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June 2016, Volume 4, Number 3

Tomorrow's not yet today for IoT data analytics

The outlook for the internet of things is about as huge as the amount of data it's being asked to gather and analyze. By 2020, Gartner says we can expect to see 13.5 billion IoT-connected devices and IDC estimates the amount of information produced by IoT technologies will account for 10% of the total data generated from embedded systems. Even today, IoT data analytics offers a potential treasure trove of information that companies can use to formulate marketing campaigns, reduce operating costs, streamline manufacturing processes and influence product development. Yet organizations are approaching the IoT with a good bit of caution, hoping to avoid being overwhelmed by the massive amounts of incoming data. Adding to their cautious approach are a lack of industry standards, concerns about protecting customer information and confusion over what kinds of data are valuable to collect.

In the cover story of June's Business Information, editor Lauren Horwitz writes that IoT's promise and present-day reality are out of alignment and cites two companies using IoT data analytics with an eye toward managing the resultant explosion of information. "If we started big, it would take us forever to deploy and we'd get more data than we'd know what to do with," says Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence's business development manager for user experience and innovation.

In another feature, editor Craig Stedman details how Highmark Health uses predictive maintenance software to keep its printing and mailing process running 24/7 without interruption. "We really can't afford to be down at all," says the output services director of HM Health Solutions, a subsidiary of Highmark Health. Stedman then examines ThyssenKrupp Elevator, which is in the early stages of launching predictive maintenance applications to avoid unplanned service outages on its elevators.

Also featured in this issue is an HR manager who automated her company's ancient employee performance review process with the help of talent management software and the comic strip Dilbert.

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