Avoiding Amazon (Goodreads)

Especially over the last year, I have felt a sort of imperative to move way from Amazon as much as possible. Not only do they collect data on everything you do, but they have also worked extremely hard to exploit labor through anti-unionization efforts and hiring itinerant workers who they can pay less and not provide benefits to.

To boot, Amazon owns a ton of companies. Woot, Zappos, even Abebooks, are all Amazon companies. But one platform of theirs that is a transparent data harvesting operation is Goodreads, the book recommendation and tracking site. I really enjoyed using it to track my reading goals. So, while I’ve been searching for jobs, I’ve worked on my data analytics and data visualization skills while utilizing my reading habits as the data source.


I have a really, really good dashboard on an Excel spreadsheet that has data cut and parsed in a ton of different ways, but it’s difficult to share it. I am also learning Tableau, and using the Tableau Public app to learn dashboards and stories. It’s not as intuitive as I thought it would be, but about 15 minutes of video training and I feel like I’ve got a good start on it. Here is my 2021 book Story, with a page for ratings and data, as well as a page that shows the books I’ve read this year.

I’m excited to learn this platform and find new and interesting ways to interpret and show data, and hoping that I’ll have more exciting visualizations as the year progresses!

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