Data and Cloud in daily life

Following up from my previous post on how big data can change my life for a specific idea, this one is attempting to find a few possible implications of big data in an individual’s life on a daily basis.

  • Education: The devices are already an integral part of  education. However the devices and apps only provide for delivering content. The apps provide same content to all students of a class. The next generation apps will not only understand basic data like class but will be smart enough to create custom tutorials for each student, to pace it for an individual student based on his/her learning patter. The app will be able to tell the students about their weakness and shall adapt to help students overcome such weaknesses. The content is also expected to be more involving like concept of solar eclipse is experienced by providing models of earth, moon and sun in appropriate sequence to enable student to experience it. The traditional methods will be replaced by smarter apps which encourage learning and playing. The apps today are created more by technical experts rather than subject experts, as the technology evolves, it will enable subject experts to create content along with experience. This will also mean consolidation of Apps, where app belongs to a select few players and content providers use their platform to create an experience and content. The gamification and personalization of education will impart a new meaning to it. Overall the landscape of education will change, where learning is personalized, fun, involving and an experience rather than theory.
  • Entertainment: Apps from Netflix and other entertainment provider already make an attempt to suggest movies based on your profile. This will continue to evolve such that entertainment suggestions and packages will be tailor-made for individuals and family. The entertainment will also become a lot more social by involving users in real-time. A comedy show, singing competition will result in more people tweeting real-time as they watch and the participants will take a more in-depth analysis to improve on their performance through the data collected.
  • Eating habits: The medical history of everyone would be known to apps and on the basis of same, apps will make eating recommendations. The apps will be also smart enough to suggest recipes based on inventory in fridge and kitchen, individuals taste and as per individuals health.
  • HealthCare: A set of devices which monitor an individuals heart beat, specific parameters will be embedded to ensure any changes are notified appropriately. The medicines will be prescribed on the basis of individuals DNA and whole lot of data collected through lifestyle tracking apps.
  • Shopping: Shopping continues to evolve and as time progresses the shopping basket for grocery, apparel or any leisure shopping will be based on combination of aspirational and transactional history assimilated for an individual. The apps today are smart enough to capture transactional history and convert it into actionable options for a user. However there are not many apps which tap into aspirational aspects of an individual. The e-commerce will evolve to be more immersive rather than single click. The immersive and social aspects of e-commerce will combine to give a good mix of data to create a series of customized campaigns and offers to entice a user into buying a product. An example of same would be a jewellery site offering  virtual trial of jewellery and sharing the same on social sites. This will give good indications of what user is actually interested in, the transactional data will provide information on their buying capacity and other details. The app will be then capable of offering similar products in expected price range or offering appropriate discounts bundle options to entice the user to buy the product


The possibilities are endless as we bring more and more aspects of human actions into realm of digital world through apps and devices. Apps which creep into our lives by being on mobile devices, wearable devices will have access to our actions and will be able to control our lives or should we say be able to help us live better?


Big data: Will it change your life?

A few days back in a general chit-chat, one of my friends asked me as to how cloud and big-data will impact our daily life. I have been thinking of big data, cloud and how it promises to transform my life for better. I capture one of the ideas below which impacts me big time.
A while back my daughter was diagnosed with Diabetes and ever since, we have been looking for ways to understand the disease better and track/analyse data to manage it well for our daughter based on patterns. Our observation indicates that patterns needs to be decoded at an individual level, hereditary level and various other parameters.
However, the patterns today in health care are purely based on taking all patients in same group or on a finite set based on age and a few variables. As an example, Doctors have always prescribed to avoid sweet corn for Diabetic paitients. It has high glycemic index and expected to shoot up the sugar. The only variable indicator is glycemic index. However our observations are totally different, we do not see the sugar readings shoot up after a serving of sweet corn for our daughter.
Another interesting observation was that when we travelled, we found that her sugar was shooting up without any reason, with same diet. The root cause was found to be milk brand. Though none of the two brands have any added sugar as per food chart.
There are multiple factors apart from diabetes, food habit like heriditary aspects and other factors which are not accounted for in a routine recommendation.

I believe, if we were able to capture all the data effectively for all diabetic patients and map it back to huge pool of data, analyse the patterns then medications and precautions for my daughter will be very different.

The combination of genome data, sugar levels from various patients, food habits and their impact will give us insights to create patterns based on number of factors.

Following set of apps will provide a rich source of data and recommendation which can make all the difference:

  1. A Logbook which has the blood sugar levels and eating habits of an individual. Such applications already exist in plenty. These apps need to share data in cloud so that it can be used for recommendations.
  2. Genome data to be available in cloud for making inferences
  3. Glycemic and other attributes of foods which can be used to make inferences. The food agencies need to make sure that this data is available through APIs for any other apps to consume.
  4. An analytical layer on top of all this to derive recommendations.

If we bring these pieces together then the App will be very intelligent which will not only record data but also make personalised recommendations. As an example following can be a conversation between an App and user:

User: Should I eat an Apple? 
Health managemt App: No apple will not work for you and current sugar level is 132 which is on higher side. Have a bowl of Salad. Following veggies are available in your fridge to treat yourself with salad.

Such apps can also be a good way to understand potential risks for any individual based on genome, family background, profession and make recommendations of food, exercise patterns and also the music. At a certain stage, the technology will become such an inherent part of our life that every act will be preceded and controlled by technology. The cloud and big data will play a major role in same.  A new borne child will not only be given vaccines but provided with a set of devices which will track everything he/she goes through and based on the data from these devices, the new generation apps will make recommendations. The cognitive behaviour of individual will be dictated based on recommendations from such apps.

Moreover the Health care professionals will be able to conclude a lot more meaningful insights which map to a group of individuals.

This is one example of how it will change life for people with diabetes and in domain of healthcare. The big data will play a major role to relate all data and analyse the same to make recommendations. 

This is a beginning of a new era where every action is recorded and every action might be supported by technology. There are many more such scenarios which will become enabled and already our shopping habits, travel schedule, ticket pricing, rainfall predictions are being governed through analysis from big data. The impact will only increase as the number of devices tracking data increases and ability to analyse data from different sources increase. It all depends on how fast such devices make commercial inroads into our lives.

Thoughts/Comments on this are welcome.