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The Power of Actionable Insights: How Better Harvesting IoT Data Can Enhance Your Business’s Value

Following the widespread consumer attention and company investments about the Internet of Things in 2015, the buzz surrounding a “connected future” has drastically increased. Today, the IoT is recognized in the business community as much more than a fad; it’s an invaluable, data-driven, decision-making solution. Estimations even show that, by 2025, as many as 75 billion IoT-enabled devices will be used by businesses across America.

Even today, the potential of mass-data generation is quickly becoming a reality, and companies are scrambling to understand, integrate, and utilize IoT solutions. While last year’s buzz expression might have been big data, this phrase is a mere building block for true business success. The real secret? Actionable insights. Here’s everything you need to know.

What’s Accelerating IoT Awareness?

There are three changes in technology that are causing a drastic increase in the awareness of IoT. The first is the revolution of connected computing devices. Today, there are several billion connected devices producing data, including appliances, wearables, and cars. These devices are producing unprecedented amounts of data that need to be analyzed, evaluated, and stored.
The second technology shift is the that of the cloud as a business tool. Companies can connect people, machines, and devices around the globe for quick and cost-effective communications through the process of changing market conditions with cloud platforms. There have also become new ways to run businesses and engage with consumers. Mobile devices and social platforms are key to getting real-time information and decision-making power in the palm of your hand.

What are Actionable Insights?

Many people have been equating insights with terms like data and information, despite the fact that these three terms are not synonymous. Actionable insights are built upon the foundation of those three words. Data is the straight numbers given; information is gathered from the data, and it is characterized by being more processed and organized. Insights are the result of analyzing information and drawing conclusions, and actionable insights are the most valuable among them, as a result of there being something you can do as a result of the information they provide.

Actionable insights don’t just answer questions; they show you how you can improve upon an answer as well. Actionable insights have six central attributes that characterize them:

  •  Alignment — Does it align well with your primary goals and initiatives?
  •  Context — Do you have a benchmark or some means of comparison for this insight, or are you unaware of what it is genuinely showing?
  •  Relevance — Was the idea routed to the right person at the right time? Can it be acted on quickly enough? Is there a more important actionable insight that needs to be dealt with?
  •  Specificity — Does it have the necessary detail to drive immediate action? Does it not only show what occurred but also help explain why it occurred?
  •  Novelty — Have you seen this particular pattern or data set before? Do you already know what is causing the behavior?
  •  Clarity — Was the insight communicated well? Was it understood or correctly interpreted?

How Can You Use IoT to Get Actionable Insights?

Unfortunately, about 90% of data created at the edge of the IoT is never captured, analyzed, or acted upon– and insights are where the true potential of IoT lies. To avoid missing the most valuable information from IoT utilization, there are a few ways that your company can best use IoT data to get actionable insights.

  •  Have a goal in mind — Confirm your progress and know exactly what you’re looking for from the start. Set a goal–it can be as general and wide-open as you like–but use it to check if you’re on track.
  •  Know the source — Data can come from devices, APIs, the web, social networks, traditional media, and many other sources. It’s critical to know where your data is coming from to develop an understanding of what needs to be prioritized and what information is most important.
  •  Organize and integrate — Raw data from thousands of devices can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Many leaders find the biggest challenge of IoT to be integrating disparate data. Make sure you are drawing all data together into a central place to view it holistically.
  •  Know the basics — Many complications can arise if you don’t know the basics of data analysis; determining the frequency of data collection, identifying trends, hard-to-spot abnormalities, and unreliable systems are just a few of them. Predetermine how often you want data to be collected, know the reliability of your devices, and blend data from multiple different sources to simplify your experience with IoT.
  •  Find talent — one of the largest problems of managing IoT data is not having the right people. Find talent that can write algorithms, interpret data, and effectively communicate with others.
  •  Have the end in mind — Know what you want from the beginning so you can use IoT most effectively. Decide how often you’ll collect data, how you’ll collect it, and what sources you want to collect from so that you can optimize and leverage data to your needs.

With the vast potential to innovate, operate, and engage at an invaluable new level, the IoT is ripe with opportunities for any business. Nonetheless, with the acceleration of IoT awareness comes an explosion of data. To reap the benefits of a connected future and yield incredible returns for your company, collecting and understanding actionable insights is vital. SafeNet can help you out with that. SafeNet is your go-to IoT partner who can analyze data and provide solutions for next-generation business efficiency, as well as apply device virtualization to glean useful customer engagement analytics.

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