The future of insight-driven innovation has a theme – customized and individualized. As our systems, devices, and networks collect more data on an individual level and we learn to analyze it for personalization, we could become a society that embraces individuality and understands that no two situations are the same.

Here are some ways that the future of insight-driven innovation can help us learn more, live longer, and improve the world around us.

1. Social media is becoming the database containing our life’s information

With all the social media data that has been openly shared by the billions of users and stored in data warehouses, social networks really do have super powers – not just in the platform or the vast user-base, but in their ability to mine the collected data. Social networks have information about daily activities, life milestones, and the words and emotions spouted off in excitement and frustration. From this information, data scientists and others are mining aggressively to find out more about the human race – everything from how we see ourselves and how we see others, to trends in happiness and depression. A lot of these studies are focused on teens who are growing up with this technology, and more interestingly, the studies are showing how teens’ digital lives affect their offline lives. As we continue to collect and analyze this data, we can proactively modify our lifestyles to prolong a healthier, happier life.

2. Science becomes so advanced that 100 years old will ‘feel’ young

US News reports that data from the Census Bureau shows that, “Nationwide, the centenarian population has grown 65.8 percent over the past three decades, from 32,194 people who were age 100 or older in 1980 to 53,364 centenarians in 2010. In contrast, the total population has increased 36.3 percent over the same time period.” Those are interesting numbers and hopefully, those seeing an age in the triple digits can attest to having quite the journey. Even more so, with more people reinventing themselves in lieu of having a midlife crisis in their 50’s, more people might actually live an entire “second life” as the population reaching that 100-mark milestone continues to grow. As science brings us closer to finding the fountain of youth, we all have to look at how we want to make the most of it.

3. 3D printing of custom body parts becomes the norm for prosthetics

With the introduction of 3D printing into the medical world, it seems that almost nothing is impossible. The ability to use the dimensions of real life body parts to recreate a replacement for use in complex surgeries can dramatically increase the accuracy of outcomes. And when it comes to prosthetics, the recreated body part can be so close to the original that is almost mistaken for the real thing. A Discovery News article highlights the importance of this advancement as it relates to children born with microtia, a congenital deformity of the external ear. The article states that, “reconstructive surgery solutions can involve long, painful operations or prosthetics that rarely resemble the real thing…However, Cornell bioengineers and physicians have offered new hope by using 3D printing and injectable gel molds to create an artificial ear that looks, feels and functions like a natural one.” Just think of the other possibilities – amazing.

4. Digital ‘guardian angels’ collect data and help us run our lives

Our mobile devices are already in our pockets, purses, or hands almost all day long. We use them to power our day-to-day communications and activities, and they have become one of our most personal possessions, even carrying an emotional connection. But, what if our mobile devices took their responsibilities one step further and became our daily guardian angels that kept vigilance over us at all times? AT&T has taken our protective nature and mobile device use to the next level through their Digital Life plans that provide in-home monitoring systems and stream the information directly into our palms. As this concept continues to evolve, we could be looking at a device that is in our pocket, but also brings us a layer of protection and warns us when something could happen or is about to happen. This brings a whole new meaning to pocket protector.

5. Individuals that drive a self-correcting city environment can actually be the change they want to see

With cities and government tapping into advanced analytic tools, data modeling, the Internet of Things, and machine-to-machine communications to help become smarter and data-driven, there is an opportunity for us to quickly make predictive and responsive changes to improve our cities. The National ICT Australia (NICTA)collected transportation datato figure outhow to improve their systems. One specific study discussed how opt-in participation by drivers will allow the city to blend external factors (weather, road conditions, etc.) with internal factors (maintenance state of the automobile the driver is driving) and make recommendations for the driver (possibly even directly to the car if it is connected) to reduce the likelihood of crashes. There will absolutely be studies and strategies like this in the very near future.

6. Predictive data for fire and crime transforms urban areas

In NYC, it’s less about focusing on reaction, but more about focusing on prediction (it’s better to prevent a fire than put one out, right?). Through the collection and analysis of data, the New York City’s Fire Departmentdetermined certain factors that make buildings in NYC more likely to have a fire, and catalogued 60 of these in a database. The database analyzes the data and ranks buildings in order of their risk of fire, and they NYFD uses the results to decide which building have priority for inspections. More cities, such as Boston, are embracing these opportunities touse big data and analyze it for innovating their citiesand increasing the efficacy of their departments.

7. Homes become smart – even intelligent – about what is happening to them

Earlier this year, Google acquired Nest Labs, Inc. for $3.2 billion. The move led some to questioning Google’s motives, but clearly Google saw opportunity in the company. Nest’s products, focused on the connected home, are a part of the newest wave of connected devices. Gartner Inc. expects more than 26 billion objects to be connected to the Internet by 2020, (excluding personal computers, smartphones or tablets in that count) – that’s close to a 30-fold increase from roughly 900 million Internet-connected things in 2009 and a trend that will surely be affected by these devices. As homes become more connected, the devices will become smarter (‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’) and will use data and analytics to properly detect what is happening. Homes will know if there fire or a carbon monoxide leak and be able to track the temperature throughout the house at different times of the day and different times of the year, and may even know when you need another carton of milk in the fridge. These smarter connected homes will help with energy management, expense control, and make home life simpler and safer for families.

8. DNA drives medical treatments and decisions

In the medical world, professionals are working toward individualized treatments for diseases that focus on specific situations and chemical makeup rather than just applying proven scientific knowledge. To do this, DNA is moving to the forefront as a factor for determining these treatment plans. Doctors are using this DNA intelligence to determine individual factors that may affect patients differently based on proposed treatment plans. Moreover, individuals looking to gain deeper insight in their own DNA data are turning to companies, such as 23andMe, which offers “ancestry-related genetic reports and ‘un-interpreted’ raw genetic data.” This focus on genetic makeup and a deeper evaluation into each medical situation could result in individualized medicine with more targeted, accurate treatments.

9. Innovation will drive climate science and slow global warming

A common and ongoing discussion, especially with the wicked weather the world faced these past few years, is climate change and the harsh realities that we may become greatly affected in the near future if we don’t rise up and take action. On the positive side, our advancing technology can help us better understand the changing conditions and empower scientists and lawmakers to use data to encourage global solutions that could slow the “world’s biggest problem.” Or at least hold off a global climate catastrophe until we can all move to Mars.

10. Longitudinal data will help define customized learning programs for students

In a post about the future of innovation, IBM predicted that in the next five years, teachers will “use ‘longitudinal data’ such as test scores, attendance, and student behavior on electronic learning platforms – and not just the results of aptitude tests. Sophisticated analytics delivered over the cloud will help teachers make decisions about which students are at risk, their roadblocks, and the way to help them.” IBM believes that by combining government collected data with data from the learning platforms, early detection of learning disorders will be easier and teachers will be better equipped to deliver quality instruction tailored to meet individual needs.

Get involved in the conversations on the Future of Business and read, watch, and learn about how Big Data and insights will continue to drive smarter innovation.