There have never been more devices than there are now. Our internet has never been faster nor has it been more readily available. With each passing year, we have seen processing power, different forms of storage, and innovations such as cloud computing completely change the way we do things. Among the most significant of recent times is the internet of things (IoT).
The IoT – Defined
The internet of things is defined as a system where an array of sensors and software work in tandem to automate functions. You can set up a system where a sensor being triggered would result in different actions taking place. Once set up, this system operates all on its own and barring any unexpected outrage, there won’t be anything that stops it from going off. For instance, if you’ve set your smart lights to lower their brightness at 6 pm every day, it will automatically happen.
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When we hear of IoT, we think of smart bulbs, switches, locks, and robotic vacuums. While all of these things make up for a majority of IoT usage, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. The potential associated with the IoT is profound. It can impact everything from the lights in our homes to the cities that are being built. With it, we can automate processes and boost efficiency while not having to worry about human error. The idea of smart cities comes to life with IoT at the helm of it all. Imagine waking up, having your coffee ready, heating turned on, vacuum running, plants watered, the door unlocked, heart rate scanned, and many more activities happening all on their own. While it may sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, this is the world we now live in.
Big Data – Defined
Another reality of the world we live in is the plethora of big data being generated. With so many different devices, sensors, and triggers, more data is being generated than ever before. Big data, as it is more commonly known, is the vast data sets that most conventional tools might struggle to make sense of. Big data is considered one of the most important assets that an organization has. It is used to understand trends, identify patterns, offer clarity, and aid in decision-making. In the dynamic world, we now live in, it is important to know how the market and consumers are behaving if we wish to remain competitive. Such is the importance of big data that it has birthed an entire discipline of study and practice known as data science.
Big data allows people and organizations to study the world around them with the help of information being generated around them. A major source of this data is the internet of things which is constantly generating and storing data. This data is then transmitted in real-time and is used to make informed decisions about products and services.
Big Data & the Internet of Things
Each year, trillions of gigabytes of data are generated. This data could be photos, videos, text, and many other formats out there. It could be the number of people using a certain product, what demographic prefers a certain service, and so on. This data could be structured or unstructured. It could be charts, reports, or a variety of AI-powered analytics that is stored across different mediums. This begs the question; how do these two things work together?
IoT and big data have an interdependent relationship. For one to flourish, it needs the other to work and vice versa.
Data science is a discipline that employs data analysts, data scientists, statisticians, and programmers who take this data and make sense of it. They are given a vast amount of unstructured and structured data and are tasked with cleaning, organizing, and presenting this data for all concerned parties. The data in question is generated using a slew of sensors that are constantly generating and recording data to transmit back.
When the IoT and big data combine forces with each other, businesses now have incredible insights to work with. IoT can be used for research purposes, gathering data 24/7 and under a variety of circumstances. With big data analytics, data science gives organizations the tools needed to make sense of it. When this data is processed and presented, it allows for more informed decisions which could reshape the future. Thanks to the widespread adoption of cloud storage, this data is often accessible to different stakeholders to use to improve products and services.
For example, in a factory, different sensors are constantly monitoring different metrics. Robots are constantly generating different pieces of information regarding storage, production, processing, and logistics. This data is automatically stored and available for interpretation without anyone needing to stand over it all with a pen and paper. With sensors constantly monitoring everything, it becomes easier to identify if something is going wrong and how different situations produce different outcomes.
In the energy sector, sensors can be used to monitor underground cables to ensure the system isn’t compromised. Temperature sensors monitor cable temperature and if something goes wrong, you can tell where it happened because that sensor can be traced. Moreover, fluctuations in the system can be monitored to help power companies to work to improve the infrastructure.
Big data is one of the fastest-growing fields in the world. There is a multitude of products and services out there that constantly create data that is used to make data-driven decisions. When combined with the IoT, you have a system that automatically generates, organizes, stores, and relays data to where it needs to be. This almost sounds too good to be true but it is a very real part of the world we live in. You make sure that you have a strong internet connection.
Macy Davis is an enthusiastic content writer with over a decade of experience. She has authored several articles for a diverse range of industries. She also sees herself as an explorer who wants to document every discovery made on her exciting journey. What makes her stand out is her belief that conveying her interpretation in the most thorough manner possible will strengthen her relationship with her readers.