The Internet of Behaviours

The Internet of things (IoT) is no longer some far off future prediction borne from the minds of sci-fi enthusiasts. IoT, the connecting of any electronic device to the Internet, is well and truly here. The collection of usage and data by these IoT devices provides valuable insights into users’ behaviours, interests, and preferences – something which has been appropriately coined as the Internet of Behaviours. Delving into insights can reveal broader consumer behaviour patterns as well open up opportunities for specific consumer targeting, writes Justin MeltonCEO of IT business solutions provider, ChillIT.

Mining the data is not a new concept. Since the onset of the Internet, data has been essential in identifying who uses the Internet and what sites they visit. The emergence of IoT provides much more data to collect and analyse. And with more data comes more access to insights into how users behave.

Marketers need to be informed of new behavioural insights, think about how it could redefine the value chain, know the data they have and how to use it to get an advantage, and most importantly understand privacy & cyber security implications.

The possibilities for using IB in business, personal finance, and in the workplace

Gote Nyman, retired Psychology Professor at the University of Helsinki in 2012, developed the concept that behaviour can be data mined. Data mining systems are already answering the question “what is happening to the world” and making tons of money doing so. Nyman believes that being able to see intentions of the human background to know what is about to happen in the connected world is doable.

The Internet-of-Behaviours (IB) is technically easy to do but very complicated psychologically. Statistical studies abound that map everyday habits and behaviours but fall short of fully revealing meanings and contexts of individual life.

“Individuals, companies, or even communities can create their own codes for any behaviour they think is worth looking at.”

Hacking Personal Analytics for self improvement

Stephen Wolfram, a British physicist created computational knowledge engine WolframAlpha, has been recording his own personal data for over three decades  The data he has collected about himself includes hundreds of thousands of emails, thousands of documents, and every computer keystroke for 10 years.

Wolfram’s software can, in under a minute, generate a detailed account of a person’s activity on Facebook. Where one’s friends live, how many are married, time zone, and even what sign of the zodiac people were born under.

Cyber Security and the Internet of Behaviours

Beware the dark side – this behavior data can allow cybercriminals access to sensitive data that reveals consumer behavior patterns. Cybercriminals can collect and sell to other criminals hacked property access codes, delivery routes, even bank access codes, the potential is endless.

However, it’s more likely they can take ‘Phishing’ to a new level by being able to better impersonate individuals for the sake of fraud or other nefarious purposes.

The rapidly expanding network of IoT devices means that new cybersecurity protocols are in development and that businesses need to be ever more vigilant and proactive.

What are the implications for marketers?

  1. The growth of IoT means an abundance of data and insights are available so it is important to be aware of any consumer behaviours or trends so you can stay ahead of the curve.
  2. Data can be used to evolve or disrupt value chains – Uber is an obvious example. Essentially, they use IoT data about drivers, traveler locations and preferences to reimagine the end-user experience.
  3. You should consider what data you have access to and how to analyse it – many firms are looking at AI solutions to assist in data mining and finding insights.
  4. Be aware of your own data security
    1. If you have access to data and personal information be fully aware of Australian Notifiable Data Breaches regulation
    2. Make sure you have adequate cyber security protections and they are reviewed regularly
    3. Train your team – the most comment breach is people

*This article was originally published by IT business solutions provider, ChillIT.

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