I always thought that if all the efforts, energy and money, spent on technology, were invested in studying humans, we would have been equally advanced through mastering our own capabilities. I realized just recently that maybe harnessing the incredible human potential is not a direct process, and technology is only a step of the journey to our true, limitless selves.
There are already huge advancements in genomics and biology, which discover who we are on the lowest levels of granularity, through molecules and DNA. There are little steps of using data to learn about human behavior, conditions and capabilities at scale. The Quantified Self movement already exists. It tells how much time we spend running chores, it reminds us to get in touch with our loved ones if we forget or it shows that by breathing like Buddhists, we can become more energetic and less stressed. Technology gives us hints here and there how to inquire within.
Data-driven society is becoming real thanks to the Nexus of Forces, defined by Gartner as the convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobile, cloud and information patterns that drive new scenarios. Google demonstrated technology success as a B2C model, as opposed to the typical BI and analytics models. The focus is shifting from an enterprise to an individual, the technology scope is shifting from the virtual to physical world. Business analytics is shifting from descriptive and diagnostic to predictive and prescriptive, driven by the liberated data that keeps many answers, but not all.
The question What’s next? never ends. I think, personal analytics is next. It will tell people about themselves. It will be descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, prescriptive and most of all, empowering. New googles and oracles of personal analytics are yet to come.
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