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The Internet of Things: Seeing the Big (Data) Picture

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b2ap3_thumbnail_cars.jpgThe surge in machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will push mobile data to overtake voice by 2018, according to a recent prediction by the GSMA. The market potential for M2M is huge and it’s a phenomenon that has a dramatic societal impact. Take, for example, connected cars that are equipped with in-car emergency call services. According to GSMA’s report, they can help save one in nine lives by 2017 by providing quicker and more accurate emergency location and response times in OECD countries. The same report also reveals that smart metering could cut carbon emissions by 27 million tonnes – the equivalent of planting 1.2 billion trees.

But what does the “Internet of Things” mean for corporations? The way Axeda sees it, an emergence of the Internet of “Corporate” Things™ is tearing down the silos between operational technology and information technology to drive a new level of operational efficiency. This “connectedness” to machines is crucial for organizations as the need for real-time data becomes a necessity, but it’s not the whole story. Let’s say you want to know the health of an asset, like a medical device, car or ATM machine. Having a direct line into the sensor data of these machines in real-time is invaluable. However, just scanning log files and reams of sensor data isn’t the best way to analyze and react to changing conditions. You need to add business value by also knowing the asset’s location along with any related customer information, or its service/support information, which could come from yet another system. In addition, you may need up-to-the-minute billing information at the click of a mouse, or—if you’re a sales rep in the field—the tap of your finger on a tablet.

By combining the real-time machine information with other information in an interactive dashboard, you provide an easy-to-use and understand app for business users. Charts, graphs and maps – all delivered in real-time based on the combined information, delivers insights and actionable intelligence you just can’t get from sensor files alone. It’s also important to consider combining this real-time data with archival/historical information so that trends over time can be assessed and potentially used in a predictive manner. Axeda certainly sees the value in bringing all of this information together for their customers. So do we- and so do our joint customers, who combined Presto's power-user tooling with Axeda's M2M platform to build these visual, real-time dashboards.

Machine-generated sensor data is poised to take up prime real estate in the Big Data world. According to IDC, it will increase to 42 percent of all data by 2020. If I can offer one piece of advice to businesses trying to wrap their heads around managing this increasingly complex and quickly growing landscape, it’s don’t be daunted; instead, see opportunity in the intersection of “Big” Data and “Fast” Data for real-time visibility into your organization’s every move. Then, equip yourself with the tools to make that happen. 

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Guest Friday, 18 April 2014

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