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In a car, almost everything is connected. The engine connects to the lights, the lights connect to the turn signals, the turn signals connect to the steering wheel, and so forth. In technology, where we no longer operate in a vacuum, there are many connections across various systems. Applications are on desktop computers, which are connected to servers, servers are connected to datacenters and other virtual environments.This is the first of three in a series about The Internet of Things, and how it is connected to almost everything. We start by looking at the connection between the Internet of Things (IOT) and big data.

Internet of Things May Be the Only Thing Bigger than Big Data

Gartner said that IoT “is becoming a vibrant part of our, our customers’ and our partners’ business and IT landscape.” This is in reference to the release of the 2014 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies Report, an annual maturity assessment of technologies and IT trends. Guess what took home the trophy in 2013? That’s right: big data.

Gartner discusses the connection further by saying, “While interest in big data remains undiminished, it has moved beyond the peak because the market has settled into a reasonable set of approaches, and the new technologies and practices are additive to existing solutions.” So, while big data is still a big deal, their viewpoint is that nothing substantially new is being created for that market right now.



Siblings? Distant Relatives? What’s the Relationship?

It’s no longer just about the data, storing the data, accessing the data, or keeping the data safe with the Internet of Things. It’s about connecting to the data and exercising it in new ways. Howard Baldwin, community editor for Data Driven Business at Forbes, positions the connection between the two like this: “The close sibling of analytics, big data, also feeds off the Internet of Things.”

The relationship can be summarized as dependent, where big data depends on the Internet of Things to make it most useful. Gil Harris, also of Forbes, explains, “The companies that will be storing all that device data are less concerned [about] sheer volume and more concerned about making it usable.” 

Data + the Internet of Things = Everything Connected

Previously, data was not always accessible on devices because not every device had a connection. With the Internet of Things, critical data will be stored on multiple devices far beyond the smart phones, tablets, and laptops of today. Gartner forecasts, “By 2019, companies will ship 1.9 billion connected home devices, bringing in about $490 billion in revenue.”

From Internet-based thermostat systems like NEST, which was purchased by Google for $3.2 billion just last year, to T-shirts, data is being captured and accessed more than ever. According to the investment site, 7% of consumers own a wearable tech device currently, but by the end of next year, that number will be more like 28%. With the Apple watch coming soon, this is not surprising.

Data brings everything together. From discovering new solutions to increasing global communications, we use, produce, and analyze data every day. Big data, along with the Internet of Things, is like the brake pedal and the gas pedal. While serving completely different functions, they are closely connected and equally important.


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Written by IBM BP Network