Published on September 19th, 2015 | by Varuna Singh


Your data on a plate: The reason for tomorrow’s ecosystem choice

Your choice of ecosystem or the ecosystem that might draw your attention to would depend on how your data is presented and accessible to you.

Yesterday and today you would naturally go to an ecosystem where most of your data is. If your email is on Google and so are your files, you go to Google. If your photos and your devices are on iCloud, you go to iOS.

But here’s the thing, the iPhone is also a decent google device. And now it’s a pretty great Microsoft device.

“Data Magic”

Google Photos changed everything. If you were on Flickr, iPhoto or OneDrive, the photo experience Google Photos gives you is nothing short of data magic. Search for “cat” in Google Photos and your collection gives out all the cat and cat related pictures. It works so well that it gives you context like no other ordinary search can. What google has done is surprise you and offered you a much more personalized app. Your photos experience is so personal to you, that I am always satisfied by the kind of things I can do.

Google Photos Cat (Large)

Siri, Google Now and Cortana are all headed in that direction and they are all trying to make your life easier by being personalized around you.

“Your next choice of an ecosystem might not be the one with the biggest data centers, it would be the one with the smartest”

All of these have one thing in common. They are serving you your and related data on a plate. Its a dish that’s appealing and sort of the future on how we treat our data.

Your next choice of an ecosystem might not be the one with the biggest data centers, it would be the one with the smartest. It would be the one where data analytics is also one step into the future. Google Now is a brilliant example of a service that is contextually aware.

Cortana PowerBI

In recent Microsoft partner conference and at SalesForce, Cortana was shown integrating with business’ data Power BI. For example at a restaurant business, Cortana was able to access data about inventory and customers, you can ask her naturally if you have the adequate amount of inventory to last you for your next batch of customers. She would reply by suggesting you to, for example, buy some more milk for next week. It’s a neat way to analyze your data.

Amazon Echo

Amazon’s Echo is a device that’s a smart speaker and microphone that sits at one place. It listens to your voice commands and takes action as you command it. You can say “Hey Alexa, play music that I like” and it will play your music, that you like. You can do pretty much the same level of interactions with Microsoft’s Cortana, apple’s Siri and Google Now and it responds to you the same way.

This is no doubt the future of computing. Every platform has millions of songs, TV shows, oodles of your data and big data analytics that power everything. We’re over that. Ecosystems are moving away from saving your data to presenting it.


It was hard for anyone to imagine voice come a long way it has. Even if you aren’t a native English speaker, a lot of these platforms do a fair job in understanding you. The problem with voice is this as well. There is a good reason for companies to add new languages including Arabic and other kinds as well.

“Ghosts in the Machine”

But that barrier is close to getting dismantled. When Skype Translator was announced, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella commented something remarkable: “The one fascinating feature of this is something called transfer learning. You teach it English, it learns English. Then you teach it Mandarin: it learns Mandarin, but it also becomes better at English. Then you teach it Spanish, and it gets good at Spanish, but it gets great at both Mandarin and English. And quite frankly none of us knows exactly why.”

What I’m trying to say that is this level of connection is only possible with Big data and while the service gets better as we are using it, it’s another indication why your data presented is of a higher value proposition to us. This where I think companies are moving towards. Its one area that also needs our consent and knowing your data is the most valuable, we should have a level of faith in these companies that are doing all they can to protect it. At the end of the day its how they make money.

Apple Siri

With the internet of things supposedly connecting every bit of our lives in context, you are going to see our online life get smarter as well as cities getting smarter. The UAE now has rules and regulations by which organisations and companies treat this kind of data.


While the interaction bit is still a mystery if we will ever be talking to our computers in the next 5 years, using natural questions and queries keeps us one step closer to easier computing. Natural forms of interaction are just one way to interact with the things you like and the cluster of data around you. Its easy enough to get to a point of information, but its magical when its the information that’s relevant to me.

Apple iPad Education Kids Data

The tough part is the next set of users of computers will naturally expect this and this is inevitable to happen in one form or another. That kind of assumption puts privacy in question. Your data is going to be manipulated. Your photos are going to be facial recognized, your documents searched for links and cross linked to your other documents. While this might sound scary now, you’re going to wallah love it.

This is an opinion piece. Comments are encouraged.

Cortana Power bi pic: http://www.sqlchick.com/entries/2015/8/22/what-is-the-cortana-analytics-suite

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

I work with technology in Education. I also write stuff. I love design and people. @varunasingh

Back to Top ↑