The Analytics of Things: A Primer

Hyder Jaffari
October 19, 2023
The Analytics of Things: A Primer

The term "Analytics of Things" (AoT) refers to the process of analyzing and applying analysis techniques to the data generated by Internet of Things (IoT) devices. AoT focuses on extracting meaningful insights, patterns, and actionable information from the vast amounts of data collected by IoT sensors and devices.

Read more in our Analytics of Things series.

  1. Transform Data Into Insights With Predictive Analytics
  2. From Data to Action: How Descriptive Analytics Can Transform Your Business
  3. From Data to Discoveries: Exploring Past Business Dynamics
  4. Prescriptive Analytics: Your Secret Weapon for Achieving Stellar Marketing ROI

As a refresher, here are some key points about the IoT:

  • Devices fitted with sensors and wireless technologies gather data on how consumers use products.
  • Businesses then receive this data, and it is analyzed to generate business insights on consumer behavior and their experiences.
  • The applications of IoT even extend to areas such as fraud detection, surveillance, and safety.

When combined with adaptive artificial intelligence, IoT can learn behavioral patterns and adapts to real-world changes, enabling faster and improved decision-making processes.

Now, of course, with all these devices gathering data, the question of analytics of all that information does come up. Hence, the Analytics of Things was born.

Short History of AoT

The term "Analytics of Things" became more widely recognized and used in the early 2010s as the IoT ecosystem expanded. Organizations, particularly in industries like manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and transportation, started implementing AoT strategies to harness the power of IoT data.

What we'll be discussing is not a new definition by any means but is rather a fresh take on what it could mean going forward and the applications of analytics from IoT-enabled devices.

Types of Analytics

AoT relies on the integration of various analytical techniques, which include descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics.

Let's take a brief rundown of all the analytical techniques that are important for AoT:

  • Descriptive Analytics: Descriptive analytics involves examining historical data to understand what has happened in the past. It provides context and helps visualize data so users can understand trends and any resulting patterns.
  • Diagnostic Analytics: This technique identifies reasons behind past events or patterns. Organizations can understand and analyze the root cause of why an event happened.
  • Predictive Analytics: Historical IoT data is used to build models for forecasting future events or trends. Such analytics can be utilized to anticipate device failures, maintenance and optimizing resources.
  • Prescriptive Analytics: This technique suggests decision options for taking advantage of a future opportunity or mitigating a future risk and shows the implication of each decision option.

While the above are the main types, a few more round of the list:

  • Real-time Analytics: Analyze data as it is generated.
  • Spatial Analytics: Analyze data in relation to geographic or spatial information.
  • Text and Sentimental Analytics: Analysis of unstructured data from sources like social media, text messages, and comments.
  • Machine Learning and AI Analytics: Uses algorithms to identify patterns and make predictions or automated decisions based on IoT data.
  • Network Analytics: Analyze data related to the connections and interactions between IoT devices or components
  • Streaming Analytics: Processes and analyzes data in real-time as it flows through an IoT system.

Analytics of Things in Business

Organizations can use IoT data to its full potential to drive operational improvements, make data-driven decisions, and gain a competitive advantage.

Let's look at how it can benefit the business world.

  • Financial Services: Fraud detection, risk assessment, algorithmic trading, security and financial decision-making are some applications in the finance world.
  • Healthcare: AoT is used to enhance patient care and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Supply Chain Optimization: Using analytics, businesses can track goods and shipments, optimize routes, monitor inventory levels, and improve overall supply chain efficiency.
  • Agriculture: AoT is applied to provide insights into crop and soil health and irrigation requirements. Data can lead to higher crop yields and better use of resources.
  • Asset Tracking: In the logistics industry, tracking the location of assets, such as vehicles, equipment, and inventory are valuable data points.
  • Predictive Maintenance: Monitor the condition of machinery and equipment in real-time. Predict when maintenance is needed, reduce downtime and improve operational efficiency.
  • Customer Insights: Collect customer interaction data, allowing businesses to personalize marketing while improving customer service.

These are just a few use cases. As devices and other equipment become IoT-enabled, the need for attaching an analytical framework to the data they collect arises automatically. This creates new opportunities for data analysis and insights across various industries.

We will discuss more about each specific industry and expand on this topic in the days ahead on our blog.

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