Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Integrating the Digital and Physical Worlds with Enterprise Mobility

New York City oversees 900,000 buildings and picks up 12,000 tons of trash per day.  They know how much electricity is used in the average house/apartment.  They know how many people live in the average unit.  They know what neighborhoods complain the most.  They know the health inspection records of restaurants in the area.  They have information on boilers, sprinkler systems, local taxes paid, numbers of heart attacks, fires, roach complaints, construction noise, commuting habits and test scores all stored in massive data archives available for Big Data analysis.

This is digital data, however, if you are looking to move into a new physical neighborhood in New York City, you might find this information incredibly valuable.  Real-time and Big Data capabilities integrated with location services on smartphones have the ability to revolutionize the way we live and work.

It is not hard to imagine wearing Google Glasses with this kind of data coming up on your lenses in real-time as you look at different buildings while walking down the street.

The data in New York City archives can tell you the average response times of the N.Y.P.D. to crimes in progress by neighborhood.  They can tell you where crimes were reported, the type and frequency of the crime and how it compares with other neighborhoods and cities.  They can tell you which zip codes have the youngest populations, highest SAT scores, most electricity consumed, most rat sightings reported and most laundromats.  All of this information can augment the reality of what you are seeing from a street view as you are walking down the sidewalk.

This is the kind of data that provides true situational awareness.  I want this kind of information when I am walking in a new city.  I want this kind of information when I am looking to move to a new neighborhood.  To me, this is a killer mobile app that I am willing to pay for, and what is funny is it is really all about Big Data.  The mobile app and GPS sensor on your smartphone are querying Big Data analytics in real-time as you are walking down the street.

If I want this capability personally, what about enterprises?  Where is the best place to locate a business or sell a product?  Where are the demographics that are best for your particular products and services?  What neighborhoods are safe, and which are not for your construction crew and projects?

I personally want to know this information, but is this knowledge good for society?  I am not sure.  How does a neighborhood become revitalized and move past its historic data record?  How do we integrate ex-cons and ex-sex offenders back into society if they cannot move beyond their past?  These are all interesting problems to ponder.

The bottom line is that enterprise mobility integrated with big data analytics is going to change the way we see the world around us and conduct business.  The physical world is going to be augmented by the digital world.

For more information on this subject read, The Mayor's Geek Squad in the Sunday, March 24, 2013 edition of the New York Times.
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
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Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.