Where Video Analytics Falls Into Your Big Data Strategy: 5 Use Cases

Any business hoping to enjoy success now and well into the future knows that big data is the way to go. With big data analytics, companies have become more versatile, adopting new technological solutions to enhance their capabilities, efficiently run their organizations, and increase revenue. Big data analytics has become so popular that other types of analytics have branched off from -- things like social analytics, predictive analytics, and more.

One area that is receiving a great deal of attention is video analytics. As the name suggests, this field involves analyzing the data taken from recorded videos, usually from specially made cameras with that ability. Vendors specializing in intelligent video analytics have quickly popped up, offering their services as a way to capture this valuable data. But you may be wondering how video analytics actually fits into the big data picture for your organization. As with many new technologies, sometimes it can be difficult to grasp where it would work best. Luckily, major strides have been made in video analytics in the past few years, giving organizations good examples of how best to use it. Consider the following use cases when planning out your big data strategy.

  1. Surveillance and Security

Perhaps the most common use of video analytics happens in regard to surveillance and security. Many organizations already have surveillance cameras set up. All it takes is some upgrades to hardware and software for those cameras to begin collecting data from what they record. When using video analytics for security reasons, the latest analytics systems can detect abnormal behavior from an individual. The latest in facial recognition technology can point out suspicious individuals or even people wanted by law enforcement. Video analytics for surveillance is already being put in use at places like airports, sporting venues, retails stores, banks, and more. One of its main advantages is how video analytics systems are constantly monitoring the environment, eliminating the need to have a security guard on hand at all times. Alerts are sent out immediately if suspicious activity is detected. All in all, your business can stay much more secure.

  1. Safety

In much the same way it is used for security, video analytics also plays a role in promoting safety. A video analytics system deployed in a warehouse, for example, can detect if crates or boxes are placed in a perilous manner, alert workers and making sure accidents don’t happen. Parking garages can use video analytics to warn drivers if they are driving in a hazardous way. One of the most promising uses of video analytics in this way is on highways. The use of big data can determine if factors such as weather and time of day increase the chance of a car crash. Those may be big examples, but video analytics used in a smaller workplace can still help employees avoid accidents and maintain a safe work environment.

  1. People Counting

Video analytics can be used for people counting, and while it may sound basic, the analytics systems can do more than simply counting how many people enter and exit a store. It also enables businesses to track what parts of the store they’re in. This gives businesses a good sense of the behaviors of customers as it determines where they spend their time. It’s a particularly valuable piece of data that helps inform companies and where to place displays, for example. It even gives them added information on how effective in-store messaging is. If customers aren’t responding to a particular display or advertisement, they’ll know about it immediately.

  1. Heat Mapping

Similar to people counting, heat mapping with video analytics ensures businesses have a graphical representation of customer movement within a defined space. This is of particular value when mapping out stores and venues. Sporting events, for example, can track the movements of visitors, helping them determine how best to direct traffic and ensure smooth flow throughout the location. Think of it as a way to improve the customer experience dramatically. If you allow easy travel throughout your location, people will be able to focus on what they want to experience or buy much more easily.

  1. Sentiment Analysis

Tracking customer movement is one thing, but with video analytics, you can go ever farther by recording and analyzing facial expressions, reactions, body language, and more. In coordination with other biometric sensors being made available through the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), video analytics can gauge these behaviors and compile data on individual customers. Gaining this feedback can help businesses understand what drives customers to make decisions in the way they do. They can focus fully on what elicits the most positive reactions. Part of the advantage of this is that it can all be recorded in real time with video analytics. Instant feedback can lead to instant results as systems analyze these customer behaviors. In this way, you’ll know in the moment if your efforts are effective or if they need to be changed.

Rick Delgado

Rick Delgado is a freelance technology writer and commentator.

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