Step One: Collect Good Data
Quality data is essential to any BI strategy. If that data lacks integrity, it can impact everything downstream (report quality, etc.). Focus on devices that produce minimal noise. Existing technologies like smartphones and smart apps will often do the job, since they transmit data seamlessly to the cloud, bypassing the need for costly hardware investments.
Step Two: Process Data and Create Reports
Once data is gathered, BI can begin to be gleaned. Using processing tools, data anomalies can be detected, problems identified and insights uncovered. This process can be performed by standalone out-of-the-box cloud BI tools or via a more customized process. For example, if you're looking to manipulate real-time data, send alerts, process aggregations, integrate data with existing systems and leverage web-based insights (particularly geospatial and map-based visualizations), more custom development may be required.
Step Three: Share Your Data
This is where APIs come into play. APIs are powerful tools that let you expose your data to application development communities who know how to harness the power of that data through applications, thereby driving more value-creation opportunities. This displaces the traditional process of hiring a team of application developers to help you put your data to use, and removes barriers between business units, while inviting attention from partners, customers, software developers and so forth.
Step Four: Be Open to Feedback
With openness comes feedback. Invite input from those who use your data services (API users) and adjust accordingly. Perhaps the developer community notices problems with your data, or finds new ways to bring additional value to your datasets. It's a valuable way to successfully deploy a cloud-enabled, IoT business intelligence strategy mindset and outcome that is often alien to an enterprise culture where everything is siloed, and data becomes stale and under-utilized, and quickly loses its value.
The Future Is Here
The Internet of Things isn't just rapidly reshaping the way we do business today—it's also opening new opportunities that have yet to be discovered. The imperative, capabilities and tools exist today to successfully deploy a cloud-enabled, IoT business intelligence strategy. Is your enterprise ready?
A veteran of EastBanc Technologies, Peter Shashkin is an accomplished enterprise architect, project management professional, Scrum Master and real-life rocket scientist. Having helped the company achieve Microsoft Partner Gold Application Development and Gold Collaboration and Content partner status, Peter is EastBanc's go-to technology lead for SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, Azure and other Microsoft deployments. Peter is skilled at knowing how to transform technology into a differentiator, and is passionate about harnessing the power and convergence of the cloud, mobile technology and the IoT to support customers' strategic goals. He graduated from Novosibirsk State University with a Master's degree in applied mathematics, and lives in Bethesda, Md., with his wife and daughter.