IBM's Almaden Lab has played an important role in the evolution of the Internet of things. Other organizations are also developing new technology that will permanently change the way we live and think. Brands are already looking at ways the IoT can improve the services they provide, but haven’t thought about how the IoT will change the way they engage with and reach customers.
So far, most of the emphasis has been on how the IoT will affect consumers. By 2020, tens of millions of devices will be connected to the Internet. The Internet of things will touch every aspect our lives. It relies on big data to do it.
Here are some ways big data and IoT are intertwined.
Minimizing Downtime Is Becoming Crucial
In a world governed by IOT, new data is collected every minute of the day. Data will be aggregated from a variety of sources.
Of course, data will only be collected if the platforms run reliably. Many brands already use tracking platforms, such as prosper202 or CPVLab. These tools use dynamic tokens and c-variables to pass data. They understand the problems caused when these platforms go offline.
Minimizing downtime is even more important for companies getting data from tens of thousands of devices across the world. It can also be more challenging if you don’t have a reliable cloud storage system with decent bandwidth.
It will be important to have servers with at least 99.999% uptime requirements, because even a few seconds of downtime can cost multinational brands hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Rules of Marketing Will Change
In 2013, Nelson Estrada, a data engineer for MAPR, writes that big data and Internet of Things are dramatically changing the rules of marketing.
“Today, with a superabundance of data constantly streaming in from multiple channels, marketers have a huge "Big Data" resource they can leverage to gain actionable marketing insights,” Estrada writes.
Estrada discussed several ways that big data would change the marketing profession:
- Brands will use predictive analytics to forecast demand.
- They will use big data to better engage with customers.
- Smaller brands will be able to compete, as they won’t need to hire armies of big data scientists.
Most of his predictions came to light. However, there were some other changes he didn’t anticipate, such as the role mobile devices would play in shaping the customer experience. Brands interact with customers across many different devices.
They must be able to process data from every device. They must create a responsive experience for their customers and offer customized digital products to engage with them.
The IoT will also streamline content delivery systems, which will increase consumer expectations. Customers will demand sharper images, more engaging videos and personalized content. Marketers will need to use HDR software, new video editors and responsive advertising platforms like Zurb to meet their expectations.
Improved Analytics With Contextualized Real-Time Data Will Open New Doors
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The IoT will never reach its full potential if big data isn’t collected in a structured, easily extractable format. Fortunately, big data is now highly contextualized and can be accessed in real-time.
Here are some benefits of contextualized data:
- BLE, iBeacon, and other sensors can seamlessly deliver data to devices running on iOS 7 or Bluetooth.
- Big data extraction tools like Hadoop will allow them to conduct a much more granular analysis. They will be able to look at data sets of individual customers.
- They can use M2M sensors and other personalization tools to engage with customers on a more personal level.
However, they also face some technical hurdles that they must overcome.
Currently, most data has been highly unstructured. With the IOT, big data will be collected in many different formats. It will provide more granular insights, but also makes it difficult to process and analyze data.
Brands will need to map new data frameworks that are capable of accepting big data in multiple formats. They need to be able to assimilate, extract and process data from raw .txt files, .csv and Excel documents and online platforms like Facebook.
Network World recently published an article about the contextual nature of data created by the IoT. As it points out, brands have been collecting data for years. They have many terabytes of data on sales figures, social media metrics and other information they need to run effectively.
In the very near future, they will need to heavily rely on big data integration and extraction tools, such as Talend, Mulesoft, and Hadoop. They also need to make sure this data is stored on cloud platforms with reliable SSL certificates. If the data is compromised or altered by a malicious third-party, it can have disastrous implications.
Brands Must Prepare for Disruptions
We live in a very dynamic world right now. New technology is released every day, which disrupts traditional industries in ways industry experts could never have envisioned only a couple of years ago.
The Internet of things will probably be the most disruptive change in our lifetimes. Brands must understand the implications. They must be flexible enough to react to these changes.
What types of changes will they witness in the near future? Here are some possibilities:
- I/O modules will be built directly into Ethernet cables. This allow brands to easily capture data and eliminates the need for terminal gateways and other intermediary technology.
- Since nano-sensors will have a 99% uptime, they will be able to constantly collect big data on energy usage. This will help power grid operators and property managers predict fluctuations to forecast infrastructural needs and minimize energy costs.
- Brands will be able to decentralize their IT infrastructure.
These changes will streamline operations and cut costs in numerous ways. Over the time, the Internet of Things will lead to companies leaner with less complex systems of corporate governance.
The Internet of Things Will Depend on Big Data
The Internet of Things is changing the world in numerous ways. It wouldn’t be possible without the existence of big data. Brands will need clear strategies for managing big data to utilize it effectively.