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The Big Data-IoT Relationship: How They Help Each Other

Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are often confused with one another, especially since they’re so often discussed together. However, in reality, they represent two distinct technical fields that often overlap, shares Pohan Lin, senior manager of web marketing and localization at Databricks.

Big Data comprises of a large collection of information. This data is then collected by organizations like social media networks and other companies and utilized for various projects, such as predictive analytics and machine learning projects. It is processed using tools that support Big Data analytics. Data scientists use the “Four V’s” to help us conceptualize Big Data: volume, velocity, variety, and veracity.


As you may have already guessed, volume refers to the size of the data sets. Typically these can be as large as terabytes and often even larger. This huge amount of data needs to be processed and analyzed in a very specific way due to the sheer size of it.

Traditional storage technology wouldn’t be capable of storing this data. This means that Big Data sets can’t work with a normal processor.


Velocity refers to how quickly the data is generated. High-velocity data requires specialist processing techniques. For instance, social media is bombarded with an incredibly high velocity of posts every day.

Data that is high volume, high velocity and high variety must be analyzed and processed with advanced tools to reveal information that can be used in the future.


Big Data can come in an incredibly vast variety of different forms, from online data, such as social media posts and websites, to more traditionally available personal data, such as phone numbers and addresses.

The variety of sources Big Data comes in generally falls into three categories: structured, semi-structured or unstructured data. This variety in data types often requires specialist algorithms and different processing requirements.


Veracity refers to the quality of data. ‘High veracity data’ are records that are valuable to analyze – they play a vital role in the overall results. However, low-veracity data typically contains a high percentage of meaningless or low-utility data. This means it first has to be sifted through to extract anything of use.

See More: Decoding IoT Data: The Case for Network Intelligence

What Is IoT?

The IoT is all about internet connectivity and the processing and analyzing of data. It describes the network of physical objects – also known as “things” – that use special software and sensors to exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet. Think of a smart fridge, Amazon Alexa, gaming consoles, and smart locks. These can also include industrial tools.

Over the past few years, the IoT has become one of the most important technologies of modern times. These ‘things’s’ internet-enabled sensors provide a rich set of data that businesses can use worldwide. It can help companies to improve the safety and efficiency of their operations, track assets, and reduce manual processes.

Data from these machines can be used to predict events, such as when equipment breaks down. This gives manufacturers enough time to get things back up and running, reducing downtime.

IoT devices can also be used by researchers who want to gather more information about customer behavior. This must be within the perimeters of the law, however, as the privacy and security of customers is vitally important to protect. Businesses like video game and console companies that process customer data need to utilize secure gaming solutions so that their customers can enjoy their entertainment services safely and with confidence.

There are many advantages to the IoT for businesses, such as:

They can oversee their business methods

Increase employee productivity

Analyze customer behavior

Improve the customer experience

Analyze ESG performance

Make better-researched business decisions

Create more revenue

How Does IoT Affect Big Data?

You may be wondering how the IoT and Big Data are connected. Well, the data produced by IoT devices is valuable data, as far as Big Data is concerned. This is because it is attached to a physical device, which means businesses can access more detailed information about their devices and how they are used.

If we take a ‘smart home’ as an example, which includes gadgets and technology with such data, things that can be monitored include:

The temperature of the home, including humidity.

The air quality within the house.

Energy usage across devices in the household.

Activity levels and behavior patterns.

All of this data is valuable to businesses because it is collected and analyzed automatically, so less data is wasted.

What’s more, many IoT platforms also use machine learning to gather data streams. Then it will correlate and analyze these data sets together. IoT collects and analyzes data in real time. This means that insights can be gained faster, and often with more accuracy.

Having the ability to use all the data collected produces more useful, actionable insights for businesses. In turn, this can help to generate a higher ROI (return on investment).

How Can Businesses Use Big Data Generated by the IoT?

So, how can businesses utilize the Big Data generated by the IoT? It’s important to remember that most businesses will have to adapt and evolve their technology to be able to collate large amounts of data in order to benefit from much of Big Data’s insights.

IoT devices will be able to send messages to the businesses, including information such as activity and behaviors. Once the business has received this data, it needs to be stored by a platform that can handle such large and complex data.

Then, businesses can refer back to this data whenever they are developing a product, analyzing customer behaviors, reflecting on the launch of a product, and much, much more.

Most importantly, this information is safely stored and can be accessed by businesses whenever it is needed.

IoT and Big Data Can Help Your Business

It’s time to start collecting and analyzing your data with the IoT and Big Data. If you want to gain a solid insight into your customer base and behavior, then the answer may lie within gathering accurate data, which IoT can definitely help with.

We’ve already started to see the big impact of data analytics and IoT in analyzing huge sets of data efficiently and effectively by using specialist techniques and technology. IoT and Big Data integration seems to be the way forward when it comes to collecting and analyzing data.

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