While IoT networks are primarily used to gathering actionable insights and acting independently on those insights, businesses should realize the value of the data generated by IoT analytics and learn to use it to drive innovation.
As the business value of IoT becomes increasingly obvious, its adoption across industries is gaining impetus. Most leading businesses have applied the technology beyond the pilot phase, while many others are planning to do so soon. IoT combines the ability to gather and analyze data, communicate with connected devices, and trigger actions based on the analysis performed. The technology is mainly used to automate parts of businesses that require constant analysis and prompt responses, for instance in the safety mechanisms of oil and gas operations. However, a business should realize the value of the wealth of data that is generated by the IoT network to perform its autonomous functions. Businesses can use IoT analytics as an upgrade to their existing big data initiatives.
IoT analytics is an upgrade over big data analytics
Although big data and IoT analytics focus on data collection and analysis, they are different, both in terms of the magnitude and quality of the data collected. In essence, IoT networks further enhance the main characteristics of big data – volume, velocity, and variety. IoT networks consist of numerous sensors that continuously collect enormous amounts of data, exponentially greater than the volumes of data collected for big data analytics. The velocity or the rate at which data is collected and processed is also higher with IoT analytics. Since numerous, different types of sensors are used to collect data, there is a greater variety in IoT analytics data. The data collected by IoT is also highly structured as compared to big data, which is mostly unstructured due to the different sources that are used to gather data. IoT data is structured because the data is acquired using specialized sensors that are designed to gather only specific types of data, making classification and indexing of data extremely easy. For instance, a heat sensor will only measure heat with respect to time, which can be easily indexed.
IoT data alone can return your investment multifold
With a vast amount of useful data being generated by the IoT infrastructure, businesses that are not planning on its utilization are missing out on growth opportunities. The growth opportunities presented by the use of IoT analytics data can potentially be much greater than the that brought about by the use of IoT network for automating operations. For example, an organization that uses IoT to perform predictive maintenance on equipment can use the data generated by IoT sensors to potentially redesign the piece of equipment to eliminate the most recurring cause of breakdowns. Consider another example: a business that uses IoT sensors to identify customers entering its store to provide personalized services and recommendations, use IoT’s entire database to find patterns in customer behavior that can lead to innovative product or service ideas. These ideas can even enable businesses to find new revenue streams that will pay their investment back many times over.
Although most IoT vendors market IoT technology to be the be all and end all solution to business problems, business leaders should realize the value of the information that could be gained from the use of IoT analytics. Businesses seeking to innovate should proactively develop methods to harness the wealth of data generated with IoT, to maximize their returns on IoT investment.