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We live in an era where everything revolves around data. The modern technology and its contributions have made it possible to monitor, record and analyse everything around us as quantifiable data. This also paves way to a whole new world of possibilities that businesses can use to their benefit. Datafication is the newest addition to the data driven, customer focussed business intelligence practices that are changing the whole business scene nowadays. Here is datafication being explained to our readers as it has already become another buzzword like Big Data or Gamification.
To start off, there is no such official definition for Datafication. It simply means a process of turning many physical aspects of life into computerized data. Consider a physical activity which has a lot of dark data. Dark data means data which has a lot of valuable information yet invisible to us. Due to the limitations of technology, dark data was being ignored until now and converting it into usable data was a challenging task. However, today, with the advancements in data science and analytics stream, new technologies like IOT have enabled lot of new ways to shed light into our dark activities and turn them into useful data.
For instance, Fitbit captures our physical data like the number of steps we walked, sleep we had etc and then converts it into utilizable data like the calories we burnt and much more. In short, it datafies our physical activities to derive useful information.
“Datafication is the use of digital technologies to release the knowledge associated with physical objects by decoupling them from the data associated with them.”
Think about our routine life, we create a lot of data while talking on phone, engaging through social media (sharing, tweeting, posting or commenting), shopping online using our credit card or even walking through a security camera. We never thought that the amount of data we create had so much of information about our behavioural pattern or personality. Nowadays, data scientists and miners have started monitoring and tracking such data in a way that it creates an array of new opportunities.
After proper investigation, they pass these valued information to business executives who are always keen on increasing their market share, product profitability and brand awareness. In other words, Datafication can be described as a process of turning an existing business into a ‘data backed business’. Similarly, social media marketers are also constantly viewing and studying their customer profiles on various networking sites to observe their likes and dislikes pattern which helps them to understand their sentiments about a product or a brand.
Industry experts have the opinion that it is necessary to build an infrastructure for businesses that starts with the data and allows its clients to engage with their customers based on a richer and deeper understanding of their behaviors and needs.
Below are the applications of Datafication in real world:
- Datafication of Social Media:
- Twitter on our stray thoughts
- Linkedin datafying our work life
- Facebook datafying our friends network
- Datafication of Personal lives:
- Online shopping patterns (gadgets, food etc.)
- Check-ins (Theaters, concerts, GPS locations, etc)
- Streaming Movies & TV series (Netflix, YouTube, etc)
- Datafication of Business Processes:
- Internet of Things
- Artificial Intelligence
For example: Walmart Labs identifies customer buying patterns from their mobile phone location data, social media activities, external weather and previous order details. They later analyze this data and sends out exclusive offers that can regain the lost customers.
To conclude, Datafication has revolutionized the data around the world in a way never seen before. It is really turning existing businesses into data backed businesses where analytics will play an important role.
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