By now, everyone’s heard of the IoT, or the Internet of Things, whether through fear-mongering articles on the internet about how toasters are going to spy on you or through advertisements on TV for ‘smarter homes’ which will, seemingly, be completely integrated with you and your lifestyle (and your cat’s, if some adverts are to be believed). However, Darryl Martin says while it may be confusing to look past the fantastical information out there on the IoT, it will actually have another aspect to it once it becomes even more mainstream than it already is: analytics.
Imagine how much data Facebook receives every time you log in and scroll through your timeline, liking this and commenting on that. A ton, right? Now imagine the same thing, but it’s your ‘smart home’ monitoring everything that you interact with, and how you do so.
This could be the future of the IoT, and, if so, it’ll flood data-gathering companies with tons of collected data about user’s habits, likes and dislikes, etc. In short, the IoT should be taken seriously as a concept and an actual reality, because that’s what it’s becoming and it can actually be useful in a business sense.
“If you’re going to make the IoT work with your business, then you have to stop thinking of it as just cool technology, like the newest iPhone or a unique model of TV,” Eloise Hale, a tech journalist at WriteMyX and Britstudent, states, “since it’s actually a viable business opportunity right now. It’s not in ten years, or five years, or even next year; right now, some companies are receiving streams of information from the IoT in homes and offices where it has already been implemented, and that’s where the ‘magic’ lies.” To take advantage of these opportunities, once you’ve realised they’re actually there and quite serious, there’s a couple of things you can do.
In order to focus on the IoT, since it would admittedly be unwise to make it into a company-wide scramble, creating a small team of individuals interested in and willing to learn about the IoT – or already experienced with it, if at all possible – would be the best idea, to make a start on your business’ focus shift. Educating yourself is obviously the first step, but you’ve begun to take that step just by reading this article. Your team should look into all the opportunities you can find with the IoT, especially regarding data and analytics, if that is something your business can profit from.
Know what you need
“You’ve set up a data collection system, with the help of the IoT – great! But what do you do now?” Asks John Bryan, a IoT blogger at NextCoursework and Australia2write. “This is a problem that a lot of companies face, since they’re left to sift through all of this data with no end plan or goal for what to do with it. For many businesses, they jump at the sound of ‘data collection’ and ‘analytics’ without preparing for the onslaught of data which will actually come from their efforts.
Make sure you employ the right people and ask for the right sets of data, which you can actually use, because wasted data is wasted time, resources and, most importantly, profit, which could’ve been put somewhere else by a more competent team.” Don’t go crazy with the data that you collect, and make sure that you know what you need before you start – don’t be afraid to put off your IoT integration for a while to collect your ideas and make a plan, because being structured and organised will help you a lot in the long run.
The IoT and analytics can benefit a lot from each other, although you probably wouldn’t think that from having a simple layman’s knowledge of the IoT. If your business needs the data, and you can cultivate a team who will be able to handle both it and the collection of it, then working with the IoT could be a great opportunity for your business. However, if you’re completely unused to analytics and data, the IoT isn’t a great place to start. If your heart is dead-set on it, then perhaps employing some more experienced people would be a start, but, in any case, make sure that you know what you want when you partner the IoT and analytics, or it could get very messy very quickly.
The author is Darryl Martin
About the author
Darryl Martin is a professional writer and a proofreader who has been involved in many projects related to Marketing and Information Technology. His creativity has no limits and his main purpose is to find solution to any problem.