I saw more discussion on big data at CES 2015 this week, compared to previous years. Everyone talked about data as the central core of everything. The IoT (Internet of Things), NFC (near Field Communication) and M2M (Machine to Machine) communication are enabling pieces for many industries – security monitoring, asset and inventory tracking, healthcare, process control, building environment monitoring, vehicle tracking and telemetry, in-store customer engagement and digital signage. Big data is the big deal here.
The Big Data ecosystem includes – cloud computing, M2M/IoT, dumb terminal 2.0 (devices getting dumber – more cloud, better broadband, less about storage and more about broadband access and high quality display), and analysis. The big data opportunity is slated to be a $200B business in 2015. Every company must insert the big data ecosystem into their future roadmap or get left out. The key here is not the technology, but its business value.
The progression goes like this: Big Data ->Big Info -> Big Knowledge -> Big Insight. For example Big Data says 60 (not much meaning) , then Big Info says “Steve is 60” adding context. Then Big Knowledge says “Steve can’t hear very well” followed by Big Insight like “maybe we give Steve a hearing aid”, an actionable item. So we go from Big Data to Big Insight that becomes very useful. Several industry examples can be given:
- Retail iBeacon technology – Apple’s technology allows smartphones to be tracked geographically. This will provide vector info about shoppers and hence allows for predictive service experience in combination with smart mirrors.
- Insurance companies – by collecting information on drivers behavior the premiums can be adjusted by individual.
- Medical event tracking – big data has crucial role here providing relevant information by patient.
- Asset tracking in oil fields can help reduce costs and increase efficiency.
- Smart cities – like San Francisco parking system SFPARK, every sensor-based parking space can be efficiently used. You can use your smartphone to find available parking quickly.
- and many more..
Big Data is the heart of it all – efficiently ingest, store, process, and manage unstructured data and provide meaningful analysis. Using an oil industry analogy, in the next 3-5 years we will see Big Data as the crude oil and Analytics is the new refinery.