Making sense of the metaverse through data science

Interest in the concept of the metaverse exploded when Facebook announced it was changing its name to Meta, demonstrating the company’s commitment to becoming more than a social network, and plans to spend at least $10 billion towards developing its vision of the metaverse

While in its infancy, there are many different ideas of what the metaverse will eventually look like. However, one thing for certain is the vast amount of data that will be produced as a result of this virtual world. Businesses already have a multitude of data sources that require processing and analysing, and the metaverse is only set to increase this. Dubbed the next iteration of the internet, the metaverse will put an increased spotlight on data scientists within an organisation. It’s down to these teams to ensure they are fully prepared to make sense of this data explosion and can derive actionable insights to propel the business forward.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a merging of virtual, augmented and physical reality, that will blur the lines between online and real-life interactions. It will become a place where people can work, shop, play and be entertained. A range of brands from Adidas to Balenciaga have taken their first steps into the metaverse, but beyond this, there are some brands that are already trading with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the virtual world.

In collaboration with UNXD, a curated marketplace for digital luxury, D&G recently launched ‘Collezione Genesi,’ an NFT collection that fetched approximately $5.6 million at auction. Hoping to make this NFT collection one of many, D&G’s goal is to grant buyers different levels of exclusive brand content and insider access. D&G is spearheading innovation in its sector, recognising the value the metaverse can bring to the business, and uncovering new data insights around consumer behaviour and buying patterns.

The metaverse has the power to revolutionise how industries operate and how we live our daily lives. It can bring new innovation to customers, develop deeper connections with people across the world and provide businesses with a new revenue stream. The possibilities can be endless, but only if a business has the right infrastructure in place to harness it.

The impact on data science

Currently, a number of organisations do not have strategies in place to maximise their data science capabilities, limiting their ability to truly understand the data they have about the company or their customers. The metaverse

will no doubt continue to expand and innovate at a rapid pace, and if organisations aren’t well prepared, it will be near impossible to catch up.

Teams should ensure they have a cloud data platform that can collect and process internal and third-party data with a single point of access to reduce the time it takes to search for insights. This model must be able to process structured, semi-structured and unstructured data, while also breaking down data silos and unifying insights to learn from the metaverse and help predict future outcomes.

Data science teams should spend this time reflecting on any of the current downfalls they are seeing in their strategy, from siloed data to an unmanageable amount of data sources. These lessons then need to be applied so they can effectively prepare for the future. Looking at other recent innovations, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and the issues they faced when it came to regulation can help to provide businesses with some understanding of potential future implications. We can expect to see regulations being brought in fairly swiftly around the metaverse to ensure businesses are complying and processing data in the appropriate way, amongst other things.

Businesses must also establish the correct processes so that data scientists don’t have to duplicate entire datasets. This reduces potential issues arising around security or compliance, while maintaining fine-grained controls to ensure only the right users and applications have access to the data in hand. While we may not know exactly what’s to come with the metaverse, having the right platform in place will enable companies to react and be flexible in their approach.

It’s important that data science teams look at the metaverse with an open mind as an opportunity to better the business. With all the extra insights gleaned, they can put themselves in a favourable position amongst their competitors and better understand and service their customers as they capitalise on the virtual world. While the metaverse has the power to foster connections, grow relationships and expand businesses, it will undoubtedly come with a huge learning curve for businesses. This is the time for organisations to adequately prepare for the metaverse and ensure that their data science approach is simple, modern and effective to make sense of this new world and tap into new business opportunities.

About the Author

Julien Alteraic is RVP UK&I at Snowflake. Snowflake delivers the Data Cloud — a global network where thousands of organizations mobilize data with near-unlimited scale, concurrency, and performance. Inside the Data Cloud, organizations unite their siloed data, easily discover and securely share governed data, and execute diverse analytic workloads. Wherever data or users live, Snowflake delivers a single and seamless experience across multiple public clouds.

Featured image: ©Дмитрий Киричай