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Making Green From the New Pollution

Making Green From the New Pollution
April 11
11:39 2017

(InvestmentU) – Editor’s Note: The cat’s out of the bag! Yesterday, Alexander Green (with an assist from our head of research) finally revealed the big project they’ve been working on… a list of almost 300 corporate insiders who’ve NEVER lost on a single trade. Alex will explain how you can apply their success to your own portfolio in a FREE special webinar next Wednesday, April 12. To register for this online-only event, click here.

Obviously, a project like this requires a massive amount of data. In truth, our team had to bring in a skilled programmer just to sift through it all. As he worked, we couldn’t help but marvel at how technology and the internet have changed investing. It reminded us of Matthew Carr’s popular piece below, which we originally ran back in December. In it, he shares some astonishing facts about the data we’ve created so far… and the opportunity this trend offers investors.

Check it out below. And if you haven’t already, click here to sign up for Alex’s webinar.

From the dawn of human existence until 2005, we created 130 exabytes (EB) of data.

That’s every book, song, piece of art, etc., produced by humans up to that point. The sum of all human history. There are great, beautiful things in that clump of data. Works that have endured for thousands of years.

But the last decade has been dominated by something much different. Between 2005 and 2010, humans created 1,070 EB of data.

That’s right. We created nearly 10 times the amount of data produced over several thousand years… in just a five-year span. (As a reminder, 1 EB equals 1 billion gigabytes.)

But it gets even more insane…

From 2010 to 2015, humans created another 6,700 EB of data. That’s more than six times the amount created in the previous five-year span.

By 2020, humans will add another 33,000 EB of data.

How is this all possible? Because we’re no longer dealing in quality. It’s pure quantity. Forget fine art and literature. Data is the new pollution of our modern world.

Every moment of every day, you’re emitting a constant stream of data. There’s even a technical term for it: data exhaust.

It’s not that different from car exhaust.

You leave this trail of information particles in your wake as you move through both the real and digital world. Text messages, social media posts and alerts, check-ins at various locations… plus simple GPS “pings” from your smartphone and other mobile devices.

Think of it this way: You arrived at this article from somewhere. The path you took is logged and recorded. And the same is true of where you go next.

Data exhaust is a byproduct of our modern world. And here’s the deal…

It’s even bigger than “big data.”

Now, most of us are familiar with the concept of big data. It simply refers to primary data collected by businesses. (Think information submitted by customers – or potential customers – through various online forms and transactions.)

There’s too much of this data for companies to go through record by record.

And so, a new market was born. Now there are firms that will go through it all and analyze the data – for a nominal fee, of course.

Data exhaust is different. It’s secondary data, which is why experts refer to it as a sort of digital pollution. It includes all of that stuff I mentioned above – social posts, check-ins, GPS pings – and then some. We’re talking log files, web browser streams, plug-ins…

Again, it’s the trail of data particles we’re spewing as we move from one place online to another.

But it doesn’t mean it’s garbage. All of that data is rounded up and stored. It’s kept in what’s called a “data lake” until someone can find a use for it.

Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOG) is a perfect example of a company that’s doing this. It’s collecting every digital breadcrumb about you and applying it to marketing purposes. (I touched on this here.) There’s a reason the ads you see online are tailored so specifically to you.

We’ve all experienced googling a product and then seeing it in ads on the next website we visit.

Another way data exhaust is being monetized is with beacon technology.

This is technology that alerts apps when you enter or leave a location. It’ll tell you when a checkout counter is nearby. You’ll get sent coupons or alerted to nearby deals in-store.

Over the last couple of years, beacon technology has started to garner more interest. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) jumped on the trend when it created iBeacon. In 2015, it teamed up with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to incorporate beacon analytics into apps.

The primary function right now is retail.

Companies like Macy’s (NYSE: M) and Target (NYSE: TGT) use beacons. It’s one weapon brick-and-mortars have in the battle against e-commerce. That’s why it’s considered one of the most important emerging mobile technologies.

A study released by Business Insider last year stated that beacons’ influence on retail sales would increase 10-fold from $4 billion in 2015 to $44 billion this year. More than half of the alerts being sent to consumers are mobile coupons.

Starwood Hotels, which was purchased by Marriott (Nasdaq: MAR) last year, has been exploring the use of beacon technology to replace room keys.

American Airlines (Nasdaq: AAL) and others are using beacons to improve passenger experiences. In fact, 44% of airlines plan to leverage beacon technology to improve services by 2018. That’s a significant move higher from the roughly 9% of airlines that employed the technology in 2015.

Big data is big money. Investors understand that.

But data exhaust, which is even larger, can be profitable as well. It’s shaping the way each of us interact with the world around us, as well as how businesses interact with us.

Beacon technology is just starting to pick up speed. Going forward, its impact won’t just be in the billions – but the tens of billions.

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