Top 7 Data Related Predictions for 2017 – Part 2 of 2
February 27, 2017
Continuing from Part 1 of our study on the Top 7 Data Predictions for 2017, we discuss how algorithm economies, and data for artificial intelligence, and mixed reality come into play this 2017, and how they can shape new and existing businesses.
Top 3. Algorithm Economy
An algorithm is a formula or procedure for solving a problem, based on conducting a sequence of specified actions. Algorithms can be used to analyze big data and turn them into actions. Gartner VP Peter Sondergaard observed that organizations such as Amazon use a recommendation algorithm to keep customers engaged and buying, Netflix uses a dynamic algorithm that keeps people watching, and Waze has an algorithm that directs its fleets of drivers.
Algorithms are also the building blocks of platforms and applications. Pointwest Labs Head Sherwin Pelayo explains that there are various algorithms or ways to code software and applications that produce the same results and output. But the best algorithms are well optimized for efficiency and can produce the same results in the fastest time possible; these are the ones that will sell in the algorithm economy. Similar to the mobile application stores where softwares are distributed and sold, the algorithm economy is a marketplace to buy and sell algorithms.
The value of an algorithm economy could be better understood through a simplified analogy of constructing one’s home. Instead of buying a fully-built and expensive house, one could source the materials needed to build it, such as the bricks, cement blocks, and timber planks. But to make use of these, one must tap on experts who know how to fuse the materials and manage the building process.
Similarly, the algorithm economy allows organizations to buy the algorithms that become the building blocks for software and eventually, products. Organizations will no longer need to slowly develop their own algorithms and waste precious time and money, but just source it from the algorithm economy, to create their desired application more efficiently.
Top 2. Artificial Intelligence
Science fiction movies and books often portray Artificial Intelligence (AI) as robots or programs turning evil and out to control or destroy the human race. Today’s AI is implemented as behind-the-scenes algorithms that can process data, which enable it to do mundane tasks more efficiently than humans can. This type of AI is called narrow AI, designed to perform limited tasks such as facial and image recognition, internet searches, and drive cars.
Different industries and businesses are already adopting AI to finish tasks quicker and provide insights from vast amounts of data. In the financial industry, the computational knowledge engine Kensho was created to answer complex financial questions that can model market dynamics. Even in the medical field, IBM’s MSK-trained Watson for Oncology system can analyze patient information to provide treatment recommendations with supporting evidence.
It may not be what we see in movies, but AI is progressing rapidly to achieve general AI, which is the type of AI that allows them to play chess, solve equations, and basically outperform humans in different types of cognitive tasks.
Top 1. Mixed or Augmented Reality
Just like Iron Man’s “helmet,” mixed reality headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens enables users to see digital objects and interfaces or holograms in the real world and interact with it by gesture, gaze, and voice commands. Mixed or augmented reality is a virtual space where the real and virtual worlds merge to produce new environments and visualizations in which physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. Peter Jackson, a movie director that works with augmented reality startup Magic Leap, describes that “mixed reality doesn’t take you out of this world. Instead it adds elements to our real world.”
For businesses and corporations, the augmented reality room Mezzanine is a collaboration solution that allows team members across the world to meet in a virtual conference and instantly collaborate in real-time. With this immersive collaboration experience is known as Infopresence, users or teams are able to make decisions, create solutions, and communicate more quickly and effectively.
In the healthcare industry, mixed reality can aid doctors and nurses in their daily tasks and in managing their data. Instead of carrying piles of paperwork and charts that contain information to help them assess their patients, they can access such information digitally and hands-free with mixed reality. Anything can be easily and digitally accessible — making it easier to transfer and share information with other staff, and the consultation of doctors across the world.
Data: A Hidden Gem for Business
Data will undoubtedly have a huge impact on all industries. Businesses will be able to uncover new insights from dark data to improve their products, services, and the customer experience. With the algorithm economy, it will now be easier for them to respond to these insights and swiftly improve or create softwares and products.
Newer technologies such as mixed reality and digital twins will allow businesses to be pro-active, monitor, and react more quickly and efficiently to problems and issues. Enterprises will be able to visualize and optimize their processes and operations to reach a whole new level of decision-making.
Adopting RPA and AI will help lower costs, increase productivity, and improve efficiency for Banking and Healthcare industries by allowing their human employees to focus on more complex tasks. In August 2016, Everest Group shared research showing as much as 47% cost savings for onshore operations of Healthcare payer BPO providers.
Today’s explosion of data, although seemingly good and perfect, will always carry risks. Data is a double edged sword; both an asset and a liability to businesses. As data becomes more valuable, the amount of hacks and data breaches increase, which puts the corporate and client information held by these businesses at risk.
This is why securing and protecting data is an ongoing and organized process that businesses must prioritize. Data security is essential because it minimizes the liability of data while data fulfills its promise of creating value for businesses.
Look back at these forecasts as we watch 2017 unfold, and see how much impact these predictions will have on pertinent industries.
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