Evan Cohen
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How Anticipatory Computing Works

This article is written by Brian Malika, a Contributor Author at Etohum.

Do you know that around  One and a half billion people today have smartphones? And that this number is expected to rise tremendously as we head to the future due to the penetration of affordable smartphones and wider internet coverage across the globe and especially in poorer countries.

Well, with the above about smartphones, there is a special chance for you for your company to better understand your target market in a more personalized sense. This is because , reality of people walking with a mini-computer of some sort in their bags and pockets which they use to interact, search for directions, buy and sell things  among other things does leave their tastes and preferences for services and goods in the cloud which can be maximized by companies that want to continuously better the preferences for their target customers .

This whole process of using digital available data to project the preferences and tastes for target customers based on their personal online activities and those of their close network is called anticipatory computing.

Imagine a city where everyone is connected online through their digital devices like smartphones, laptops, desktops, smartphones, watches, tablets and the list is endless. And in this city, life has become easier because digital technologies have been embedded in almost every aspect of life. I mean one is able to reserve breakfast at a   nearby coffee shop, order a taxi and confirm their presence at an evening music concert just on a  digital device like a smartphone. 

And remember, every time someone goes online to socialize, conduct business, research and even play fun games they leave a digital footprint that is attached to their digital identity which they register on their primary online accounts . Hence this is where the juice gets tastier for you as a business founder who is striving to better understand the taste and preference for your target audience.

The advantage being presented to you as an entrepreneur is that you can hire the services of Tech Companies like Foursquare which have specialized in software applications that can feed interested businesses and companies with information regarding the tastes and preferences of target customers in a specified geographic region.

These tech companies that are specialized in collecting public digital information on consumer tastes and preferences have created partnerships with various software applications which run systems that facilitate the day to day digital life of people like ordering a taxi using an online platform and so on.

So, what happens is that ,  data analytics of which food stores, taxi companies, museums, hotels, airlines and any other imaginable goods and services that got more online visits, orders  and customer reviews are documented in reports which  can be sold to you as a company founder that is targeting the same customer region being analyzed .  And with such reports, you can make wise investments decisions by fine-tuning your products and services to meet the threshold, aspirations, and trends of the market region that you are trying to penetrate or to improve your service delivery.

I think with the anticipatory computing technology in place, any company that wants to understand their customer preference and tastes stand to be provided with first-hand data at a fast speed than conducting ground research.

Equally, with the ever-changing customer needs, a system like anticipatory computing stands to put you as a business owner at pace by offering you new customer preference and taste reports on a regular basis.

I know some of you are imagining if its legal to share customer information with other third parties. Like, is anticipatory computing in itself breaking privacy laws? Well, to get you a clear answer please scroll down to the next paragraph.

Is Anticipatory Computing Legal?

Well, with the strict privacy and policy laws around the world, then your completely justified to ask whether buying customer information from tech-companies is legal or not. So to answer this concern, I will like to insist that before any customer starts to use online software that enables them to buy, order, play fun games or even socialize online, then they have to press the ‘AGREE’ button after downloading the software applications.

If one presses the ‘DISAGREE’ button after downloading a software application, then they forfeit the right to use that software application.

And for those that choose to agree with the terms and conditions of the software applications, then they practically consent to the particular innovator of the software application that they are using to share their data on that specific application to other third parties.

However, the sharing of data from an online user for a particular software application is usually done under strict legal frameworks that protect identity and any other personal information that is unique to the software application user. For that matter, the only information for software application users that are usually shared most of the time is the general information that cuts across everyone . And it includes the age, gender, frequency in buying a particular product and such.

I think you can now relax and know that it’s perfectly legal to buy the services of anticipatory computing to better understand the tastes and preferences for your target customers well which will help you offer better services and goods.

With the digital revolution taking place, everything way of doing things is being improvised to get a digital angle for the sake of saving time and money. Sometime back , if you wanted to know the taste and preference for your target market in a new region that your trying to penetrate , then you would have to pay researchers to go on ground and get raw data which would then have to be analyzed into processed market information that you would have to rely on while making your investment decisions . Note that sometimes researchers do get compromised during the research process based on so many factors and also due to human error.

But with anticipatory computing as a model to understand the tastes and preferences for your target customers at hand, you are assured of saving time, resources and accurate real hand information that is way more dependable for making investment decisions.

I encourage any investor out there to embrace anticipatory computing so as to keep on track the ever-changing customer tastes and preferences.

─ July 13, 2019