Introduction

Location: Strata OLC July Level:

Every device we use is a collector and connector, a two-way link between our lives and the global computer. Internet giants have harnessed this data, suggesting jobs, ads, books, and lovers — while at the same time, manipulating and coercing us for their benefit. But in an era of cheap computing, ubiquitous data collection, and always-on lifestyles, we can turn the digital lens on ourselves, making analytics intimate.

Whether we’re trying to be healthy, productive, or just lead our lives in private, the personal analytics revolution is upon us. Life-logging might once have seemed an obsessive, fringe behavior; now, it’s merely a by-product of being a digital citizen. We’re entering a feedback world, where what we do informs what we’ll do next, constantly optimizing and tuning our lives. To some, this is a utopia, the means to improve humanity. To others, it’s a dystopian vision of a world where we’re always striving, and trading privacy for access.

Photo of Alistair Croll

Alistair Croll

Solve For Interesting

Alistair Croll is an entrepreneur with a background in web performance, analytics, cloud computing, and business strategy. In 2001, he cofounded Coradiant (acquired by BMC in 2011) and has since helped launch Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, and several other early-stage companies. He works with startups on business acceleration and advises a number of larger companies on innovation and technology. A sought-after public speaker on data-driven innovation and the impact of technology on society, Alistair has founded and run a variety of conferences, including Cloud Connect, Bitnorth, and the International Startup Festival, and is the chair of O’Reilly’s Strata Data Conference. He has written several books on technology and business, including the best-selling Lean Analytics. Alistair tries to mitigate his chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting.