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3 things developers need to know about managing IoT data

Pratik Dholakiya
© Shutterstock / Chinnapong

IoT is the future. Are you ready? In this article, Pratik Dholakiya goes over some of the most important aspects of IoT for developers to remember while coding. (Spoilers: it’s security. Don’t forget about security.)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking the world by storm. In fact, a 2016 report by Ericsson predicts that IoT gadgets will outnumber mobile devices by 2018!

Big data is the life and blood of the IoT. Every item and app is built to harvest it for analysis. Much of a developer’s success comes from their ability to properly read and manage the right data and glean relevant insights.

IoT management systems must be able to efficiently secure data and summarize it while providing storage, logging, and auditing.

First of all, developers need to have a firm understanding of the IoT data lifecycle.

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This ranges from production to aggregation, transfer, filtering, processing, all the way to archiving.

For those new to the field, the first element of the cycle is querying. This is the core process of accessing and retrieving relevant data. In terms of IoT, queries are created in order make requests in real-time, or to retrieve a specific view of the information already in the system. The latter is typically done to examine globalized views when looking for trends and patterns.

Next, the data is transferred within the IoT framework and reported it the interested parties by bringing it to the proper aggregation points. From there, it can be collected from those points within the network to be filtered and processed.

SEE MORE: How to turn the IoT into a good business strategy

Once the raw data is properly mined and distributed from its sources, it’s time to make sense of it. This when the information is summarized through real-time aggregation and fusion techniques.

At this point, the data is aggregated, filtered, and maybe even processed at the concentration points within the IoT. However, data comes from a wide ranges sources, formats, and structures. Therefore, it might need to go through preprocessing in order to handle missing information, integrate it into a unified scheme, and remove any redundancies.

Now, the data must be organized and stored within a reliable system equipped to handle the flow of new information. Once everything is in order, valuable insights are found while data is processed and analyzed for examination of historical behavior, trend prediction, or detection of abnormalities. This is where the IoT helps businesses make educated decisions to make certain elements of their operation run smoother.

While the processes of IoT data management are relatively straightforward, there are a number of important ideologies developers must keep in mind. Here three things every IoT developer should take into consideration.

1.  A diverse skillset is needed

Big data is growing at an alarming rate. There is no telling what the landscape will look like in 10-20 years. In order for IoT apps to remain relevant in the fast-paced landscape of technological development, the design must be flexible and future-proof. Most apps will likely need to connect to newer technology at some point or another.

With new innovation comes new forms of data. Failure to accommodate will inevitably slow your growth, and eventually bring it to a halt. With this in mind, your skills as a developer need to be adaptable and prepared for momentous change.

In relation to data management as a whole, it’s imperative for you to become proficient in at least a general engine that process data on a large scale, like Apache Spark. The easiest way to learn it is taking an online course that combines it with big data use cases: Zeolearn offers a real-world training course on Apache Spark development led by a live instructor in 10+ hands-on sessions.

Knowledge in this area gives developers a huge advantage across a wide range of industries. Mastering the Apache framework will provide a stronger grip on retrieving, storing, handling, and analyzing big data across the board.

2.  Teams need full visibility

As IoT evolves, the pool of data expands and new trends become apparent. Many worry about the prospect of information overload leading a plethora of long term issues for developers and businesses. Depending on the size of the operation, data management for the IoT almost always requires a team effort.

The IoT lifecycle has many different parts to it. It is similar to that of a phalanx in the sense that a single lapse in coordination can cause disconnect and wreak havoc across the entire project. If the data is being processed incorrectly or misread, the whole purpose of the app is compromised.

For this reason, it doesn’t matter how big or small the team is, project management is an absolute necessity. Tools like Workzone are designed to simplify this type of work. It provides users with an exceedingly intuitive dashboard where everyone involved can seamlessly collaborate throughout the whole process of development and evaluation.

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With a dependable system in place, critical bits of information are much less likely to slip through the cracks. Full visibility throughout data management is a win for everyone.

3.  Security must be a top priority

Currently, one of the biggest concerns of the IoT is data security. The harsh reality is that the nearly-limitless level of connectivity has opened the door for cyber-crooks to exploit a whole new vulnerability.

It seems like data breaches are becoming commonplace these days. Given the sheer volume of information coming in and out of connected devices, developers everywhere need to take this into account and ingrain a high-level of security into every app and data management system they associate with.

SAP SQL Anywhere is a great tool for managing these needs with data protection encryption and isolation. This allows IoT devices to connect to the program throughout collection, management, and delivery processes from start to finish.

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Parting Words

The IoT is an entity in which business owners fantasied about in previous years. Now that it is really starting to take shape, the need for expert developers is at an all-time high. With every advancement in the field comes new challenges. Keeping a close eye on the trends while organizing every aspect of your internal operation is the best thing you can do.

Author

Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full service digital marketing agency and PRmention, a digital PR agency. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Entrepreneurship and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, and other major events across Asia. As a passionate marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge on publications like Search Engine Land, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web and the Huffington Post to name a few. He has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica three years in a row.


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