Sramana Mitra: How would that be followed through? Let’s say I am in the store, and I am looking for something that the store knows because of all the implementation you have done, integrating the POS System. How is that last mile bridged? Who is approaching me? Is there floor staff who gets a notification on his/her mobile phone and then go and talk to me?
Chris Carter: There are a couple of ways. One is considered to be the ultimate Big Brother watching over your shoulder. There are applications out there that can be integrated with SAP Hana that are on your iPhone or Android, that when you walk into a retailer or a grocery store it will grab the IP of your phone – because there are Wi-Fis within that organization – and that application will notify the store’s POSs, saying, “You have entered store number 362 in Palo Alto, California.” Based on your comments, it will figure out who you are, what you have done, etc. and will send you an electronic buzzer that says, “We have a sale on Columbia gear. You tweeted about this on July 25, 2:26 p.m. If you are interested, we have 25% off, and here is another coupon with an additional 5% off.”
Some people think of this as the ultimate Big Brother that starts becoming like in the movies. So, you tone it down a little bit and you are strictly doing it at the terminals. The POS environment is in play when you swipe your card, for example. My wife has a lot of these store cards. They scan those and the information instantly goes to their databases, and those databases know exactly what she has purchased in the last 24 months. When you think an extra step by taking that data along with your social media data and other components and compile them inside of Hana, the system can then say, “You tweeted about this.” The individual at the register, who is helping you check out, can then say, “Mr. Carter, you tweeted about Columbia gear. Did you find everything in our store that you were looking for?”
SM: I think your use cases are great, and they are very real big data use cases, solving real problems. Some of them are quite futuristic, especially the retail use cases, because we don’t really yet use shopping in that manner. We are getting some custom notifications on some level, but it is not that personalized or that real-time yet. But you are definitely painting a picture of a future that would be a lot more customized and personalized. Where do you see the industry going?
CC: Big data in general is rapidly growing. Everything we do now is collecting some type of data on it – from my iPads, my laptops, my phone, my watch that collects data on my heart rate, etc. That data resides somewhere out there in the ecosystem. Taking that data, really understanding what that data is doing for me, my company, patients or customers, and bring it together in a nice, clean, concise and operation package is where we come in and that is where big data allows you to come in to. We are going to continue building more and more data continuously as individuals and companies, but it is how you efficiently monitor and manage that data is going to make individuals and organizations more effective at the jobs they do.