Thursday, May 20, 2010

[Video] Devices are tracking and optimizing our lives

For internet-oriented people, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture of how data and electronics are changing our world. I mean that in both the personal sense and the literal sense - how we design everything, from cars to the streets they're driven on, are now based on thoroughly collected and analyzed data.

Of course, we know that websites track how we use them, but as this IBM video points out, our clocks and cars can be networked and tracked and optimized to make our lives more efficient

Check out the video...

IBM points out that the data moves in a funnel when intelligence is added. From data to information, then knowledge, and wisdom. Funny enough, the experts who comment on this video are forgetting the same necessary extra step that the average e-commerce business forgets: ACTION.

Yielding wisdom from data is certainly a step in the right direction, but action is where money is made. They don't use the word explicitly but optimization and action are the key to moving any organization forward.

For instance (in city terms): We know that more people drive on Main Street on Friday afternoons because of the data collected from traffic studies. This is because the highways are usually blocked due to a sporting event downtown.
Action: Alter street signs to prevent parking during an expanded period to help ease congestion. 
Follow-up: How is the effecting bicycle traffic on the street during the same period?

It's the same thing for e-commerce retailers:
We know that email traffic is our best-converting medium because of our analytics data. This is because it's from customers who have already engaged with the brand and trust it enough to give an email.
Action: Offer new content on a regular basis to entice repeat customers to return to the site.
Follow-up: Regular new content can also be effective at attracting organic search traffic. Has our organic traffic increased?

It's great that we live in a world where everything can be tracked and measured, but let's not forget that acting on our new-found wisdom is what separates industry leaders from also-rans.

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