“Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull. ”
― George Orwell, 1984
Every day, businesses continue to collect more and more information. Big data is an enormous business that drives much of today’s marketing. We’re all familiar with Google Analytics and Google’s aggregation of information across the web, but what does the future landscape of not only Google Analytics but analytics and big data in general look like?
Strap on your Orwellian hat and party like it’s 1984, because the world of instant knowledge is coming. With more and more access to not only large amounts of data, but daily, hourly, and even by-the-second data, companies are working to find ways to track and analyze this data even faster.
With the introduction of many home-based devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and improvements to Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Cortana, major companies have access to things that are happening in real-time. And with real-time data comes real-time responsibilities. Companies have always struggled to stay relevant, and what better way to stay relevant than to be processing what is happening in real-time? Analytically, this is a gold mine. To know what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and possibly even before you do it, is extraordinarily beneficial.
To the Sky! Or to the Clouds, at Least
More and more companies are moving to cloud-based storage and data management. We’re moving away from things being stored on a local computer or server that you have physical access to, to an online cloud that holds more and more connected information — this trend will only continue. Not only is the cloud more reliable in catastrophic instances where data could be lost, but it’s a great way to have access to millions of points of data all at once that can be analyzed, cross-referenced and tested. This is huge when it comes to big data and what can be done with it.
Security & Privacy
With growing amounts of data there will be growing amounts of concern about what is happening to and with that data. Even ignoring for a moment the governmental and political issues about data security and privacy, people continue to have increasing concerns about companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and a plethora of other social media companies and programs. Because of this, companies are being forced to look into the future of what that means for their users’ private information. Over the next few years, you can be guaranteed that there will be many more issues and challenges arising from who, what, when and how big data can be accessed.
More Intelligent Artificial Intelligence
Last year Google, implemented an Artificial Intelligence technology into their online analytics that helps process information faster than ever before. When many people think of AI they think of Haley Joel Osment or Terminators, but we are still in the infancy stages when it comes to Artificial Intelligence. Although that may be the future we’re headed toward, we aren’t there yet.
Many companies have begun to use AI to track and manage big data. With increasingly more complex algorithms to analyze data, companies are creating ways to sift through trillions of pieces of information and pull them all together into a coherent form that we humans can read and understand, and they’re doing it all with the help of artificial intelligence. This will continue to expand and improve well into the future.
In the end, we all want to know more. The continuous search for knowledge and understanding is the essence of being a human. With the rise of big data, analytics and more global connectedness than we’ve ever had in the past, we can rest assured knowing that, as George Orwell wrote in the book 1984, “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.”
How Do We Deal?
Personal responsibility is going to be key in the age of growing AI. As individuals, we may need to prioritize our own privacy over convenience in areas when important data must be secured, understanding that any data or information we share through a social media channel, an app, a computer or a device has the potential to be breached. It’s important to not only be selective about what information we share, but also to have plans in place for what to do if our information is compromised. We may want to make it clear to the companies and products that we use that privacy is an important component in any product or service we buy. And in our businesses, we’ll want to be sure that we don’t sell data to third-party vendors, and that we’re putting protection of data first-and-foremost so our customers can have confidence in their security. One way we’re helping our Infomedia clients do this is by adding SSL to websites, helping secure data (get in touch if you’d like to add SSL to your site), but it’s important to keep looking for ways to make customer data more secure — both now and in the future.