Successful enterprises run on data. What sets industry leaders apart from the rest is the ability to manage and analyze that data to gain deep, actionable insights into operations, customer preferences, and evolving trends. As internet of things (IoT) devices become more ubiquitous and the data they generate grows, here’s how organizations can derive the most value.

Why IoT Data Is Growing—in Scope and in Value

While data comes in from systems and endpoints across the entire organization, an increasing amount of vital information is generated from the IoT. The IoT is made up of machines, systems, and other equipment that contain embedded devices such as sensors, processors, or other technologies. These machines are connected with other machines and systems and share data across a network.

From smart appliances in the home to connected factory applications that monitor production throughput, devices can offer:

  • automated recommendations
  • increased efficiency
  • inventory tracking
  • biometric scanning at security checkpoints
  • fleet management systems that monitor driver speed and location
  • public safety systems that keep a close watch in crowded areas and alert authorities to dangerous situations

Today, experts at IoT Analytics estimate that there are more than 12 billion active IoT devices, an incredible volume that will only continue to increase. In fact, IDC predicted that by 2025, 152,000 IoT devices will be connecting to the internet per minute, and estimates of the total number of connected devices by 2025 range anywhere from 27 billion to 80 billion.

What’s truly staggering is the fact that each one of those billions of devices is generating its own vast volumes of real-time data, most of which needs to be stored, managed, aggregated, and analyzed if an organization wants to get its true value.

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The Challenge of IoT and Unstructured Data

IoT data comes in a variety of types:

  • Structured data—think easily categorized information that could fit into rows and columns of an Excel spreadsheet
  • Unstructured data—data that is harder to organize. This can include traffic flow data to recorded customer feedback from a phone call to camera surveillance footage to social media comments.

While unstructured data is difficult to organize, it’s the most common type of data. Industry analysts say it could make up 80% to 90% of an organization’s entire data collection. And it’s extremely useful. Big data analytics systems that can parse unstructured data and aggregate it with other sources and types of data can make connections and provide insights from wildly differing sets of data, such as customer buying behaviors and weather patterns. Or employee turnover and federal interest rates. The importance and demands of unstructured data are no different when it comes to IoT.

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Data Storage Is Key to Unlocking Insights

Enterprises that want to realize the true potential of their IoT and other data must initially find the right solution to store it. With a wide range of data storage solutions to choose from, it’s imperative that organizations first know what they want from their data and storage. If it’s to store IoT data for immediate or later analysis, the smart solution is one that helps them address the challenges posed by fast-growing, demanding unstructured data.

Storage is typically divided into silos, and they have to do with the various ways the system holds, organizes, and presents data. Often, storage solutions are optimized for specific type of data and workload based on protocol support, performance requirement, scalability and so on. But that presents problems when it comes to big data analysis. Every type of data needs to be stored, managed, and analyzed together. The ability to organize, manage, and access all data from the same platform is critical to fast, efficient analysis and getting everything you can from your data.

For example, WOBCOM, fixed network provider, helps enterprise customers process business data at lightning speed for innovative projects such as smart cities, which produce massive amounts of real-time data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and dynamic energy and traffic management systems. WOBCOM provides sophisticated storage services to enable these projects with a unified fast file and object storage platform like Pure Storage FlashBlade underpinning the company’s storage infrastructure. An important aspect in choosing Pure Storage was the ability to use Pure1 for full-stack monitoring with predictive analytics and support

How Pure Storage Can Support IoT Data

Pure Storage understands today’s challenges with big data and analytics and offers solutions that make data storage, management, and access convenient and simple. With Pure FlashBlade®, you get a single, unified storage platform that accommodates both file and object storage, for an all-in-one, high-performance, scale-out solution for all of your structured and unstructured data. It can handle even large-scale analytics and massive volumes of data to ensure you get the most value from your IoT devices.

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