Data analytics: the one ‘thing’ that will make the success of IoT a business reality

By James Eiloart, SVP, Tableau EMEA.

The role of data has become an essential driver and, some would say, disruptor to how we work today.It’s become so important in fact, that Gartner predicts more than 75% of companies will invest or are planning to invest in big data by the end of the year.

With more objects, devices and even buildings getting connected to the internet through the Internet of Things (IoT), we’re seeing an explosion of data creation by the second. This new landscape is allowing for greater business opportunities – from improving internal efficiencies like productivity and ROI, to assessing external activities like marketing initiatives and campaign performance – thanks to the insights gleaned from the data.

The data created by the IoT is diverse in its volume, source and complexity.And it is now generated everywhere, from monitoring tractors in fields, to charting footfall in high-street shops.

Take the recent launch of Royal Caribbean’s ‘Harmony of the Seas’ as an example.These ships are equipped to work with RFID ‘WOWbands’, where guests use bracelets to connect with a number of on-board experiences. In doing so, the company is able to effectively use the insights from the data to better understand and improve the customer experience.

Whilst the capabilities of the IoT enable organisations to combine data from multiple touchpoints, this is only valuable if the business knows how to make sense of it. To leverage data for business impact, this process should involve data collection, analysis, and collaboration across departments for businesses to get the most out of its investment.

Another important element that cannot be overstated is the genuine cultivation of a data-driven environment throughout the organisation.Having the right self-service visual analytics platform and encouraging employees from the top down to investigate business challenges by asking questions of their own data, is crucial to business success.

After all, data without proper analysis and human inquisition falls short of its promise. So, as the build-up around the IoT accelerates, the role of data and visual analytics is primed to grow in tandem. It will be the ability to harness and gain actionable insights from IoT data that will give businesses the greatest opportunity for a competitive edge.

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