The Internet has seen the power of analytics. From Google Analytics, to hundreds of companies building online analytics tools to capture, parse, correlate, and display data in ways that are useful for people and companies. Using this information intelligently can save people money, and make companies millions in the same breath.
The Internet of things is going to usher in a new era of data that has been proven and tested on the web. With the ability to not only capture detailed information about people’s online activity while sitting at a computer, but also on their personal handheld computer (smart phone), big data is about to get even bigger.
Projections say that by the year 2020, over 50 billion devices* will be connected to the Internet and connected devices will outnumber people 5 to 1. With so much information available that will have so much more context, the world is in for some incredible innovation and optimization through data science.
Imagine a person with a wearable fitness device, smartphone, heads-up display (like Google Glass), using low-powered bluetooth or a similar technology to communicate with other connected devices in their proximity, while using a touch screen kiosk, posting pictures with meta data to their social networks, and using an e-wallet to purchase goods. The amount of data that can be captured and analyzed intelligently is staggering.
Correlations between location, weather, heartrate, shopping patterns, traffic, state of the economy that second, day, month, year, age and gender of the individual, overall health, whether or not bieber is trending, the NHL finals are on, or a crisis jas broken out overseas, a blue advertisement with a female british accent, vs the same ad in green from an american male is shown on a Tuesday vs a Wednesday to a similar demographic in China vs Las Vegas… etc… etc…
To top it all off, machine learning, sophisticated algorithms, and automated A/B testing can be used to automagically iterate, capture, test, and optimize these interactions through any digital, or “IoT” medium, whether it’s digital signage, or a sensor in your electric car that can tell you which grocery store it is going to drive you to, to save money on your current grocery list, because organic bananas are out of season and whole foods is having a one day sale mentioned on social media and the lineups are shorter based on pedometer tracking, gps and bluetooth.
Website traffic will always be interesting, and especially important to things like e-Commerce, but until the day we all plug into an VR headset, get our nutrition intravenously, and never leave the house, the physical world will be our playground, and it about to get much, much more interesting for data scientists and disruptive technology entrepreneurs.