Butterfly Effect Implications of IoT

Dateline: March 4, 2016

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.  The Internet of Things (IoT) discussions are heating up and senior IT leaders are asking deeper, more thought provoking questions.  Recently, I ran across an interesting discussion about the impact of IoT on predictive analytics.  James Kobielus, IBM’s Data Evangelist, suggested that IoT will make predictive analytics even more difficult to do.  In an blog titled, Internet of Things May Disrupt Predictive Analytics in Big Data Clouds (published on Datavirsity, an interesting website all about data and analytics), James writes,

The next frontier on operational big data applications is the Internet of Things (IoT), which is likely to become a deepening vortex of butterfly effects waiting to happen. This is due to the fact that non-linear effects are likely to be far more prevalent in IoT environments – such as smart grid and real-time distributed process monitoring – than in traditional B2C-oriented big data applications. The chief causes for these effects will be the continued expansion in new IoT endpoints and growth in these endpoints’ generation and consumption of a wider range of messages under a broader range of operational scenarios. If nothing else, the sheer combinatorial explosion in IoT interaction patterns is a recipe for chaotic traffic loads.

Think about it. Every new sensor, gadget, system, and other device that enters the IoT becomes yet another butterfly, and every new piece of data it emits or action it takes becomes another flapping of the butterfly’s wings. Throughout the world, as more of these butterflies come online, produce and consume more data, and cavort in countless combinations in every possible circumstance, the non-linear effects are almost certain to intensify. How can we do effective predictive analysis under those conditions?

The IoT will set up new challenges for IT leaders.  What can be done to effectively forecast  in this scenario?  How will this impact your big data/analytics projects?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a great weekend.

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