Big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two rapidly growing technological forces which have often blended together amidst new advances and possibilities. The broad expanse of categories which apply to both concepts can make definitions difficult to pin down, but in a nutshell, big data is a collection of information gleaned from various sources which is then parsed to determine trends, opportunities and statistical details, among other results which can benefit the business or industry.
IoT describes internet-connected objects such as consumer electronics, environmental sensors, security monitoring equipment and wearable devices. These objects record and/or transmit data which can then be used for a plethora of purposes; alerting, monitoring, remote control functionality and data analysis. The two concepts can easily work hand-in-hand for mutual benefit.
The number of connected devices is growing fast, and Tech Pro Research covered the topic last March in a Tech Pro Research report which yielded some interesting results:
- 29% of respondent organizations were using IoT to collect big data.
- The three industry sectors most likely to be using big data were Telecommunications, Engineering/Construction and Government.
- The majority of respondents (55%) reported they were using IoT systems to collect marketplace or operations data, or planned to do so within a year.
- Companies most likely to be collecting marketplace or operations data operated in the logistics/transport, manufacturing and IT & technology realms.
- Nearly three-quarters of respondents identified a discernible overall payoff from their IoT data collection investments.
In this year's follow-up survey we will look at the same concepts as well as progress made, or possible pitfalls, in how IoT is being used to collect data, new benefits or observations that have arisen and how the future of big data and IoT is being shaped.
Scott Matteson is a senior systems administrator and freelance technical writer who also performs consulting work for small organizations. He resides in the Greater Boston area with his wife and three children.