What we can learn from the new Nike+ website

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Running is quite arguably one of the most uncomplicated fitness activities in the world (unless of course you count the Ab Flattener). Now as more runners hit the road with the GPS and pace tracking slapped on, the beautifully simple sport of running is yet another thing potentially at risk for drowning in what is being buzzed about in the industry as big data. With Nike+, the omnipresent running coach application for Apple devices, a ton of data is stored and processed with each stride. But the outputs are as simple as the inputs on feet on pavement.

Nike understands that I’m not coming to the website because I want to look at a bunch of numbers, or even do analysis on crisply-presented charts. I’m here for answers.

  • How far do I run on average?
  • Is my pace improving since my ACL surgery recovery?
  • At what point in the run do I lose momentum?

All those answers are served on a platter for me – with Top Chef Masters-esque plating.

This platform does more than inform me; I walk away empowered to do more. The system crunches averages to come up with tailored recommendations based on my performance.

I’ll save what this platform accomplishes by applying the psychology of recognition and connection to the sport of running for when Nike pays me to give a testimonial. But all these things are what we should be thinking about as we move forward and data-driven design.

I ask again what Kim pondered a few weeks ago: are we making people work with data or are we making insights work for them?

Touche, but running and GPS monitoring are simple. Listings are so complica-a-a-ated.

From a data flow perspective, web searches on listings couldn't be much more different than the exchange of information from a run.

But the insights we can deliver can be just as crisp and actionable with the right security, monitoring, and approvals.

Companies like Trulia, Zillow, MRIS, MRED, and CTMLS are realizing this - and pioneering that movement with us.

Image Credit: Bamse16 on Flickr.com