Decoding the Metaverse Through the Data Analytics Lens
Originally Posted: Spiceworks
It is finally time for companies to get metaverse-ready. Undoubtedly, the next big thing for companies, metaverse, which comprises immersive virtual reality environments, such as immersive games, and virtual interactions with people and platforms, is all set to take the world by storm.
With Logitech, the first music awards show to take place in the metaverse, companies such as Gucci and Marvel advertising in virtual worlds, and virtual real estate booming, we have entered a new era of creativity and innovation beyond virtual gaming environments. Now with blockchain technology, advancements in mixed reality, and AI/ML, the concept of a virtual world has become more of a ‘reality’. The pandemic has only accelerated developments in this space and further changed people’s online habits and behaviors. And, at the center of it all lies data.
Are We Thinking About Data in the Metaverse?
A quick recap: metaverse is a connected 3D virtual world that brings together real and digital worlds integrated using technologies such as IoT, VR, AR, AI, etc. These environments are accessible using VR headsets, AR glasses, and apps. The metaverse allows us to own digital assets in the virtual world and experience these environments, which are composed of layers and layers of data.
Undoubtedly, data is getting exchanged at every level based on a user’s activity, enabling us to make sense of and act/ react in these virtual environments. Did you know that just 20 minutes of VR use can produce about 2 million unique data elements? Think about all the data that can then be generated by AR and MR use. The possibilities are endless for brands and users.
Last year a user bought a property in the Snoopverse, a virtual world that rapper Snoop Dogg is developing within The Sandbox, for almost $500,000. The Sandbox aims to become the future of virtual hangouts and exclusive concerts, enabling people to meet and communicate via digital avatars and even explore virtual properties they want to buy. In such a scenario, data will be required at every step of the way, right from standardizing audiences to targeting specific users in the metaverse.
With the metaverse opening up new doors for businesses, a lot of its successes rely upon utilizing data effectively. Thus far, we have seen how companies use data to analyze and extract information for business purposes, be it for sales, marketing or customer retention. With the metaverse, there is an added layer to what data can do and its potential to enable brands to connect with audiences. There has never been a better time for companies to explore the endless possibilities of the metaverse and how data can shape the metaverse to become not only disruptive but also extraordinary.
Data-driven businesses such as Adidas and Balenciaga have already entered the world of the metaverse. Many more are following suit, such as Disney and Epic Games. To make the most of the metaverse, decision-makers need to ensure they use a connected cloud data platform to gather and analyze insights, direct structured and unstructured data to arrange information together to gain knowledge, and aid future forecasting outcomes.
This begs the question, what can companies do to identify what kind of data is getting captured to add more value to their data? Are we thinking enough about how automation is possible within the metaverse using disruptive technologies? What models are built on top of existing data using ML/ AI?
How should companies navigate data privacy and security in the metaverse as this continues to pose a massive challenge? This requires building more data security measures like never before. Some of the other challenges that exist in metaverses are navigating the space and ensuring that seamless integration is ensured and that brands and users protect their image. By ensuring that data is at the forefront of brands’ marketing strategies, companies can ensure that their users engage with their virtual environments seamlessly and mindfully.
Diving Deeper Into How Data Shapes the Metaverse
As we read and learn more about companies extracting value from data within the metaverse, we need to think about which technologies can help build a scalable metaverse. The first technology to consider is AI or artificial intelligence when it comes to content creation, using speech commands to interpret instructions based on a user’s requirements. Add to this blockchain, which, when coupled with AI, can result in decision-making on vast amounts of data. AI is crucial for interpreting real-time data and will continue to be the backbone of the metaverse.
Another important technology we need to consider is automation with commands and tools, which helps follow through on instructions when interacting with other users or when stationary and enhances simulation.
In the metaverse, vast amounts of data are generated due to users’ activities. This data has a unique identification tag which results in becoming helpful in the metaverse enabling users to create digital worlds and interact. Right from high-quality data, reusable data, stable decentralized networks, rich content, and distinguishing between the real and virtual worlds are all possible because of the coming together of AI and blockchain, and this will play an important role in the ever-evolving world of the metaverse.
Similarly, when we look at ML or machine learning, its role in the metaverse is everywhere, and it will continue to prove important in this new hyper-world. With ML algorithms playing a key role, this new virtual world will also be exciting for data scientists. For example, with huge volumes of data collected at every stage, companies can drive innovative use cases and help in better shopping experiences in the meta world.
According to Bloomberg, the metaverse market is set to grow to $800B by 2024. Imagine the number of people using different meta worlds, performing transactions, interacting with brands and other digital users, and providing insights on their user behavior. At the center of it all — imagine the amount of data that will be generated. Did you know that by 2023, the metaverse will push internet data usage by 20 times, according to a Credit Suisse report? As the metaverse expands and innovates, there will be a need for more modern data solutions and tools to be adopted. As the flow and volume of data increase, companies also need to be mindful of how to process and utilize the data generated to gain insights.
Just like we look at social media continuing to improve and become a more seamless version of itself, as well as more safe and secure for users, the same goes for the metaverse, web 4.0, and beyond. And, if we continue to put data, data privacy/security, and consumer trust at the center of it all, we will find ourselves with a more enhanced environment, a result of mind and machine coming together to undoubtedly shake things up.