Too Much Information?
From grapevine analysis to nanosatellites, data has no limit
BBy 2020, more than 20 billion connected devices worldwide will be pumping out data, according to technology research giant Gartner. More bullish estimates push that number to 50 billion. Data is coming from everywhere: from industrial machinery, supermarket transactions, smartphone apps and car-tyre-pressure sensors. Collected, organised, analysed and processed, that mass of information is transforming how we shop, study, bank, navigate, deliberate, exercise, watch, fly, eat and sleep.
Data is in action in every conceivable industry. It can assist a rail network to optimise its timetables or a sandwich company to track trends in wrap fillings. A smartphone app helps cardiac patients on the path to recovery. Data and algorithms, the foundation of artificial intelligence, can remove the drudge work for lawyers. Image-data analysis warns grapegrowers in real time that trouble is looming in the vineyard. Consumer data and applied analytics offer businesses objective insights into what their customers want and the power to deliver it with equal precision. One Australian startup is even heading into space to facilitate connectivity for those billions of data-beaming devices.
So what can we learn from the nation’s most innovative data masters? A few share their wisdom about putting data to work in brand-new ways.