Understanding the challenge of Data Analytics in IoT

Published by Telefónica IoT Team IoT General

2017 could be a key year in the development of data analysis within the IoT. The latest reports point to European companies’ growing interest in implementing analysis strategies as part of their short-term objectives. However, there is still a long way to go, as noted in the report by Telefónica with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and PAC. According to the document, only a small fraction of these organizations is in a mature stage of implementation regarding data analysis strategy. However, the vast majority of them have not lost sight of this factor and will begin implementing new strategies in the coming months.

The beginning of adoption

In the report "IoT & the Data Analytics Challenge: Are European organizations ready to take advantage of the data potential in IoT?", which collects the information provided by more than 200 decision-makers about IoT and data analysis from various companies throughout Europe, only a small percentage of enterprises are currently at a mature stage regarding their data analysis strategy. Perhaps counterintuitively, this is actually a very positive situation in terms of adopting solutions and services based on IoT. Of the respondents, 66% are currently in the early stages of adopting an IoT-based strategy. On the other hand, almost a quarter of the participants have already implemented IoT solutions and are at an intermediate stage of development.

This creates an early, initial scenario where IoT growth opportunities will increase substantially during 2017. The fact that more than 30% of companies have solutions that are already generating economic impact shows that the IoT market has passed the hype stage and is now stable and growing. Without a doubt, the figures speak of an early stage of IoT adoption among European organisations. One of the biggest problems for them is handling the transition from the initial adoption phase towards a more robust and integrated strategy at the institutional level. However, the keen interest shown predicts great growth opportunities in the coming months.

What are European organisations’ main objectives?

One of the key points gleaned from the reports is that the main goal of IoT data analysis is to reduce costs and increase efficiency in European organisations. Although a large number of companies consider it important to implement IoT strategies to increase potential revenue, it seems to play a greater role in improving current solutions in the quest for increased efficiency.

We can see this reaffirmed in the current trend of improving sensor systems and intelligent edge devices to understand their operational performance better. It is essential to adopt a mature, integrated strategy to be able to  perform a real and useful monitoring of the business model, which poses a technical, organizational and economic challenge. On the other hand, European companies’ objectives also include improving customer experience and generating new services with which to expand their offer.

Investing in the future of IoT

Given the current state and the objective, where are European organisations’ efforts headed? More than three-quarters of organizations say that investing in security is one of their immediate plans. This highlights the current importance of digital security among industry experts. In light of the attacks and security problems suffered during the last two years, companies cannot ignore the sensitivity of this issue. Almost with the same interest, statistics indicate that there is investment potential in the development of database management tools and data integration tools.

Another of the investors’ main interests are real-time analysis tools. Less attention is given to data management platforms from Big Data sources or textual analytics and the Machine Learning tools associated with these solutions. Following the survey, another crucial point comes to light: what role do cloud services play within European companies? More than half of organizations claim that the use of the cloud as a support tool in information management is very important in their strategies. In short, cloud-based solutions play a vital role in proposed short-term investments.

A vital analysis

Without an effective data analysis strategy, the potential value of a business based on an IoT solution is close to zero. However, only one-third of the European organisations surveyed are currently analysing the data obtained within the context of the IoT. A large portion, close to 50%, intends to apply data analysis solutions in the coming months. Nevertheless, as mentioned above, data analysis requires a significant investment in technical and economic resources to ensure the transition.

Key points in data analysis include development platforms and core data analysis solutions. While the former should act as a connection between edge devices and corporate applications, the latter are responsible for processing data of different origins and natures obtained from different kinds of sensors and devices. Both types of tools are needed in a long-term strategy.

For the time being, only a small percentage of European organizations have implemented both types of tools. On the other hand, just over half of them claim to be working to implement such platforms during this year. In conclusion, companies are beginning to converge towards the same trend, a trend that points to the growth of the Internet of Things and the analysis of the data generated in the coming months, which suggests a huge boost to and development in the market.

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Telefónica IoT Team