Personal Analytics: The Next New Thing

The explosion in social media, mobile apps, and video content is creating an ocean of information that is making it harder to follow, let alone find things.  Within the last few months, IBM has invested $12 billion in acquiring companies in “Big Data” analytics, which is forecast to reach $15 billion by 2015.  Like the Internet boom in the mid-1990s, we’re in the midst of the Next New Thing in information technologies:  Personal Analytics.   Social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook are already adding analytics to help their users surf the digital tsunami.

What does this mean for you and your business?  Where are the new entrepreneurial and startup opportunities?   Here are my thoughts and observations:

– Personal analytics will become a hot new field, with dozens of startups popping up soon.  Analytics will reflect your Internet and smartphone usage, so data will be filtered by your previous actions, current interests and recommendations from friends, family and colleagues.

– Augmented reality (AR) on smartphones will add analytics, especially for users who add accessories such as biochemical sensors and microscopes, so you’ll be able to analyze what you’re seeing in terms of history, social context, or any other filter.

– RSS-like softbots will free you up by doing all the hard work of searching, analyzing and displaying data graphically in real time so you can spend your time analyzing, testing, and simulating scenarios.  You’ll be able to run what-if scenarios for work and leisure.  What-if social gaming will become a new genre.

– Location-based, real-time analytics will become pervasive for everything from retailing and socializing to law enforcement and education.  By letting the cloud do all the heavy lifting, we’ll be freed up to focus on what’s important.  Entire new businesses and industries will emerge around “flash analytics” that provides instant analysis of emerging trends, whether it be a traffic jam, flu epidemic or discount sales.

Probably these services will start as simple mobile apps, then expand into community-generated services and content.  Dog lovers, fashionistas, NASCAR fans, and green market vendors will all create their own services around Personal Analytics, which will enable them to tailor their services for each customer.

This is a pretty exciting new field so post your comments when you see something exciting.




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