Tag Archives: Internet of Things
Data has always played a key role in informing decisions – machine generated and intuitive. In the past, much of this data came from transactional databases as well as unstructured sources, such as emails and flat files. Mobile devices appeared next on the map. We have found applications of such devices not just to make calls but also to send messages, take a picture, and update status on social media sites. As a result, new sets of data got created from user engagements and interactions. Such data started to tell a story by connecting dots at different location points and stages of user connection. “Internet of Things” or IoT is the latest technology to enter the scene that could transform how we view and use data on a massive scale.
Does IoT present a significant opportunity for companies to transform their business processes? Internet of Things probably add an important awareness veneer when it comes to data. It could bring data early in focus by connecting every step of data creation stages in any business process. It could de-couple the lagging factor in consuming data and making decisions based on it. Data generated at every stage in a business process could show an interesting trend or pattern and better yet, tell a connected story. Result could be predictive maintenance of equipment involved in any process that would further reduce cost. New product innovations would happen by leveraging the connectedness in data as generated by each step in a business process. We would soon begin to understand not only where the data is being used and how, but also what’s the intent and context behind this usage. Organizations could then connect with their customers in a one-on-one fashion like never before, whether to promote a product or offer a promotion that could be both time and place sensitive. New opportunities to tailor product and services offering for customers on an individual basis would create new growth areas for businesses. Internet of Things could make it a possibility by bringing together previously isolated sets of data.
Recent Economist report, “The Virtuous Circle of Data: Engaging Employees in Data and Transforming Your Business” suggests that 68% of data-driven businesses outperform their competitors when it comes to profitability. 78% of those businesses foster a better culture of creativity and innovation. Report goes on to suggest that 3 areas are critical for an organization to build a data-driven business, including data supported by devices: 1) Technology & Tools, 2) Talent & Expertise, and 3) Culture & Leadership. By 2020, it’s projected that there’ll be 50B connected devices, 7x more than human beings on the planet. It is imperative for an organization to have a support structure in place for device generated data and a strategy to connect with broader enterprise-wide data initiatives.
A comprehensive Internet of Things strategy would leverage speed and context of data to the advantage of business process owners. Timely access to device generated data can open up the channels of communication to end-customers in a personalized at the moment of their readiness. It’s not enough anymore to know what customers may want or what they asked for in the past; rather anticipating what they might want by connecting dots across different stages. IoT generated data can help bridge this gap.
How to Manage IoT Generated Data
More data places more pressure on both quality and security factors – key building blocks for trust in one’s data. Trust is ideally truth over time. Consistency in data quality and availability is going to be key requirement for all organizations to introduce new products or service differentiated areas in a speedy fashion. Informatica’s Intelligent Data Platform or IDP brings together industry’s most comprehensive data management capabilities to help organizations manage all data, including device generated, both in the cloud and on premise. Informatica’s IDP enables an automated sensitive data discovery, such that data discovers users in the context where it’s needed.
Cool IoT Applications
There are a number of companies around the world that are working on interesting applications of Internet of Things related technology. Smappee from Belgium has launched an energy monitor that can itemize electricity usage and control a household full of devices by clamping a sensor around the main power cable. This single device can recognize individual signatures produced by each of the household devices and can let consumers switch off any device, such as an oven remotely via smartphone. JIBO is a IoT device that’s touted as the world’s first family robot. It automatically uploads data in the cloud of all interactions. Start-ups such as Roost and Range OI can retrofit older devices with Internet of Things capabilities. One of the really useful IoT applications could be found in Jins Meme glasses and sunglasses from Japan. They embed wearable sensors that are shaped much like Bluetooth headsets to detect drowsiness in its wearer. It observes the movement of eyes and blinking frequency to identify tiredness or bad posture and communicate via iOS and android smartphone app. Finally, Mellow is a new kind of kitchen robot that makes it easier by cooking ingredients to perfection while someone is away from home. Mellow is a sous-vide machine that takes orders through your smartphone and keeps food cold until it’s the exact time to start cooking.
Each of the application mentioned above deals with data, volumes of data, in real-time and in stored fashion. Such data needs to be properly validated, cleansed, and made available at the moment of user engagement. In addition to Informatica’s Intelligent Data Platform, newly introduced Informatica’s Rev product can truly connect data coming from all sources, including IoT devices and make it available for everyone. What opportunity does IoT present to your organization? Where are the biggest opportunities to disrupt the status quo?
I recently read an opinion piece written in an insurance publication online. The author postulated, among other things, that the Internet of Things would magically deliver great data to an insurer. Yes, it was a statement just that glib. Almost as if there is some fantastic device that you just plug into the wall and out streams a flow of unicorns and rainbows. And furthermore that those unicorns and rainbows will subsequently give a magical boost to your business. But hey, you plugged in that fantastic device, so bring on the magic.
Now, let’s come back from the land of fairytales and ground ourselves in reality. Data is important, no doubt about that. Today, financial services firms are able to access data from so many new data sources. One of those new and fancy data sources is the myriad of devices in this thing we call the Internet of Things.
You ever have one of those frustrating days with your smart phone? Dropped calls, slow Internet, Facebook won’t locate you? Well, other devices experience the same wonkiness. Even the most robust of devices found on commercial aircraft or military equipment are not lossless in data transmission. And that’s where we are with the Internet of Things. All great devices, they serve a number of purposes, but are still fallible in communicating with the “mother ship”.
A telematics device in a consumer vehicle can transmit, VIN, speed, latitude/longitude, time, and other vehicle statuses for use in auto insurance. As with other devices on a network, some of these data elements will not come through reliably. That means that in order to reconstruct or smooth the set of data, interpolations need to be made and/or entire entries deleted as useless. That is the first issue. Second, simply receiving this isolated dataset does not make sense of it. The data needs to be moved, cleansed and then correlated to other pieces of the puzzle, which eventually turn into a policyholder, an account holder, a client or a risk. And finally, that enhanced data can be used for further analytics. It can be archived, aggregated, warehoused and secured for additional analysis. None of these activities happen magically. And the sheer volume of integration points and data requires a robust and standardized data management infrastructure.
So no, just having an open channel to the stream of noise from your local Internet of Things will not magically deliver you great data. Great data comes from market leading data management solutions from Informatica. So whether you are an insurance company, financial services firm or data provider, being “Insurance Ready” means having great data; ready to use; everywhere…from Informatica.
Consumer demand is driving the adoption of IoT as they embrace the new technology to improve health (Garmin Vívoactive), energy savings (NEST), safety (BeClose) and a better overall experience including shopping (beacons?). However, getting the balance between privacy, intrusion and relevance can be tricky for both the retailer and shopper.
While shoppers are willing to give up some level of privacy in return for personalization, I am not convinced most are ready of what the “Internet of Things” brings. I recently purchased a smart TV and was surprised when I was asked to accept terms and conditions before using, what are they capturing, how will it be used, will I see any benefits? Retailers need to demonstrate value and trust to the consumer.
While RFID has been around for many years the next wave of intelligent “things” bring both opportunities and challenges. Retailers need to decide which ones truly enhance the shopping experience.
“Psst! It’s Me, the Mannequin. This Would Look Great on You.” (Rachel Abrams, NY Times)
Smart Dummies (mannequins) – Last year House of Fraser started rolling out beacon-enabled mannequins to engage directly with shoppers and passers-by. Shoppers within a 50-metre range will receive information from the mannequins, which may include details about the clothes on display, with links to make a purchase from a website, or details of where the outfit can be found in the store. The next step could link customer preferences, profile and past purchases and suggest matching accessories, check customers size availability or monitor how long they browsed and offer a digital coupon.
Connected Hangers – While you browse through the racks, real-time reviews are displayed on the hanger, size availability or images & videos displayed on screens showing the garment in use. Retailers can capture how popular an item is but never purchased. Taking the clothes and hanger try on could provide personalized recommendation on shoes and accessories.
Personalized Mirrors – I recently read an article in Time (Dec 29th) about Rebecca Minkoff’s new store in Manhattan, where they installed a giant mirrored panel showing images of models walking down the runway. The panel acts as a mirror and touchscreen, where shoppers can order up a personalized fitting room, offering style tips based on their selection. This is connected to a mobile app that saves their browsing history and style preferences for their next visit. When a customer is ready to purchase a sales assistant takes payment on an iPad.
In future blog I will discuss how location based services are machine-to-machine technologies are impacting retailers and consumers.
With so many devices connected and larger volumes of data captured this raises concerns around data privacy and security. In the past year we have seen too many stores on data breaches and retailers. While shoppers are prepared to share more information for relevance they expect you to keep it safe and secure. Retailers must have a solid data governance framework and process in place or risk losing the trust and loyalty of their customers.
Sensor Driven Analytics
The Internet of Things presents retailers with a wonderfully opportunity to understand and engage the customer like never before. However, retailers need to manage the explosion of data available through smarter devices to gain insight into shopper behaviours and preferences and turn into a more rewarding experience for the consumer.
However, before loading an analytics engine they need to ensure the data is clean, connected and safe. Without this any decisions made are flawed and will impact their brand and ultimately the bottom line.
Marketers, Are You Ready? The Impending Data Explosion from the New Gizmos and Gadgets Unveiled at CES
This is the first year in a very long time that I wasn’t in Las Vegas during CES. Although it’s not quite as exciting as actually being there, I love that the Twitter-verse and industry news sites kept us all up to date about the latest and greatest announcements. Now that CES2015 is all wrapped up, I find myself thinking about the potential of some very interesting announcements – from the wild to the wonderful to the leave-you-wondering! What strikes me isn’t how useful these new gizmos and gadgets will likely be to myself and my consumer counterparts, but instead what incredible new data sources they will offer to my fellow marketers.
One thing is for sure… the connected “Internet of Things” is indeed here. It’s no longer just a vision. Sure, we’re just seeing the early stages, but it’s becoming more and more main stream by the day. And as marketers, we have so much opportunity ahead of us!
I ran across an interesting video interview on the CES show floor with Jack Smith from GroupM on Adweek.com. Jack says that “data from sensors will have a bigger impact, longer term, than the Internet itself.” That is a lofty statement, and I’m not sure I’ll go quite that far yet, but I absolutely agree with his premise… this new world of connectivity is already shifting marketing, and it will almost certainly radically change the way we market in the near future.
Riding the Data Explosion (Literally)
The Connected Cycle is one of the announcements that I find intriguing as a marketer. In short, it’s a bike pedal equipped with GPS and GPRS sensors that “monitor your movements and act as a basic fitness tracker.” It’s being positioned as a way to track stolen bicycles, which is a massive problem in Europe particularly, with the side benefit of being a powerful fitness tracker. It may not be as sexy as some other announcements, but I think there is buried treasure in devices like these.
Imagine how powerful that data would be to a sporting goods retailer? What if the rider of that bicycle had opted into a program that allowed the retailer to track their activity in exchange for highly targeted offers?
Let’s say that the rider is nearing one of your stores and it’s a colder than usual day. Perhaps you could push them an offer to their smart phone for some neoprene booties. Or let’s say that, based on their activity patterns, the rider appears to be stepping up their activity and is riding more frequently suggesting they may be ready for a race you are sponsoring in a few months in the area. Perhaps you could push them an inspirational message saying how great they’re progressing and had they thought about signing up for the big race, with a special incentive of course.
The segmentation possibilities are endless, and the analytics that could be done on the data leaves the data-driven marketer salivating!
Home Automation Meets Business Automation
There were numerous announcements about the connected “house of the future”, and it’s clear that we are just beginning of the home automation wave. Several of the big dogs like Samsung, Google, and Apple are building or buying automation hub platforms, so it’s going to be easier and easier to connect appliances and other home devices to one another, and also to mobile technology and wearables. As marketers, there is incredible potential to really tap into this. Imagine the possibility of interconnecting your customers’ home automation systems with your own marketing automation systems? Marketers will soon be able literally serve up offers based upon things that are occurring in the home in real time.
Oh no, your teenage son finished off all but the last drop of milk (and put the almost-empty jug back in the fridge without a second thought)! Not to worry, you’ve linked your refrigerator’s sensor data with your favorite grocery store. An alert is sent asking if you want more milk, and oh by the way, your shopping patterns indicate you may be running out of your son’s favorite cereal too, so it offers you a special discount if you add a box to your order. Oh yeah, of course he was complaining about being out just yesterday! And whala, a gallon of milk and some Cinnamon Toast Crunch magically arrives at your door by the end of the day. Heck, it will probably arrive within an hour via a drone if Amazon has anything to say about it! No manual business processes whatsoever. It’s your appliance’s sensors talking to your customer data warehouse, which is talking to your marketing automation system, which is talking to a mobile app, which is talking to an ordering system, which is talking to a payment system, which is talking to a logistics/delivery system. That is, of course, if your internal processes are ready!
Some of the More Weird and Wacky, But There May Just Be Something…
Panasonic’s Smart Mirror allows you to analyze your skin and allows you to visualize yourself with different makeup or even a different haircut. Cosmetics and hair care companies should be all over this. Imagine the possibilities of visualizing yourself looking absolutely stunning – if only virtually – with perfect makeup and hair. Who wouldn’t want to rush right out and capture the look for real? What if a store front could virtually put the passer-byer in their products, and once the customer is inside the store, point them to the products that were featured? Take it a step further and send them a special offer the next week to come back buy the hat that just goes perfectly with the rest of the outfit. It all sounds a little bit “Minority Report-esque”, but it’s closer to becoming true every day. The power of the interconnected world is endless for the marketer.
And then there’s Belty… it’s definitely garnered a lot of news (and snarky comments too!). Belty is a smart belt that slims or expands based upon your waist size at that very moment – whether you’re sitting, standing, or just had a too-large meal. I don’t see Belty taking off, but you never know! If it does however, can’t you just see Belty sending a message to your Weight Watchers app about needing to get back on diet? Or better yet, pointing you to the Half Yearly Sale at Nordstrom because you’re getting too skinny for your pants?
The “Internet of Things” is Becoming Reality… Is Your Marketing Team Ready?
The internet of things is already changing the way consumers live, and it’s beginning to change the way marketers market. With the It is critical that marketers are thinking about how they can leverage the new devices and the data they provide. Connecting the dots between devices can become a marketer’s best friend (if they’re ready), or worst enemy (if they’re not).
Are you ready? Ask yourself these 6 questions:
- Are your existing business applications connected to one another? Do your marketing systems “talk” to your finance systems and your sales systems and your customer support systems?
- Do you have fist-class data quality and validation technology and practices in place? Real-time, automated processes will only amplify data quality problems.
- Can you connect easily to any new data source as it becomes available, no matter where it lives and no matter what format it is in? The only constant in this new world is the speed of change, so if you’re not building processes and leveraging technologies that can keep up, you’re already missing the boat!
- Are you building real time capabilities into your processes and technologies? You systems are going to have to handle real-time sensor data, and make real-time decisions based on the data they provide.
- Are your marketing analytics capabilities leading the pack or just getting out of the gate? Are they harnessing all of the rich data available within your organization today? Are you ready to analyze all of the new data sources to determine trends and segment for maximum effect?
- Are you talking to your counterparts in IT, logistics, finance, etc. about the business processes and technologies you are going to need to harness the data that the interconnected world of today, and of the near future? If not, don’t wait! Begin that conversation ASAP!
Informatica is ready to help you embark on this new and exciting data journey. For some additional perspectives from Informatica on the technologies announced at CES2015, I encourage you to read some of my colleagues’ recent blog posts:
There is a new “Band Wagon” out there and it’s not Big Data. If you were at this year’s CES Show this past week, it would have been impossible even with a “Las Vegas-size” hangover not to have heard the hype around the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things includes anything and everything that is connected to the Internet and able to communicate and share information with other “smart” devices. This year as well as last it was about home appliances, fitness and health monitors, home security systems, Bluetooth enabled toothbrushes, sensors in shoes to monitor weight and mileage, thermostats that monitor humidity and sound, to kitchen utensils that can track and monitor the type of food you cook and eat.
If you ask me, all these devices and the IoT movement is both cool and creepy. Cool in the sense that networking technology has both matured and become affordable for devices to transmit data for companies to turn into actionable intelligence. IoT is creepy in the sense where do I really want someone monitoring what I cook or how many times I wake up and night? Like other hype cycles or band wagons, there are different opinions as to the size of the IoT market. Gartner expects it to include nearly 26 billion devices, with a “global economic value-add” of $1.9 trillion by 2020. The question is whether the Internet of Things is truly transformational to our daily lives? The answer to that really depends on being able to harness all that data into information. Just because my new IoT toothbrush can monitor and send data on how many times I brush my teeth, it doesn’t provide any color whether that makes me healthier or have a prettier smile :).
To help answer these questions, here are examples and potential use cases of leveraging all that Big Data from Small devices of the IoT world:
- Mimo’s Smart Baby Monitor is aimed at helping to prevent SIDS, the Mimo monitor is a new kind of infant monitor that provides parents with real-time information about their baby’s breathing, skin temperature, body position, and activity level on their smartphones.
- GlowCaps fit prescription bottles and via a wireless chip provide services that help people stick with their prescription regimen; from reminder messages, all the way to refill and doctor coordination.
- BeClose offers a wearable alarm button and other discrete wireless sensors placed around the home, the BeClose system can track your loved one’s daily routine and give you peace of mind for their safety by alerting you to any serious disruptions detected in their normal schedule.
- Postscapes provides technology a suite of sensors and web connectivity help save you time and resources by keeping plants fed based on their actual growing needs and conditions while automating much of the labor processes.
- OnFarm solution combines real-time sensor data from soil moisture levels, weather forecasts, and pesticide usage from farming sites into a consolidated web dashboard. Farmers can use this data with advanced imaging and mapping information to spot crop issues and remotely monitor all of the farms assets and resource usage levels.
- Banks and auto lenders are using cellular GPS units that report location and usage of financed cars in addition to locking the ignitions to prevent further movement in the case of default.
- Sensors on farm equipment now provides real-time intelligence on how many hours trackers are used, the weather conditions to predict mechanical problems, and measuring the productivity of the farmer to predict trends in the commodity market.
I can see a number of other potential use cases for IoT including:
- Health devices not only sending data but receiving data from other IoT devices to provide real time recommendations on workout routines based on weather data received from real-time weather sensors, food intake from kitchen devices, to nutritional information based on vitamins and medications consumed by the wearer.
- Credit card banks leveraging their GPS tracking device data from auto loan customers to combine it with credit card data to deliver real-time offers on merchant promotions while on the road.
- GPS tracking devices on hotel card keys to track where you go, eat, entertain to deliver more customized services and offers while one is on a business trip or vacation.
- Boxing gloves transmitting the impact and force of a punch to monitor for athlete concussions.
What does this all mean?
The Internet of Things has changed the way we live and do business and will continue to shape the future hopefully in a positive way. Harnessing all of that Big Data from Small devices does not come easily. Every device that generates data sends it to some central system through WiFi or cellular network. Once in that central system, it needs to be access, translated, transformed, cleansed, and standardized for business use with data from other systems that run the business. For example:
- Access, transform, and validate data from IoT with data generated from other business applications. Formats and values will be often different and change over time and needs to be rationalized and standardized for downstream business use. Otherwise, you end up with a bunch of Alphas and Numerics that make no sense.
- Data quality and validation: Just because a sensor can send data, it does not mean it will send the right data or data that is right for a business user trying to make sense of it. GPS data requires accurate coordinate data. If any value is transmitted incorrectly, it is important to identify those errors; more importantly correct it so the business can take action. This is especially important when combining like values (e.g. Weather status = Cold, Wet, Hot however the device is sending A,B, C)
- Shared with other systems: Once your data is ready to be consumed by new and existing analytic applications, marketing systems, CRM, or your fraud surveillance systems, it needs to be available in in real-time if required, in the right format, and structure as required by those applications and doing it in a way that is seamless, automated, and does not require heavy IT lifting.
In closing, IoT’s future is bright along with the additional insights gained from all that data. Consider it Cool or Creepy one thing is for sure, the IoT band wagon is in full swing!
In last 50-60 years, we have witnessed another revolution, through the invention of computing machines and the Internet – a digital revolution. It has transformed every industry and allowed us to operate at far greater scale – processing more transactions and in more locations – than ever before. New cities emerged on the map, migrations of knowledge workers throughout the world followed, and the standard of living increased again. And digitally available information transformed how we run businesses, cities, or countries.
Forces Shaping Digital Revolution
Over the last 5-6 years, we’ve witnessed a massive increase in the volume and variety of this information. Leading forces that contributed to this increase are:
- Next generation of software technology connecting data faster from any source
- Little to no hardware cost to process and store huge amount of data (Moore’s Law)
- A sharp increase in number of machines and devices generating data that are connected online
- Massive worldwide growth of people connecting online and sharing information
- Speed of Internet connectivity that’s now free in many public places
As a result, our engagement with the digital world is rising – both for personal and business purposes. Increasingly, we play games, shop, sign digital contracts, make product recommendations, respond to customer complains, share patient data, and make real time pricing changes to in-store products – all from a mobile device or laptop. We do so increasingly in a collaborative way, in real-time, and in a very personalized fashion. Big Data, Social, Cloud, and Internet of Things are key topics dominating our conversations and thoughts around data these days. They are altering our ways to engage with and expectations from each other.
This is the emergence of a new revolution or it is the next phase of our digital revolution – the democratization and ubiquity of information to create new ways of interacting with customers and dramatically speeding up market launch. Businesses will build new products and services and create new business models by exploiting this vast new resource of information.
The Quest for Great Data
But, there is work to do before one can unleash the true potential captured in data. Data is no more a by-product or transaction record. Neither it has anymore an expiration date. Data now flows through like a river fueling applications, business processes, and human or machine activities. New data gets created on the way and augments our understanding of the meaning behind this data. It is no longer good enough to have good data in isolated projects, but rather great data need to become accessible to everyone and everything at a moment’s notice. This rich set of data needs to connect efficiently to information that has been already present and learn from it. Such data need to automatically rid itself of inaccurate and incomplete information. Clean, safe, and connected – this data is now ready to find us even before we discover it. It understands the context in which we are going to make use of this information and key decisions that will follow. In the process, this data is learning about our usage, preference, and results. What works versus what doesn’t. New data is now created that captures such inherent understanding or intelligence. It needs to flow back to appropriate business applications or machines for future usage after fine-tuning. Such data can then tell a story about human or machine actions and results. Such data can become a coach, a mentor, a friend of kind to guide us through critical decision points. Such data is what we would like to call great data. In order to truly capitalize on the next step of digital revolution, we will pervasively need this great data to power our decisions and thinking.
Impacting Every Industry
By 2020, there’ll be 50 Billion connected devices, 7x more than human beings on the planet. With this explosion of devices and associated really big data that will be processed and stored increasingly in the cloud. More than size, this complexity will require a new way of addressing business process efficiency that renders agility, simplicity, and capacity. Impact of such transformation will spread across many industries. A McKinsey article, “The Future of Global Payments”, focuses on digital transformation of payment systems in the banking industry and ubiquity of data as a result. One of the key challenges for banks will be to shift from their traditional heavy reliance on siloed and proprietary data to a more open approach that encompasses a broader view of customers.
Industry executives, front line managers, and back office workers are all struggling to make the most sense of the data that’s available.
Closing Thoughts on Great Data
A “2014 PWC Global CEO Survey ” showed 81% ranked technology advances as #1 factor to transform their businesses over next 5 years. More data, by itself, isn’t enough for this transformation. A robust data management approach integrating machine and human data, from all sources and updated in real-time, among on-premise and cloud-based systems must be put in place to accomplish this mission. Such an approach will nurture great data. This end-to-end data management platform will provide data guidance and curate an organization’s one of the most valuable assets, its information. Only by making sense of what we have at our disposal, will we unleash the true potential of the information that we possess. The next step in the digital revolution will be about organizations of all sizes being fueled by great data to unleash their potential tapped.
Get connected. Be connected. Make connections. Find connections. The Internet of Things (IoT) is all about connecting people, processes, data and, as the name suggests, things. The recent social media frenzy surrounding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has certainly reminded everyone of the power of social media, the Internet and a willingness to answer a challenge. Fueled by personal and professional connections, the craze has transformed fund raising for at least one charity. Similarly, IoT may potentially be transformational to the business of the public sector, should government step up to the challenge.
Government is struggling with the concept and reality of how IoT really relates to the business of government, and perhaps rightfully so. For commercial enterprises, IoT is far more tangible and simply more fun. Gaming, televisions, watches, Google glasses, smartphones and tablets are all about delivering over-the-top, new and exciting consumer experiences. Industry is delivering transformational innovations, which are connecting people to places, data and other people at a record pace.
It’s time to accept the challenge. Government agencies need to keep pace with their commercial counterparts and harness the power of the Internet of Things. The end game is not to deliver new, faster, smaller, cooler electronics; the end game is to create solutions that let devices connecting to the Internet interact and share data, regardless of their location, manufacturer or format and make or find connections that may have been previously undetectable. For some, this concept is as foreign or scary as pouring ice water over their heads. For others, the new opportunity to transform policy, service delivery, leadership, legislation and regulation is fueling a transformation in government. And it starts with one connection.
One way to start could be linking previously siloed systems together or creating a golden record of all citizen interactions through a Master Data Management (MDM) initiative. It could start with a big data and analytics project to determine and mitigate risk factors in education or linking sensor data across multiple networks to increase intelligence about potential hacking or breaches. Agencies could stop waste, fraud and abuse before it happens by linking critical payment, procurement and geospatial data together in real time.
This is the Internet of Things for government. This is the challenge. This is transformation.
As a Tesla owner, I recently had the experience of calling Tesla service after a yellow warning message appeared on the center console of my car.” Check tire pressure system. Call Tesla Service.” While still on the freeway, I voice dialed Tesla with my iPhone and was in touch with a service representative within minutes.
|Me: A yellow warning message just appeared on my dash and also the center console.
Tesla rep: Yes, I see – is it the tire pressure warning?
Me: Yes – do I need to pull into a gas station? I haven’t had to visit a gas station since I purchased the car.
Tesla rep: Well, I also see that you are traveling on a freeway that has some steep elevation – it’s possible the higher altitude is affecting your car’s tires temporarily until the pressure equalizes. Let me check your tire pressure monitoring sensor in a half hour. If the sensor still detects a problem, I will call you and give further instructions.
As it turned out, the warning message disappeared after ten minutes and everything was fine for the rest of the trip. However, the episode served as a reminder that the world will be much different with the advent of the Internet of Things. Just as humans connected with mobile phones become more productive, machines and devices connected to the network become more useful. In this case, a connected automobile allowed the remote service rep to remotely access vehicle data, read the tire pressure sensor as well as the vehicle location/elevation and was able to suggest a course of action. This example is fairly basic compared to the opportunities afforded by networked devices/machines.
In addition to remote servicing, there are several other use case categories that offer great potential, including:
- Preventative Maintenance – monitor usage data and increase the overall uptime for machines/devices while decreasing the cost of upkeep. e.g., Tesla runs remote diagnostics on vehicles and has the ability to identify vehicle problems before they occur.
- Realtime Product Enhancements – analyze product usage data and deliver improvements quickly in response. e.g., Tesla delivers software updates that improve the usability of the vehicle based on analysis of owner usage.
- Higher Efficiency in Business Operations – analyze consolidated enterprise transaction data with machine data to identify opportunities to achieve greater operational efficiency. e.g., Tesla deployed waves of new fast charging stations (known as superchargers) based upon analyzing the travel patterns of its vehicle owners.
- Differentiated Product/Service Offerings – deliver new class of applications that operate on correlated data across a broad spectrum of sources (HINT for Tesla: a trip planning application that estimates energy consumption and recommends charging stops would be really cool…)
In each case, machine data is integrated with other data (traditional enterprise data, vehicle owner registration data, etc.) to create business value. Just as important to the connectivity of the devices and machines is the ability to integrate the data. Several Informatica customers have begun investing in M2M (aka Internet of Things) infrastructure and Informatica technology has been critical to their efforts. US Xpress utilizes mobile censors on its vast fleet of trucks and Informatica delivers the ability to consolidate, cleanse and integrate the data they collect.
My recent episode with Tesla service was a simple, yet eye-opening experience. With increasingly more machines and devices getting wireless connected and the ability to integrate the tremendous volumes of data being generated, this example is only a small hint of more interesting things to come.
We’ve posted three compelling new articles to the Potential at Work for Information Leaders site, including:
- “Will the real Chief Data Officer please stand up?” Some question the need for a new C-level position, arguing that a company’s chief information officer should be the one to oversee an organization’s data. Others argue the CIO is stretched too thin already and a new type of leader must emerge. Where do you stand?
- “Introducing a ‘define once, govern everywhere’ data management style” The sanity afforded by defining data standards only once and applying them anywhere will create time to investigate innovative uses for that data. Information leaders will be much more successful if they spend less time managing projects to recode the same rules across every new application, and instead work with business partners to identify new information opportunities.
- “Rise of the machines: the Internet of Things” Are devices that track our every move poised to unlock new potential in humankind or are they just downright invasive? While privacy remains a critical consideration, this article illustrates the global potential if we can effectively leverage big data to harness the emerging Internet of Things.
For these articles and many more, check out the Potential at Work for Information Leaders community today. Available in nine languages, this site will continue to feature fresh, new ideas to promote the value of information management from a variety of top technology leaders.
Hi everyone! Thanks for joining us for part three of three of this conversation. In this segment, Rick and I will talk about the Internet of Things. In the last part of our conversation we covered how quickly data is being generated. You can find Part 1 and Part 2 of this conversation on my Perspectives author page.
MB: If you think about the latest topic everyone has been talking about is the Internet of Things, and everything connected to the Internet. Let’s talk about what you think will happen from the machine side. In one example GE talks about their jet engines – a terabyte per day just from a single engine and the kind of the optimization and productivity that can come from that type of data control and insight if you will.
RS: There are a couple stories that relate to the Internet of Things. One that’s fascinating is a company in Boston called Ginger I/O that has come up with technology that can predict two days before you get depressed that you’re going to get depressed. When I first heard about this I was pretty skeptical. I met with the head of the company and he explained to me that each of us has a standard pattern of behavior related to travel and activity and two days before any of us show any outward signs of depression your smart phone can detect a change in your normal pattern.
For example determines that your normal radius of travel begins to shrink, the number of emails and tweets that you send goes down and the amount of time you spend at home goes up etc. He told us that people with diabetes have a high correlation of depression and when you get depressed you often have a high correlation of not taking your medicine. And the consequences of not taking your insulin if you have diabetes can be very severe. So people with diabetes are actually installing this program now on their own smartphones and they are setting up an alert that tells their doctor, their kids, their neighbor, their friends just to please check in on them.
Another story about two MIT computer scientists John Guttag and Collin Stultz who created a computer model to analyze formerly discarded EKG data of heart attack patients. By sifting through the massive quantities of data and identifying patterns that lead to greater heart attack risk, they’ve created a model that has the potential to significantly improve today’s risk-screening techniques, which misidentify roughly 70 percent of patients likely to have a repeat heart attack.
MB: Very interesting. So we use the term information potential to relate to all of the things that can happen after a bunch of data is gathered or sourced from somewhere to make it better, make it more ready to make great decisions, to get it to folks at the right time. So when you think about the potential of information in terms of the world what would be the one thing that you would bet on in achieving information potential?
RS: There’s so many examples, but there are a couple that I love because I think they’re unexpected. There is one company called ESRI that does very high resolution satellite mapping that government and cities use for understanding and visualizing cities. ESRI that there were villages in Nigeria that didn’t exist on any map, no one knew these people were there. The Nigerian government simply didn’t have any record that these people existed. The reason this was particularly important was that the Gates foundation was working with the Nigerian government to try to eradicate polio. Nigeria is one of the countries in the world that polio has made a major resurgence. By overlapping the satellite imagery with data coming from the 10,000 GPS enabled cell phones provided by Gates to the inoculation workers they are now able to map in real-time where these workers have been to make sure that every single family is inoculated. You wouldn’t think of using satellite data to eradicate polio in remote places in the developing world.
And look at the Google car where the vehicle is able to navigate at high speed utilizing existing data about the road and incorporating real time information including radar being bounced off the pavement so the car can “see” what’s happening three cars ahead.
MB: We’re really looking forward to seeing you in June for Informatica World. I think what you’ll see at the conference is another 2,000 people with 10,000 stories on how big data is going to change the world one small company or large company at a time. So, thanks so much for your time and we’re really looking forward to seeing you.
RS: Thank you, I can’t wait.
Thanks for your interest in this conversation between Rick and myself. We hope to see you next week in Las Vegas for Informatica World 2013!