So far this month, we’ve taken a look at IoT and sustainability and the role of the technology in FinTech. These things all use data, so-called Big Data or data sets that are too big or complex to be processed by traditional data-processing application software. Before discussing how IoT and big data work hand in hand, let’s have a recap on what IoT is and why it is important. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnected network of physical objects, or “things.” These “things” are equipped with sensors, software, and various technologies to facilitate communication and data exchange with other devices and systems via the Internet. The ability to connect everyday items to the Internet through embedded devices enables seamless communication among people, processes, and objects, without needing a ton of human input. This web of connections via the Internet lets digital systems keep tabs on, track, and tweak how connected objects interact in a super-connected world where the physical and digital collaborate smoothly.


THE 4 Vs


Big Data and IoT often get mixed up, probably because people talk about them together so much. But the truth is, they’re like two cousins from different families – related, but not identical. Big Data is a massive collection of information that companies, like social media giants and corporations, collect. They use it for all sorts, like making predictions and working on innovative machine-learning projects. To get a grip on Big Data, data scientists fall back on the “Four V’s”: volume, velocity, variety, and veracity. It’s their cheat code for understanding this enormous amount of data.




As you probably figured out, when we talk about volume in Big Data, we’re talking about the sheer size of the data sets. Think terabytes and bigger. More than 2,500,000,000,000,000,000 bytes or 2.5 quintillions of data are created each day. Handling this much info needs special processing and analysis. Traditional cloud storage technology can’t handle it and Big Data sets can’t function with a normal processor.




When we talk about Big Data velocity, it’s all about how fast the data is generated. Imagine social media – it’s like a constant flood of posts, tweets, and updates every second. Handling this kind of high-velocity data needs special processing techniques. When you combine high volume, high velocity, and high variety – which we’ll get to – it’s like a triple threat. To make sense of all this data chaos, you need advanced processing tools. It’s not just about looking at what’s happening at the moment; it’s about digging into this massive stream of data to find valuable information that we can use in the future.




Big Data isn’t a one-size-fits-all. As this subhead suggests, comes in different varieties. You’ve got your online data like social media posts and websites, and there’s also the more old-school personal data, like phone numbers and addresses. Some say Big Data’s variety is like a three-course meal. You’ve got structured data, which is neat and organized, semi-structured data, and unstructured data. Unstructured data often pose security risks and ransomware loves it. Dealing with this mix isn’t a job for your everyday algorithms. We need specialist algorithms and different processing requirements.




Veracity in the Big Data world is all about quality control. With “high veracity,” we’re talking about the goldmine – data that’s from the VIP section, crucial for getting useful results. On the flip side, low-veracity data is like the messy room you need to clean up first. It’s got a lot of meaningless and low-utility information, and you’ve got to sift through it to find the gems. Analysts sometimes refer to a fifth ‘V’ for Big Data sets – value. And value is where IoT and Big Data live in symbiosis.




The data that comes from IoT devices is the real deal for Big Data. It’s not just random information – the data is tied to real physical gadgets. This means businesses can access more detailed information about their devices and how they are used. Imagine a “smart building” scenario – you’ve got gadgets tracking the temperature, air quality, energy usage, and activity levels and behaviour patterns. Thanks to IoT, this gold dust data is automatically collected and analysed, so less data is going to waste. Plus, many of these smart systems use machine learning to mix and match different data streams, giving businesses a deeper understanding. The real kicker is that all this data is processed in real time. It means you can access insights faster and, most of the time, more accurately. When you can use all this collected data to your advantage, it means more useful insights, quicker decision-making, and a better return on investment. Companies, including SMEs that use IoT for Big Data, are hitting the information game jackpot.




To make the most of the Big Data generated by IoT, businesses – big and small – need to get tech-savvy and adapt their IT systems to handle this deluge of data. Here’s a quick guide on how you can ride the IoT and Big Data wave:


  • Upgrade technology – Businesses need to level up their tech game. That means evolving their systems to be data-friendly and able to handle large volumes of information. This might involve investing in more robust storage solutions, including the cloud, using advanced analytics tools, and opting for efficient data processing systems.


  • Message interpretation – IoT devices are similar to informants, sending detailed messages about activities and behaviours. Businesses should be ready to interpret these messages – understand what the data is saying about user habits, device performance, and more.


  • Effective storage – Once the data messages start pouring in, businesses need a reliable platform to store all that information. This isn’t just about having a big digital warehouse; it’s about using platforms designed to handle the complexity and size of IoT data. These can include Microsoft Azure, Cisco IoT, Salesforce and AWS.


  • Data utilisation – The real magic happens when businesses put this stored data to work. Whether they’re developing a new product, analysing customer behaviours, or reflecting on a product launch, having this wealth of IoT-generated information can provide insights that guide smart decision-making.


  • Security – Crucially, Big Data needs a safe home. It should be securely stored and easily accessible whenever businesses need to tap into it. Big Data needs to be protected against threats such as online theft of stored data, ransomware, or DDoS attacks that could crash a server. Ensuring data security is paramount to protect sensitive information and maintain customer trust.


In essence, businesses can transform their operations by harnessing the power of Big Data from IoT devices. It’s not just about collecting data; it’s about using it strategically to drive innovation, understand customer needs, and ultimately boost their bottom line.




As we said, companies of all sizes analyse and use Big Data. Here are three household names that are reliant on these data sets:


  • Amazon – The online retailer giant leverages its extensive data repository to retrieve customer names, addresses, payment details, and search histories. This information is then employed in advertising algorithms and to enhance customer relations.
  • American Express – The credit card supplier utilises big data for analysing customer behaviour.
  • Netflix – Our favourite streamer harnesses big data to gain insights into the viewing habits of its international audience.


Marriott Hotels, Uber Eats, McDonald’s, and Starbucks are also among the brands that consistently integrate big data into their core business operations.




There surely are the most compelling benefits of Big Data for all businesses. Whether you want to improve your customer retention or attract many new ones, Big Data analytics is the way to go. You can also use Big Data to deliver customised products to your target market, develop effective risk management processes and strategies, save money by predicting the probability of product returns, and even enhance employee productivity. Long story short, Big Data is an innovator that will give you the competitive edge. If you are on the brink of diving into this world of opportunity, there are three things you need to bear in mind – data storage, data processing, and cybersecurity. I have over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and IT support, specialising in guiding SMEs to find the best IT solutions. Reach out to me for help with all your data storage, data processing and cybersecurity needs. Also, for a great read all about cybersecurity, including IoT, get hold of my latest bestseller. You Don’t Need a £1 Million Cybersecurity Budget is now on Amazon.

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