A lot of people have weighed in on the horrible Flint, Michigan water crisis. Most of them have talked about what should be done and what hasn’t been done. But at least one person and one company are talking about what they could have done to stop it before it ever happened.
Brad Keywell, serial entrepreneur, success story, and CEO of Uptake Technologies, is certain one of his companies could have stopped the Flint water crisis, protected the children and made certain it never happened at all. Speaking in a podcast, as reported by CNN, Keywell said:
“Flint should not have happened… If Uptake’s tools would have been monitoring the water supply quality, then you would have known about the earliest indication, and you would’ve solved it.”
So, how exactly could Keywell’s tech have caught the problem before it became a crisis? According to Keywell, Uptake’s tech uses analytics to “predict and prevent failures” while increasing efficiency in several different industries and multiple applications, including everything from travel infrastructure to healthcare … and, yes, utilities.
But does that mean Keywell’s tech could have saved Flint? Well, not exactly. The software would have warned about the problem, and it would have been up to the leadership to make the proper fixes. Here’s how Keywell explained it to CNN:
“…human beings have to solve a problem, but we would’ve known about it the minute something turns on… (our program) takes anecdote out of the equation, and it puts science and predictive insight into the equation.”
From a public relations perspective, Keywell’s comments are bold, and he appears very willing to stand behind him. Thanks to his bold stance, there are millions of people more aware of Uptake than ever before, and likely many more who had never heard of the company but now have clear understanding of the technology’s capabilities.
In the world of big data marketing, Uptake has a lot of stiff and well-funded competition, but the biggest uphill battle they have is in trying to properly educate the public in a way the average consumer can understand. Data science can seem incomprehensible to most folks, so companies need to break it down in a way that people can not only understand but also connect with. Tying their product to potentially stopping the water crisis in Flint is a great way to accomplish this challenge. People understand the issue. They know something horrible happened, and they would have loved to stop it from happening. If Uptake can do that, they figure, it must be worth a look
Daniel Palmier is a leading Boston CEO, Real Estate Investment Manager, and Founder of UC Funds.