How IoT impacts Big Data

When it comes to two of the most talked about technologies in present times, Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) are perhaps right at the helm. And over the last few years, Big Data has made progress in numerous domains. And although Internet of Things happens to be different, it is massively linked to Big Data.

What is Big Data?

Big Data is essentially a large amount of data that is in complex form. Specifically, it also refers to the use of predictive analysis and methods that allows extraction of valuable information from such data. This allows better decision making, reduction in operational costs and risks for organizations.

What is Internet of Things?

IoT is basically a network comprising of physical devices, which are also embedded with sensors, software, and electronics, thereby allowing these devices to interchange data. This ultimately allows better integration between real world physical entities and computer-operated systems.

Effect of IoT

Powered by the likes of Hadoop and big data, which are major technological advancements in computing, IoT is certainly slated to be the next big thing impacting our lives number of aspects and in major ways. One fine example would be the South Korean city of Songdo, which is a wired smart city, poised to be completed soon. Everything in the city would be connected as a stream of data monitored by an array of computers. Further, this shall happen with little or no human involvement at all.

San Jose, California is also another city with IoT applications helping in the reduction of noise pollution, improving water and air quality, etc.

As per Gartner’s report, products or services that are dependent on or are IoT related, are expected to generate in excess of $300 billion in the year 2020. Also, this is believed to only be just the start.

What are the capabilities of IoT devices?

IoT just happens to be something new, with a lot of potential behind it. We are already familiar with the likes of implants for heart monitoring, built-in sensors in automobiles, smart thermostat systems, biochip transponders and more. Also, devices can be tailor-made as per the requirements or needs of any business. A few of the aspects applicable to IoT related services are outlined below –

  • It is largely possible that IoT devices will communicate with humans, just as with other devices.
  • Sensors on IoT devices will be used to capture data such as temperature of the body, pulse rate, etc. and further transmit such data.
  • Have control over computation and also make decisions.
  • Switching devices can be operated by means of controllers.
  • Storage of data would be possible on these devices.

Until now, before the likes of IoT arrived, we encountered data from different sources like emails, phones, social media websites etc. And such data was largely unstructured, semi-structures as in emails, or even structured (data from RDBMS).

How IOT impacts Big Data?

IoT has however now opened up new sources of data and this directly impacts big data applications.

Big Data storage 

One of the very first things that come to mind when one talks about IoT is that of a large volume of data on your data storage. Also, such data is usually big data, of a different type and format and thus, a datacenter responsible for storing such data must be able to handle the load in its varying forms. Obviously IoT has a direct impact on the storage infrastructure of big data.

Let us check the resultant solution. Many of the businesses have started to adopt P-a-a-S (Platform as a Service) to handle their IT infrastructure. In general, PaaS is cloud computing service that basically provides organizations with a platform for developing and running their Web applications. This allows the management of big data efficiently and also does not require a business to expand their infrastructural facilities.

Big Data technologies 

IoT brings an entirely fresh proposition to the table. The technology chosen to process and store big data must be appropriate and one that is effective.

A number of technologies make up the big data platform, such as the likes of Hadoop, Map Reduce, HDFS and more. Thus, what organizations need to do is to ensure that these technologies can be adapted to IoT data and also their processing. As IoT data is another source of big data, the processing steps will remain the same. So the same big data platform can be used to process IoT data.

Big Data security 

Security, without any doubt, is one of the most vital aspects of any kind of technology. With IoT too, it is no different. Usually, a large number of devices are known to contribute to data and it is no surprise that a number of security threats also arise from them. Also, the number of IoT related devices keep increasing every day. Thus, emissions from such devices are to change in due course of time, which will further impact big data storage and technologies.

Organizations, as such, are sure to observe certain changes in the security sphere. One of the biggest risks lies with the number of interconnected devices, also something that happens to be the core of IoT services. Thus, any sort of attack would impact the physical world deeply.

As for the solution, organizations think rather differently, existing security mechanisms needs to be upgraded and also modified to a large extent. In fact, when starting out with IoT application development, one of the first things to do would be to consider the security in mind. One such approach can be the implementation of proper segmentation, with multiple layers of security is a good approach. That would do well to nullify threats and also prevent spreading of infections or attacks to different parts of any network.

In December last year, Business Insider conducted a survey, to which 39 percent of the responses stated security was the biggest concern for IoT.

Big Data analytics 

Analytics constitutes a part of big data that is the most relevant to businesses in current times. There are two major steps before one can analyze data, the harvesting to data and its apt storage means. Analytics is then final part but with the most significance. The IoT data, which basically lies within big data, has a great impact on big data analytics. The data also needs to go through ingestion, phases of storage before reaching the analytics phase. The IoT data then needs to be managed by different frameworks. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are also known to be working on frameworks that can handle big data.

To sum up, both IoT and big data are two sides of the same coin. Keeping that in mind, organizations need to set up the right platforms for analytics, as well as infrastructure, for proper analysis of IoT data. Lastly, a point to note would be that IoT data is important only if it is well managed and if any value can be extracted from it. IoT data generally captures through sensors attached with various devices. For example, heat generation in a data center can be monitored by analyzing IoT sensors data installed in various data centers. Another real world example can be monitoring the pollution data captured by the air sensors.

Big Data tools 

Before the arrival of IoT into the main frame, all tools and frameworks that deal with big data did not touch IoT. And now many of the providers of such tools are actually modifying their products so that they essentially work on IoT data. Also, as far as the storage side is concerned, there is impact on the side that has a number of No SQL database vendors. This impact is on all sorts of entities such as tools, framework, No SQL database and more.

Organizations have already started to experiment with existing big data tools, in order to find earlier issues that are present. With proper preparation, new technologies and testing, near-perfect solutions can be obtained on big data tools.


In this article, we have touched through all the major impacts that IoT is likely to have on big data. IoT is a completely new domain, and businesses have been exploring it so far, in order to get some useful value. However, the fact remains that it is still pretty unknown and that these unknown factors need to be considered, as they crop up with time, before moving forward. A number of solutions to impacts have also been referred to in the article. However, it is more likely that IoT will also present many more fresh challenges in the near future.

Samual Sam
Samual Sam

Learning faster. Every day.