The year 2020 has long represented “The Future.” Many recent sci-fi films were set in the “near future” year of 2020, including Real Steel (released in 2011), Pacific Rim (released in 2013), Edge of Tomorrow (released in 2014) and A Quiet Place (released in 2018). ABC’s answer of CBS’s TV “news magazine” 60 Minutes (1968-present) was, of course, 20/20, which premiered in 1978. And 20/20 is not only the measure of “normal vision,” but also common slang for mental acuity and understanding. (As in the phrase, “Hindsight is always 20/20.”)
As business-people, we would very much like to have the kind of 20/20 hindsight we will no doubt enjoy on January 1, 2021. By then, we’ll know how the general economy performed, how our particular industry fared, what surprises our competition pulled, and how our own decisions panned out. Our choices will be deemed wise and insightful ― or ignorant and foolish ― depending on outcomes that will appear obvious from the perspective of 12 months hence.
Now, if only we could get that kind of 20/20 perspective today…
In years past, business executives looking for insights into what the future held would turn to “experts” who looked at data trends, news stories, industry think pieces, and perhaps even dabbled in a bit of industrial espionage to put together prognostications that were, in the end, just a bit better than “educated guesses.” Regardless of how studied, well-trained, experienced, connected, or simply brilliant the prognosticator was, he/she was still hindered by human fallibility, short-sightedness, bias, and a limited capacity for ingesting and processing large amounts of information.
Enter machine learning.
Machine learning has gotten a lot of attention lately. Thanks to recent improvements in computer capacity and performance, a well-designed machine learning system can not only review much more data (and do it far faster) than humanly possible, but also, as the name implies, it can learn from experience. A machine learning system grows and becomes better with every task it performs.
Even the best machine learning systems cannot yet predict the future with certainty. (Human activity still contains far more variables than even the most advanced machine learning system can handle.) However, they can reveal patterns, provide actionable insights, and present outcome probabilities far more profound than any mere human, or even a team of humans, can ever hope to produce.
SinglePoint Can Provide the Vision You Need
SinglePoint from Northern Light is an application that can provide the kind of 20/20 foresight your business needs to thrive in 2020. It mines data from the widest possible range of sources, including news stories, online journals, blogs, social media, market research, and government databases, as well as a company’s own internal content repositories. Empowered by machine learning, SinglePoint “understands” what it reads. And then it helps you understand it, too.
SinglePoint “sees” the future – or at least, possible futures —by:
- Scanning literally millions of online documents in seconds.
- Analyzing their content.
- Identifying relationships and connections between documents, patterns that even the most astute human – even one with 20/100 vision – might miss.
Just as important, the SinglePoint portal allows information to be shared across an organization, allowing “crowd wisdom” to accelerate innovation. Its power is such that even a small CI department can leverage their research skills and subject matter expertise to benefit hundreds or even thousands of employees via an insight distribution ecosystem.
For More Information
Look at the year ahead with clarity and confidence. For more information on how Northern Light’s SinglePoint portal can help you get the kind 20/20 foresight that will make your business more productive and profitable, contact us to schedule a demo.