The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a topic of interest since the advent of smart appliances and thermostats. However, many of the products debuted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) forecast a shift that may elevate IoT from novelty to reality. Judging from the products shown at CES, that shift to real-world application will likely come through the crossroad of IoT and wearable technology; and much attention will be on the the data these technologies generate.
One thing’s evident in the wake of CES 2015: Big Data is about to get even bigger. Though far from an insurmountable challenge, marketers will still need to prepare for the approaching wave of device and event data. Here’s how to handle that data deluge.
Focus on data, not devices
Smart rings, watches, and glasses are exciting innovations in technology, and represent the next phase of the fusion of physical and digital. However, marketers must remain focused on the actual data that smart hardware collects and broadcasts. “It’s so important to have a definition of data by device,” says Andy Monfried, CEO at data management platform Lotame. “You need to be able to understand what [data] is being transmitted, as opposed to identifying the device as a smart ring, a refrigerator panel, or Google Glass. What specific [data] does the device throw off and, more important, what happens when it’s connected with other datasets.”
Understand device types
When it comes to understanding device-level data there are two types of devices for marketers to consider: lifestyle devices and appliance devices. “[Lifestyle devices], like FitBit, are devices that are health related, or deal with the physical being of an individual,” Monfried explains. “Devices like refrigerators or TVs deal more with the appliance than the person, and give off event-level data. When it comes to data collection, it’s important to segment these two into separate taxonomies.”
Understand the way data connects
Customer behavioral and demographic data management has become one of marketers’ most important tasks. Social media, and the various types of cookie and location data associated with the Web already complicate data management. Data analysis will only get more complex. Monfired suggests marketers meet these new challenges by focusing on the way this new data will connect, not its complexity. “Question what is the mechanism, and the manner in which marketers can connect the various devices to make use of the data. It’s imperative for marketers to to collect, normalize and strategize this data,” he says.