Big Data and IoT : Making The Connection

Big Data and IoT : Making The Connection

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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Aug 9, 2023 12:40 IST

Computing has evolved by leaps and bounds in the past few years.  Today, computing has gone beyond the limits of your PC and the internet and it is playing a more important role in our everyday life. Now, a common man can ‘see’ some of the technologies in action. However, there are some technologies that work ‘in the background’ and yet, they still have a significant impact on our everyday life. Today, we are going to talk about two of most talked about technologies in modern day computing – Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT)


Modern day human society is driven by data. Every day, we generate a substantial amount of data. In fact, almost every other thing that you do generates data. Now, such a huge volume of data contains a lot of information that could be used by organizations for improving their services. Processing such a huge amount of data is challenge indeed. However, the advancement of computing technology has led to the development of the most effective way to process such large volumes of data. The process is aptly called Big Data.

Technically, Big Data can be defined as a term that can be used to define data sets that are so huge that they cannot be processed through traditional data processing techniques. However, in common parlance, the term ‘Big Data’ is used to define the process of analysis of the data, rather than the actual data set itself.  In most cases, advanced analytical techniques like user behaviour analysis, predictive analysis and other techniques are used to gain insight into such large volumes of data. Today, Big Data analysis is increasingly being used to “spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crimes and so on”.

Big Data is characterized by the 3 Vs, namely

  • Volume – The ‘Volume’ refers to the quantity of the data. More the quantity of the data, easier it is to predict a pattern.
  • Variety – The Type and the nature of the data have changed over the years from structured data to the ever-expanding unstructured data.
  • Velocity – The speed at which the data is generated is also really important when it comes to big data analysis. This speed is referred to as the ‘Velocity’ of the data

More than the 3 Vs, the fourth V called Value plays an important role in Big Data as it can be the key success factor for a Big Data environment.

How Does Big Data Help?

Well, to put it simply, Big Data helps to analyze data to discover the hidden patterns that lead to the discovery of applicable information. Small data sets might not give you information that could be worked upon. Thus, forgetting the big picture, Big Data is the only way to go. Consider the fact that every day, humans generate 2.3 Exabyte of data. An Exabyte is equal to a million terabytes. Such a huge volume of data could only be processed using the sophisticated technology of Big Data.

Today, Big Data is being used across various fields like the Government, Healthcare, Education and various other fields. Big Data helps you to

  • Determine the root cause of failure, defects and issues in real-time
  • Detecting irregular and possibly fraudulent behaviour
  • Calculating entire risk portfolios
  • And many others

Now, we have seen how Big Data helps us analyze data. But how is the data generated? Well, thanks to modern technology, we are surrounded by devices that are connected to each other and also to a worldwide network. Now, this not only includes your computer and your mobile phone but also the POS device at your local shop where you buy groceries. This brings us to another technology –the Internet of Things

Also, Read>> Big Data Interview Questions

What is the Internet of Things?

According to the Global Standards Initiative on the Internet of Things (IoT-GSI), The Internet of Things is defined as the ‘infrastructure of the information society’. Well, simply put, it is the interconnection and the internetworking of devices, vehicles and various other embedded components which are collectively used to gather data and also analyze them in real-time.

For example, let us say you normally keep three bottles of milk in your fridge. Now when you are down to a single bottle, your fridge ‘figures’ out that you are out of milk and send a reminder to your phone that you are out of milk.  You can buy one while returning from work. This is just one of the ways that IoT could make our daily lives much more efficient.

How Does IoT help?

As said before, IoT can help us out in a large number of ways. For example,

  • IoT can help you manage your home in a more effective way. It helps you to keep a check on your home from a remote location.
  • IoT can help in better environment monitoring by analyzing the air and water quality.
  • IoT can help media companies to understand the behaviour of their audience better and develop more effective content targeted towards a specific niche.

Difference between Big Data and IoT

Okay, since people who are reading this might actually have heard and read a lot, it is better to start off with the simple part. Big data is basically data and a lot of it. IoT is connectivity. Both are useful and should work hand-in-hand.

To talk about the theoretical part, Big Data and IoT almost sound similar. That is what sometimes increases confusion among beginners in the field. Big data is basically all the data that is available everywhere and that is extracted, compiled and stored in a huge storage device. The IoT is actually like the sources that help in accumulating all that data through objects and sensors. To bring in the technical point of view, IoT is more like collecting all the data, analyzing their patterns, and taking into consideration any new insights or points of view that might come up.

Also Read>> IOT Questions & Answers

How Big Data Helps a Logistics Company to be better?

A logistic company offers the perfect testing ground for Big Data analysis. A leading logistics company generates a huge volume of data that Big Data can be used to identify useful patterns.
Objective – To efficiently manage the delivery vehicles so that they can make more deliveries without using too much time.

How does Big Data Help – With sensors build in the vehicles, the company can generate enough information on a daily basis. The vehicles are also fitted with various forms of embedded technology for effective data collection.

Inference – Data analysis helps the company to redesign the delivery routes of the vehicle for making faster deliveries without using many resources. In fact, Big Data can also help the company reconfigure delivery routes in real-time taking into account the variables like traffic.

IoT in Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the sectors that hold a tremendous possibility for the implementation of IoT. Let’s take a look at one of the interesting real-world examples:

Objective – To use interconnected devices for better monitoring of the patient using RFID tags

How Does IoT help – The RFID tags can be used to store and transmit useful information about the patient. The medical devices that are used to monitor can also be connected to a network which can be used to transmit information to the doctor in a remote location.

Inference – The information generated by the devices can be used in real-time to make necessary changes in the treatment of the patient. For example, the diet chart or the dosages of the medicines can be altered without needing the doctor all the time. The system can also alert the medical staff in case of the possibility of an emergency.

As can be seen in the examples given above, there is definitely a connection between IoT and Big Data.  IoT can be referred to as the process by which the data is gathered, and Big Data is concerned about the analysis of the data. Therefore, in practical terms, they are almost inseparable.  According to many experts, IoT and Big Data together make up the next big step in the information revolution. The future holds immense potential for these advanced technologies and in the not so distant future, they would surely make our lives better.

Source: Cognitive Today

Also Read>>Start Your Career with Big Data Certification

About the Author
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio