Smart Data: An Industry Is Born!

The age of data has arrived as companies and governments make use of the information they collect and hold about us. Retailers collect data on our shopping habits, as a way to encourage us to spend more. Governments collect data on our personal lives, as a way to ensure our safety and provide more efficient services.

The amount of personal data collected and stored is growing exponentially and with the advent of the smartphone will continue to explode.

The potential for companies to make money from the information they hold about us is enormous, as they use it to develop new products, new services and even new industries.

The potential for government to provide better services as a result of the information it collects is balanced against our democratic right to privacy and equality.

Companies, governments, cities and indeed regions that embrace the benefits of data are already creating significant competitive advantage for their customers, citizens and companies.

The data industry itself is set to grow at an extraordinary rate, and there is already a shortage of people with the right skills and expertise to service its needs.

The management of data has been around for many years but what’s new is the scale and volume of data and the insights provided by such quantities of information.

The retail industry was one of the first to benefit from embracing data, as it harnessed the internet to gather information on customers and more recently uses the power of the smartphone to collect and analyse customers behaviours and habits.

Medicine has benefitted as the capacity to analyse patient information has increased, as patient data is interrogated to identify early warning signs of illness and disease which leads to greater levels of prevention, diagnosis and cure.

The impact of data on our everyday lives is set to increase, as wearable technology such as the smartphone, smart watches, sensors and other devices collect ever more information about us on a minute-by-minute and day-by-day basis.

Such devices will become commonplace and the amount of data will explode again, as the range of smart devices talk to each other and share information about us.

Other drivers of data include the fact that only a third of the world’s population of seven billion people are currently online and that we are now creating quantities of data every 60 seconds that took a full year to produce in the 1990’s.

So, the age of data is here and brings with it immense opportunities and some threats; however, we must embrace it as a new industry to maximise its potential.

What do you think?

Is a new industry born?

Look forward to hearing your comments.