"If you have video right now, regardless of how it's being used, you need video analytics."
In part two of our video analytics series, we met back up with Blueprint Managing Director of Innovation and Video Analytics expert Gary Nakanelua on how to leverage video analytics within your business. In this article we discuss the challenges of incorporating video analytics and how Blueprint can partner with you to initiate those first steps and immediately unlock value from your existing video footage.
What are the biggest challenges to incorporating video analytics into an organization?
From the technical implementation side, a lot of organization have problems training data because they don’t have data readily available. Using a retail scenario, say I want to predict the path customers are going to walk when they enter a store so I can optimize the store for Black Friday. Because we are using machine learning and artificial intelligence, we need training data that actually exhibits the behaviors we want to track, which is a pretty heavy ask for most organizations. In that case, we either have to wait 30 to 90 days for the business to collect the necessary footage, we try and find footage somewhere else or we simulate it. But that all does take time.
Another challenge is that people typically equate exploration to a waste of money. Because customers often don’t know where to begin when it comes to video analytics, it typically starts as a conversation to help identify what they don’t know ― exploring the art of the possible. However, companies have real problems that demand real investment, so they expect instant gratification from those investments. A company should understand that exploring what is possible doesn’t mean throwing a bunch of money at things hoping something will stick. Working with Blueprint, that exploration will be targeted and strategic, with a level of specificity that keeps everyone focused.
What are the general steps to setting up a video analytics engagement with Blueprint?
First is the initial assessment, coming in and just getting an idea of not just what equipment they already have, but also what they do and what they want to know. We really immerse ourselves into their world, which is key for us to understand what is working well for them and what their friction points are. We want to identify areas where an immediate impact can be made with video analytics ― it is an approach that allows us to incrementally deliver value to the customer. Then we build, then we implement and then we figure out how to scale it out.
How do you know when it is time to invest in video analytics?
If you are a company that wants to improve customer experience in general, it is time to invest. If you are a company that has held video for years with the hopes of being able to do something with it, it is time to invest. If you have video right now, regardless of how it is being used, you need video analytics. Say you are capturing video from your oil-drilling sites, that is a data source that you are not taking advantage of ― it is an untapped gold mine.
What are the industries that would benefit from video analytics?
Retail usually has loss prevention video and oil & gas both tends to have video on hand for safety. The gaming space has a lot of video – e-sports is big business. Really, all industries can utilize video analytics. Video analytics will benefit any company that uses video because of the way we approach it. It doesn’t matter what the video source is, just that it is video. There is another source of video data people may not think about. Video has become a staple of how we communicate now. Everyone is on Teams calls every day ― it is our new normal and how business gets done. Being able to run video analytics on our own meetings could mean making meetings more effective or employees more productive.
What is the coolest thing you’ve seen done with successful video analytics?
Being able to identify people is also really cool. I saw where video footage was being used to capture images of missing children. I’ve seen efficiency improvements from an operational perspective as well, which was cool. If you think about coffee making, for example, it is almost a dance when they get it really dialed in. When you watch a trained barista, there is a fluidity in those movements with no wasted movement. It is almost like ballet. So, you start to ask from a training perspective, what would it take to get new baristas to that level because you want that same “Swan Lake” happening at all your coffee shops. I’ve seen people starting to take that idea and incorporate it into training and future layouts for locations and that is pretty cool.