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Are You Getting The Most Out Of Data Your Wi-Fi Is Collecting?

By Stephen Hoy in · HiveMind Blog · May 17, 2016

In this series about the connected experience, we explore the fact that businesses today, from retailers to warehouses, are collecting a lot of data.

But we also ask the question: Are they collecting the right data? And more importantly, do they have the resources to leverage it with a view to improving operations?

In the space of a few years, Wi-Fi has become an essential component of corporate IT infrastructure, and the Wi-Fi network can itself become a source of valuable data based around how those resources are being used.

If every device in the organization is connected and can be interrogated, a virtually unlimited pool of data generated by internal processes can yield huge business value. For example, by monitoring signals from network-attached devices, such as smartphones or wearable technology, businesses are able to track the movement of people as they pass through connected areas.

For example, ‘zoning’ allows for more granular analysis of where people are going, what they are doing, and even insight into the ‘why?’ of each movement - a retailer might analyze patterns of customer movement in a store, identify displays that seem to be attracting interest, then use these insights to inform their strategy.

Such data can then be added to the analytics mix, revealing new, actionable insights into the behavior of customers, employees, or visitors. 

But all too often data collected by businesses – whether relating to stock management, customer preferences, or warehouse operations – sits in silos, leading to business-wide insights being missed.

The true value of a dataset can only be fully exploited by cross-referencing it with other sets of data. For example, manufacturers can analyze factory-machine usage data with other sets of data relating to incidences of machine breakdowns. This can help anticipate maintenance issues and better protect their machines.

Businesses already have a range of data stored in all of their applications and data clouds – they just need a way to connect and query them. This can unearth endless patterns and insights.

Data – a strategic enabler

Every operation can be improved given the right insights. And intelligent Wi-Fi provides a means to collect the all-important, insight-delivering raw data. The utilization of Wi-Fi tracking in two distinct areas of business – retail and enterprise – provides insight into its potential.

In this blog series, we’ll discuss this in depth. First up, a look at how Wi-Fi is enabling a connected retail experience.

organizations are constantly looking for new business intelligence to increase operational efficiency, revenue and competitive advantage.organizations are constantly looking for new business intelligence to increase operational efficiency, revenue and competitive advantage.

All posts in this series:

1) Are You Getting The Most Out Of Data Your Wi-Fi Is Collecting?

2) How Wi-Fi Drives A Connected Retail Experience

3) How To Engage Customers Through Guest Wi-Fi

4) Retailers: Is Your Network Ready For Real-Time Analytics?

5) Can Wi-Fi Help Retailers Build New Relationships With Customers?

6) How Wi-Fi and Business Insights Help Enterprises Cut Operating Costs

7) What Role Does Data Play In The World's Smartest Building?

8) Starting A Wi-Fi Tracking Project? How You Use Your Data Is Key.

9) Four Things Businesses Should Do To Get Started On Wi-Fi Tracking

Stephen Hoy is Aerohive's International Business Development Manager

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