Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff believes everything will get densely connected through the internet in the near future, generating a massive influx of data that borders on the creepy line.
Speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech dinner on Monday, Benioff talked about his newfound fascination with Fitbit, the fitness tracking device that collects all kinds of health data, such as the number of steps taken, calories burned, and heart rate. He explained all the different ways Fitbit connects with you, like email and social media, and how his friend (Michael Dell) even asked if he was OK after he didn’t use the device for a day.
“We’re all heading to creepy. We all know that,” Benioff said, half-jokingly.
But what Benioff was really trying to say was the impact of connectivity and how it’s generating lots of valuable data. “The reason I’m telling this story is so that you can get an idea of where we are going in the world, with everything getting connected,” he said.
In fact, this is something Benioff has been talking a lot about in recent years. At last year’s Dreamforce, Benioff said we’re in a “data revolution,” stressing that 90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years and that 10X more mobile data will be generated by 2020. With so much data, the need for better analytics has only increased, he said.
It’s why Salesforce debuted a new data analysis software called Wave in October. With Wave, users can link different sales or marketing data and get a visual analysis of how to maximise performance. For example, it can track each sales rep’s performance and customer satisfaction rate, and then combine it with historical purchasing data to get a complete picture of the team’s performance.
It’s been a few years since “Big Data” and analytics became buzzwords in tech. But with companies like Salesforce really stepping up its data technology, and more and more people realising the importance of actual data analysis, many experts believe 2015 will be the year when data becomes “smarter.”
As Matt Howard of Norwest Ventures Partners told us, “The year 2015 will be all about what to do with data. The hottest job in corporate America will be the chief data officer.”
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