We devoted an entire chapter to the subject and role technology played in the emergence of the gig economy and the role technology will continue to play in the future of all businesses. It quickly became apparent to us that the pioneering gig-providing companies were technology-based companies that simply connected the dots between the provider of a product or service with a consumer. Apps quickly become a focus, and they have, indeed, changed the game. However, behind the app and all of the marketing strategies is the data warehouse and how data is accumulated and used to better forge the relationship with the consumer. Data is the key to providing a quality of customer service hardly imagined a few short years ago. For gig-providing companies, the customer is the gig worker and the ultimate consumer of the product or service.
A personal and recent experience was a model of how data can be managed. While shopping online the night before Thanksgiving, I was reminded by a digital message that a few of the items I had viewed could be delivered by 8 a.m. the following day if I made my selection within 30 minutes. I was shopping online at 10 p.m. that night. I made my selection, and the product was at my door less than 10 hours later. A text message arrived soon after the product was delivered with a picture of the product at my front door. This experience made me realize that the utilization of data had immediately been handled by the order processing, payment processing, fulfillment/delivery, and customer service systems in rapid succession. The customer service function was also involved because the follow-up was immediate. My order has also been analyzed against previous orders, and artificial intelligence is already recommending other items that I may be interested in purchasing.
Billions of bits are data are analyzed every day to make life and work easier. The gig economy has used technology to make work easier. “Work-from-smartphone” is as appropriate a phrase as “work-from-home.”