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A community dive into our data on computer repairs

For Open Data Day, March 2, we celebrated our first ever open dive into our repair database, AKA the Fixometer. Thirteen people joined us at Newspeak House, each equipped with a laptop and with curiosity to get hands on with datasheets. Among them were analysts, vizzers and enthusiasts, all ready to have a fresh look at community repair data – specifically computer repair data.

The event took place soon after reaching a very special milestone: we’ve recorded over 10,000 repairs collected at events within our network. As part of the growing movement for the Right to repair, we’re working to ensure that insights from community repair data can influence future policy to make products more repairable.

Why computer repairs?

We focused specifically on data from computer repairs in the light of upcoming revisions at European level affecting the durability and repairability of these devices. This represents an opportunity to use insights from our data on over 2,200 repairs of desktops, laptops and tablets to push for longer-lasting, repairable devices.

Diving into the data

Repair data can tell a story about the barriers to using computers for longer. Our top 3 take-aways:

1) Text comments

There is great value in the text comments recorded on repairs of desktop PCs, laptops and tablets. Increasing data collection and analysis of the text will help us tell a better over-all story.

Text comment word cloud by Lewis Crouch

2) Perceived obsolescence

The number one fault in computers is related to slowness, which is probably software/OS related. Often this is “perceived obsolescence” not real, and these cases are the most solved. Second come batteries and power issues. Third come drives and storage. Tablets were a different story, with screens, ports and connectors being the top reported faults.

Final repair status by category by Elena
Problem text and final repair status by Lewis Crouch

3) We want more dataviz!

We probably need a special group of people dedicated to dataviz and storytelling! We were only able to scratch the surface this time. We are on the lookout for people who would like to help tell stories with this data, and work together with our community data analysts.

How to get involved

If you want to know more about the discussion and findings of the event, head to the day’s thread and read our summary of the day.

By signing up to Restarters.net you can get access to all chats related to repair, from events like this to regular Restart Parties in your area, policy chat or sharing of repair stories.

If you’d like to get involved in analysing and visualising repair data, sign up and join us in the repair data category!

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