The future of analytics: Geospatial targeting and situals

One of the next big trends in analytics, notes Wharton[i], is the emergence of geospatial targeting. Establishing someone’s physical location and targeting offers accordingly could open up whole new business models, redefine consumer relationships and supply trustworthy firms with swathes of insight rich data.

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The emergence of the quantified customer will blur the difference between existing market boundaries further, yet offer an infinitely richer picture of real-time consumer indicators by including contextual and situal information. Harvard Business Review correctly notes that ‘…the next generation of smart assistants and connected devices will learn from user habits and pick up on behavioural and environmental patterns in order to make these experiences more predictive[ii].’ This changing nature of engagement fundamentally shifts the product and services insurers are able to offer. For example, Buy+, a Chinese virtual reality shopping experience backed by Alibaba, engaged over 8 million users within a week of launching[iii]. Imagine if this experience could be tailored to your whereabouts, your purpose in that given location and your transaction history.

The changing nature of engagement changes the product, and since the IoT provides an expansion of quantifiable parts, we will have ever more data at which to shape price points. Of equal import is that there are more points at which we can engage consumers, especially with forthcoming micro-GPS that can better contextualise data to within mere feet of our position, and the ambient passivity with which we will ‘interact,’ with technology. Emerging data sources and personalisation will ultimately spawn new industries and enable businesses to add value in entirely new ways.

Care will need to be taken given GDPR and its likely successors. What data we hold and how we use it will be the life and death of our companies; this data could prove poisonous if mis-selling or similar can be proven using situal and contextual data. The risk of retroactive judgement for misusing data, whether reputational or legally, allied to sheer volume will likely create a need for regulated third party data aggregation, dissemination and marketplace formation. New data architectures will likely be required; customers, first and foremost, want problems solved – something that may go beyond an app or individual business silos. Real-time, multidirectional data will deliver situal information and insight, requiring new data strategies and even organisational set-up.

[i] whr.tn/2KTzfKc

[ii] https://hbr.org/2016/11/how-predictive-ai-will-change-shopping

[iii] https://venturebeat.com/2017/09/08/vr-will-be-an-essential-part-of-the-future-of-retail/

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