Harnessing the Ability to Listen to Our Data in Today's Interconnected World
Date: Monday , February 13, 2017
Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Qlik is a leader in visual analytics. Its portfolio of products meets customers\'growing needs from reporting and self-service visual analysis to guided, embedded and custom analytics.
Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) a vast network of smart objects which work together in collecting and analysing data and autonomously performing actions is a reality, as the number of connected devices is forecast to reach 50 billion units worldwide by 2020. Our devices are increasingly connecting, talking to each other to share information on our movements, our preferences and our habits. Gone are the days where devices having minds of their own is something futuristic from a Ridley Scott film; it is here and now. In fact, IoT is making our world more digital, opening endless virtual opportunities all the time, and we\'re set to see some truly advanced experiences come to our everyday lives thus. The phenomenon is here and it\'s collecting more and more data about us all the time. Think of each of those 50 billion devices collecting information as they talk with one another.
Every time our devices connect, they produce extremely valuable data that can not only give insight into the immediate sensor environment and operational status of a device, but will also lead to determinable actions, automated or otherwise, based on human and device behaviour. Data is nothing more than a source, and Business Intelligence (BI), analytics tools and technologies are only as effective as those that use them. These insights can be also very basic. In specific cases, such as in smart cars, data such as driver behaviour, driving patterns and customer preferences can be recorded and analysed to provide solutions for improved driving and passenger experience. This information can then be used for purposes of R&D. The possibilities are endless!
Why is this the case and what can companies do to make sure they\'re taking full advantage of the situation; why is there still such a data disconnect? The barrier comes down to the analysis process. Analysing data can be an overwhelming prospect at the best of times and that\'s just when it\'s data which relates to your company. If companies are collecting all that data, they need to be data-driven to turn it into insights and that means finding a way to make it as accessible, visual and understandable to as many people as possible, whether in a business context or otherwise. If you\'re not able to see the whole picture from this data to take decisions and make some meaningful inferences, then this data has no meaning.
The key to seeing the whole story in IoT data is to approach it with an open mind, rather than search for a specific answer. It needs to be explored and interacted with for hidden insights and gems that you might not have thought about looking for - and that\'s going to require investment and skill.
That said, it\'s an investment that needs to be made. Companies cannot afford to neglect the massive opportunity for getting their approach to data analysis around IoT devices right. There are business platforms out there that have been built to support the analysis of large amounts of data in an easy-to-understand, visual way, whether the user has experience in the field of data analysis or not.
While some investment is required upfront, organisations embracing IoT should not be afraid to \'fail-fast\', which means thinking small initially, experimenting and analysing to learn what works as efficiently as possible. In addition, while the skill sets of data scientists are indeed important, especially at the operations layer and in the long term, we encourage organisations to harness existing talent in the first instance to gain valuable insight immediately. What you also need is control and a \'holistic\' view of your data.
The future is here, and those companies that embrace it now and make the data they have accessible and understandable will be the ones turning data into gold dust. With the right attitude and investment in analysing IoT data, they will be in the best position to make data-driven decisions and enact changes for the betterment of their organisation or even to \'monetise\' their data by harnessing actionable insights for business gains.