Drive revenues with the IoT: Using big data as an engine of growth
Big data, fast data and the Internet of Things (IoT) – The ability to deal with an ever growing flood of data faster and more effectively is a major factor in any business’s competitiveness. Key decision makers face the challenge of efficiently exploiting big data and the IoT to fuel innovation, by understanding and satisfying customers’ needs better and more quickly, and thereby securing added value for their companies. Skilful analysis of these vast amounts of data can help a company to accelerate sales and growth. The technology expert, Swarm64, explains how companies can successfully master the flood of data created by the IoT.
Berlin / Oslo, 26th July 2017. From SmartHomes to networked vehicles – IoT is already an everyday reality for many consumers. At the same time, a vast amount of data is collected from all of these Internet-enabled devices and products; data that opens up a new world of possibilities for manufacturers. Big Data is becoming an ever more significant engine of growth for business. With market-disrupting innovations, current big players such as Amazon, Google and Facebook are exploiting the IoT in all sectors of daily life, and increasingly in industrial sectors too. A voice-controlled audio device that plays music and the news and answers questions, or a digital assistant that responds to voice commands, carrying out its owner’s wishes: These are just two examples of successful products already launched by the IoT giants. Other companies are now playing catch up and face the challenge of optimising their innovations to deal with Big Data. The expert, Dr. Karsten Rönner, Managing Director of Swarm64 (www.swarm64.com), explains how companies can overcome the technical challenges associated with Big Data and unlock the huge potential of IoT-enabled devices for their companies.
Unlock the full potential of Big Data with real-time analysis
The value of the IoT lies in the collection of ever more information, which can then beused to respond faster and more flexibly to events and customers’ needs. This increases customer satisfaction and, in turn, customer loyalty. Making the most of Big Data means being able to process and analyse the data almost instantaneously. When a customer, for instance, is on a car journey and only has a few kilometres’ worth of fuel left, she needs to be informed of the location of the next filling station in good time, not once she has already driven past it. This requires the real time collation, processing and analysis of data. “Speed is the key. If a company is not able to evaluate its data quickly enough, it will be overtaken by its competitors. Real-time analysis is therefore the core of any IoT strategy that is focused on growth and customer satisfaction”, explains Dr. Rönner.
Overcome the technical hurdles of the IoT
A range of technical issues face companies that offer networked devices. In many cases, the devices transmit data not as a continuous stream, but in no particular chronological order. What’s more, some of the data even gets lost during transmission, or is sent more than once. Then there’s the format of the data, which often differs from device to device. “Companies are faced with the challenge of sorting, classifying and analysing this data almost instantaneously. The response to events described by the data has to be quick enough to ensure that continuous processes and interactions with people can proceed with no noticeable delay”, adds Swarm64’s Dr. Rönner.
To deal with these challenges, Big Data’s giants have developed their own systems, managed and operated by specialists. However, these technologies and specialists are in short supply, which makes working with Big Data prohibitively expensive,especially for smaller businesses. At the same time, introducing new technologies takes time and, for many companies, implementation would simply take too long. Dr.Rönner recommends: “To benefit from the advantages of the IoT and Big Data quickly, companies must be able to leverage proven, readily available technologies. These technologies must also be able to satisfy the requirements for managing Big Data. The task, therefore, is to either create the necessary technical conditions, or to optimise existing technical infrastructure, so that data sets can be analysed quickly. The acceleration of already existing databases is one possible solution”.
Efficiently accelerating Big Data analysis
There are now a range of technical solutions designed to process and analyse Big Data. These include Business Intelligence Tools, which are also available in opensource versions. These programmes analyse the data once it has been saved in a database or a data warehouse. “With BI tools, valuable information can be efficiently extracted from vast pools of data, enabling companies to provide beneficial services for business analysis and customer interaction. But for real-time analysis, BI tools alone are not enough”, explains Dr. Rönner. In order to achieve real-time analysis, these tools need to be able to access a high-performance database.
One approach to solving the issue of accelerated data processing is provided by inmemory systems. These applications are special because they primarily store data in the working memory of a computer, which means it can be processed much faster than from a hard disk drive. Dr. Rönner continues: “For analytical applications, these systems are a good solution. However, if a company wants to keep large amounts of data in its database, in-memory systems are economically prohibitive because of the costs of purchasing and operating large in-memory database hard- and software”. The use of a data accelerator is also an option that enables companies to deal withBig Data. “In order to enable the real-time processing of Big Data within an existing IT system, we are the world’s first data acceleration provider to use FPGA technology and software algorithms optimised for FPGA. The accelerator is installed in a server together with an FPGA board, which makes it possible to process and analyse the vast amounts of data in real time with existing applications and at low cost”, says Dr.Rönner.
The Swarm64 data accelerator is compatible with three database systems, MySQL, PostgreSQL and MariaDB, and the company is currently working on supporting other database systems.
Irrespective of the technical solution a company ultimately opts for, every company needs to develop an integrated IoT strategy if it wants to secure its market position. Over the next few years, the IoT is going to shape every area of business and everyday life, and will therefore play a key role in the success of every company.
Swarm64 develops and supplies accelerators for relational databases to enable the real-time analysis of vast streams of high-velocity data. This is made possible thanks to the Swarm64 data accelerator (Swarm64SDA). This plug-in, developed by Swarm64, is compatible with three of the world’s leading database systems: MySQL, PostgreSQL and MariaDB. Thus, companies that already have one of these three compatible databases do not have to change their IT infrastructure and can use Swarm64 to analyse all of their data in real time. Founded in 2013, the company operates out of Oslo and Berlin. The company’s Managing Director is Dr. Karsten Rönner.
Additional information is available at: http://www.swarm64.com