Marketers spend almost 10% of their budgets on analytics, more than any other single area. But they only use 1-3% of the data they collect.
That’s a massive problem, and it’s precisely why Adobe created “Project New View,” an innovative social VR data experience. Still an experimental project, Adobe unveiled the software today in London to showcase how brands could access and action their massive global data streams in the near-term future.
“This is going to have a profound impact on every industry,” Adobe senior computer scientist Dylan DePass told me yesterday. “It will change the way we act and interact with the digital world.”
Project New View is essentially a fusion of the massive amounts of data that Adobe Experience Cloud customers collect from their websites, apps, campaigns, and stores with Adobe’s marketing artificial intelligence Sensei, wrapped up in a virtual reality interface.
The result is that you don’t so much click through your data as swim through it. On-demand, as you request insights from Sensei just by asking for them.
DePass knows this is a little odd. He knows it’s a little out there, and that wearing computer screens on your head is still a fairly geeky proposition.
But, he says, it’s early days.
And he says that asking Sensei questions — just like you’d ask Alexa or Siri or Google Assistant — and then experiencing the answers in an immersive reality is the next thing.
“Today, it’s like the early days of the cell phone … big and bulky. But as the technology becomes smaller and more accessible, it will become more integrated into people’s lives,” he said. “We have to be careful not to fit ourselves too tightly into how we view data today … this multi-dimensional data will let you see things you can’t see in two dimensions.”
DePass gave me a demo of the software, which is built for the Oculus Rift platform.
To use the software, you don an Oculus headset and enter a sort of virtual control room. Sensei asks how it can help in a voice that, for whatever reason, reminded me of the Red Queen AI in the Resident Evil science fiction dystopias.
With her guidance, you can navigate your data, see it in three dimensions, find odd, excellent, or potentially problematic areas, and otherwise feel as if you are interacting with your data in a kind of Google Earth flyover experience.
The result, Adobe says, is a better understanding of your company’s current status quo, in live data.
“A lot of companies have a ton of data, but they don’t have an AI to understand what it means,” says DePass. “If you can bring it into a standard data model, Adobe Sensei can help them understand what it means, and the output of these algorithms is a multi-dimensional thing.”
One key thing: the experience is social.
If you find interesting data, you can share it with co-workers or colleagues, and invite them into the experience, where an entire team can see the data, manipulate it, and have conversations about what it means, and what their next steps should be.
As important as the VR is, the way you navigate is just as critical.
“Using your voice is the most natural interface that you can have,” DePass says.