A Secret Connection Between Big Data And The Internet Of Things

Big data and the Internet of Things: Two sides of the same coin


In 2017, phrases like big data and the internet of things (IoT) are on everyone’s lips. Still, how many people truly understand what’s going on? On the one hand, there are those claiming that these are two sides of the same coin, while some others tend to shake their heads in disapproval and start listing all the differences between the two terms. Be that as it may, it is more than evident that the two share a strong bond and that the correlation between them surpasses what meets the eye. With this in mind, here are a few things you need to know about this secret connection between big data and the internet of things.

1.IOT and big data: What’s the difference?

The first thing you will probably ask is what some differences and similarities between the two are. Well, as far as the similarities go, both of them are oriented towards gathering insane amounts of data, but the most transparent difference is the nature of that data and its purpose. For instance, big data is both human- and sensor-generated data and it is primarily oriented on the longer-duration use. We are talking about data which could enable and help predictive maintenance and planning. On the other hand, the focus of the IOT is more on the real-time action. We are mostly thinking about operational optimization of various digital activities (security breach detection, real-time bidding and other kinds of high-urgency responses). Furthermore, in order for IOT analytics to yield any significant results, they also rely on things like edge analytics and streaming data management.

To make a long story short, in order for IOT analytics to be valid, the data analysis needs to take place in real-time In other words, it deals with great amounts of low latency and low duration information, which is being gathered from highly sophisticated sensors. This is where big data comes to the rescue. In order to transform all of this info into distinguishable patterns, they need to be set against the big data.

2.The Mauritius conference

Another way to show just how deep the rabbit hole goes is to take a closer look at the 2014 Mauritius conference. Here, the group of high-profile representatives from scientific and business circles gathered in order to reach a mutual agreement regarding both big data and the IOT. Most of them were concerned with privacy issues, seeing how the issues may come to play a huge role in the next few years, as the IOT starts gaining more and more ground. You see, in 2015 alone , there were over 15.4 billion connected devices, and this number is expected to reach almost 75.4 billion just 10 years later. The figures regarding the overall value of this market seem even more impressive.

3.Big data tips

One of the greatest misconceptions regarding big data lies in the fact that most people have no clue how to approach it. First of all, seeing how one needs to process insane quantities of data, they need hardware that can keep up. We are talking about a setup which consists of Intel i7 CPU, NVidia GTX 1070 GPU or better and at least 32GB of RAM memory.

Next, it requires the user to develop a specific mindset in order to be able to treat data as an asset that can be reused. You see, with the internet of things, one is mostly dealing with single-purpose information, while with big data, you never know when you may need the piece of information you came across a moment ago. Finally, in order for this to work as it should, one needs to develop a highly critical attitude towards correlations, since the existence of one isn’t proof of causality. Contextualizing data is probably the most important task when it comes to this issue.

4.Big data problems for IOT

While so far, it might have seemed that the world of big data and the internet of things is a land of milk and honey, but in reality, things are not always so great. Moreover, these two notions usually have a sort of a love-hate relationship. For example, while it is possible for sensors to gather all sorts of data, not all of them are equally significant.

A graphic of how this works can be seen by using an app that measures your stress levels without telling you what is causing the sudden increase. The fact that you are under stress is something you can notice even without the device. In fact, without offering a solution to your problem, it only stands to enhance the amount of stress that you are currently under. Overall, in order for IoT and big data to create a real problem-solving synergy, you need the right context. Without it, everything else feels somehow redundant.


To wrap things up, it would be safe to say that the IoT doesn’t exist without big data, while without IOT, big data just doesn’t carry the same amount of weight. Still, if we are to allow these notions to govern our economy and our personal lives in the future, we need to have some more elaborate regulation on this matter. Furthermore, individuals need to start preparing for dealing with big data in order not to lag behind the major conglomerates. Luckily, in 2017, this is far from impossible. 


Read next:

Why Blockchain Hype Must End