In this video we can see a minute by minute account of spending patterns in Spain during Easter 2011. The BBVA data is from card transactions categorized into four types of sale: food, fashion, service stations and bars / restaurants.
These data transactions are completely anonymous, since the only thing that matters is the ability to describe the activity in the different cities and towns in Spain. What is of importance is their spatio-temporal characteristics and the aggregate amount spent per minute in each category of trade. This can be observed depending on the size of the circle representing the transactions.
It is interesting to note the differences between the activities of citizens based on time of day and night, and the geographical area in which they occur. Some of the clearest patterns that are detected are:
• The appearance of the main roads of Spain through transactions at service stations on Holy Wednesday from 15h (especially principal highways).
• The activity differences between what happens on Holy Thursday in Catalonia, where this day is not holiday, and the rest of Spain.
• The celebration of Easter Monday in the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Valencia, Navarra and the Basque Country, and the difference of activity compared to the rest of Spain.
• The spikes in the purchase of food in the days before a holiday.
• The great activity in bars and restaurants at noon at the holidays compared to weekdays.
• How larger cities wake up earlier than smaller places, due to the higher mobility needs of its inhabitants.
It will be interesting to see over the next few days if these patterns are repeated, which would demonstrate the predictive capability of this type of analysis. Is this video a reflection of what we live from next Monday? Leave your comments on what you see both on display and in reality during the following days, wherever you are.