Sure Big Data isn’t a new topic. In fact the idea that we are making such a big deal about it is kind of funny because as enterprises we have been collecting, storing and inappropriately been using data for decades.

Yes, we have more of it now, and more data means more challenges. However, our big data problem may not be the problem that we are all professing it to be. Many say we have too much data, but the volume wasn’t, isn’t and will not be the problem. The real problem is we don’t know what to do with it!

At CES 2015 in Las Vegas, the rage is all about the wearables, “Internet of Things,” and the latest gadgets. Of course that is what the show is about. It’s the largest tech show in the world and people want to see the toys. What may be a little bit less obvious to the naked eye is that really the show is about something else…It’s about Data.

In America, the average person spends about 25 hours a week physically online. That means on their device or on a computer. Given that this is only about 1 day out of every week, this means that we have about 6 days (less time asleep) that we aren’t connected; every minute we aren’t connected is an opportunity to sell a product that connects us during that time and ultimately provides data that can be usable for ourselves or perhaps more importantly the people that are trying to sell us something.

If you think about it, the way we use social networks started this whole movement. We capture our time and then we share it online. We opt into networks that monitor everything we do and provides the data back to brands so they can target us with ads on Facebook or Google. Imagine the potential of being able to do this 24x7x365 all the while we think we are getting a benefit whether that is access to our friends, a free game that we enjoy playing or an application that monitors our health. Perhaps in the end, we all win…

With the data businesses can operate better. Small businesses can zoom in on challenges and use data to solve them. Larger enterprises can listen and understand their customers while they just live their everyday lives. While that may sound creepy, it may in fact provide us with a better online (and offline) experience?

Maybe more than anything else what we are seeing is the migration toward singularity. Connected devices, gadgets and “Things” are bringing lives into a ubiquitous state where we are endlessly creating and leveraging data to make decisions. A situation that may seem a bit uncomfortable, but in all reality has the potential to make our lives and our businesses better.

So keep pumping out those gadgets, gadget makers. We like the toys and most of us will use them, share how we use them, and make sure that this will somehow enhance our lives while helping an enterprise grow and deliver better products and services. None of this is bad, it’s just a little different, and exciting, and one heck of a glimpse into the future where we and our devices live as one. Unless of course you would say we are already there?

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