The Internet of Things (IoT) is designed to make our world and our lives more efficient. Yet, that can only happen when the vast amounts of IoT data being collected are analyzed so to understand how this information can point out conflicts and risks, and provide insights into opportunities for improvement.
From an IT perspective, increased efficiency begins with understanding the “4 V’s” of IoT data: volume, velocity, variety, and value.
Volume: Data at rest
The world’s stored data volume is set to grow 40% per year, and by 2020 the digital universe – the data we create and copy annually – will reach 44 zettabytes or 44 trillion gigabytes. 35 percent of this data will contain characterized or tagged information that might be valuable if evaluated – a growing percentage because of the growth of “analyzable” data from embedded systems.
Velocity: Data in motion
The average broadband speed has grown by a factor of 3 since 2012, and the world may have exascale computers before 2020. China projects its Tianhe-3 will be up by 2018, handling one quintillion calculations per second. Such power will be used to analyze smog distribution, gene sequence and protein structures to help develop new medicines, and will simulate earthquakes and epidemic outbreaks in greater detail.
US delivery is scheduled for 2021, with R&D aiming to improve hardware at the node level, memory, system-level and energy consumption, and programmability. Cancer treatment will be among its prime focuses. Using exascale systems, doctors can screen a patient’s tumor sample against thousands of drugs and millions of treatment combinations, and identify a specific procedure with the greatest curative potential.
Variety: Data in many forms
The data deluge spans social media, healthcare, security, and countless other arenas – “there’s an app for that” has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Facebook averages 100 TB in daily data uploads, YouTube averages 48 hours of video uploads a minute. Electrocardiogram graphs can be generated based on 1,000 readings a second, while second-by-second displays of heart, respiration, and blood oxygen rates total 86,400 readings a day. Video surveillance cameras installed worldwide produce enough information to fill 92.1 million DVDs daily.
Value: Data enriching our daily lives
The drive to extract value from our digital universe will be rewarded as storage and processor hardware evolve. It will also need advanced capabilities of data analytics and artificial intelligence software.
Consumers and businesses will continue to benefit from big data’s substantial life-saving, cost-saving and time-saving results as the hidden value revealed creates new opportunities, including fighting fraud, identifying harmful drug combinations, treating illness using data from wearable devices, predicting accidents and crimes, optimizing productivity through predictive equipment and machinery maintenance, and more.
The key to gain greater efficiency from the IoT begins with determining the problem you are trying to solve. From there, these four lenses will help companies and technologists to transform data into real insights that will help determine the best solution forward.