With the increasing hype about Big Data and IoT, the biggest doubt in everyone’s mind centers around one main question - are IoT and Big Data two sides of the same coin? This article goes on to explain the connection between Big Data and IoT, what is required to make this connection successful and what conclusion can be made. Before going into the nuances of IoT and Big Data, let’s run through a short introduction of both.

Big Data

Big Data is an umbrella term used for structured and unstructured data, and plays a very crucial role in the way a business is conducted. In Big Data, it is not the amount of data that is of primary importance, but how it is handled. Big Data is collected, structured, and then analyzed to help make business decisions and formulate strategies. Big Data has enormous potential in today’s business world, and when the quantity of data keeps increasing, it would help you store and analyze them all. As mentioned earlier, Big Data is not entirely about “how and what” data you are able to collect, rather it is everything about how you can use it to make the following changes in your business:

  • Time savings
  • Cost reduction
  • Shortened product cycles
  • New product development


IoT or Internet of Things is in no way a stranger to anyone, because it is now being widely used in various applications within the realm of business and in the personal domain. Business processes are made efficient through connected devices and network sensors. IoT, at its basic and simplest form, lets devices talk to each other and sends you messages and alerts.

IoT and Big Data

Big data is used in IoT, making the latter extremely important in the field of business. It is only through Big Data that IoT would work, and the former performs to its fullest capacity when it is used for IoT.

How IoT and Big Data Enhance Each Other

Intelligent devices communicate with each other through embedded sensors, with its own rules in its own universe. These devices use data to transmit, compile and analyze, and make predictions and forecasts. When this is done in a big way through big data, strategic business decisions are made. This is because all the devices that are connected by an IoT network will have its own IP address, and sometimes, there can be millions of devices dealing with large volumes of data. When so much data is involved, proper interpretation and even security becomes a challenge, because not all the generated data will be useful.
In order to make Big Data power IoT in a positive (and useful) way, it is imperative to distinguish between what is useful and what is not. In order to make IoT and Big Data work in tandem with one another, companies will have to revamp their data storage facilities in a big way. They are moving into cloud storage solutions to handle the heavy load of heterogeneous data. This has prompted them to invest in cloud-based solutions, especially those that serve as Platform-as-a-Service model, as opposed to their own infrastructure.
Though this is an additional investment, the turnover would be impressive because PaaS is well-known for its flexibility, sophisticated architecture, compliance and scalability in storing IoT data. Other popular cloud options are public and hybrid. IoT devices receive data through technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and uses well-defined protocols like Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) to send messages. Mosquitto is a MQTT protocol. Most of the companies have also started incorporating the best technology platforms to handle this influx of big data. A perfect example of such a technology platform would be Apache CouchDB, a NoSQL document database because of its high throughput and low latency features.

Handling Security

There is always the issue of security. While companies are striving hard to handle all this data, they must incorporate heightened security strategies so IoT and Big data can actually enhance each other, and the end user is benefitted. Measures to strengthen security are still being explored, because even though Big Data is an older concept, its relationship with IoT is fairly new. Any attack on data would not just stop there; it would affect the IoT devices as well. Companies are already making fundamental changes to their security landscape to handle the heavy influx of data and the increasing number of IoT devices. Network segmentation and multi-layered security systems are installed in IoT devices to prevent data theft.

Big Data Analytics Platform

In order to exert full capability of the data captured and stored, there must be a big data analytics platform. Three main parameters are to be considered while data is extracted and managed within business enterprises:

  • The size of the infrastructure
  • Plans for future growth
  • Performance of the company

After deciding on these parameters, companies can choose to go for either single-tenant physical server for enhanced performance or hybrid cloud solutions to ensure future growth and to manage the size of the infrastructure.

Finally, the Verdict:

Both IoT and Big Data are not just two sides of the same coin. They complement each other; hence, each needs the other to make it useful. There is no IoT without Big Data, and Big Data attains the highest position when it is used for IoT. Want to know how IoT and Big Data can dramatically transform your business? We are here to help!

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