What is IoT analytics?
IoT (Internet of Things) by definition includes anything (device) that can connect to the internet in any way, or is within a network of connected objects that collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. IoT analytics measures the usage and engagement with these products to improve performance, reliability, and security.
Examples of IoT technology
Our smart world is now more connected than ever before —every industry is dabbling with IoT technology with both consumer and enterprise applications. Here are just a few examples:
Wearables: Fitness trackers and watches no longer just count steps or tell time. With a connected device, you can now compete with your friends on activity, send text messages and even talk on the phone, all through your wrist on a smart watch.
Smart Home: Appliances and home security systems are now online and connected. While away from your home you can preheat the oven, adjust the bedroom temperature, run the dishwasher, see who’s at the door or turn off the lights.
Healthcare: From bluetooth hearing aids to remote health monitoring for blood pressure and heart rate, health professionals can now track the well-being of their patients and individuals can have better records of their health history with connected medical devices.
Voice Activated: Ask Alexa, Siri, or Google to add things to your shopping list, read the morning news, order an Uber, check the weather or set a timer. These helpful devices are your digital personal assistants and are connected to the internet. This allows software upgrades to be pushed over the internet to improve functionality without having to purchase a new device.
Industrial: Smart devices are used to automate and optimize thousands of operational activities across manufacturing, logistics, supply chain, transportation, auto, energy, and many more industries. With the convergence of IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology), internet-connected IoT devices are creating “smart factories” that boost productivity and efficiency.
Why use IoT analytics?
The IoT industry continues to gain widespread adoption and is projected to reach $1.29 trillion in 2020. As the number of connected devices grows exponentially, companies are struggling to make sense of the plethora of data generated. The datasets are more complex, less structured and are generated in greater volumes than ever before. This new environment demands tools and skill sets that most IT departments don’t yet have and they often have difficulty adapting or improving operations without IoT analytics.
As an example, consider a vacuum manufacturer. Just a decade ago, prior to IoT analytics, vacuums were just an offline (“dumb”) household device sold to customers at a retail store, and the customer journey all but stopped once the customer mailed the warranty back to the manufacturer. Today, an internet-connected vacuum makes for a better consumer experience, while IoT analytics simultaneously improves the manufacturer’s product development. For example, a “smart vacuum” provides the manufacturer visibility into how customers are using its product, including scheduled cleaning times, length of use, frequency of use, square footage cleaned, distance traveled, unexpected errors, and dozens of other data points from each use. Leveraging IoT analytics, the manufacturer better understands the most popular features, optimal battery capacity, average daily usage patterns and can fix any unanticipated issues through an over the air software update. This treasure trove of new insights was previously undiscoverable before IoT analytics and helps drive customer satisfaction, user retention and better product design in the long-term.
A well-designed IoT analytics program only collects the most relevant data points that are interesting to their product for analysis. Once a tool is properly implemented, a company no longer needs to rely on data scientists or IT to marry all of the different data sources, analyze the data and share insights. Now, any business user and all curious individuals at the company can ask product questions and get answers easily.
How to deploy IoT anaytics?
With a product analytics tool (Mixpanel) you can track any IoT action that occurs — When evaluating vendors, companies should consider the devices and data sources they’ll need to track to ensure that the potential vendor has open APIs and can collect all desired actions/events. An ideal IoT analytics vendor will have a simple, user-friendly interface, a proven track record of working with other IoT devices, and provides self-serve analysis functionality to reduce the burden of requests to your data science and analyst teams.