Data Is The New Oil

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In our time, we are seeing the birth of a new natural resource.

That resource is data. Social media is really about Big Data. Social networks are happy to facilitate connections between us because ultimately what they want is the data we create when we click, buy, post or share.

We create 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data per day. That’s the equivalent of 29 Billion iPads, the 65GB size! Apple has only produced about 225 million iPads since there introduction in 2010.

By 2020 its estimated that we will create 44 Zetabytes of information each year. That’s more data than 57 x all the grains of sand on all the world’s beaches.

Data is the new oil.

It’s not that data didn’t exist prior to our time. Just like oil we needed the technology to mine and harness it. Today we have that technology and this new resource is allowing us to have…

Smarter Retail

Make no mistake about it, thanks to your phone retailers know when you are in the store. How convenient that you get push notifications with coupons attached as you enter the store.

The goal of retailers is to use data to better personalize your shopping experience.  As you shop online, go in stores, open emails, comment on social media, phone the call center, retailers want to piece all those connections together to create a composite so they connect better with you as an individual consumer. That way they don’t email you a coupon for maternity clothing when you’re not expecting.

Smarter Medicine

One of the top award winning apps of 2018 was a health app created by a national insurance company. The app gives users points for visits to the gym, or minutes exercising and wellness checkups at the doctor. Those points can be used in an online mall to buy products.

As devices like Fit Bit become more common, you can expect insurance companies to offer incentives for you to provide your doctor with access to your biometric data. Checking your vital signs will not be a one time measurement in the doctor’s office, your doctor will be able to see how your blood pressure has performed since your last visit.

Smarter Transportation

A lot more than WiFi is coming to your car. Car companies are using data from your car to improve repairs and engineering. Currently manufactures collect repair data from the individual dealerships. Soon cars will send data directly to the manufacturer. So that when your car breaks down. The manufacturer knows how many cycles the car part has performed before failure.

I spoke with a gentleman last week who said as he began to drive home from work his car’s onboard GPS plotted the best route to get home based on traffic patterns. He was surprised because he had never input his home address into the GPS.  He called the manufacture to find out how the car knew where he lived. He was told after 90 days the GPS assumes whatever location the car has sat at the most is the home location.

Smarter Cities

Traffic patterns, water and electricity usage, emergency responses. A city is a massive creator of data. All that data will be used to prevent urban sprawl and make more efficient allocation of resources.

With all this data we are creating it’s important to keep a few things in mind to protect your natural resource of data.

Be mindful of your digital inheritance

There was a time you had to be famous for people to collect every data point from you life. Not anymore. Emails, texts, tweets, posts, pics, and pins are all adding up to create your “digital inheritance.” So be mindful of the data you’re sharing.

Ethical Use of Data

If data is a natural resource, then like other natural resources people need to manage the resource responsibly. What qualifies as private data? Who has a right to see your data? Governments, businesses and non-profits need to speak up and create policies for the ethical use of data.

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