Both Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are technologies that have something to do with more intelligent systems, but how similar or different are they?
For starters, let’s understand IoT. It is basically about making our products smarter and contextually aware. With IoT, we are embedding chips and sensors in products which traditionally were not known for their computing prowess. And, we are doing it for everything from wearables to car engines to refrigerators and so on.
Data is Equivalent to Being Smart
IoT companies are embedding chips and sensors in almost all devices and products. So, what will these chips and sensors accomplish? These chips and sensors will not bestow these devices with the capabilities of your personal computer, rather these components will empower these products to gather data. This data will store details on everything from machine status to the usage and even purchasing habits of their consumers.
IoT’s Efficiency Relies on Effective Data Transmission
For IoT-enabled devices to be smart and connected, companies will have to come up with an entirely new stack of technology infrastructure. This will include hardware that has been modified, software applications, and an operating system that will be embedded into the product. Along with that network, communications will be required in order to support connectivity and a product cloud that will contain the database. For all of this to be implemented successfully, there will also be need for a platform on which the foundation will be laid for building software applications that act as gateways for accessing device data. This in turn will allow that data to be communicated to other devices on the internet, thus connecting these products (or things) to business systems.
Enter Big Data
As the market sees an increase in connected devices, with more vendors jumping on the IoT bandwagon, it will also lead to an exponential increase of data that an enterprise is required to manage. And, this is the juncture where both these technologies intersect seamlessly. With the Internet of Things gaining traction, data will be spewing from all directions. Be it appliances, machinery, railway tracks, shipping containers, and so on. The real problem will be handling the data feeds.
With the Internet of Things in its infancy, the time is right to prepare and have adequate measures in place to deal with the wide deluge of data that will be coming. As opposed to IoT, Big Data has been on the scene for quite some time now. Due to this, powerful analytics tools capable of handling large, dynamic chunks of data are gradually becoming accessible to organizations. With IoT being the future, the adoption of big data is the only sensible strategy for businesses planning to get into the playing field.
Big Data, in many ways, is a prerequisite for technology to tap into the potential of the Internet of Things. Without the technology that allows intelligent data gathering and sorting, it will be impossible to sort through the huge amount of information flowing through various sensors embedded in devices.
So long story short – no, Big Data and IoT are not the same. But the two are intrinsically linked and needed for each to flourish.