Lifelogging and quantified self in a financial context
We are all too ready to find hard data to track how we live our daily lives. There are many measurable areas like our personal activities, health condition and the internet of things. Thanks to smartwatches, mobile apps and electronics installed in our devices, vehicles and home appliances we can gather enormous data volumes. Most of them are useless but the trend of quantifying self to improve one’s quality of life is growing.
Gathering personal data is not completely new. It was always doable – one could sit with a pencil and a sheet of paper and record calories consumed, minutes of specific exercises etc. But who would want to become their own life accountant? There is no reason to do this. Wearable technologies and trackers gather data in the background without any additional action needed.
Finance under the microscope
Our financial life was always easier to track, since it is based on numbers. Even before the internet era, when we paid for utilities we were informed how much water we used or how much electricity we consumed. The analysis of our bank statements helps us to understand every part of income and spending. Personal finance managers are very helpful in this respect, however they did not become the most popular modules of digital banking platforms. They are too difficult to configure and we have to invest a lot of effort to prepare the reports we need.
According to “The World Retail Banking Report 2018” two-thirds of the world’s 7.6 billion inhabitants now have a mobile phone , with more than half of the handsets in use today being smart devices.
Integrating everyday life with financial life
Now, we need to build tools on our lifelogging platforms to make our lives easier, safer and longer. Quantified self is the act of using personal data to improve not only our health but many other metrics of our quality of life. And we can integrate it with financial data!
Fitness accounts rewarding customers with higher interest rates for their physical activity is a great example of integrating life data. There is a big potential in the insurance market – if the consumer has a healthy lifestyle, they should be rewarded with better conditions. But these examples illustrate how external institutions could use our data. The real integration of our data could be a great motivator to live a healthier life as well as to spend less money if it is easily achievable.
A bright future ahead of us
After years of learning how to gather information, we have reached the right moment to utilize it. 2019 will be the year when we make huge progress in analysis, making automatic conclusions and recommendations. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are great buzzwords, but fed with the data of our quantified life will become very helpful in making us healthier. Integration with our financial data will make us richer.
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