An Oracle blog about Application UX

Data-Driven Apps are the first design jam of the new year

Erika Webb
Director UX

Starting out our new year, we got asked if we could run a design jam for friend of the Innovation Lab, Clive Swan.  Clive's recently started a new group in Oracle.  They are going to be focusing on creating Data-Driven applications.  There's not one particular pillar or area within Oracle--they are going to be looking at what you might create if you could use data to help drive decision making.  Ultimately, if the applications are as good or better than the user's decisions based on the data, the user might decide to let the applications make some decisions without requiring a review.  That's a big new target concept.

We are increasingly collecting more and more data in the world, as we have pointed out in our previous blogs.  With increasing numbers of sensors every day measuring more and more things, the amount of data we theoretically could access is immense.  But just having that data doesn't really mean much if it's not contributing to decision making or driving insight.  Now we're looking at more and more ways to make all of this data useful.  We'd like to see data driving decision making to improve that decision-making process.

Data-Driven Apps design
The Data-Driven Applications Design Jam Event was held in January

The other thing to consider is that access to so much data means that data can drive innovation in new ways.  Maxwell Wessel with the Harvard Business Review recently argued that Big Data is changing Disruptive Innovation.  The argument is simple--Disruptive Innovations are generally described as:

  1. Cheaper (from a customer perspective)
  2. More accessible (from a usability or distribution perspective)
  3. And use a business model with structural cost advantages (relative to existing solutions)

To be cheaper, they tended to be lower quality than the highest end solutions.  Now, however, he argues, big data is allowing companies to adopt disruptive innovations that give management a short term incentive to adopt in spite of the challenge, because they can make best use of their existing infrastructure.  Because companies now have a wealth of data to review, they can take opportunities to go after industries from different angles.  For example, he says "Google mapped the world, and then took its understanding of traffic patterns and street layouts to build autonomous cars." Autonomous cars are definitely disruptive, but they exist not because the company started on the low end of the market but because they built on the strong information synergy they could find and the large data sets that they created.  

In Oracle's case, we have a wealth of data available to us.  So in the same way Wessel argues that companies like Uber, Google, Netflix have built off of their existing data to create disruptive innovations, we are looking to find new ways to take the wealth of data we have and start thinking about what we could do with that to benefit users.  Clive's team was using the design jam to generate some use cases that they might want to explore.  It was also a great way to bring a new team together both to brainstorm and just work together in a fun way.  We had some super high end prizes, of course.  Check out our morning team winners with their Yoda Yo-Yos:

AM Team Winners
Jack Berkowitz, Martin Millmore, Clive Swan, Chan Kim, and judge Aylin Uysal

And our PM team winners with their Light Saber Chopsticks: 

Winners with Light Saber Chopsticks
Bo Wang, judge Aylin Uysal, Bill Kerr, Clive Swan, Trevor Mathers, and Anand Maurya

It's exciting to have been a part of this event.  The ideas they came up with were really great and we can't wait to see those moving into products.  It's a bright morning dawning at Oracle! 

Oracle glowing in the morning sun
The Oracle headquarters glowing in the morning sun.


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