showroomingWe have become so excited in collecting data, lots and lots of data, that we’re forgetting the most important part: analyzing and reporting. Many can take your Excel spreadsheet and create eye-catching pie charts and bar graphs, but what are you getting out of it.

Using mobile, data is collected for a few main reasons:

  1. You have a problem and you need to understand it (enterprise and government security)
  2. You have a problem and you need to control it (finance, healthcare, correctional facilities)
  3. You have a wealth of information at your fingertips and you want to use it to better your business (retail)

The best part of data? Location.

“Location Intelligence (LI) has been advancing for some time but has not had the front seat.
It must become part of daily tasks … its got to be out front and
center to be part of everything we do to make smarter actions.” – Mark Smith

The first two reasons know the right ways to use mobile to their advantage. If you’re able to analyze the environment, you’re able to combat a known problem instead of blindly stabbing in a general area and crossing your fingers that something your IT team is doing will make the problem stop.

But retail is a different animal. Using mobile devices for studying foot traffic patterns is gaining speed and now stores are able to collect data and make conclusions on human behavior. Websites are designed around how the human eye moves around them and what they’re looking for and now the retail world is going to have the opportunity to match it. Finally, a way to combat show-rooming by offering the shopper what they want, maybe before they even know what it is.

This is where the data analyzing comes in. It’s not so much what you’re collecting, but what you do with it and how quickly. If you’re discovering the hot spots (where customers are spending the most time) in a retail environment, what are you going to do with that information? A pie chart doesn’t help much but doing some trial-and-error research will determine the best way to bring customers in and keep them. Keeping customers inside yours walls translates to revenue.

During this mobile revolution, remember this:

  • Don’t be afraid that someone is tracking your footpath through your mobile device. Some solutions, such as AirPatrol, are not collecting any personally identifiable information and the data that is collected won’t be sold or shared with any third party.
  • Graphs and charts may look great but it doesn’t mean the data behind them is significant. Make sure the research behind any conclusions is real and not just looking to prove a point by the solution provider.
  • A world that is serving customers or its employees better is a good world. Through proper data collection and, most importantly, analyzing, the world tomorrow can operate more like it was expected to years ago. Although we won’t have the flying cars yet, we will have a more seemingly magical future at both work and play.