The world of data is often associated with massive databases being left on the Tube after being saved on a USB stick, or foreign secret agents sneaking into quietly whirring rooms illuminated with real-time calculations across walls full of screens to find that one piece of data to save the world.
So I think we can agree it’s often portrayed as risky business, and maybe this is why people are so hesitant to provide many details because all we ever seem to hear is bad news.
Well here at Data8 (we put Fort Knox to shame, just to let you know) we obviously see data as a gateway to understanding customers, improving websites and communications as well as a plethora of other uses. So I’m going to try to hold your hand and show you the utopia that the world of data is. Who even puts a highly classified database on a USB stick anyway. What a breach. I digress.
So aside from one of the most obvious advantages; targeted communications for sales etc. etc. let’s talk about education.
Technology and data has allowed for education to be more widely available to people through online courses. Online qualifications as high as degrees and masters courses are becoming increasing common. So students can now actually learn while sat in bed eating pizza (don’t hate me, I was a student and I’d have given anything to be able to do this). Do I hear you not agreeing with me? Only technology has achieved this? Nonsense. Absolute nonsense. In this day and age, personalized learning experiences are what people are looking for. Nobody wants to be sent daily PowerPoint presentations. People want to be sent book ideas on subjects they may have asked their tutor for clarification on and also have learning portals that they can make their own. Think calendars, textbook recommendations, journal recommendations or even statistics to show you what time you’re most productive at (based on your past productivity). It goes far beyond what emails can do and this is thanks to data.
The majority of people have a favourite sport, and with e-sports becoming more and more popular, the audience is ever expanding. Big data plays a large part in developing strategies and counter strategies. It’s not just names and personal details, but timings, techniques, players and so much more. Without data, a simple strategy can only go so far. Few people connect the thought of data collected by companies of people sat behind computers with top class athletes in a variety of disciplines, but they harmonize so nicely together and takes the sporting world up a level to include planning at the finest level.
Disaster response operations
I don’t know about you, but when I was younger and used to hear about disasters happening across the globe I used to wonder what the offices of the rescue services would be like. Blue lights flashing and sirens going? Everyone running around hastily pulling on their boots before zooming off to help? I guess this may be similar to what happens (except in real life it’s a lot more organized) but as usual, there are offices high up in data towers with whirring computers. Except this time, they use data.
These offices have satellite-based emergency mapping which includes spatial data products and geo-information to provide crisis information and situational awareness using pre- and post-event imagery from satellites.
So this type of data isn’t the name, company, address etc. that people commonly associate with data but it’s data all the same. And imagery from satellites that are from before the disaster can help to create maps for those on the ground and identify further hazards . This all sounds rather sinister but rescue operations need that quick response to minimise the damage and lo and behold, data can deliver this.
Alas, this is just three ways data is used outside of marketing and sales. Of course, each one is a lot more intricate and detailed than I have outlined but I hope I’ve shown you a glimpse of what data can really do and how it can enhance business operations no matter what area you operate in.