Data and the Smart Home Revolution
Here we are, just a few days from the biggest shopping season of the year. Over the next week, shoppers will flood retail stores and websites in droves searching for the best deals on everything from holiday gifts to the latest tech gadget.
Not to disappoint the masses, every consumer electronic company is releasing their biggest and best new products just in time for the holiday season. Internet giant Google is no different. On November 4th, they released Google Home, a smart speaker and home automation device purposefully built to rival the industry leading Amazon Alexa line of products. From these easy to use, voice recognition devices, a consumer can control everything from music, to lighting, to temperature, to learning the answers to everyday questions. While consumers like myself will patiently wait until Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving in the United States, to see what kind of deal they can get, not everyone may understand the new smart home revolution.
What if the aging generations of our population benefited from the same smart home technology? Perhaps not playing the next track on Spotify, but rather technology that could save their life or at the very least prevent serious outcomes for them. About a month ago I attended the Informatica World Tour in London and heard from one of our innovative customers that is exploring this exact path.
Genesis Housing builds and maintains communities within the United Kingdom to serve customers that according to their website, “includes many households facing severe challenges, some financial, others because of illness or disability and we provide a range of support to our most vulnerable customers to enable them to sustain their homes.”
During their presentation, Richard Holland – Head of Business Solutions at Genesis, shared that their mission is to do everything digitally, calling this strategy, “Digital by Design”. Their focus is on the data that they receive from this digital approach so that they can better serve their customers. While some of their drivers are to automate and make filling out maintenance requests via an app more easily, other areas have reached into the smart home realm.
Two of these areas include the introduction of smart blankets and smart boilers. While still early in their plans, these two areas are just an example of the innovations that will be occurring in Genesis communities. To showcase this, their smart blanket idea revolves around issuing blankets that have sensors in them to detect when their residents are sleeping normally or when they are experiencing a moment of distress. The data from a distress call can instantly be transmitted to health care and public safety agencies to prevent catastrophe. In addition, again just as an example of where this innovative housing agency is headed, the team at Genesis is investing in smart boilers that can alert maintenance partners when they are about to fail. By detecting the malfunction prior to it occurring, the boiler will send a signal that connects through their CRM to a maintenance partner. The maintenance provider can then get to the scene early armed with the correct replacement part so that there isn’t a failure in heating. Of course this is especially important to their communities as we head into the winter months.
Genesis Housing has been able to leverage a number of Informatica’s tools to ensure that the data that they rely on for these innovative smart technologies function properly. This includes Data Quality and our Data Integration Hub. If you’d like to learn more about how you can clean data and improve analytics at the same time centrally in a hub, check out our DIH and DQ webinar on December 6th.
Like all of us, Genesis is gearing up for the next stage of technology in smart devices. The internet of things will produce a ton of data. That’s simply a fact. As a parting thought, consider Genesis Housing’s pillars for their digital platform as one way to get prepared for the next evolution:
- Real time messaging – need the speed to understand data and make decisions
- Data quality – needs to be high quality
- Security – needs to be secure because it’s not just their data, it’s their customers’ data
- Intelligence – need to be able to drive insights from the data