Big Data and the Internet of Things

Mobile Man / Tuesday, December 15, 2015

It has become seemingly impossible in today’s world to ignore the incredible amount of data that is being produced. In recent years, we have produced more data in just a couple of months than we produced in the entire history of humanity. That is, until the next year, where the process repeats itself. It’s not just the amount of data that is increasing either. We’re also collecting data from more sensors than ever before: from cars to heart rate monitors to connected kitchens, the list goes on (and upward).

In today’s post we’re going to have a look at how much data we’re currently creating, and a look towards what we’re expecting for the future of Big Data.

To start things off, the Data Never Sleeps 2.0 infographic holds a host of incredible stats on how much data was generated every minute in 2014. Figures such as 2,460,000 Facebook content shares, Amazon making $83,000 in online sales, and users uploading 72 hours of new video content to YouTube.

With stats taken from 2011-13 plus a future prediction from Gartner, we can start to see the direction data creation is going:

The huge jump expected in the next 5 years makes this an exponential graph of sorts, indicating that it’s going to keep rising at a continually increasing rate. Keep in mind that the graph above is measured in zettabytes (ZB) – 1 of which accounts for 1 billion terabytes (TB).

As well as data growth, Gartner have predicted the state of the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2016. Considering the graph above, the particularly savvy among you should be able to make your own prediction of what the future holds for the IoT. The latest forecast looks something like this:

“In 2016, the IoT will grow at a rate of 5,500,000 ‘things’ each day, encompassing a total of nearly 6,400,000,000 connected devices; a 30% gain over this year’s expected total of 4,900,000,000. By 2020, that figure will shoot up to 20,700,000,000 units.”

These are just a sample of some of the astounding figures, statistics, graphs and the like that can be found regarding data creation. It stands testament to just how much data is actually out there, as without these visualizations it’s quite unfathomable. It also paints the picture of a quite obvious trend: we (and basically everyone in the world) are creating more data at an exponential rate. This isn’t to say that is a bad thing, as we are quite equipped to store it all. The real question is; how do we harness it all? With so much data out there, could it be that we don’t connect it enough, or use it to its full potential?

Tell me more!

Since the topics we’re discussing cover such a wide spread of information, before we answer those questions we thought a couple of definitions would get everyone up to speed.

Big Data

Big Data simply denotes the (very) large volume of both structured and unstructured data which is produced and collected by computers. Why is it important? Well, it’s not so much the data itself but what you can do with it. Analyzing such huge quantities lets you find answers to enable cost and time reductions within organizations.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to devices that collect and transmit data via the internet. While the phrase has only recently become popular, the terminology dates back to the ‘70s. ATM’s were one of the first IoT objects. And there were more objects connected to the internet in 2008 than there were people.

How are Big Data and IoT being used?

So, it should be clear by now that all of us are creating a lot of data on a lot of devices. But how exactly is it being used?

Big Data has changed the way we use business information and helps us derive crucial insights from it. It has the power to affect almost every industry: Education, Government, Health Care, Manufacturing and beyond. The Banking industry can minimize risk and fraud while maintaining regular compliance, while the Retail industry can discover the best ways to market to customers and handle transactions.

In the future, IoT will mean that anything that can be connected, will be connected.” Vehicles are next on this list. Besides Google’s self-driving car project, it is expected that 250,000 vehicles will be connected to the internet by 2020. Imagine if your car already knew the best route to take to the morning meeting that was scheduled in its dashboard calendar? Similarly, imagine traffic is heavy, your car could send a text to the person you’re meeting with to say you might be late. The possibilities are endless, which is why the IoT is growing so rapidly. Indeed, even cows are getting the IoT treatment.

Reap the rewards

The good news is that with a constant stream of data, you get more ways to use it to benefit your company.

  • Get a better overview of your sales CRM and see who’s doing the best.
  • Wearable tech such as the Fitbit wellness program offers a service to help improve workers health, productivity and retention.
  • As more and more employees work in an analytics-based culture, Big Data lets them solve problems faster and make more agile business decisions.
  • Vehicle sensors such as those used by UPS monitor daily performance.


ReportPlus can help you visualize data from this multitude of sources and combine it on one dashboard. Access your data no matter where it’s stored from virtually every data source available. You can also share the insights that Big Data and the IoT provide you with in the Cloud for easy sharing with Dropbox, Google Drive or Infragistics Cloud. Get ahead of the curve by capitalizing on Big Data today.