Big Data and The Internet of Things: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

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Big Data and The Internet of Things: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Big data and the IoT are sometimes confused for one another. Find out if the two should be lumped together as one, or if they are separate entities from one another.

· IoT Zone ·
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Big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the two major themes when it comes to technology. Everywhere you can see big data and the IoT beginning to mature. They have a close relationship with each other, and it’s led people to question whether they are essentially the same thing.

There’s an answer to that already: they are not the same thing. However, they have a significant relationship with each other that has to be taken into account.

What is Big Data?

Big data is the gathering of data on a huge scale. But this data is still just data. It doesn’t matter how you decide to describe this data or what you use it for because it’s still just data. There are too many organizations trying to expand the definition of it in order to suit their own needs, and that’s where a lot of the confusion has come in.

What is the IoT?

The IoT uses data, naturally, but it’s not about the gathering of data itself. It’s about devices and connectivity. Understand that the IoT uses both big and small data, but ultimately it’s used to reach an end point. There are many things that use data, but that doesn’t mean they are seen as the same as big data, so why should it work that way with the IoT?

When you think about the IoT, you should think about the devices and the connectivity.

The Relationship Between the Two

Much of the confusion comes about due to the fact that there’s a relationship between the two. It’s a close relationship because big data is used in making the IoT what it is. The only way a world filled with interconnected devices can work is through big data.

In many ways, big data is now a subset of the IoT. Companies from Microsoft to King of Maids are using big data for marketing purposes, but that’s the beauty of big data. All types of big data are just as relevant to marketing as to creating devices that change the way people live.

Why Does Any of this Matter?

You may be wondering whether this is just about semantics. After all, why should it matter about the definition of either of these concepts?

It could have a massive effect on how they are both utilized. At a time where these technologies are starting to come into the mainstream, this is the one and only time where governments will make their laws and decide how to enforce things like privacy and the collection of personal information.

The technological community has to come together now to decide how they want to define each area. Without a clear definition, it will be difficult for them to advise lawmakers on how to protect the general public. And that could lead to unqualified people making laws that hamper progress.

Making Customers Feel Safe Through Transparency

There’s no doubt that this is a big step for the general public. They are allowing companies directly into their homes through the IoT, and they are giving up more data about their habits than ever before through big data. Rightly, there have been a lot of concerns raised about their safety. Only through being able to define where the IoT ends and big data starts are they going to be reassured.

When the tech world can’t even decide on the relationship between the two, it sends the wrong message.

Two Sides of the Same Coin?

It’s wrong to assume that both big data and the IoT are the same thing, or even on the same coin. Despite having a relationship with each other, they are both used for different purposes. Big data is arguably the most flexible because it can be used for everything from marketing to the IoT. The IoT, on the other hand, is designed specifically for bringing Internet-enabled devices into the home; it’s about making homes able to permanently connect to the Internet.

In the coming years, these sectors are going to evolve and come into their own. They are the future of the tech world, and it’s an exciting time to be involved in it.

big data, internet of things

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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