Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Jeev Trika, Liz McMillan, Yakov Fain, Tim Hinds

Related Topics: Recurring Revenue, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo, @ThingsExpo

Recurring Revenue: Article

Big Data's Many Dimensions (IoT)

Urgency, Importance, Frequency, Consequences, Remedy & Cost

It occurred to me, as I'm sure it's occurred to most of you, that driving a car is a classic example of the IoT in action. In this case, my brain is the CPU, and all of my car's gauges are the things. 

I was making a routine 30-minute drive to raid a local vegetable stand. As I processed all the information coming in, I realized there were several dimensions to it. The same principle is at work with IoT projects, no matter what their scale.

One of the classic charts/concepts widely used in information management is determining urgency vs. importance. Urgent & important things are represented in the upper-right quadrant of a square, urgent but not important in the lower right, important but not urgent in the upper left, and that phone call from your old college friend asking for money in the not urgent and not important lower left.

Riding Along in My Automobile
In my car, my speedometer sends me a reading that is urgent and important. My gas gauge reading is not urgent but important, and becomes urgent and important once I start running low. My gearshift is important but not urgent. 

My car has a tachometer but also an automatic transmission, so the tach reading is not urgent and not important. I can go down through the checklist of everything from the odometer, water temp, battery, and oil pressure, to the heating/AC settings, the radio; to the stream of other info and alerts kept by the car's computer.

It's Not That Simple
But this simple classification misses a lot of important stuff. For one thing, as I note above, much of the information changes its nature depending on conditions. Not only am I in trouble if I run out of gas, I'm in big trouble if any of the water, battery, or oil gauges changes. They seldom do, but if they do, they become red-flag urgent and important.


So an IoT monitoring & analytical architecture must take into account the changing, sometimes fluid nature of the dataflows. 

Many Dimensions
It must also take into account frequency, consequences, remedies, and cost. Returning to the gas gauge, I need to look at it infrequently, the consequence is embarrassing but usually not life threatening, the remedy is generally easy, and the cost is not high. The speedometer, on the other hand, must be monitored in real time, whether I ignore it or not.

Should the engine throw a belt and cut my power while driving at night, the consequence is more severe, the remedy more difficult, and the cost higher. Should I ignore a low oil pressure warning, then I'm potentially getting into a dangerous, difficult, very costly situation.

I've had air conditioning systems conk out on me, something for which there is neither a gauge nor an alert. This problem is not urgent or important (as uncomfortable as driving without AC in the heat can be), has little consequence (unless you need to drive people somewhere who may be less tolerant of the heat than you), but can be very difficult and expensive to fix. 

I've also had wheels fall of my car--twice. The first time was when I was 19 years old, driving a decrepit used car, and speeding down the road in the manner of many teenagers who think they're going to live forever. I missed slamming into a bridge by inches, but ended up merely on the side of the road with nobody hurt. I also slowed my driving down forever. 

The second time I was going 5 miles per hour, and thought I had a flat tire. Even at this slow speed, the incident could have had very bad consequences. Losing control of the car is a terrifying thing. This car was not particularly old, but had these supremely annoying aluminum wheels that raise all sorts of Cain with tires and linkages. Again, no gauge here to help me out, but both times I was put in a potentially fatal situation. 

"Gaugeless IoT"
The "gaugeless IoT" of AC & wheel failures exists in many other aspects of driving my car. For example, even though a thermometer courteously tells me how hot or cold it is outside--something I had already nailed down as I was walking out to my car--it doesn't have an anemometer. I have to know and gauge the effect of wind myself. It doesn't let me know about traffic jams ahead, flooding, or perhaps a tornado coming my way. It doesn't warn me of kids on bicycles or dogs or deer darting out in front of me, or big trucks suddenly crowding me. It doesn't predict any of the other thousands of examples of atrocious driving I've encountered with my fellow Americans.

But wait a minute, that's why I have eyes and ears. And memory, my own organic expert system. 

So, So Early
This brings me to my overall point: Even as the IoT will generate trillions of dollars within the global economy very soon, we're still in the very early days. I'm tempted to say that we're only now in Act I of the Information Age. All previous progress has been mere prologue.

There's been a golden quest for decades to smarten computers up by attaching sensors to them. Sure, our wondrous machines have been able to crunch numbers better than us forever, and can perform all manner of brute-force tasks. Today they can even play a nice song or movie at a very high quality. 

But the IoT will bring sensory to our systems in a big way for the first time. They will need to measure all the new incoming data in several dimensions, with built-in decision points that assess remedies and consequences. Even so, it will be decades before IoT applications can "see" and "hear" with anywhere near the ability of people. As always, let's not get too arrogant about the power of our machines, and remember that human beings are sometimes the weak link but sometimes the salvation of the systems we build.

Contact Me on Twitter

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
SYS-CON Events announced today BZ Media LLC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit y...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will discuss the vast to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) will feature the upcoming 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in a New York news documentary about the "New IT for the Future." The documentary will cover how big companies are transmitting or adopting the new IT for the future and will be filmed on the expo floor between June 7-June 9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. KBS has long been a leader in the development of the broadcasting culture of Korea. As the key public service broadcaster of Korea...