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August 2013, Volume 1, Number 4

The big idea behind the Internet of Things

Big data has been such big news that one important point has been lost amid all the hype: Machine-generated and sensor-based data have been around for decades. Outside the comparatively new worlds of e-commerce and ERP lies a massive amount of machine technology. From robots and machine vision systems on the shop floor to enormous assets like gas turbines, windmills and jet engines, machines drive essential business processes and create huge amounts of complex, real-time data. And such data sources are suddenly pushing the so-called Internet of Things -- which refers to connecting all devices to the Internet -- into the limelight. The C-level suite has long ignored the value of machine data and relegated its use to the plants and field assets such as pipelines and heavy vehicles where the data originated. But execs are finally waking up, realizing that there's analytical gold buried deep in machine data ­-- and to mine it they'll need to mix traditional e-commerce and ERP-based big data sources. So how can companies put the ...

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