IoT nudges Big Data into Disillusionment

Its 2001, Apple is readying up to launch an iconic product & experience revolutionizing the portable music player industry. The product is named unconventionally, as the iPod. Steve Jobs has been intrinsically involved in the design, user experience and even the minutest detail such as the color of the iPod…..to this end they were conducting focus groups to better understand which iPod color might be the primary choice of shoppers, and hence to launch in. Over a period of 2 days and intense discussions later the focus groups came back with the unanimous decision on the color — “Yellow”. The product management team thanked the focus group members for having spent their time and as a gesture of their gratitude asked the participants to pick an iPod, of their choice, on the way out 80% of them chose white!

Data often tells a story which is contrary to what people say….data and more specifically big data allows us the latitude of looking for patterns rather than making us all anthropologists trying to observe people’s behaviour and try to differentiate between what they say vs what they actually do. How many of you would have believed that with the launch of the white iPhone, the sales of white cars would have gone up in LA; I wouldn’t have. But apparently- women like to match their colors; again big data would have allowed us to make such predictions.

I stumbled upon a graph from Gartner, indicating that IoT had recently nudged Big Data from the “Peak of Expectations” into the “trough of disillusionment”. Not sure I completely agree with the chart since one in six (15 %) consumers already use wearable tech today, such as smart watches and fitness bands, making me believe IoT doesn’t fit the mould of Gartner’s previous predictions- where largely <5% adoption existed well into the “Slope of Enlightenment”. Either way IoT & Big Data have arrived and if we marry the two together- we definitely have a winning proposition.

The value of IoT is definitely in increasing revenue, productivity, efficiency & lowering cost, but often companies forget the value of the data it generates. I see the culmination of big data and IoT fundamentally altering the value proposition to the end customers by providing insightful, relevant and actionable data to influence the decision making paradigm in real time, improve QoE and lastly unlock the hidden value of the same data in parallel verticals.