Article Blog - Suresh September 15, 2014 3 minute read

Big Data Wearables Take Actionable Insights to Personal Level

By Suresh Katta, Founder and CEO, Saama Technologies

The concept of improving ways to consume information using advanced analytics is something that Saama has been in the forefront of for over a decade.  As the practices of Big Data become more understood, it is becoming more commoditized with different makers taking actionable insights to a personal level.

Smartwatches

If you have been following the rumors and launches, Google-powered smartwatches, Apple’s iWatch, LG G Watch and Moto 360 (just to name a few) have all the early-adopters buzzing around.  Regardless if the design is square or round, or what the battery life is promised to be vs. actually will be, these new wearables make heavy use of Big Data capabilities.  These devices are app-driven and able to pull in details of the world around you and deliver insightful messages and reminders specific to you.

Think of it, these watches won’t just tell time; they will factor, sort through, and come up with context-sensitive data based on time and place.  These watches will:

  • Provide an estimated commute time and alert you when to leave for the office to not be late,
  • Remind you to pick up milk when you get near your store of choice,
  • Not only set alarms, but give you important data about the event to take place,
  • Measure pulse rates,
  • Keep you updated on your team’s score on game day, and
  • Let you know how far you are from your destination.

And this is just a small sampling of what these watches can do. The mountains of data currently collected would be ineffective without advanced analytics to elevate it, improve upon it, and provide actionable insights in the form of messages and reminders to the wearer.

What cannot be lost in these new wearables is the value that these insights can bring.  We are able, through the power of Big Data and advanced analytics to derive better decision-making and more easily consume information that can enhance how we choose to live our lives.  This is what I call enabled intuition.

I noted in a recent blog, Big Data’s Influence in Behaviors That Could Reduce Insurance Premiums, that I had begun to use a wearable device that reminds me, on a daily basis, of my physical moves, my sleep patterns, and a few other things.  This small device has had an incredible impact on me and has proven to be the most influential on improving my health because it tells me how much I have exercised and where I fall in the percentage of users like me.  The other day, I came home and insisted on going for a walk after checking to see how I had rated that day.  I know that if I had not been wearing this device, I would have simply sat down at the end of the day.  Similarly, I track my sleep patterns this way too. It tells me how deeply I slept, for how long, and how close to my sleep goal I am.  As a result, I am more conscious of how much sleep I get, and strive for more when I fall behind.

The influence these Big Data wearables are already having in their relative infancy is only a small sign of things to come.  The insights generated by these devices are changing behavior in non-invasive and non-threatening ways.

To some innovations like the wearables from Google, Apple and the others seem to be popping up overnight and catching on like fire.  For Samma, helping our clients — regardless if the industry is healthcare, financial, life sciences, technology, insurance, or other — to discover new processes and derive better decision-making through advanced data science has been our goal for a long time. It is gratifying to witness how our clients are transforming how they do business and benefiting through Big Data advances.  It is also interesting to witness the impact Big Data advances are now having on personal decisions, like sleep, exercise, time-management and contributing to a better quality of life.

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