Jennifer Stirrup

Emerging data collection technologies are giving businesses and society the power to understand the present and fuel the future. Whether it’s the ability to reduce air pollution by measuring traffic patterns, tracking a supply chain between companies and across borders, or tapping into intelligent systems to unlock actionable insights and personal benefits, data impacts every aspect of our socio-economic and personal lives through the lens of emerging technologies like IoT, Blockchain, and more, we’ll examine how data is becoming the world’s most valuable asset, making innovation possible and transforming the way we make decisions for the future.

Within months, what we consider an emerging technology can change due to the rapid nature itself. These technologies vary wildly, with some crossing over and linking technologies together. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come into everyday life. Through the use of smartphone devices and other products, virtual assistants such as Siri and Cortana can be utilized at any time and connecting data to produce recommendations based on previous media. AI has also expanded to biometrics, another emerging technology. Through facial recognition, passport control has integrated biometric security measures to ensure the passport holder is the same person. Biometrics has also become commonplace within smartphones to keep one’s personal information secure, with both facial and fingerprint recognition widely available to the public. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is another emerging technology that has become the ‘new normal.’ 

In recent years with increased availability, numerous possibilities have opened up for different fields, such as healthcare, education and training, journalism, tourism, fashion, and architecture. Quantum computing has massively impacted our ability to process and analyze big data. They are using quantum bits, also known as qubits, to encode information, harnessing the unique knowledge of subatomic particles that allow them to exist in more than one state at a time. Superposition and entanglement are two features of quantum physics that these technologies are based on. This allows quantum computers to handle operations at speeds exponentially faster than conventional computers at a lower energy consumption cost. What does this mean for businesses and consumers?


Emerging Technologies For Consumers

Using AI, computers can analyze and understand human language, which allows more user-friendly interfaces such as text-to-speech and speech-to-text, creating a presentable interface to more users in a way they can perceive. Augmented Reality (AR) has advanced, and it will only continue to improve, giving users an overlay of the real-world environment to enhance their perception with extra information and visuals. Ranging from social gaming, retail commerce, and intensive training, augmented reality technologies have transformed how people interact with machines and data and the environment around them, creating a unique experience for each person. Virtual Reality (VR) takes a different approach to the user’s end experience, creating a fully immersive virtual environment that you are centered in. These virtual environments can vary infinitely, from live broadcasts within sporting events to first-person video games and other recreational videos. 

Emerging Technologies For Business

Businesses are planning to include virtual and emerging technologies to meet the workforce’s future needs and provide business-to-business services. This is partially due to the growing popularity of the technologies in the consumer consciousness. The many types of data needed for emerging technologies have started to take root in everyday interaction, as well as through less visible processes. Customer data is now deeply embedded in day-to-day life. It is used to make interaction with technology more accessible, along with collecting information. With the help of machine learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing, augmented reality and virtual reality collect smart data from enriching human-machine interactions. Data is taken from sensors, and intelligent meters create Internet of Things (IoT) systems. 

However, to offer new and innovative services, businesses need to consider different types of data. For example, how will they handle Big Data from unstructured data sources such as dark data and cybersecurity? Customer interactions will lead to text and conversational data generation from chatbots and intelligent bots, which, in turn, will also generate demand for cloud computing power to process big data to analyze the necessary information. As the industry progresses, quantum computing data involves storing a large chunk of data in quantum bits or qubits. Quantum enables computers to solve complex calculations in a matter of seconds, offering promise for scientific and medical achievements. In manufacturing and engineering, the new trend for digital twins aims at creating replicas of physical elements in the digital world, and the data for each ‘twin’ should match.

Understanding the Importance of Data for Emerging Technologies

Data is essential as it facilitates data scientists and analysts in finding patterns and generating shareable intelligent data. This, in turn, enhances customer service and customer understanding. For many companies, this creates a competitive difference to give the business an edge. In IoT, data scientists intend to develop this technology further to use it in predictive analytics, dark data migration, and robust cybersecurity, which would not have been possible without significant data sources. Quantum computers are required to perform complex calculations in seconds with medical and DNA research applications. Modern computers are incapable of solving these calculations in such a short amount of time, and it would most likely take at least a hundred years. Data can help with complex scenarios, such as having a ‘digital twin.’ Think of manufacturing scenarios where it is not easy to set up test environments (e.g., oil rigs). It is predicted that a physical thing must exist in the physical world, and a virtual object must live in the digital environment. With the assistance of simulation and prototyping, this innovation will make it a lot easier for data scientists to recognize the benefits and drawbacks of a particular device or system before it is put into actual use.

Cloud services aim to store large amounts of data for a low cost to address storage issues in emerging technology effectively. Cloud is an enabling technology that has proven its value— and then some—over the past decade. It is the basis of numerous successful corporate strategies and new business models because it is relatively cheap. Cloud’s takeover of the enterprise is nearly accomplished. The majority of organizations use cloud-based services, and they aren’t putting on the brakes. Cloud investments are expected to grow as a percentage of the IT budget over the next three years (Reference, Deloitte). The use of cloud technology has spawned everything-as-a-service, which allows any IT function to be turned into a cloud-based service for enterprise usage. The handful of massive organizations that dominate the public cloud and cloud services industries have shifted investments higher up the stack, providing platforms for advanced innovation in the other macro forces, including analytics, cloud, blockchain, digital reality, and in the future, quantum, through the use of Hyperscaler data centers. Cloud improves customer and employee experiences by delivering a frictionless experience with technology in their day-to-day lives. Cloud improves their digital expertise by simplifying workflow, making processes less complicated, and shifting to modern user-centric designs. The cloud-based model is more value-driven – people think more about the value in monetary terms and what it gives them. 

How can our data give us a Competitive Advantage in Emerging Tech such as AI?

Technologies such as AR and VR may well be the latest buzzwords, but they are nothing without data. Data has to be well-prepared, accessible, and accurate. As these technologies increase in importance and impact, there will be a greater need for real-time streaming data processing, which adds to further demand for computing power. Reliance on cloud computing will increase further, so we can expect to see cloud-savvy companies increasing their dominance since they are already in the cloud. 

In conclusion, As more companies realize the importance of data for their economic growth and development, data science and emerging technology are poised to take the world by storm and set new milestones. With the help of technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and quantum computing, the coming years will be eventful for data scientists, businesses, and their customers alike, as many discoveries and developments await. This profession is not bound to see a decline anytime soon. Moreover, it will change how you interact with technology and provide a competitive edge to the business that adopts it. That can only mean one thing – enhanced business success and higher customer satisfaction.


Hinssen, P. 2014, The network always wins: How to survive in the age of uncertainty, Mach Media NV.

Hinssen, P. & Chellam, M. 2010, The New Normal: Explore the limits of the digital world, Mach media.

Jen Stirrup
Jennifer Stirrup

Jennifer Stirrup is the Founder and CEO of Data Relish, a UK-based AI and Business Intelligence leadership boutique consultancy delivering data strategy and business-focused solutions. Jen is a recognized leading authority in AI and Business Intelligence Leadership, a Fortune 100 global speaker, and has been named as one of the Top 50 Global Data Visionaries, one of the Top Data Scientists to follow on Twitter and one of the most influential Top 50 Women in Technology worldwide.

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