-If you let me bug you throughout the day for responses and I can use them then I will eventually tell you something you didn't know about yourself-
Not surprisingly they found that we are happiest when we are around nature. This they did by correlating mood ratings prompted by reminders and geolocation services. The World Database of Happiness, also recently in the news, has revealed that people who are active (along with other factors) are amongst the happiest.
The best thing about all of these results however is not that the data can be collected, analysed and interpreted as a universal happiness guarantee. Rather it is the personalisation of the results that makes it so appealing. The man or woman with 3 children under five who can lean on the proven fact that having some time to themselves outdoors makes them happier. The workaholic who allows themselves an hour a week for a walk because it helps them sleep better.
These are aspects and changes to peoples lives that they already suspect will help. Someone may already have told them to try it. Proving it helps is a different story and seeing results can be difficult or take a long time. Further complicating it is that not everyone is the same - I have a friend whose worst nightmare is visiting the countryside i.e. A park.
We already know these things. Exercise makes us healthier. Nature makes us calmer. The benefit comes from being told that exercise will make ME healthier and nature makes ME calmer - we need to be told the simple things that support what we already know.
And big data can do that for us.