Analytics Magic: Calm Technology + Context-Aware Computing

Analytics Magic: Calm Technology + Context-Aware Computing — Three steps to take now to prepare for the adaptation revolution

In our last post we shared how AI techniques based on calm technology principles is making it possible to cut through the noise and avoid those annoying attention-grabbing alerts. But it’s not until calm technology combines with context-aware computing that we see the real opportunity arise.


Being “contextually relevant” has been a buzzy phrase for several years and it remains a goal of organizations striving to create an effective digital experience for its users, external or internal. Delivering contextually relevant services requires more information than ever. The staggering amount of personal data gathered in real-time can challenge mobile devices, and personalized interactions require the application to minimize uncertainty while quickly condensing the data.

Due to this ever-increasing demand, edge computing has become a critical component in personalization architectures. As more information is produced and processed right at users’ fingertips, a new computing platform paradigm is emerging—and with it, new opportunity. Devices will connect without (or with minimal) reliance on a cloud capability and make extensive use of smart and autonomous software agents—those that can act on a user’s behalf. This “intelligence at the edge” allows localized interactions to adapt faster by minimizing the amount of data transfer and bringing contextual situational awareness.

So what does this mean for analytics? Ideally, relevancy can be continuously improved while distraction is minimized, since the application should self-adjust based on the user’s context and situation.

businessman tablete phone

Prepare now to adapt later

Together, these developments spell exciting opportunity for analytics: a system that continuously adapts to become more relevant and intuitive to the user’s needs, and then conveys pertinent information in a way that gets noticed without being intrusive or disruptive. There are a few steps data and analytics leaders can take now to ensure their organizations will be ready to capitalize on the coming adaptation revolution:

  1. When considering application and interface design, adopt user-centric disciplines such as calm technology and design-thinking methodologies to enhance their capabilities.
  2. Combine emerging techniques for contextual computing such as the Internet of Things, machine learning, prescriptive analytics, and virtual assistants to guide the creation of prototype experimental business applications and solutions.
  3. Explore agent-based computing paradigms to optimize and capitalize on the localization and adaptability of applications and local devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) at the periphery of the network.

In the end, technology must adapt to our lifestyles, constraints, and desires. A technology that is not intuitive, easy to use, and highly relevant often ends up on a shelf or at the bottom of a forgotten drawer. Don’t let that sideline your business—act now to ensure your analytics function is a critical tool for your organization and not another pain point. 

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