Digital innovations are changing how we access information. Some of these innovations are technologies we use on a daily basis, while other innovations are transforming the way businesses do things. Here are some of the most significant innovations impacting our daily lives as well as the current business landscape.
Data mining is made possible by several innovations. Datasets have been around for a while, but technologies like cloud computing, machine learning and analytics are making datasets more valuable than ever before.
There are many different types of datasets. A business could, for instance, gather sales data for a product, or create a dataset with the results of a customer service satisfaction survey.
Internet users are also generating a significant portion of existing datasets via what they do and share online. This data can be mined by advertisers to target Internet users and show them relevant ads.
In the past, many datasets were difficult to use because of their size, or because the data recorded didn’t match the format of another similar dataset that needed to be combined with the first dataset to extract valuable insights. The computing power needed to mine large datasets was something only major companies had access to.
It is now possible to use the computing power made accessible by cloud computing solutions to process large datasets and gain insights into customers’ habits and preferences. Data mining allows companies to develop better products or to answer new pain points. In fact, 83 percent of businesses have said that data mining has helped them develop more profitable products and services.
Machine learning and algorithms are taking data mining further by using patterns found in datasets to make predictions. Businesses can use this technology for their sales forecasts.
This digital innovation is making analytics accessible to a wider range of businesses and is causing businesses to adopt a more central model.
Data mining is not limited to sales. This technology has impacted the way NBA teams recruit new players after datasets were mined to determine which skills would be most likely to result in players scoring during games.
Even though data mining is a significant innovation for businesses, government agencies are using data mining for a wide range of purposes. The Securities Exchange Commission uses data mining to monitor financial markets and detect unusual trading activity. The NSA is also using data mining to detect suspicious online activities.
The U.S. Department of Education has started using data mining in the context of online learning to determine when students are getting bored. This use of data mining could transform education and learning and help teachers develop content that is more adapted to the needs and learning style of each student.
Internet Of Things
Some connected devices simply have a sensor to collect data and Wi-Fi capability to communicate with a network. Other connected objects are more complex and can run IoT software and be remotely controlled or configured.
The Internet of Things has a wide range of uses. You already know that data mining is a major digital innovation. IoT objects can gather more data for this purpose and therefore give businesses more visibility over their entire supply chain.
This digital innovation is also making it possible to remotely operate or program a factory machine. A business could receive quality control data in real-time and make the necessary adjustments remotely thanks to the IoT.
Connected objects are expected to become more commonplace in retail. The IoT could be used to gather data on consumers’ behaviors inside of a store, to connect with their phones, and to deliver a more personalized shopping experience.
The IoT could also become a disruptive technology in the field of healthcare. Wearables could be used to manage different health conditions and send patients’ data to a healthcare provider, and the IoT is already widely used by drug manufacturers to the precise quality requirements that need to be met during the manufacturing process.
Cars are predicted to represent the largest percentage of connected devices. Connected cars could share data with auto insurance companies and with manufacturers. These datasets could be used for quality purposes. If driverless vehicles become a mainstream technology, these vehicles would also rely on the IoT.
The IoT could soon be present in your home thanks to connected appliances and home automation products. The home automation market could be worth $100 billion by 2020.
Wearables are somewhat similar to the Internet of Things since they are essentially connected gadgets. However, these gadgets are designed to be worn by the user.
We have seen different types of wearables over the past few years, including fitness trackers, smart watches, and Google glasses. We are still years away from a wearable computer, and so far, wearables have been somewhat of a niche thing.
It is likely that wearables become more commonplace in the near future. Fitness trackers could be valuable for the healthcare industry, and even help health insurance companies assess risks more efficiently.
Some employers could decide to use wearables to track productivity and movements, and replacing biometrics and passwords with wearables could help protect sensitive data. The travel industry is currently finding new uses for this technology by using wearables as IDs during cruises.
Virtual reality and augmented reality could change how wearables are designed. So far, these gadgets have been approached as a potential alternative to Smartphones or have been used as sensors, for instance with fitness trackers.
A new generation of wearables could be combined with VR or AR technology to help users interact with a virtual environment, more specifically to track a user’s movements and transcribe them inside of a virtual world.
A 3D printer can create a three-dimensional object by printing several layers. You can find small devices that you can use at home to print objects made out of plastics, but there are industrial models that can print objects and even buildings in a wide range of materials.
Sophisticated 3D printing software is making this digital innovation accessible to everyone. It is possible to use a 3D scanner to reproduce an object and to rely on software to turn any 3D model into a printable object.
This technology is going to revolutionize manufacturing. It could be used to make tools and spare parts in remote locations and is already a common way to make prototypes.
It is possible that 3D printing could play an important role in space exploration since this technology could be used to create tools and objects needed during missions.
These printers are also helping designers create new structures. Printing objects in layers allows for the creation of a lightweight honeycomb structure. This type of design makes the finished product extremely resistant.
This digital innovation is already used in the field of architecture to print houses and buildings within a matter of hours. These printers also have a wide range of applications in the field of healthcare. Scientists have figured out how to create organs with 3D printers, and this technology could change the way implants are created.
Artificial intelligence could be the most significant digital innovation of the decade. AI is regarded as a subfield of computer sciences that focuses on creating machines that can reproduce how humans think.
This is an extremely broad field that could impact every industry as well as our daily lives. In fact, this technology is already used in many industries.
For instance, Amazon relies on machine learning to determine which products should be recommended to a shopper based on the data the online retailer has gathered when a shopper browses on Amazon or purchases products. This is a common use of AI that other businesses have started adopting to boost sales.
Netflix is also relying on AI to automatically compress the video frame of the content a user is streaming. This approach allows Netflix to deliver the best image quality possible in function of the amount of bandwidth available.
Another significant use of AI is IBM’s AI platform known as Watson. Watson is currently used to match cancer patients with the most relevant clinical trials for their condition. This AI platform can go through datasets that humans couldn’t work with due to their size and the fact that each patient has a unique medical history.
These are just a few examples of how AI is used to extract value from datasets. Many businesses use AI to deliver a more customized experience to their clients and to generate forecasts and predictions based on datasets.
These five of the most significant digital innovations at the moment. Technologies such as AI, data mining, and the IoT will keep growing until they impact every single industry and other fields such as education. The future of innovations like wearables, virtual reality, or 3D printing is not as certain, but it is likely that these technologies will have a greater impact as they mature.