Taming Big Data in the IoT

Taming Big Data in the IoT

Taming Big Data in the IoT

“The winners [in IoT] will be those [companies] that derive the most value from their connections—not those who simply connect the most devices to their networks.”

--Attaining IoT Value: How to Move from Connecting Things to Capturing Insights.”

“A lot of people assume that all data are good data, and all data are valuable data, and that isn’t necessarily so.”

Of supply chain decision makers say they have an IoT strategy in place.

Report plans to expand their use of IoT technologies.

Say they plan to or have already deployed IoT monitoring and sensor solutions.

Believe they will see a return on their investment within 24 months.

--IoT in Supply Chain and Logistics Report by AT&T and Eft Supply Chain Logistics

In the popular children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are,” the young man in the story sails on a boat to a faraway land where he tames the wild things, becomes their king and leads them in a wild rumpus. Though the story of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data involves sensors and terabytes instead of wild animals, the overall theme is largely the same.

Currently the IoT is running wild, collecting piles of data that often sits gathering virtual dust in cloud-based homes. And, in many businesses that’s where the tale ends. These businesses lack a data tamer able to analyze the information and derive actionable intelligence from it.

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However, companies, such as UPS, are now taming the Big Data beast and using it to their advantage.

As one of the largest shipping companies in the world, UPS delivers more than 16 million packages per day to an estimated 7.9 million customers across the globe. This company is using IoT sensors and Big Data analytics to save money, improve efficiency and lessen its environmental impact, reports Jack Levis, senior director of process management.

“We put a telematics device on our vehicles to gather data from more than 200 sensors in the engine. We added additional [IoT] sensors to gather information about things like seat belt status, bulkhead door open/closed, engine on/off, etc.,” he says. “UPS analyzes this data after the workday ends to produce an array of information regarding the day’s deliveries.”

This data is helping the global shipping giant reduce idling time, fuel consumption and harmful emissions, and improve driver safety. Levis explains supervisors can analyze what happened the day before in a fraction of the time it took before, and notes “the system highlights anomalies for the supervisors’ review and follow-up.”

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UPS is also using Big Data in its project ORION, which stands for On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation. ORION collects information from package flow technologies regarding the packages the company delivers, then evaluates customer needs, and business and labor rules, to determine the most efficient ways to serve customers. “The ORION algorithm evaluates more than 200,000 ways a single route can be delivered, then picks the best one,” he says.

According to Levin, the first step in implementing the ORION system was determining the best order to serve all customers while meeting business rules. “This portion has completed deployment and is saving 100 million miles per year,” he says. Later versions of the system will handle changes on the fly, such as when a customer has an unplanned need, and ORION will help determine the best way to adjust to these changing conditions. Eventually, ORION will aid in deciding which packages should go on each route.

As UPS has found, “The winners [in IoT] will be those [companies] that derive the most value from their connections—not those who simply connect the most devices to their networks. Organizations must focus on honing the data and process components of IoT,” finds the report “Attaining IoT Value: How to Move from Connecting Things to Capturing Insights.

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