Last Sunday afternoon, I was on the treadmill at the gym enjoying a pleasant view of the soothing greenery outside the large windows. I thought, how wonderful it is to have this quiet respite away from the rest of the busy world, with no one to bother my introverted self.
But wait – I realized my location was not exactly unknown. After all, I had scanned my membership card at the entrance, which is linked to my personal identity. Prior to that, I had called the mall concierge for directions using the phone on the directory board. And before I had resorted to that, I had done a Google search on my mobile for the address. Each of these actions is logged into various systems, and contains bits of information about me.
Thanks to technology, we create huge amounts of data every day. It is said that 90 percent of the world’s data was generated in the last two years alone! In this sea of big data are golden nuggets which hold great potential to improve a business’ bottom line.
For instance, if the gym had known that people face trouble locating it, they could have placed sign boards at strategic spots around the mall. Inside the gym, they could also offer a more optimized experience for members, by gathering user data.
A fully optimized experience
Imagine the possibilities: In a smarter gym, I would have my preset routines with my usual settings started as soon as I step onto a machine. I would receive recommendations on the nearest available locker according to my preferences (e.g. height, distance from showers or changing rooms, etc.). I would have a personalized music playlist ready, where different tracks play based on my heart rate. This would allow me to pace my routines better. Also – and this is my favourite – I would never again have to fiddle with the hot and cold knobs in the shower to find the perfect temperature. It would be ready for me.
This does not mean my preferences would be set in stone – there would always be flexibility. Take Quintiq’s optimization technology for example.
1 million parcels are delivered by 100,000 trucks every day, planned by Quintiq.
These delivery trucks are scheduled to go on the most optimal delivery routes, requiring fewer trucks thus saving costs. But the planner still has the ability to change optimized plans at any time, taking into account last-minute disruptions or changes.
The bottom line is, data is an enabler, an energy force – it empowers us to create smarter environments, so we can focus our efforts on the things that really matter.
Do you think businesses are ready to leverage on big data? Let us know in your comment below or drop us a tweet @Quintiq.