The Internet of Things is a technology where devices get connected to each other, and where data from all these devices are collected for a specific purpose. Now what do we do with all the data and what is the purpose? We need to analyze data to draw certain insights, right? And it is these insights that help enterprises draw important decisions regarding their business.
If IoT is the backbone of IT infrastructure, IoT Analytics is the key that will help you create meaningful insights from the huge plethora of data that comes in everyday. IoT and Analytics are thus major buzzwords in the IT industry.
According to a study by Gartner, by 2020, “more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of the IoT”. IoT systems require Analytics for proper functioning, because it is based on these conclusions that critical decisions are made in enterprises.
Keeping that in mind, let’s look at some of the use cases of IoT Analytics:
1. Improving Marketing and Sales
IoT Analytics play an important role in boosting marketing and sales of businesses by helping in the following scenarios:
- Anticipating Customer Needs – IoT Analytics helps you to collect and analyze customer requirements and trends based on product usage and reviews. It would also help in forecasting future purchases, while aiding in the creation of new consumable resupply models.
- Help Deliver New Value-Added Services–It is through IoT Analytics that you can aggregate data from original sources to perform analysis, prediction and action.
- Flexible Billing and Pricing – With the capture of the right data from various sources, it is possible to plan outcome based pricing and subscription models. This also aids in the increase of value added market penetration.
2. Real Time Data Analysis for Manufacturing Sector
An entirely automated IoT Analytics aids in using real time data to watch out for certain patterns and send alerts to the concerned departments. Manufacturers in all the major industries – electronics, automotive, chemical, durable goods, etc. have all heavily invested in IoT Analytics to improve their efficiency and production.
New manufacturing equipments with intelligent sensors are already incorporated in these industries to help with smart manufacturing. This generates huge monetization opportunities aiding in revenue generation initiatives and cost containment.
For example, ThyssenKrupp partnered with two other companies CGI and Microsoft Azure to send alerts when their elevators need repairs. Predictive maintenance is the name of the application that sends alerts when an elevator is about to go out of function and even teaches the technicians the areas of error.
3. Streaming Analytics for Real Time Usage
Data streaming, the continuous processing of data that is processed continuously can be used successfully in real time. The data that comes in changes constantly, meaning there is no beginning and there is no end.
The invention of open source technologies like Apache Kafka, Apache Beam and Apache Flink made real time continuous streaming possible. You no longer have to wait for batch processing long cycles of data because all the analysis can be done as and when the data comes in… no more processing, no more wait.
For example, take the case of a financial institution, say a bank. They can analyze the instance of theft or fraud by watching the data that comes in. In fact, they can watch the data patterns to prevent fraud as well.
4. Acts as a Healthcare Game Changer
The significant changes made by healthcare through IoT are remarkable. People and apps are connected in a way that was never deemed possible before. This can, not only improve healthcare outcomes but, will also drastically reduce healthcare costs as well. Sensors embedded in medical devices will help doctors understand medical emergencies even before they arise.
These sensors are embedded in diagnostic equipment, surgical robots, personal health and fitness equipments, drug dispensing systems and implantable devices. The data is collected and analyzed for real time monitoring. Additionally, the equipments themselves are monitored for minimizing downtime and avoiding potential failures.
The rise of health apps and connected medical devices has been a game changer in the medical industry because they provide patient centered analytics. The parameters are set (in the apps or devices) to automatically trigger alerts and initiate response from concerned healthcare givers when problem is detected.
5. Video Analytics Aids in Surveillance
It is sad that while IT infrastructures evolve to make our lives easy and safe, the same thing turns dangerous as well. While devices are connected and they send you alerts and notifications, that could be the reason for harm as well – for security.
IoT analytics can detect anomalies and protect us from critical situations. Surveillance using video analytics can be used for preventing crimes and accidents.
Now enterprises no longer rely on closed circuit cameras for protecting their premises from unwanted intruders. They can use video analytic techniques fitted with smart sensors, instead. When video is combined with data, it is possible to glean far greater insights for predicting future events.
Video analytics help in understanding shopper habits when sensors on devices are placed in retail centers, they can prevent road accidents and traffic jams by pinpointing time and location of maximum traffic and alerting the users/motorists. Video surveillance can also be placed in worksites to ensure worker safety or for improving security (through face recognition techniques).
There is an exponential growth in IoT in all the major sectors of business. Apart from offering low-cost computation, storage and operational capabilities (embedded even at the lowest levels), these real time data analytics can save a lot of time because the need for bringing data to a central location is eliminated. It is only the insights and not the entire data that get shared at the central/higher levels.
Enterprises can be more proactive to the demands of their shareholders/consumers/clients as it is always fresh data that is analyzed in real time. Fresh data is actionable data and it has a huge monetization potential.
If you are thinking of making an investment in IoT, now would be a great time to get into the bandwagon because there is a lot you can achieve with IoT analytics.