One of the buzzwords we continue to hear a lot about is the Internet of Things. Most of us have heard the term by now, and we’ve read about the consumer benefits of smart thermostats or smart cars that transmit and receive data, and make adjustments automatically. But what are the real benefits here? Is this really just a story about changing the way I heat my home?
Actually, there’s a tremendous amount of data being generated from the Internet of Things, and smart businesses are just starting to realize the potential. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, the CEO of Samsung said that 90 percent of what they produce will be connected to the Internet by 2017. It’s not just TVs; it’s everything: home theaters, washers, dryers. Everything that they do. And another couple of years after that, 100 percent of what they produce will be connected to the Internet.
It must be serious business. Because Samsung’s competitors are already being accused of sabotaging their washers in stores. Wow. It is getting tough out there with these devices.
It’s funny, but at the same time, it’s for real. If you don’t think the Internet of Things is for real, think about what Apple has done with Apple Pay, Apple Healthkit and Apple Homekit. People have wondered how Apple will continue to succeed with phone sales alone. It’s not about the phone. It’s about the ecosystem, and changing the way people do business. Analytics will be a large part of that ecosystem.
The Internet of Things is not just about futuristic and superfluous features on consumer devices. This is something we should all be taking advantage of, and it goes well beyond the realm of the consumer.
You could look at every industry and pick ten examples, but I’ll name just a few.
- In the oil and gas industry, a modern drilling platform generates 8 terabytes of data a day. They’re obviously monitoring this data in some control room, but what about applying analytics to that data stream? Now you can understand what’s about to happen and predict failures and save a whole lot of money.
- In the airline industry, the Boeing 787 generates 40 terabytes of data an hour. Every single component is connected to the internal backbone or the network within that airplane. Why is that important? Predictive maintenance is just one example. Airlines can identify potential failures before they occur and improve air safety for everyone.
- In the automotive industry, connected cars are generating a gigabyte of data a second. What are we going to do with that? There are all sorts of possibilities. Everything from insurance companies understanding driver habits to the part suppliers understanding how the components are performing can be improved. Plus, the manufacturer can use streaming data to work with the consumer to keep everything working optimally from a maintenance perspective.
These data streams are going to change every industry. And “stream” is the operative word. This is not data that you put into a data warehouse to store for future analyses. This is data that you analyze as it flows into the network so you can feed automated decisions back to the devices and to the business.
The Internet of Things will bring streaming analytics and event stream processing into the mainstream. As businesses look at the opportunities in the Internet of Things, they will find that the real advantage comes in the “Analytics of Things.”
Where are you seeing the Internet of Things in your industry? What ideas do you have for analyzing streaming data? You can get more ideas by reading this article about the Internet of Things. Or download an in-depth report about the use of sensor data in multiple industries.