Making your IoT data work for you

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In today’ connected world, enterprises are sitting on increasingly large seams of invaluable data created by the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data holds the key to unlocking its value.

In fact, enterprises have become more mature in their big data efforts and are making strategic business decisions based on the data they are collecting, storing and analyzing. According to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, big data has entered “adolescence”, which the think tank describes as “rising to the challenge of executing and delivering against the promise and potential of big data”.

This growth spurt will see enterprises focusing on extracting measurable value from data assets. The Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that this will lead to global enterprise-wide data pilots. Value will be the order of the day, as opposed to targeting volume data gathering and processing.

As enterprises go through their digital transformation, with an increasingly data-centric customer value proposition, the report concludes that data will be the cornerstone driving innovation, algorithmic predictions and automated decision making.

Understanding data

As the world becomes more connected with the billions of devices that form the Internet of Things (IoT), big data will be able to analyze the deluge of data this produces to deliver predictive analytics and provide insight into previously unexposed business opportunities.

Understanding IoT data requires enterprises to effectively use data from multiple sources. Innovative solutions are already appearing to help with this. Orange Business Services, for example, has enhanced its DataVenue platform, initially launched to collect, store and combine and secure data for service providers and connected device makers, with features focused on big data and IoT.  This will open up the platform to companies of all sizes in vertical industries such as health, insurance and transport.   

One of the key additions is Flexible Data. This offers a big data environment including a partnership with Splunk, which provides an operational intelligence platform, and predictive analytics provided by PredicSis. It also includes a private data-sharing space that allows users to buy in third-party data, such as visitor metrics, and also mine their own. This is wrapped in a secure cloud infrastructure enabling the deployment of big data solutions in the cloud.

Enterprises can also use Flexible Data to monetize their data in a secure environment. Data can be sanitized using data anonymization to protect customer’s data.  Retail data can provide advanced insight into selling products, such the relationship with weather conditions.

Survival will depend on analytics

Going forward, enterprises will need to increasingly utilize the data to predict what will happen in their marketplace.  Gartner has gone as far as saying that retailers will be unable to compete in the digitized marketplace without advanced analytics.

"Consumers have taken control of the shopping process, and there is no sign that they plan to let go," explained Robert Hetu, research director at Gartner. "As the IoT continues to expand over the next five years, the effects on multichannel retailers will be more disruptive than anything seen to date and will require advanced analytics capabilities to cope with this disruption." 

Gartner maintains that retailers without advanced analytics capabilities will be hobbled by their inability to capitalize on IoT-driven revenue opportunities.  The market research company believes that concept of “things” banding together with “things” to negotiate prices will cause similar digital disruption that killed off traditional bookshops such as Borders when Amazon came along.

The symbiotic relationship 

While many focus on the “things” that make up the IoT ecosystem, it is the data they generate that will be the key to its success.  Intelligence and analytics will be a prerequisite to supporting its infrastructure.  Enterprises with tools to turn this information to their competitive advantage will be the outright winners.

Discover how Flexible Data can unlock your potential in your data.

Jan Howells

Jan has been writing about technology for over 22 years for magazines and web sites including ComputerActive, IQ magazine and Signum. She has been a business correspondent on ComputerWorld in Sydney and covered the channel for Ziff-Davis in New York.