Data Mining In The Health And Fitness Industry: What’s New?

In case you missed it, oil is no longer the world’s most valuable resource. According to The Economist, data is the new commodity fuelling growth and change across all industries. The health and fitness industry is one example that has been bombarded with enormous amounts of data, collected and uploaded in a constant stream from multiple sources.

Mobile apps, wearable technology, treadmills, and gym turnstiles all collect valuable data on consumer habits and preferences that can bring about tremendous change to the health and fitness industry. But all this data is useless unless it is mined and refined to identify trends, opportunities, and new information. To do so will take years, and we’ve only just started looking through the data to gather insights.

Here’s how we’re seeing data mining start to impact the health and fitness industry.

Mining customer feedback in the health and fitness industry

Like all businesses, gyms and health clubs are also starting to benefit from data collection and mining. Customer feedback is just one way in which data can be used to improve revenue streams and increase the profitability of a fitness business. Mining customer feedback can present new opportunities for growth for a fitness institution by better understanding the behavior and lifestyle of its members.

In one real-life example, a fitness club owner surveyed his customers on their commuting habits to and from the gym. With this new information, he was able to better understand their availabilities and improved attendance to classes by amending the schedule. Having a deeper understanding of gym members and their behavior can help owners to tailor their programs and increase profitability.

Increase the profitability of gyms

Data mining can also help those in the fitness industry to increase membership. Leisure management systems keep a valuable record of data, from check-ins, classes attended, what time of day is most popular, how often members use the gym, and any purchases they choose to make. With this information, gym owners can segment their members and create separate advertising and marketing campaigns to increase attendance and generate more membership.

For example, with this data, a gym owner can separate those who frequently attend the gym from those who do not. Those who don’t check-in often can be sent 2-for-1 vouchers to encourage attendance. Data mining can also help track consumer behavior to identify new opportunities for revenue streams beyond the core business objective. For example, a gym may choose to sell protein bars or breakfast smoothies if it is found that most people attend early in the morning and leave around breakfast time.

Data collected by leisure management systems can also help a gym to stay more profitable by illuminating when to make changes to fitness programming, staffing, retail products, and so on.

Health and fitness industry data pulled from wearables

Wearable technology is constantly gathering hundreds of terabytes of information that presents an enormous amount of value to the health and fitness industry. Wearables like the Fitbit track everything from calories burned, steps taken, resting heart rate, sleep, BMI, blood pressure, and more. There’s never been such a large collection of data on users’ health and fitness, and that data has largely been sitting untouched until now.

Researchers and medical authorities have started mining through this immense data to find trends in an attempt to better understand the factors behind disease and health issues. Thanks to the constant stream being uploaded through fitness trackers, this is a world-first in understanding the minuscule daily habits that may factor in causing illness.

Wearables are also affecting health care on a personal level by giving consumers access to a timeline of their own health data. Those with health issues are able to reflect on a record of past health data, helping determine the causes of their health problems or providing valuable information to share with medical professionals.

Mining a new world

Data mining leaves no stone unturned, trawling through valuable statistics to present new insights, trends, and opportunities for growth. With this valuable new commodity infiltrating across all industries, we’re going to see changes across all aspects of everyday life.

When it comes to the health and fitness industry, the projection is that data mining will increase personalization, insight into individual health and habits, and profitability for gym owners and businesses. There will be more merging of products and service offerings, and the lines between health and fitness will be increasingly blurred. It’s still too early to predict exactly how the changes will unfold, but one thing remains certain, everything is changing in the new world of data that we live in.



About the Author

Luke Fitzpatrick
Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program.