Cincinnati, OH-Whether you know it or not, our data is being used and implemented into decisions that will improve our everyday lives—from traffic monitoring to population health. And the technology that is used for this type of collection is quietly disappearing, but by no means going away.

It’s pretty incredible what we are able to discover with the use of social technologies and with the power of our combined data. Information is getting easier to collect everyday with the use of our smartphone apps and wearable devices. And in many cases, we are contributing to those data sets and we don’t even know about it.

Consider how many times that you were stopped in the mall or airport to take a quick survey. We have also been bombarded at the end of every retail receipt with the lure of a $5000 gift card if we take a quick online survey regarding our latest service. These are all methods to learn more about you, the consumer, and these methods are invasive and time consuming.

Social and Search

Many brands are using social and search data to collect this information at a fraction of the cost, simply by analyzing human behavior through online activity. Since we are searching for this information anyway, the data collection seems invisible.

Google launched a mapping algorithm that delivers real time flu data across the world by aggregating search terms over time. This data is collected by simply analyzing all specific flu related searches, then filtered using historical data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This data is collected allowing for health officials to make more informed decisions, all while invisibly collecting the information.

Twitter is one of the most social sites on the internet and therefore can be mined to find out what is trending and being searched for. Bottlenose Labs uses Twitter to visualize the latest trends and to represent how they are connected to other important topics. When information is represented in this way and by anonymizing it through greater populations, it becomes incredibly useful.

The Data of Connected Things

We have all heard of it by now—The Internet of Things. But 2015 will be a launching point for some of the most advanced technologies that will be capable of delivering this type of information. We used to think of the internet as a gathering place in the digital cloud. The digital world, for the most part, has been completely separate from the physical world. The internet used to run solely on your computers, and now, it’s just as likely to be inside of your toothbrush.

With connected devices, that line is being blurred as well as disappearing altogether. Yet, the amount of information that can be disseminated from these devices is growing exponentially and we have the ability to learn more about our health, our habits and our lifestyle now more than ever.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.