Why do we — humans — use tech? So we can get food delivered to us in half an hour and so the children in Tonga can upload their Minecraft videos to YouTube.

No, seriously, why do we? Because we want to solve real-world problems; we want to ensure that what we want is what we get. And because sometimes we need a little help to take that last step.

Some of the larger tech companies we use the most focus on using data for immediate satisfaction. “Did the end-user get what they need? Okay, dope, who’s next?” But using data for immediate satisfaction isn’t always the best way to run a business, especially when you’re a tech startup in Chicago.

Instead, the focus in Chicago is to use data for the long run. “Did the end-user get what they need? Okay, dope, let’s see what else they need for the future.”

”It correlates with people working harder and working healthier.” – Masa Matsumara, managing director at LeanBox.

This thought process is being used by three rising Chicago startups: LeanBox, Specifix, and Panoskin. All three were guests on the Startup Showcase to talk about how the transference of their data can help people not only today but ten years from now.

LeanBox, a smart fridge that lets its consumers pick foods with an iPad, uses its data to essentially keep office workers healthy. The data let LeanBox know what foods are popular, so it can continue sending orders back to HQ to keep up trends.

Being able to apply current information to predict future trends is a feat only accomplished through the transference of data.

Specifix is a software company that uses augmented reality to see how products look inside your home as you walk around your house. The information it stores tracks the products people buy, and informs the manufacturer and the retailer.

In this case, knowledge helps every party involved, allowing for more sales and happier customers. A match made in binary heaven: one that may influence the way tech companies do business for years to come.

And finally, Panoskin provides virtual tours of Google Street View for its consumers. Companies may use Panoskin to show their space, restaurant, bar or hotel.

The convenience of using virtual reality and augmented reality for tasks that were always rather annoying is one that we are beginning to take for granted. And I’m okay with that.

This trend of data being observed in the long-term rather than just for a few instants bodes well for these Chicago startups. All three of these companies are expanding and have plans to go national, so who’s to say that’s not because of their slick data use?

The tools you need to cross the finish line are found right here in Chicago. Need that extra push to your goal? One word: data.

Well, two words: future data.