Adding a Human Element to the best of Machine Learning Technology

Zane Hall discusses how human analytics is the key to bringing ‘Big Data’ to life

It seems like years since we first started talking about Big Data and its transformative potential. The world continues to edge towards a tipping point whereby the technologies involved in IoT and 5G allow us to reach this potential – Big Data 2.0 if you will.

But I believe most current projects are missing a critical piece of the puzzle – the human aspect. The traditional machine learning software necessary to automate and realise Big Data is fine if all you want is for your smart thermostat to know what temperature to set your AC for when you get home from work. Or if you always stop your driverless car for a coffee on the way into work, but maybe not today because you are running late.

In other words, most of what we are seeing now is geared towards controlling external features or devices. In terms of influencing human behaviour, most solutions in – or soon to be in – market use some combination of wearable tech and linear goal setting processes to prompt activity. This is actually remarkably unsophisticated outcome when you think of all the investment that has gone into the software platforms and hardware – it suggests to me a passing craze rather than a meaningful development in the evolution of technology’s impact on our lives.

The trick is that everyone is different, every day is different, and it doesn’t all come down to how many steps you did this morning. Sometimes you just feel low, suddenly work seems much harder to get through than yesterday, and you don’t know why.

Imagine for a moment that you could combine the best of wearable activity and biometric tracking and factors such as underlying health issues, nutritional intake, sleep, even your environment, with best in class medical knowledge, to provide completely individualised insights and predictions just for you. Instead of getting a buzz on your wrist to stand up and walk around, you would get an alert to say that you are at high risk of illness and that a small change to diet – don’t miss lunch again, perhaps – or working practices – take an evening off from your laptop and get an early night – will stop you getting the flu. On a personal basis the benefits (both short and long term) are clear, but as an employer such predictive capabilities would also have a huge impact on productivity.

The key is to take the best of machine learning software and add the human element. At SMG Technologies we call it human analytics, and it is at the core of everything we do from supporting elite athletes to our work with big health insurers and education institutes.

We are not just another software company – we provide software for sports, healthcare and in the enterprise – because the team behind our cutting edge platforms include data analysts and mathematics whizzes (of course) but also sports scientists, nutritionists and many more who you might not expect to see in a tech firm. It is this combination of expertise in different areas that has allowed us to create a system that is different to anything else out there right now, one that is based on human analytics and not just endless streams of Big Data numbers.

We believe human analytics can be applied to pretty much every situation, every sector and every organisation.

If you would like to know how we can help you please get in touch.

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