You’ve probably known for a while that your car has a “Black Box” that can track and record data about how you drive. It’s part of the car’s safety system. Already installed in 90 percent of new cars in the United States, as of September 2014 they’ll be mandatory.
That black box is also part of the Internet of Everything. Think about it. That data — how you drive, your speed, your braking — will soon be combined with data from “wearables” that monitor your heart rate, breathing, your position to enable things like accident reconstruction, auto insurance rates and data for automotive engineers working on the next generation of safety features.
And if that sounds like Big Data – well, it is! Put that data together with the Internet of Everything and robust analytics and you’ve got yourself game-changing potential.
“Big Data” has only been part of the Internet landscape since 2008 when first coined by BubblewrApp CEO Haseeb Budhani. As a buzzword, the term caught on like wild fire.
Out of necessity, the need to control Big Data spread just as fast. This was especially true with Fortune 500 companies collecting data sets so large and so complex they exceeded the capacity of traditional data processing applications.
As data is created by billions of sensors embedded in everything from cars, wearables, traffic lights, medical devices and thermostats, the Internet of Things (IoT) can be useful – enabling automation by machine-to-machine communication.
But it’s the Internet of Everything (IoE) where the most effective data solutions — and the promise of Big Data — come to life. In the IoE, people, process, data, and things meet analytics, bringing intelligence to these connections, creating endless possibilities and solutions.
Padraic Sheerin, who leads a team of data scientists at Allstate in Belfast, Northern Ireland, says Big Data and the IoE is changing his business now. But it’s the future that holds tremendous promise.
"In my own industry, there are now in-car monitoring systems and mobile applications which track how you drive, which we have already rolled out in the USA to hundreds of thousands of customers, and it could be a gamechanger.
"We can now formulate a premium or a quote on how you drive, your speed, your braking, as opposed to your age or where you live – it will change how we price products, it will improve driving habits."
Here’s the exciting part: "In future there will be sensors attached to everything we use, even our bodies," says Sheerin. "These wearable technologies will drive business models that don't yet exist.”
Big Data is big
But before we get there, lots of organizations are still getting up to speed on how to turn today’s data into knowledge.
"For some organizations, facing hundreds of gigabytes of data for the first time, it may trigger a need to reconsider data management options. For others, it may take tens or hundreds of terabytes before data size becomes a significant consideration," says Roger Magoulas, director of research at O'Reilly.
A Big Data solution must not only meet a company’s needs in the here-and-now, but also in the future. Today there are only a handful of networking platforms that have developed solutions, and are moving as quickly and in tandem with the exponential growth of Big Data.
When big brands have access to connectivity at href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2014/04/18/can-high-speed-internet-spark-better-paying-jobs/">1-gigabit-per second or faster they are in need of fiber optic networks that operate at top efficiency. For example, a company like the Shelby, N.C.-based firmRST Fiber Optic Networks has been able to install high-level architecture to transfer and analyze Big Data at those speeds.
“Without more bandwidth, those changes are very difficult to make. It is impossible to download or move the information fast enough. A 1-gigabit connection makes that possible,” says RST’s co-founder Dan Limerick. As a direct result of their vendor-partner, who helped them design that architecture,North Carolina is on their way in becoming the first "gigabit state."
Moving beyond traditional IT solutions to take advantage of Big Data intelligence, organizations are on the hunt for innovative approaches that can capture the value of the IoE for real-time better business outcomes.
And as Sheerin says, these technologies are poised to bear new business models only possible thanks to the confluence of Big Data, devices, and high-speed connections , and most importantly, people.