If the Internet of Things is comprised of smart, connected objects, then wearable technology is certainly a visible and exciting category that enables people to understand the promise of the IoT. At the intersection of analytics and wearable technology is the quantified-self, the result of the output of data derived from sensors you wear that measure what you do.
Do you know which vendor can actually provide analytics for your particular IoT deployment? The data analytics industry is huge, and there are many subcategories. The most familiar to most people are web analytics and mobile app analytics, but there are companies serving practically every vertical where there is measurable and actionable data. Financial services, social media, server infrastructure and shop floor automation all have nuances that require a highly specialized approach to analyzing data.
We humans like to think about time in eras. We define styles and trends of the past neatly into decades. We talk about the “Industrial Revolution,” the “turn of the century,” the “21st Century” and the “Information Age.” With the Internet of Things finally becoming a reality, I recently looked back at one description of our next big thing as the “Post-PC Era.”
The Internet of Things is transformative. If your company makes things and it is now making Internet of Things things, it is the “Internet” part that is transformative. Connectivity turns products into something greater than their former selves. In many cases, connectivity enhances consumer value through the addition of features only made possible by an internet connection.
I recently gave a keynote on IoT analytics. In it, one of the points I made was that adding connectivity has the potential to increase the intrinsic value of the product more than the extrinsic value of the product. In other words, the greater opportunity for IoT products is not necessarily in features but in functions, and IoT analytics is a key driver. Direct product usage information enables functionality that was not possible before, and really good information even enables business models that were not possible before.
Today our fearless leader, Shawn Conahan, CEO of Tellient, gave a keynote address at the first AllSeen Alliance Summit. Shawn covered topics related to Analytics for the Internet of Things, including descriptive analytics predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics and how they are applied to connected devices.
Shawn discussed how manufacturers can extract the greatest value from their products and customer relationships, by including device analytics in their value chain. Connectivity provides the link to customers, but analytics is the link to understanding them.
Does smarter equal better?
What kind of products does your company make? Maybe you make “connected things” or “smart things.” But do you make “better” things? Building smart, connected products is rapidly becoming the minimum requirement to simply participate in the market. The question is how, in this age of hyper-competition driving rapidly-evolving product sophistication, your company is going to build BETTER products, and the answer is most likely: “By intelligently applying internet of things analytics.”
I met with a company last week that expressed interest in hearing more about how our IoT Analytics solution could help them. This is a very large, household-name consumer electronics manufacturer, and you likely own or have owned several of their products. When I got to the meeting at their office, the room was full; there were a bunch of technologists, marketing people, product people, and even some customer service managers.
It was explained that they had been thinking about whether to deploy analytics on their connected products portfolio at all, and they wanted an explanation of how analytics might benefit them. When you walk into this sort of big meeting at a big company, there is always a ranking member (RM) who drives the discussion. Sometimes that ranking member is cool and helpful. Other times, not.
That's, "Hold My Beer While I Explain Like I'm 5, Internet of Things, Ok?"
I had a great question come up about 5 minutes ago on our Facebook page by my friend, the IVR Voice, Allison Smith. It's 7:30 on a Friday night and yeah, I've cracked a local San Diego IPA and was settling into a long night of dorking around on the Internet. I love the question and needed more room than Facebook allows, though:
Most people are familiar with the concept of analytics: At it's most basic, analytics is about finding meaningful patterns in data. That sounds like a smart thing to do, and it is, because the meaningful patterns in your data generally represent some kind of opportunity.
For instance, you might be trying to figure out whether the button on your website should be green or red. Make the button green for a few days, then make it red for a few days and compare the patterns in your data to see which one gets clicked on more. (It turns out it’s red.) This sort of A/B testing is among the simplest of analytics exercises, and looking at a relatively small amount of data can yield astounding insights that can lead to impressive results if acted upon.