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Everyone knows that data volumes are growing exponentially. What’s not so clear is how to unlock the value all of that data holds. Enterprises are struggling to figure out how to store, manage and derive any real business value from Big Data.

Part of the problem is that traditional databases just aren’t suited for mining Big Data insights. Legacy systems were designed decades ago, long before Big Data was a trend.

Enter Apache Hadoop, an open-source framework that enables the processing of large data sets in a distributed environment. With Hadoop, applications can be run on systems composed of thousands of nodes with thousands of terabytes data.

Gartner estimates the current Hadoop ecosystem market to be worth around $77 million. They expect that it will grow to $813 million by 2024. However, despite a few big-name backers, Hadoop is still relatively unproven in enterprise settings. Critics argue that while Hadoop works great as a processing platform, it’s not all that good with queries. The add-ons Hive and Pig both help with this, but Hadoop still isn’t quite a fully mature platform.

These startups intend to change that.

1. Alpine Data Labs

What they do: Provide data science solutions for Hadoop and Big Data

Headquarters: San Mateo, CA

CEO: Joe Otto, who previously ran Worldwide Sales for Greenplum, which is now part of EMC.

Founded: 2010

Funding: Alpine Data Labs is backed by a $7.5 million Series A round of funding from Sierra Ventures and Mission Ventures, along with EMC and Sumitomo Bank. The company is in the process of closing out a Series B round, which is expected to raise between $10 and $13 million.

Why they’re on this list: While there are a ton of Big Data tools entering the market, many companies still struggle to gain actionable insight from their mountains of data.

According to Alpine Data, part of the problem is that it’s much too difficult to get real insights out of Hadoop and other parallel platforms. Most companies don’t know what to do with massive datasets, and few have gotten any further with Hadoop than batch processing and basic querying.

Alpine Data set out to simplify machine-learning methods and make them available on petabyte-scale datasets. Their tools make these methods available in a lightweight web application with a code-free, drag-and-drop interface.

Alpine Data leverages the parallel processing power of Hadoop and MPP databases and implements data mining algorithms in MapReduce and SQL. Users interact with their data directly where it already sits and design analytics workflows without worrying about data movement or complex code. All this is done in a web browser, and Alpine Data then translates these visual workflows into a sequence of in-database or MapReduce tasks.

Alpine Data’s visual environment helps teams collaborate and quickly create and deploy analytics workflows and predictive models.

Customers include AT Kearney, Havas Digital, Zion Bank, Kaiser Permanente and CareCore

Competitors: SAS dominates this market, but other startups are moving into this space too, including Platfora, Skytree, Revolution Analytics and Rapid-I.

2. Cloudera

What they do: Provide a Hadoop-based Big Data Platform

Headquarters: Palo Alto, CA

CEO: Mike Olson, who was formerly CEO of Sleepycat Software, an embedded database company that was acquired by Oracle in 2006. After the acquisition, Olson spent two years at Oracle as VP for Embedded Technologies.

Founded: 2008

Funding: Cloudera has raised $140 million in venture capital to date. Its investors include Accel Partners Greylock Partners, Ignition Partners, In-Q-Tel and Meritech Capital Partners.

Why they’re on this list: Big Data is hot, and Cloudera is the pioneer that first developed a Hadoop-based platform for Big Data. Moreover, they’re sitting on a mountain of VC cash and have a solid management team.

Cloudera lets users query all of their structured and unstructured data and have a view beyond what’s available from relational databases. Cloudera recently released Impala, a new open-source interactive query engine for Hadoop that enables interactive querying on massive data sets in real time.

Customers include CBS Interactive, eBay, Expedia, Monsanto and Samsung.

Competitors: EMC Pivotal, Hortonworks, MapR. Intel recently joined the market as well, but it’s too early to tell how serious they are about this space.

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Big Data Calls For Big Storage

You can’t dig into Big Data storage without first discussing Big Data in general. Big Data is a concept that any IT professional or knowledge worker understands almost by instinct, as the trend has been covered so extensively.

Data has been growing exponentially in recent years, yet much of it is locked in application and database siloes. If you could drill into all of that data, if you could share it, if you could cross-pollinate, say, a CRM system with information from your marketing analytics tools, your organization would benefit. Easier said than done.

That, essentially, is the Big Data challenge.

Arguably, the concept of Big Data entered the public imagination with the publication of Michael Lewis’ Moneyballin 2003. Of course, the term “Big Data” is nowhere to be found in the book, but that’s what the book was about – finding hidden patterns and insights within the reams of data collected during each and every major league baseball game.

One statistic that has been buried – well, buried isn’t right; ignored is more accurate – was about drafting college players over high school players. College players have a track record. They have statistics that can be measured, and they played against at least a half-decent level of competition:

“[Bill James] looked into the history of the draft and discovered that “college players are a better investment than high school players by a huge, huge, laughably huge margin.” The conventional wisdom of baseball insiders – that high school players were more likely to become superstars – was also demonstrably false. What James couldn’t understand was why baseball teams refused to acknowledge that fact.”

Pushing past gathering raw information and onto challenging preconceptions is at the heart of Big Data. So, too, is discovering truths that no one would have ever suspected before.

However, in order to gain these new insights and to challenge our misconceptions, we must find ways to access all of that data, hidden away in all of those proprietary applications and databases.

That’s not just a Big Data problem. It’s also a management problem, and it’s most certainly a storage problem.

Just how much data is out there? No one knows for sure, of course, but IBM’s Big Data estimates conclude that “each day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data.” The exponential growth of data means that 90 percent of the data that exists in the world today has been created in the last two years. “This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, e-commerce transaction records, and cell phone GPS coordinates, to name a few.”

To put the data explosion in context, consider this. Every minute of every day we create:

• More than 204 million email messages

• Over 2 million Google search queries

• 48 hours of new YouTube videos

• 684,000 bits of content shared on Facebook

• More than 100,000 tweets

• 3,600 new photos shared on Instagram

• Nearly 350 new WordPress blog posts

Source: Domo

This volume of data could not be saved, collected and stored were it not for the fact that data storage is so incredibly cheap. Today, everything from tablets to desktops is sold with ever bigger hard drives. Why would you bother deleting anything when it’s so cheap and easy to store it?

Between 2000 and today, the cost of storage has plummeted from about $9/GB to a mere $.08/GB, and as soon as I typed that low price point, you can bet that downward price pressure has already made those numbers obsolete.

If you are a highly paid knowledge worker, it’s probably cheaper to store data than delete it, since the productivity lost while purging old files may well cost your organization more than the storage costs — unless you have to find something lost in this data maze for, say, regulatory compliance.

Data is collected from everywhere, but where is it stored? That’s the crux of the problem. It’s stored everywhere, as well. Typically, these data repositories – “data silos”– are application specific.

Big Data storage, then, is as much about managing data as about storing it.

In Big Data storage management, we’re encountering a problem we’ve dealt with many times before.

We haven’t yet figured out a workable Dewey Decimal system for data. We’re moving in the right direction, with such tools as hyperlinks and wikis. But most data in enterprise applications, email servers and social networks is not structured for easy sharing to other applications.

1. Unstructured data. There are two types of data in storage, structured and unstructured data. Structured data has a high degree of organization, and is typically stored in a relational database that can be easily searched.

Unstructured data is, obviously, not structured in any meaningful way, including such things as photographs, videos, MP3 files, etc. Unstructured data is difficult to search and analyze.

2. I/O barriers. If you’re dealing with something like mapping genomes, gathering information from the Mars Rover or running sophisticated weather simulations, the transaction volumes of these data sets challenge traditional storage systems, which don’t have enough processing power to keep up with the huge number of I/O requests.

Seven Apps That Make It Much Easier To Work Remotely

The internet has transformed the way we live and communicate with each other, which means it’s likely you have colleagues and clients spread across the world. With the right phone apps, you can make sure this geographical diversity doesn’t hurt productivity, and ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page (sometimes literally).

These collaboration apps don’t just have to be for the workplace, either—you may also find them useful for planning events or sharing information with family and friends.

1. Google Drive

Google Drive is free for Android and iOS.

2. Notion

If you’ve never heard of Notion, now you know what it looks like. Notion

One of the newer arrivals in the collaboration app space, Notion doesn’t have too many restrictions. In fact, its interface largely stays out of the way, leaving you (and your team) to use it however you like: as a free-form notepad, a place to manage tasks, a document library, or whatever else you need.

Notion is free or from $4 a month for Android and iOS.

3. Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper is, in some ways, a cut-down version of Google Docs. But that simplicity isn’t necessarily a negative—it makes it easier to focus on what you’re actually collaborating on. The app is essentially a free-form group notebook and document editor, giving you and your team space to work together on text, images, timetables, and more.

Dropbox Paper is free for Android and iOS.

4. Trello

Use Trello to keep your team on track… or to plan a new kitchen. Trello

Trello is one of those apps that looks pretty straightforward on the surface, but gets more complex (and useful) as you dig deeper. It’s also quite hard to explain, because at its core it’s just a bunch of cards sorted into a series of columns—but you can use those columns and cards in a host of different ways, depending on what your team needs.

Perhaps the most common way people use Trello is to keep track of projects: who’s doing what, how far along each task is, when deadlines are approaching, and so on. Users can tag cards with labels, due dates, usernames, and more, and if you upgrade from the free plan, you’ll get extras like board templates, app integration, and custom backgrounds.

Trello is free or from $10 a month for Android and iOS.

5. Evernote

Evernote has been around in some form since 2000, but it remains one of the best cross-platform note-taking and collaboration apps available. Evernote lets you easily and intuitively combine text, images, videos, links, lists, and more into a series of digital notebooks that can be tagged and categorized as you see fit.

Evernote is free or from $5 a month for Android and iOS.

6. Slack

Toby had better talk about office pets in that culture meeting. Slack

A staple of offices around the world, Slack is on a mission to make it easier for teams to work together, without getting weighed down by endless email chains or round-the-clock meetings. The strength of Slack lies not in what it is—a real-time chat client, basically—but in how well it implements that idea.

Slack is free or from $6.67 a month for Android and iOS.

7. Google Keep

We started with Google and we’ll end with Google (we told you it was good at web apps). Google Keep looks simple on the surface, but it’s actually quite a sophisticated note-taking and collaboration app, enabling you to share photos, text, lists, and links with other people. If you need to, you can quickly convert Notes into files for Google Docs, too.

When it comes to managing notes, tou’ve got plenty of flexibility. They can be color-coded, linked to reminders, and tagged with custom labels for easier organization (like work, family, or shopping). Sharing a note with one or more people is as simple as tapping the Collaborator option and entering email addresses.

Google Keep is free for Android and iOS.

Practical Gifts That People Will Love

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Written By Jen McCaffery

Published Nov 3, 2023 5:00 PM

Indulgent gifts are exciting, but there’s just something about a gift you didn’t know you needed that now makes your life easier every day. While they may not all have wow factor, these practical picks help solve problems for everyone on your list. And many of them are designed so that your gift recipient will be proud to show them off. Here are some of our favorites that are available right now:

Best for travelers: Gravel Explorer PLUS & Explorer SLIM Combo Pack Best for outdoors enthusiasts: YETI Rambler 14-ounce Mug

When you’re out camping, the last thing you want is to get fussy about your dishware. That’s why the YETI Rambler Mug is a great gift for any outdoors enthusiast. The stainless-steel Rambler doubles as a bowl, so it’s great for both coffee and chili. The mug comes with a sliding lid for reliable access, an easy-grip handle, and is available in a range of fun colors and sizes (10-ounce, 14-ounce, and 24 ounces). You can also order versions for your company, school, or get one engraved for a more personalized touch.

Best for new photographers: Qubii Photo Storage Drive

That relative who never quite gets around to saving their family photos on an external drive or the cloud? Save them from oblivion by giving them the Qubii Photo Storage Drive. Compatible with Apple devices, the Qubii automatically backs up your photos, videos, and contacts while charging your phone. All they need is a USB port. It comes in versions with SanDisk microSD cards (128GB and 256GB) and solo (just add your own microSD).

Best for new homeowners: Le Creuset Dutch Oven

It may not be the most comforting thought when considering a gift, but the Le Creuset Dutch Oven will likely outlive your gift recipient. There’s a reason this classic line shows up on so many registries. Made of cast iron and enamel and available in a range of rich colors and sizes (3 quarts, 5.25 quarts, and 8 quarts) the Le Creuset Dutch Oven can serve up everything from seafood stew to short ribs. This durable piece can stand up to the heat of the stove and oven and still look beautiful on the table for decades to come.

Best for fitness buffs: lululemon Studio Mirror

A fitness mirror might not seem like a practical gift at first glance. But lululemon’s Studio Mirror is worth the splurge—and it’s almost half off if you use the code “LLSTUDIO700”. Unlike other home fitness equipment, this elegant brushed steel-and-glass mirror blends easily into any decor. The corresponding fitness platform (sold separately by subscription) provides a portal to more than 10,000 workouts from some of the top fitness instructors around without having to leave your home. And the 5-megapixel camera and high-fidelity surround-sound audio make workouts a truly immersive experience—no hiding in the back row. Adding to the practicality is that it’s also just a mirror for when you’re getting ready for work or a night out and want to admire the results of all that cardio, yoga, etc.

Best for cleaning: Eufy Handheld Vac

Little messes have a way of materializing: dust on a bookshelf, crumbs on a car seat, spilled sugar on a kitchen counter. They don’t all warrant breaking out a super-sized vacuum, though. The Eufy Handheld Vac makes cleanup easy. The handheld device weighs just 1.2 pounds, but it comes with an impressive 5500pa of suction power, a crevice attachment for those difficult-to-reach places, and a washable filter. All you need is a USB port to charge it and it will last for 20 minutes—plenty of time to make quick work of a little mess.

Best for foodies: Disco Hot Sauce

People have strong opinions about hot sauce, but a pick like this medium-hot offering by Disco can help bridge the divide. Made with all-natural ingredients—including jalapeno and habanero peppers; pineapple; cider vinegar; orange and lemon juice; brown sugar; garlic; and salt—this hot sauce is light and sweet. It pairs well with everything from eggs to wings to stir fry and cocktails. And at this price, you can stock up.

Best for the absent-minded: Tile Mate Tracker

That person who’s always scrambling for their keys, phone, purse? You will greatly cut down on the wasted time spent searching with the gift of the Tile Mate Tracker. Just have them attach the Bluetooth-enabled tracker to their keychain and set up the app. Then they can use the app to make the tile ring so they can locate their device. The giftee can also use voice commands, as the Mate is also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. It reaches a radius of about 200 feet, but if you want more reach, you can opt for the Tile Pro for a few more dollars and up to 400 feet of range.

If you’ve got a dedicated griller in your life, you can help make the months when the Weber in the backyard is blanketed in snow a little easier to take. Place the Lekue Microwave Grill in the microwave, and its slats heats up just like a grill’s. Enjoy the taste of the grill with fish, chicken, meat, vegetables, and more. Plus, this ingenious device doubles as a panini maker. And when they’re done? The non-stick surface is easy to clean: Just toss it in the dishwasher.

Best for concertgoers: Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs

Buying surprise concert tickets for someone can get dicey—even if you know they love the artist, it’s hard to make sure their calendar is and will remain open before they get the gift. Or that they won’t just buy tix themselves. But something you can do is improve every concert experience with reusable earplugs. Low-profile, with a carrying case and multiple sizes of eartips (just like your favorite wireless earbuds), the Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs use an attenuating filter in the central sound tube to reduce harmful sound levels by 22dB without muffling what is heard. This improves everything from performances to weird conversations in the bathroom line. These earplugs may only cost $30 (stash an extra pair in the car for yourself or a forgetful friend), but someone preserving their hearing is a priceless gift that keeps on giving.

Best for cinephiles: ViewSonic M1 Mini Projector

That friend who always knows the best new series to stream? They’re going to love you when you make it possible for them to create a truly cinematic experience from wherever they are. The ViewSonic M1 Mini Projector packs plenty into its .6 pounds. It’s designed with a USB port that lets the user just plug in and play with a dongle or other device. It provides vivid colors and its JBL speakers ensure a quality audio experience. The battery life of up to 1.5 hours won’t get viewers through an especially long binge, but you can’t beat the portability. (Know someone really into gaming? There’s a projector just for that.)

Best for people who eat at their desks: MagicFiber Extra Large Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Honest question: How much gunk is stuck to your computer or smartphone screen right now? It’s a lot, isn’t it? That’s OK. We’re not here to judge. We can help, though. These extra-large microfiber cloths are about the size of a hand towel and can clean the crud off just about anything with a screen or lens. It may seem like a lame gift until your recipient sees their screen in brilliant, soy-sauce-speckle-free clarity. — Stan Horaczek

Best for sustainability: Lifx LED Light Bulb

There are lots of smart light bulbs on the market, but the Lifx bulb simplifies the process of upgrading. They don’t require a hub like most of the other Wi-Fi bulbs, they throw out the equivalent light of a 75-watt bulb, and best of all, they work natively with all of the different smart assistants, like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. — Stan Horaczek

Best for the business travelers: Polardo Travel Clothes Steamer

No matter how carefully you pack, clothes always look a little wrinkled when you take them out of the suitcase. But the Polardo Travel Clothes Steamer will keep the business traveler in your life from looking like a hot mess. Designed to work with tap water, it comes with an electronic pump system and steam channeling that let you steam at any angle without dripping water on your clothes. With 120 volts of power, the steamer heats up in less than 25 seconds and is safe on a range of fabrics, from wool and cotton to satin and embroidery and sequins. Plus, at 3.4-inches long by 7.7-inches high and weighing just over a pound, it won’t take up too much precious space in a carry-on.

Best for handy people: Yala Life GeeKey Pocket Tool

Is there a person you go to when you need something fixed stat? Or maybe you do it yourself. Either way, the GeeKey Pocket Tool incorporates the functionality a handy person needs in a durable, stainless steel unit that’s designed to be attached to a keychain. Multiple screwdriver and open and closed wrench capabilities can handle an array of quick projects, while the protractor makes sure you get them precisely right. And the can and bottle opener will always come in handy.

Best for home office: Anker 10-Port USB Data Hub

Computers are getting slimmer, but that means they’re also getting stingier with their USB ports. This 10-port dock has seven high-speed USB-3 data and charging ports, as well as three high-power 2.1 Amp charging-specific ports for faster top-offs. Not bad for a device the size of a candy bar. Note: Actual candy bars also make good gifts, but they’re not very practical. — Stan Horaczek

Transformative Role Of Big Data Across Industries

We’ve all heard the buzzword “Big Data“ and frankly you maybe even a bit tired of hearing it. Although the term is too generic and often improperly used, it is not just a hype. It’s a quiet revolution. The age of data-driven management has already arrived and those that don’t adapt will be stomped out by competition. Let’s look at some of the industries which have already been transformed by the use of Big Data analytics.

Retail Industry

Creating a seamless user experience and managing multiple-channel customer interaction is essential. For example, a consumer might begin researching a product on a mobile app, purchase it online and pick it up at a store. Coordinating this multi-channel shopping interaction requires a business to effectively manage, integrate and understand this vast array of data coming at a non-stop pace. For example, you may figure out that certain video game is extremely popular but which of your customers order it online and which ones prefer to go to the store is a key question that can drive personalized marketing campaigns with a greater ROI. The following infographic from business and technology consulting firm Wipro explains further.

Supply Chain

Figuring out the shortest route from the distribution center to the store and having a balanced stock in each distribution center drives huge savings in operating costs. The Boston Consulting Group analyzes how big data is being used in supply chain management in the article “Making Big Data Work: Supply Chain Management“. One of the examples provided is how the merger of two delivery networks was orchestrated and optimized using geoanalytics. The following graphic is from that article.

Banking & Insurance

In both banking and insurance sector the name of the game is Risk Management. A bank issues you a loan or a credit card and they make money on the interest rate. Besides obvious risk of you not paying of your debt there is another risk which is you paying off your debt prematurely and thus generating less revenue for the bank.

Predictive analytics has been in use since the 90’s to identify the interest rates thresholds which result in early payoff / reduced loan interest rate income for the banks. In the financial world a single transaction is the key building block of huge amounts of data that are then analyzed with predictive models and based on trending on massive scale allow for categorization of customer profiles that can predict risk associated with individual users. Banks can model their clients’ financial performance on multiple data sources and scenarios. Data science can also help strengthen risk management in areas such as cards fraud detection, financial crime compliance, credit scoring, stress-testing and cyber analytics.

In the insurance world it also boils down to customer profiles – if the premium is too high (the offer is not a good fit to customer profile) they may switch to another insurance company. To contrast this, if you have a risky car driver your offering is costing your insurance company more in claims than it does in the insurance rate or premiums. Figuring out which customers are more risk-prone than others allows for custom tailored offers that mitigate the risk of losing a good customer or losing money on a bad customer. A good example of how technology is disrupting this field is the Snapshot device which transmits data about when customers drive, how often they drive, and how hard they brake.

It is not expensive and it is available now

According to the Accenture study the main reason why business owners aren’t implementing their Big Data ideas is the perception that it is very expensive. They would have been right 10 years ago. Not anymore.

Microsoft’s Power BI platform allows small and medium sized business owners to harvest the power of Big Data analytics without any technical expertise. Also, because it’s a platform it comes with insightful industry-specific BI tools – there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, you can start using the same reports that big players use, for a fraction of the cost. Using real-time business data, Power BI delivers crisp, clear dashboards that assist managers to comprehend where their business stands today, how it performed historically, and what can be done for future success.

Besides savings, on implementation costs (which can be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars) your maintenance costs are virtually zero dollars. The Microsoft team not just keeps the platform running smooth, but improves and updates features as the market evolves, so you know that you will always get the latest industry-adopted reporting standards on your laptop, mobile or any other device anywhere you are.

Where Big Data And Physical Markets Meet

by Yaniv Vardi

The industrial revolution occurred in the 18th century, ushering in the industrial age, which continued through the 20th century.  On its heels, began the information age, which is ongoing, according to most experts.  While the industrial age focused on automation and mass manufacturing, the information age is based on today’s extensive communication infrastructure, which has enabled access to virtually endless information. 

The Evolution of Data

Historically, products were classified into tangible products and non-tangible services.  Marketing theories have narrowed this distinction (tangible and non-tangible goods), to what is known as the “goods and services continuum,” a model in which some products are an obvious combination of purely tangible goods and associated services. 

Until recently, information was considered too abstract a commodity to be classified as either a good or a service. Even intangible services were thought to require some physical presence, whether in their delivery or effect, to actualize their utility. Platonic information – or data as we so commonly refer to it today – was generally reserved for matters of education, statecraft or religious studies. 

Yet, as businesses and technologies evolved, the data produced on sales, profit margins and trends began to influence corporate decisions, bringing information to the enterprise. While this general connection became clear, the specific connection between any specific parcel of information and its impact on business decisions remained as nebulous as ever.

Still, confident in the belief that within the knot of data there was somewhere a thread connecting information to decision, prospectors became convinced of incredible latent value. What the California Gold Rush was physically, the Silicon Valley Data Rush was virtually. The treasure was there, simply waiting to be mined.

The Data Rush was further enabled by the proliferation of connectivity, giving birth to the “always on” culture, which, when combined with social networks, GPS, digitization, online searches and ecommerce transactions, has created a mass of information, commonly coined “Big Data.”

Big Data has become so big and so pervasive that it’s spun an entirely new economic market. Many argue that while Wall Street rushes to confer enormous valuations upon Big Data enterprises, the information they collect has no inherent value. (If you think back to Facebook’s IPO, consider the massive disparity in analyst valuations.) 

With the rise of information as a product, it’s worth asking “Are we witnessing a fundamental rearrangement of the global economy? Is data replacing physical goods and services as the premier engine of economic growth?”

While some may disagree, I respond uncompromisingly in the negative. The value of the data economy must come in its potential to enhance conventional markets, even if it’s a long and windy road from A to Z. Any value claimed beyond this, I contend, is nothing more than hot air – a bubble pumped up on animal spirits and undisciplined speculation.

Mark my words, the real engine of tomorrow’s global economy will be where Big Data and physical markets meet.

Enter the Internet of Things

Today, we are beginning to understand the incredible value that can be realized by coupling highly contextualized data with existing products and processes. The Internet of Things (IoT) – wherein traditionally non-responsive objects become dynamic interfaces constantly collecting, communicating and adjusting to data – has opened the path for organizations to zero in on the hidden points of micro-friction in their processes and thus improve efficiencies.

The Internet of Things is the paradigm of the type of value-generating convergence of Big Data and physical markets to which I refer. At the heart of the Internet of Things, are (weight, temperature, energy, etcetera) sensors and increasingly agile, quick, and sophisticated data processing techniques and tools.

Increasingly, every human and machine act is being catalogued and examined for any and all useful revelations. Consider transactional data, which provides customer insights and purchasing trends, or social data taken from social media. These datasets are being leveraged to evermore successful effect by enterprises looking to create real value throughout their operations – from internal efficiencies through commercialization and marketing strategies.

Deloitte has highlighted key trends in analytics that will influence the business world in the coming years, in what they coin “the next evolution”.  The growth of IoT will similarly have a high impact on businesses in the coming years, affecting consumer products and business models.

Aggregation of data and data analysis will facilitate the creation of new products, markets and services. Analytics will expand across all facets of enterprise, with businesses increasingly investing in Big Data infrastructure and technologies. Such data-driven insights will support decision-making processes.

What we’re witnessing is not the replacement of physical markets with digital markets, but the perfection of physical markets through digital markets.

According to BI Insider, while there were 10 billion devices connected to the internet as of 2024, the volume of connected devices will grow to reach 34 billion by 2023. Fueling this bonanza is the nearly $6 trillion expected to be spent on IoT solutions through 2023.

Big Data Explodes

So how big exactly is this data?

According to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion (a quintillion has 18 zeros) bytes of data each day. Sales of Big Data and business analytics applications, tools, and services reached $122 billion in 2024 and are projected to increase over 50% to reach $187 billion by 2023, according to IDC. 

Services related revenues are projected to account for over half of this market, followed by software and business analytics. The manufacturing industry will be the largest consumer of Big Data and associated technologies, accounting for close to $23 billion of the aforementioned Big Data sales.

The immenseness of the data produced daily creates challenges, as enterprises and organizations scramble to translate the data into value and data-driven business models. Data scientists and analysts are in such demand that analysts are warning of talent gaps in the near future. A similar demand is projected for managers who know how make data-driven decisions on processes and strategies.

Harness the Power of IoT and Big Data

The Big Data created and stored in an enterprise is unstructured. Rapid analytics are required in order to create the practical insights, which can improve margins and efficiencies. Platforms such as the open source Hadoop or IBM’s Watson offer data processing and analytical tools, which can identify trends, predict behaviors, detect patterns and enhance responsiveness – forging new opportunities for businesses, and improving relationships with customers.  

Similarly, IoT-enabled operations analytics platforms identify trends in operations and manufacturing, enabling companies to improve their efficiencies, more accurately manage controls, better track inventory and ultimately pad their bottom lines. Intelligent energy monitoring and analysis, for example, can detect anomalies and automatically generates actionable energy insights to reduce consumption and machine downtime while eliminating failures altogether.

New Economic Model

Put simply, Big Data and physical markets meet through the Internet of Things, and this convergence drives profit. Integration of data-driven decisions and processes as part of an enterprise’s physical operations creates remarkable value via improved efficiencies, increased productivity, and novel product offerings.

While physical markets aren’t going anywhere and the rise of the data economy does not signal a new world order, there can be no doubt that the Data Rush has altered the face of the commercial landscape forever, for the better.

Author Bio:

Yaniv Vardi is the CEO of Panoramic Power, a leader in device level energy monitoring and performance optimization.

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