How IT can blend massive connectivity with cognitive computing to enable insights

1Executive Summary

As our world becomes more attuned to the generation, and more importantly, the use of massive amounts of data, information technology (IT) professionals are increasingly looking to new technologies to help focus on deriving value from the velocity of data streaming from a wide variety of data sources.

The breadth of the internet and its connective capabilities has enabled the evolution of the internet of things (IoT), a dynamic ecosystem that facilitates the exchange of information among a cohort of devices organized to meet specific business needs. It does this through a growing, yet intricate interconnection of uniquely identifiable computing resources, using the internet’s infrastructure and employing internet protocols. Extending beyond the traditional system-to-system networks, these connected devices span the architectural palette, from traditional computing systems, to specialty embedded computer modules, down to tiny micro-sensors with mobile-networking capabilities.

In this paper, geared to the needs of the C-suite, we’ll explore the future of predictive analytics by looking at some potential use cases in which multiple data sets from different types of devices contribute to evolving models that provide value and benefits to hierarchies of vested stakeholders. We’ll also introduce the concept of the “insightful fog,” in which storage models and computing demands are distributed among interconnected devices, facilitating business discoveries that influence improved operations and decisions. We’ll then summarize the key aspects of the intelligent systems that would be able to deliver on the promise of this vision.

Key findings from this report include:

  • The data created and communicated by myriad different devices and operational contexts can lead to synergy for data collection, exchange, analysis, insight, and opportunity on a new scale.
  • Combining knowledge about each and every “thing” in the data from a multitude of heterogeneous sources can adapt to meet individual needs in a variety of ways, particularly when links can be established at the entity level.
  • Identifying and learning about the connection between and among entities exposes new opportunities for intelligent personalization.
  • Aside from the typical analytical methods used for marketing and sales, some emerging analytic techniques use the connections among “things” at the entity level that are inherent in data so that those connections can be used to naturally identify patterns and infer insights that can improve our lives.
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