When Futuring and Data Analytics Collide - Public Health Dorset


When Futuring and Data Analytics Collide

Wednesday, Week 8:


Public Health Dorset’s Shaping Tomorrow Website

I blogged about our work in Healthy Places Futuring with the Shaping Tomorrow organization last year, but their tools are developing so fast I have to reacquaint myself with the page layout every time I log in just to keep up! Slow down guys! Sorta kidding — it’s great to see such development.

My visit to our site this week, revealed one particular change that got me thinking – has Futuring just collided with Data Analytics?

Our Challenges

This is a section of our website where we set out a number of areas that we expect might pose challenges to population health in our area in the future. Up until this week, we basically had a list that their AI, Athena, produces from a few search terms we’ve suggested.

In the image at the top of this blog, you can see the challenges that we monitor, e.g. Healthy Homes — because we are interested in what the future holds for ‘healthy homes’.

What’s of interest here is not how the tool is no longer a static list of links to lists of insights. For example under our Smart Cities challenge at the moment, a few recent insights:

[New] The Internet of Things in smart cities market is projected to grow from USD79.5 billion in 2018 to USD219.6 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 22.5% from 2018 to 2023.

[New] With the global Smart City market expected to grow by about a 20 percent CAGR by 2020, Nokia revealed ‘The Smart City Playbook’, detailing best practices for smart cities.

[New] Smart improvements could provide significant value to rural communities by enabling decentralized generation and manufacturing, improving energy efficiency, and supporting economic development.

[New] As the Smart City market facing slowness in global economic development, the market continued a growth in the past few years and market size will maintain the average annual growth rate by 2022.

[New] Global virtual desktop market in European market is expected to grow at a substantial high CAGR during 2016 to 2022 due to advancement in smart technology.

[New] Worldwide spending on the technologies that enable Smart Cities initiatives is forecast to reach $80 billion in 2018: IDC expects spending to accelerate over the 2016-2021 forecast period, growing to $135 billion in 2021.

[New] The use cases that will attract the most investment in 2019 are: manufacturing operations ($100 billion); production asset management ($44.2 billion); smart home ($44.1 billion); and freight monitoring ($41.7 billion).

[New] IDC expected smart city initiatives to attract technology investments of more than $81 billion globally in 2018, and spending is set to grow to $158 billion in 2022.


A Collision!

The really interesting bit is the graphic “Intensity” vs “Tipping Point” in which all of our challenges, i.e. a number of insight lists, have been arranged.

Intensity — described as the number of insights in a particular challenge relative to our other challenges over the last three years. Our challenges are arranged from relatively lots of insights (bottom) through to few insights (top).

Tipping-Point — described as the likely point in the future where new ideas/insights contained in our challenges are likely to be accepted as “having arrived”. Our challenges are arranged from ‘arriving soon’ (left) to ‘some distance’ away (right).

These two axes form a type of heat map, divided into a nine cell grid — with one additional variable of colour, which indicates when over the last three years most of the insights of a particular challenge have arrived. Bottom left cell of the graphic — the most intense challenge (in terms of insights arriving) and near term (in terms of likely to arrive) is our Smart Cities challenge. There is a lot going on in this space and of all the challenges we’ve identified new insights in this area are probably going to be finding acceptance sooner than many of our other challenges.

Preliminary Thoughts on our Challenges

In this new light, this very interactive (within our Shaping Tomorrow environment) graphic will radically alter the way I cultivate Our Challenges insights.

Where’s the interesting areas of recent insight development; straight to the RED challenges?  What’s my near horizon look like (four cells in bottom left); what’s my far horizon’s first week signals — early warning or looking the wrong way?

Re-calibrate, triangulate, keep reading, keep talking and discussing. Only do it much fast and much much more efficiently than ever before!

What do you think colleagues — give me a shout if you’d like to have a closer look and perhaps get us to help you explore your perceived future challenges.

This futures blog

This blog is about how we create ‘healthy places’ and what our possible ‘futures’ could be given current trends and momentum within society, the economic and political systems, and the environment. I use the plural ‘futures’ intentionally, because our future is not pre-determined (I hope), we can and should work towards the future we want. This blog aims to generate discussion (maybe even some debate) around ‘Healthy places futures’ in the hope that if we all put our minds to it, a collective vision may emerge, which would inform any strategy we might put in place to get us to our preferred future. We’ll be leaning on heavily on futuring tools found on our Shaping Tomorrow hosted website: phd.shapingtomorrow.com.

The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed (William Gibson 1993).

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