Today a person, or a user is surrounded by numerous software services. These services are expected to bring some value to a user. Book a meeting, send a message, browse a video, order taxi, pay the bill etc.
Let’s pretend that, for example, a person is planning to visit a foreign country, visit some museums, attend a conference and make a presentation there.
This person is digital active one, so uses online services as much as possible. Firstly, he creates an event in an online calendar, entering title of the event, place, date, duration. Then he books a hotel entering some personal data and dates of planned stay. After this, buys a plane ticket, entering personal data and selecting suitable dates of arrival-departure. Then, a person buys tickets to attend the conference. And tickets to a museum. As a parallel activity he prepares a presentation and a speech, communicating with organizers of the conference. How many services were used? — It seems like at least 8.
What is the result of these activities? The result is that after performing these actions the person generated a set of information that is distributed across different services. And by default it is not collected anywhere. Right now the user’s calendar event still contains initially added title of the event, place, date and duration.
So, what is the problem of current data exchange? — The thing is that all the data in today’s world are filled manually in any service. And, accordingly, only the information filled in manually is available to browse.
One more simple example. A boss asks a manager to send yesterday’s report. And a manager is a reliable worker, he made this report, but due to the fact that he is offline in a chat or has no access to email right now the boss will not receive the report. Even though the required report exists, it has been prepared by the manager and even uploaded to cloud storage.
So there is a huge issue of a unified approach to data processing. In an ideal world, a person who travels to the conference could see his calendar full of relevant information, and the boss could receive the report.
Currently, there are some so called Virtual Digital Assistant software. This software is expected not only to execute the direct tasks of personal organizer, but also consider context and experience of a user.
This is a step towards AI technology. We are of the opinion that the solution is impossible without AI or at least today’s AI basic algorithms which could analyze workflow in a company to generate connections between workers, documents, events. This will make possible, getting back to our examples, get a calendar full of relevant information (full travel schedule, flight schedule, airplane tickets, ticket to the conference, contacts of organizers, presentation, hotel booking and so on) after all the mentioned preparation steps. And in the second case, the boss would receive the requested report. This could be real thanks to something like AI-based dedicated virtual assistant inside the organization that tracks workflow and builds connections. For example, if one employee sends a document to another one — the system identifies whether they work in a team or on a single project mentioning all the team members or few ones. Further, If this document was sent or shared to one more person the system acts accordingly.
The system must be self-learning and as a result be capable of simplifying access to data inside the given company.
Does the problem really exist? — For most people there is no problem to open one more web or mobile app to browse info. We suppose such integration of data flow will be useful mostly for businesses, medium and large companies, because data is a powerful tool for decision-making process. And there is a constantly growing demand in data.
In the modern era data becomes the same asset as finance, equipment, real estate. But only in case this data is properly organized — nowadays businesses begin to face a great challenge to collect, accumulate, protect data, ensure its safety, because they will be used for monetization in the future.
By the way, this is one of the reasons why the post of CDO — Chief Data Officer — has been appearing in companies since 2014. Initially CDO appeared in the banking sector working on the task to generate value from existing customer’s data. Even though CDO’s task vary depending on a company specifics, however, in general CDO’s responsibilities are the following:
- to define corporate data development strategy;
- to be “the leader of large-scale data management — Data Governance, ensuring data quality;
- to work with data, it’s structuring, systematization;
- to search for ways to make profit from existing data. Turning data into a full asset;
- search for new useful data sources.
In addition, we would like to discuss what software will look like in the future. Here are some of our predictions:
- Providing a user with the information he/she needs right here and right now. No more 10 million+ results from Google search.
- Any ever created data are available and accessible for everyone. Sounds fantastically now, doesn’t it?
- Existence of a single, accessible world-scale unified information system.
All the existing software requires entering data manually. As well, the only data available to browse is previously entered one. But there is a possibility to track user’s actions and implement self-learning software that could improve data flow for an individual or within whole organizations. Such software would be very useful for businesses.
Thus, nowadays there is a challenge to develop simple AI software as a virtual digital assistant to an individual and organizations, that will track connections and events and, as a result, help to streamline all the activities connected to internal data flow.