Closing the Gap to Decision Part III: IoT Data Collection Requirements
by Exosite, on March 22, 2016
Standardizing a data collection process is important in any industry. As a part of a CONNECTED PRODUCT STRATEGY, however, it becomes essential. As more companies implement IOT PRODUCT DEPLOYMENTS they are acquiring a growing amount of data. In this week’s segment of the DATA ANALYTICS FOR IOT white paper, we will look at just a few requirements for data collection as explained by Exosite’s Mark Benson and Jay Carlson.
A standardized data collection process is comprised of three parts:
- Pinpointing the questions that need to be answered with data analysis.
- Identifying what data is needed to support the answers to those questions.
- Gather the correct type and amount of that data.
Although the value proposition of a robust IOT DATA ANALYTICS program can be astounding, it is useless if the proper data is not gathered. Even the most sophisticated analysis cannot synthesize or replace foundational input data. Once unanswered questions have been identified, it is important to determine the metadata, sensor data, and data resolution that best fits a particular situation, which can be a process in and of itself.
Exploratory techniques such as data mining take in massive amounts of data and find correlations that might otherwise go unseen. By feeding in sample data that includes a number of outcomes that are ideal for predicting, data mining can make the process of determining what variables are truly indicative of device behavior as simple as running a program. However, this pursuit of predictors and causal relationships in data oftentimes merely illuminates what is already known. In-house expertise is absolutely irreplaceable in determining how products will behave. For instance, pump designers do not need extensive data analysis to tell them that vibration, temperature, and pressure are key metrics when predicting pump failure. In many cases, an engineer’s intimate understanding of a product will point data analysis precisely in the direction it needs to go.
Collecting Data Reliably
Once the necessary data has been defined, that data must be collected in a reliable and consistent manner. It is important to keep in mind that the amount of data that needs to be captured will vary across applications. For instance, some situations will call for data to be sent from a single sensor every fraction of a second. In other situations, sensor data need only have a minute resolution. Collaboration between product and IoT experts will yield appropriate data resolution standards to ensure that cloud connectivity is being used efficiently while still capturing impactful results.