ll just keep this to 5 countries for now, UK, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This comes down to the different sockets that each country uses, such as downlights in the UK using GU10 / B22 sockets (among others).

Taking the above list of data to collect, I created a spreadsheet with multiple categories and data validation on certain columns to ensure I’m using structured and cleansed data (allowing me to easily use the data in my solution).

Week over

That’s all I did this week, it was quite a busy life-week, hence the few hours of research and writing this post was all I could really find time for. 

Over the next few weeks I plan to showcase the spreadsheet that I created, where I record all the data on different smart lighting products based on the research I completed this week.

I’ll then have the fun task of finding an appropriate solution that will be flexible enough to do what I want, while also being easy enough to code. I’m no coder, let’s just keep it at that.

Coming Soon

Week 5: TBC

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