By Laurenz Dallinger, Application Engineer at Cedalo.
The number of IoT devices and the data they generate is constantly increasing. Organizations use IoT data to obtain useful information, optimize their work, and increase profits. Therefore, it is necessary to use technologies that can process and analyze IoT data effectively.
In this article, we talk about how IoT and big data are interconnected, the role of big data in IoT, the advantages of using big data in IoT for business, and what difficulties companies can face when implementing this technology.
What is IoT?
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a network of devices and sensors capable of collecting and exchanging data over a network. After receiving the data, the device processes it and can perform certain actions such as sending notifications, automatically configuring devices, etc.
Key Components of IoT:
Devices are physical objects connected to the network that can collect, transmit, receive, and respond to data.
Sensors are components responsible for gathering real-time data about physical or environmental conditions.
Connectivity. IoT devices must be connected to a network to transmit data. They rely on various technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular networks (2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G) to establish network connections for data transmission.
Data processing. IoT generates a massive amount of data, which is why it’s called big data. Data can originate from multiple different devices, e.g., clinical devices. Processing and analyzing this data are crucial to derive meaningful information. Data processing can occur locally on the device or in the cloud.
User Interfaces. IoT systems often have user interfaces that allow users to interact with devices and control data and operations.
What is Big Data?
Big data refers to the extensive and complex datasets derived from diverse sources that are challenging to process using traditional methods. Nevertheless, businesses need to analyze big data to identify trends and patterns in user behavior to offer in-demand products and services. The trend is towards on-demand services. You no longer buy multiple devices that you then have to connect and you save money. You buy the result, preferably without having to buy the devices (e.g., a cloud application).
How Big Data and IoT Interact?
Big data and IoT are closely interconnected and dependent on each other. IoT devices constantly generate a huge volume of various data. This includes structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data obtained from various types of sensors and devices, which increase the variety and volume of big data.
The rapid development of the Internet of Things has contributed to the development of big data technologies, which are widely used to analyze IoT data.
To obtain useful information and identify patterns, companies apply big data analytics methods and tools to IoT data. This allows them to gain valuable information about system performance, customer behavior, predictive maintenance, anomaly detection, etc., and make decisions based on that information.
What is the role of Big Data in IoT?
Big data analytics techniques and tools are used to process and analyze huge amounts of IoT data. Tools like Apache Spark, Apache Storm, and Flink allow companies to process the high-speed streaming data generated by IoT devices. Machine learning, data mining, and predictive modeling are used to make decisions based on IoT data.
Big data technologies enable the integration of IoT data with other data obtained from other sources. For example, customer, sales, and supply chain data. This allows organizations to get a complete picture of their activities, customers, or processes to provide a better understanding of complex systems and processes.
Big data technologies such as distributed file systems and cloud storage platforms are used to store and manage IoT data. They are fault-tolerant, support replication, and allow organizations to reliably and efficiently store large amounts of data.
What are the benefits of using Big Data in IoT for business?
Using the IoT and Big Data together helps companies effectively analyze data, identify trends, and make decisions. Let’s list the main advantages of using big data in IoT for business.
Big data analytics in IoT allows companies to better understand customer behavior and market trends. This allows them to make the right strategic decisions and conduct marketing campaigns to expand the business.
Operational efficiency and economy
Thanks to IoT devices, businesses can gain detailed information about their operations, processes, and assets. By analyzing this data, they can identify inefficient processes, reduce downtime, and reduce costs. With the help of special sensors, administrators can also detect equipment malfunctions and schedule device maintenance to avoid breakdowns and unplanned downtime.
Improving the customer experience
IoT devices provide valuable information about product usage and customer feedback. This information is used to develop new features, optimize design, and adapt the product to customer needs.
Optimization of the supply chain
A variety of IoT sensors enable real-time supply chain tracking. E.g., they provide information about the amount of fuel, the location of the car, the delivery route, etc. Using this information, companies can identify bottlenecks, improve inventory management, and optimize overall supply chain efficiency.
Challenges of Big Data in IoT
Although big data in IoT plays an important role and brings many benefits for business, it is also important to consider some challenges and risks of its use. Let’s look at some of the problems that may arise when implementing this technology.
Data security and privacy
IoT devices are vulnerable to cyber threats, and the data they collect may contain sensitive information. Therefore, it is an important task to protect the data of IoT devices during transmission, processing, and storage. Keep in mind that every security measurement adds to the potential risk of overhead.
Data storage and processing
Every day, the amount of data generated by the Internet of Things is increasing. Storing and processing this amount of data requires significant investment in scalable data storage, processing, and analytics infrastructure.
Using MQTT is particularly resource-efficient for storing and processing large amounts of data. So, it is important to choose an MQTT broker, which plays a critical role in ensuring efficient communication and data exchange between devices, facilitating the seamless flow of big data in IoT.
Data analytics in real-time
IoT devices continuously generate and transmit data in real-time. Real-time streaming data processing and analysis requires the latest technologies to manage high-speed data flow and obtain useful information on time.
Visualization of a huge amount of data of many different formats and types in real-time is a rather difficult task. Therefore, companies have to implement new data visualization capabilities to better understand the data.
Use cases of Big Data in IoT
Big data in IoT is useful for various business sectors. Let’s look at some examples.
Big data analytics in IoT allows banks to identify and resolve problems faced by users. In addition, special algorithms are used for analyzing customer behavior and detecting fraud.
Connected health monitors make it easy to remotely monitor various patient health indicators. Special machine learning algorithms can detect negative trends and inform the doctor on time, saving patients’ lives and health.
IoT devices and sensors in retail stores can generate vast amounts of data on customer behavior, footfall, and inventory levels. Big data analytics in IoT enables retailers to gain insights into consumer preferences, optimize store layouts (e.g., heatmaps), personalize marketing campaigns, and improve the overall shopping experience.
Asset tracking and logistics
IoT devices embedded in assets or vehicles provide real-time location data. Combining this data with IoT Big Data analytics enables effective tracking, inventory management, and optimization of logistics operations.
Industrial IoT (IIoT)
Big Data analytics in IIoT optimizes manufacturing processes, improves supply chain management, and enhances product quality. By analyzing data from sensors, machinery, and production lines, organizations can identify bottlenecks and optimize workflows. Using AI algorithms, IIoT systems can make automatic decisions without human intervention.
Big data plays an important role in the IoT system. The use of big data in IoT enables the efficient storage, processing, and analysis of huge volumes of data generated by IoT devices. It allows companies to easily obtain important information about internal processes, improve marketing activities and supply chain management processes, effectively analyze user needs, and implement new technologies.
However, working with a huge amount of real-time IoT data requires solving some significant problems, such as using a scalable and reliable infrastructure, ensuring data and device security and privacy, and implementing advanced analytics and data management techniques.
Author‘s bio: As an accomplished technology enthusiast, Laurenz Dallinger has a strong interest in digital transformation, with a particular focus on IoT. His commitment to advancing the field of device communication is evident in his work as a speaker and exhibitor at events like the Ars Electronica museum. As a valued member of the Cedalo team, the company behind the top MQTT broker, Laurenz is passionate about sharing his knowledge and ideas with developers seeking new and efficient ways of communicating with devices.