5 Questions About The
Analytics of Things

By | September 1, 2016

We had a Q&A session with Bill Franks about the Analytics of Things, to get the scoop on what he’ll present at Teradata PARTNERS Conference, and here’s what we discovered –

  1. What is the biggest opportunity right now with IoT and Analytics?

What I’m most excited about is all of the new data that’s becoming available and all of the new analytics that the data enables. There are so many varied sensors and settings in which the sensors are used that the possibilities are almost endless. A Teradata colleague in Denmark has even outfitted his boat with many, many sensors so that he can analyze the data just for fun!

Even in our personal lives, IoT data and analytics are becoming more common. I just read about the latest features in the upcoming Fitbit upgrade and it is fascinating how they’re able to build more and more analytics into such an inexpensive wrist band.

In my mind the biggest opportunity right now is for organizations to make sure they are aware of the sensor data available to them and to make an effort to at least determine analytics that have potential high value that can be enabled with it. Then, begin to test those ideas by building some prototype analytics.

  1. Who is finding the most success with The Analytics of Things in the marketplace?

Today, I think it is largely the organizations with the most to gain. Manufacturers, for example, have huge money to make if they can make their manufacturing processes just a little bit more efficient. As a result, the industry is diving into AOT in a big way.

The utility space is also starting to go after the AOT in earnest, though the leaders are far, far ahead of the laggardsblogggg today. Similar to manufacturing, a utility has so much to gain with more efficient grids or generation processes that the pursuit of AOT is easy to justify, if not impossible to ignore.

Governments are also actually starting to think about AOT as a way to achieve the vision of Smart Cities of the future. As a result, there is a ton of funding starting to flow which will drive research and advancement of the AOT space. One example of this is the $50M USD in grants that Columbus, Ohio recently won.

  1. What is the biggest misconception about The Analytics of Things?

A lot of people think that the AOT is highly technical and only relevant to a very limited scope of organizations, people, and problems. In fact, the AOT will be (and already is!) quite pervasive. We’ll be coming into contact with the AOT every day. In fact, most of us already are. If you wear a fitness band, or use energy, or buy products, there are analytics on sensor data occurring somewhere in the chain. In some cases, like a fitness band it is very obvious to you that the analytics are there as you’ll directly see and interact with the analytics. In other cases, the analytics are behind the scenes and you won’t be explicitly aware of them.

  1. If a company were to do only one thing to enable The Analytics of Things what would you recommend that be?

I’ll keep this one simple: Start getting sensors out there measuring things that you believe are worth measuring. Then, you can start to analyze the data to see if you’re right about the value. As I’ve written in the past, it isn’t possible to get to the AOT without the things in place to begin with! That sounds really obvious, but organizations can be paralyzed arguing over where to start for so long that they aren’t making any progress at all toward the AOT. Without things collecting data, there can be no AOT.

  1. Where will The Analytics of Things be in five years?

I don’t think it will be recognizable as compared to today. Advances are happening so fast that the main thing we can expect is a level or pervasiveness and sophistication that we’d not even attempt today. Perhaps the biggest change as it pertains to analytics will be that sensor data will be much more widely understood and techniques to utilize it effectively for analytics will be better documented. Today, many people are still diving into an AOT initiative with little historical experience or examples to draw from. As this changes, we’ll be able to accelerate new initiatives and take current initiatives to the next level. I suspect a number of the AOT and IOT related sessions at Teradata Partners will give some glimpses of what’s upcoming.


REGISTER for Teradata PARTNERS Conference to hear from Bill live in “The Analytics of Things”, and in “Modern Business Strategies and Unconventional Growth with IoT”.

Attend “Why Executives Should Care about IoT?” with Richard Hackathorn of Boulder Technology – at Innovation Theatre #1 in the Teradata booth, Mon, September 12, 12:15 PM

Get insights about the Analytics of Things before PARTNERS and online:


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