Cognitive computing helps firms to exploit data gathered through mobile apps. Given the huge technical and business opportunities this approach brings, Marketing departments will not be the only ones to benefit, predicts a recent Gartner report.

Cognitive computing set to boost company business

Cognitive science – which studies and models phenomena such as reasoning, language and calculation – is now making an impact on industry and business in general, especially as regards the use of mobile apps. As apps can be highly personalised through integration of artificial intelligence systems and a deep learning approach, they would seem to be the best channel for exploiting cognitive science in business. Jessica Ekholm, UK-based Research Director for US information technology research and advisory firm Gartner, points out that “cognitive computing has already started to make an appearance in mobile applications, smartphones and 'wearables', all of which are used to collect and synchronise information on users.” In a report published in mid-July, Gartner underlines the potential of cognitive computing and its benefits for business. “B2C suppliers should adapt their strategies to exploit these changes and generate new revenues,” recommend the Gartner experts.

Personalising business offers

Companies wishing to take full account of the needs and expectations of their customers when developing apps can make use of cognitive computing to help create more personalised products and services and thus boost competitiveness. Further down the road we are likely to see a range of applications and channels communicating mutually within a given ecosystem. A Cloud-based analysis of data drawn from various different sources would enable a firm to obtain a more precise idea of the general background and requirements of its product/service users, help to drive innovation and help to create new businesses. “For example, if the data, or meta data gathered via a retailer’s app reveals that a customer always buys the same food in the same store, at the same time in the week, the retailer can make a highly contextualised recommendation,” explains Jessica Ekholm, pointing out that the work on in-store location currently being done by is tending very much in this direction.

Towards predictive analysis and task automation

“While the use of cognitive computing is definitely going to revolutionise the work of digital marketing teams, this trend goes way beyond Marketing, stresses Ms Ekholm. The knowledge which flows from data analysis will be increasingly used for predictive analysis, enabling firms to anticipate customer needs and make an appropriate product pitch.  Google and Amazon are currently out in front when it comes to cognitive computing, but all kinds of companies will be getting in on the act in the very near future, she predicts. The Gartner analysts reckon that information systems will become more and more sophisticated in tandem with the increasing amount of data available. Jessica Ekholm actually thinks that by as soon as 2017 smartphones will be equipped to perform more efficiently than human beings tasks such as cancelling a hotel reservation if the flight to that destination is cancelled or sending a timely prescription renewal request to one’s doctor.

By Lucie Frontière