Nostradamus on Big Data: 5 predictions

It’s almost 450 years since Nostradamus wrote his best-seller, ‘Les Propheties, and gave everyone sleepless nights ever since.

What predictions would he make today about Big Data in the 2015-2020 era?

Prediction#1: The oppression

“The hapless consumer will be troubled by an ocean of data and information sewage from powerful enterprises big and small. Banks, retailers, telcos, hotel, and media companies will unceasingly throw coupons, catalogs, emails, notifications, text messages, and phone calls at the consumer who will then shut his eyes and ears to all this noise”

Prediction#2: The silent rebellion

“The murmurs will begin. And the hapless consumer will rebel silently, but surely. She will quietly opt out of all CRM and loyalty programs by raising the ‘do not disturb’ flag’. Banks will have no one to send offers to. The retailer will pile up their hoard of coupons. Telcos and media companies will struggle to sell their constantly re-launched, but look-like bundles. Hotels will have only have discounts to flaunt. And the silent rebellion foretells bigger dangers ahead”

Prediction#3: The big wars

” The great armies of the old data-controlling empires-Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon-will engage in fearsome wars, and the battle will soon be joined by those from newer kingdoms like Ali Baba and Uber. The marauding armies will trample both the helpless consumer, as well as the defenseless banks, retailers, telcos, hotels and media companies who had long abdicated their consumer relationships, and hence gave up any right to use this data”

Prediction#4: The explosion and the revolution

“From the despairing screams of consumers will emerge a new Big Data order. The ruling kings will fall from their pedestals, and the masses will reclaim their personal data. Far greater value will be asked for in return for the privilege to peek into this data.”

Prediction#5: The great liberation

“The poor masses will now hold the keys to their mini treasure chest of data. The organizing empires of Apple, Google, FB, and others will hold thousands of such chests in trust, but without a blank cheque written in their favor. Banks will offer to transparently organize consumers’ financial lives better; retailers will make shopping easier and more pleasurable; hotels will make travel a delight; telcos and media firms will enable content consumption a lot more fun. And they will do this by dipping into the treasure chest selectively and responsibly.”

Author avatar
Srikant Sastri

Srikant Sastri is a seasoned entrepreneur and bridge-builder. He provides strategic leadership as the co-founder of Crayon Data, the ambitious Singapore-headquartered start-up, which aims to build a global business around a Big Data platform and products. This is his third start-up. As a successful entrepreneur, Srikant had founded India and Southeast Asia’s largest CRM & Digital agency, Solutions – Digitas, in 1995. The business achieved scale (2000 employees) and market leadership before being acquired by the Publicis Groupe. In his most-recent role as VivaKi India Chairperson, Srikant led an ambitious M&A strategy to help the Publicis Groupe establish digital leadership in India, through three cutting-edge acquisitions. Respected as a leading marketing & CRM practitioner, Srikant started his career at Unilever and McCann – Erickson, and was recently inducted into the DMAi ‘Hall of Fame’. He has been on the jury at Cannes Advertising Festival. At Crayon Data, Srikant loves being in the midst of crazy ideas, energetic people, and ambiguity. Srikant works closely with, and nurtures several tech start-ups, and is an active angel investor. Srikant is an engineering undergraduate, and an MBA. His other interests include current affairs, contemporary history, and economic development.