The vast data troves that make IoT analytics possible pose a complex challenge to the companies seeking to extract meaningful insights from them. What kinds of data can and should be used, and how can incidental data that has no real bearing on business operations be avoided when making business decisions? Here we address this issue – including which metrics to keep a track of and which ones may cause you to stray from achieving your business goals.
What is IoT Analytics?
IoT analytics is the use of various data analysis processes and tools to unlock value from data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT). Businesses and organizations in industries as disparate as industrial automation, government, transportation, healthcare, and consumer technology run networks that connect hundreds of thousands and even millions of connected devices. With IoT analytics, these organizations can generate, gather, store, and process the vast amounts of data collected by the sensors and devices that make up or operate within their networks. Without analytics, it would be difficult – if not impossible – for companies to mine their data for actionable, value-added insights. Still, the risk of using the wrong datasets exists, which can cause business predictions and calculations to miss the mark.
Tracking the Right IoT Datasets
Depending on the type of IoT solution you have in place and the use cases for which you deployed it, there will be different types of data that are relevant to your operations. Still, there are some common types of data you will likely want to track using your IoT solution.
Error and Crash Rates
Two of the most important metrics to track in an IoT solution are the error and crash rates of your devices. Doing so can require tracking of many different metrics, such as available battery power, memory usage, fuel levels, or resource inputs. Tracking this data not only ensures that your devices are up and running and have lifespan remaining, but also helps to ensure that they can continue performing the tasks for which you need them. By tracking the right metrics, you will be able to understand which devices need recharging, new batteries, maintenance, or replacement before-the-fact, whether you are running a home automation system, a smart refrigerator, wearable technology, or connected health devices.
One of the most popular IoT analytics use cases today involves using data to understand how customers engage with products and services. Companies may utilize IoT analytics to identify specific usage patterns and customer preferences, down to individual devices, features, locations, and users.
IoT analytics empowers faster data processing and can give companies access to more accurate, real-time data. As a result, IoT-powered enterprises are able to make faster, better-informed business decisions, allowing you to avoid problems before they arise or jump on an opportunity as soon as one arises.
Companies in the logistics space can use IoT analytics to keep track of goods, services, resources, vendor tasks, billing, and more throughout their supply chain, all while avoiding manual data entry. For example, tagged shipments can be scanned as they arrive or leave a facility, inventory sensors can be programmed to auto-replenish stocks when they hit a certain level, financial transactions can be executed when deliveries or billable services are completed, and standardized communication templates can be developed to be sent out whenever specific parameters are met. With smart devices that perform these tasks strategically placed wherever they are needed throughout the supply chain, manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers can tightly monitor production, all the way from resource procurement and manufacturing through to distribution and sales to end-users.
IoT analytics can help healthcare facilities track and manage medical equipment, monitor environmental conditions, and protect staff and patients from workplace hazards. Healthcare IoT solutions can be used to tag equipment, keep a track of device usage, and control access to equipment and different parts of a facility. You may also track various health data points using wearable devices.
Why IoT Needs Data Analytics
There are a few factors that render data analytics an integral part of any IoT deployment.
Smart devices generate massive amounts of data, and only with analytics can businesses gather, store, process, and analyze such data. As more and more devices go online and become part of different IoT networks, the role of data analytics in making sense of the data they connect will only grow.
The IoT generates data of many different formats and types. This presents serious data classification and data structure challenges to data analysts who are usually tasked with analyzing the information and coming up with actionable insights using structured and uniform data. With data analytics, IoT data can be converted from raw, unstructured forms to structured, organized datasets that can then be fed to decision-making and prediction tools.
Certain situations that require immediate intervention can only be managed using on-site sensors that can capture relevant data and metrics and transfer them to the appropriate decision-maker for remedial action. Think of patient oxygen levels, temperature or fuel levels in mission-critical machinery, fish tank water levels in aquafarming, or measures of pressure in geothermal or oil and gas settings. Even the slightest divergence from safe to unsafe levels can have devastating impacts, and only on-site smart sensors can process the information needed to remedy such situations with the speed required to avoid undesirable outcomes.
Access to robust data analytics is just one of many reasons for which businesses and organizations deploy IoT solutions, but it is perhaps the biggest driving force behind the rapid growth and use of IoT devices. Thanks to IoT data analytics, businesses may improve everything from operational efficacy and response times while boosting customer engagement, establishing supply chain operations, cutting waste, and reducing decision-making times.
Kajeet helps businesses take advantage of the many new developments made in the IoT space to help them do things better, more quickly, and more cost-effectively. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our Solution Engineers and to learn more about how a custom-built IoT solution can help take your business to the next level.