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Sun 8 Apr 2018 08:57 AM

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Opinion: We are now entering the data age

While we threw up our arms in light of the Facebook furore, the reality is that data is set to become the next great resource

Opinion: We are now entering the data age
Data and analytics can vastly improve efficiency and streamline business operations

During the last few weeks, the so called “Facebook security breach” has placed the importance of data gathering, analysis and commercial use under a global spotlight.

It has opened people’s eyes about the real value of data that they do not even remember they have shared – and the fact that, nowadays, more or less no business or operation can be designed and planned without considering a proper analysis of existing data.

What is happening now is that never in the entire history of humanity have we created as much of it as we are doing now. And it is doubling every year into unheard of categories of zettabytes, yottabytes all the way to brontobytes. What’s even more interesting is that 90 percent of data in the world was created in the last two years.

Stop just for a second. Quickly think back over your last ten years. We are connected much more than we used to be and not just to one another, but to devices, perhaps 24/7. We click pictures more than ever and share them with the world. We enjoy whipping out our smartphones and doing a quick search that could be anything from a product to flight times to most suitable gifts to buy for a loved one. Even the way we congratulate people has completely shifted online. The point being is that, yes, our lives are now completely merged with the digital world and as such our digital activities have increased exponentially, especially the time we spend on social media.

Data is a resource

But where does this take us? I personally believe that we are transitioning from the “technological age” to the “data age”. This could potentially have a significant impact on our lives similar to what we experienced in the last few “ages”. The Bronze Age gave us access to create things using this malleable material called metal. The Industrial Age gave us the opportunity to mass produce. The Technological Age gave us microchips that gave us everything today from our phones to the sprawling world of the internet.

Data is the now the most valuable resource owned and the how data is used will decide the leaders of tomorrow. Data has enabled companies to shift their focus from a mass-marketing approach to personalised communication concept, where the type of marketing you come across is the result of your online behaviour, demographics, psychographics, personality archetype and much more. This doesn’t only reduce costs for a company but streamlines their product offerings to exactly match the customer’s needs. It’s seamless in its most basic definition.

That is why at this year’s Seamless event in Dubai, our digital transformation consultancy firm DCG – which is primarily focused on predictive data analysis applications and omni-channel digital loyalty programmes – and IDEMIA, the leading company in identification technologies like biometrics and digital image analysis, are coming together to present our unique one-stop solution for customer identification, data gathering and AI-based predictive analytics.

The solution will be presented to the retail industry, but the application of the technology isn’t restricted to just one industry, but, a multitude of businesses that have everything and anything to do with selling to the end-customer.

Companies like these understand the importance of customer data and opportunity of real-time identification and that’s why they are equipping themselves with the right tools in order to keep up with the demands of businesses in the future.

For the customer, this means being informed only about products and services that they have an affinity with and are likely to purchase. Eventually, that translates to less time spent avoiding unrelated advertising and more time focusing on things they actually want. Now, that’s the kind of future I would like to be a part of.

Seamless solutions

Banks, retailers and service providers are rapidly adapting to the new payments landscape

At this year’s Seamless event (April 14-16, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre) DCG and IDEMIA will present to the retail industry a one-stop solution for customers identification, data gathering and AI based predictive analytics.

The solution combines IDEMIA’s state-of-the-art frictionless identification and image processing technologies with DCG’s predictive analytics engine and multi-channel digital loyalty platforms.

This proposal will allow retailers to recognise customers and eventually identify them via a loyalty subscription, so to track all relevant data regarding their habits, paths and purchases.

The data will then be processed by the predictive engine which will then provide detailed information that will optimise clustered or single customer experience, infrastructures, costs, special offers, stock management and all connected services.

Tommaso Chiorino, CEO of digital marketing firm DCG.NET

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