Big Data is already here and it’s here to stay, so what will the future of business look like with the ability to collect data improving all the time. What should business be looking out for in terms of available data and how will it be used for business development?

It’s a very big question and the landscape is changing so quickly that it takes a dedicated team at ardent to keep up with all the possible data that clients may wish to collect and interrogate.  One thing that could be of real interest for lots of ardent clients is Emotional Measurement Technology, this is biometric data that in many instances is unique and comes directly from the audience without the need to get them involved with physical action like form filling or click throughs. Such things as retina scans and fingerprints are biometrics with which we are already familiar, but measuring emotional involvement is a whole new area of development. Eye movement and pupil dilation, pulse rate and blood pressure, facial expression and visual tracking are all biometrics that show how a person is reacting to a situation or image.  From a marketing perspective getting real time information on the interest shown in a promotion or headline is taking multiple copy and image testing to a very different level of insight.

Imagine the opportunity of adjusting price or promotion to suit the customer at point of (potential) sale as a result of biometric data tracking the interest being shown in a particular product. This may seem like ‘Big Brother’ watching and reacting to ones every move. However, if it delivers a discount promotion specifically to an individual via their smartphone at the point they had decided the cost was too high, and were about to walk away, would they be unhappy?

That’s one direction that Emotional Measurement is starting to be tested, another could be of specific interest to ardent’s media clients who wish to drive the opportunity for their customers to self-select entertainment and even adjust it to fit their mood. When considering the title of this piece ‘How Scary is Scary’ it may have implied that the future of Big Data is a little worrying, not at all, it simply refers to the ability of emotional measurement technology to judge how scared a viewer is when watching a horror movie for example and adjust the speed of delivery accordingly. In the not too distant future, if the viewer is showing signs of distress, eyes squeezed tight shut, increased heart rate etc. then the long terrifying build-up of the ghoul attack can be speeded up to suit the required level of scariness – viewers will be able to watch horror shows that are as scary as they choose. A viewer will select a show, their emotional biometrics will be measured in real time and, based on the Big Data generated, the delivery of the film could be adjusted. Yes, the horror is still horrible but whether a viewer wants the tension to continue to build or ‘that’s quite enough thank-you’ will be entirely self-selected.

This way of looking at the future uses of Big Data may be a lot of fun and may even encourage new watchers to new genres of film but on a more serious note Big Data is a very real opportunity to counteract serious dangers to the security of society. Real-time cyber-attack prediction & mitigation is a phenomenon that every government is taking very seriously. So much activity is now carried out online that high-tech crimes, including cyber-based terrorism, espionage, computer intrusions, and major cyber fraud are problems that pose a real threat to everyone. Through Big Data allowing analysis of network traffic, organizations will increasingly be able to discover threats earlier and react in real time.

The ability to analyse email, VOIP, smart device geographical location and call details, and social media activity are already helping law enforcement organizations better detect criminal threats and gather criminal evidence. Instead of waiting for a crime to be committed, the aim will be to prevent it from happening in the first place!

There is no doubt that Big Data is going to play a very large part in our future and the future of all businesses. Collecting data, keeping it secure and clean is the first part of the process and this is an area in which ardent already excels with bespoke software and systems already tried, tested and working well for many clients. Following this, imagination seems to be the only limit to the many ways in which it can be used.

To help you get to grips with Big Data in your business please contact ardent and our team of Big Data experts +44 (0) 1582 870 180