Internet Of Things Data Analytics Key Takeaways from DGS4

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Watch a replay of the Internet of Things Data Analytics Panelists at Digital Growth Summit:

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Thank you to SADA Systems for sponsoring this panel at the Digital Growth Summit.

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Ion Gott, Moderator, Microsoft - Bob George, SADA Systems - Dave Mathews, NewAer - Matt O'Donnell, Attunix - Swamy Narayanaswamy, Cs3


Internet Of Things best practices and examples

What are some best practices in the IoT space? How is IoT helping organizations differentiate themselves from their competition?

My company did a project with a Unilever brand of ice cream vending machines in Tube Stations in London last year that was interesting. We called it the “Digital Ice Cream Social.” - Dave Mathews

Initially, the conversation with the client was about having ice cream vending machines alert commuters that ice cream was nearby via an app on a phone and proximity technology, which does not rely on cell service or wifi. We were able to re-strategize with the client to create an alert from the vending machine that would alert a commuter when a “friend” (Facebook or Twitter contact) was nearby, and suggest a meetup at the vending machine and a free ice cream. The first idea would have created an app that would have been immediately deleted by most people, however the second idea is widely appreciated. - Dave Mathews

We work on more of an Enterprise level, but we see some really interesting outcomes. In the agricultural sector, for example, we are using IoT technologies to track fertilizer throughout the lifecycle of the product. With this information, we can make recommendations in following years with regard to formulations. - Matt O'Donnell

My company worked on a project lasering unique codes on eggs. I believe that eventually all of our lettuce for example, will have unique codes, and we will be able to determine which fertilizer was used by which farmer in which field and so on. - Dave Mathews

The power of IoT is greater than increasing brand awareness and connecting consumers with the brand. - @Mt_ODonnell

This gets into an area where technology is improving lives significantly, and socially responsibly, by providing these types of insights. So the power of IoT is even greater than increasing brand awareness and connecting consumers with the brand, although this is one function that we all want to do. IoT can improve lives significantly in terms of how we are eating, socializing and interacting with one another. - Matt O'Donnell

My company deals more in the retail environment using IoT data to help companies make decisions. For example, when you enter a retail store, your phone is often visible to the store router, regardless of whether you actually connect to the router or not. As you move through the environment, a kiosk, for instance may measure how long your device has remained nearby. This can give the retailer excellent information, without personally identifying you, about the efficacy of their displays. Also, from a facilities management perspective, if a device has been in a particular area, say a bathroom for longer than average, an employee can be dispatched to help if need be. - Swamy Narayanaswamy

Best-practice wise, one thing that we have noticed is the need to store all the data. - @SADABob

Best-practice wise, one thing that we have noticed is the need to keep all of your data. Disk space is one of the cheapest things that you buy in IT, so go ahead and spend your money there. If you are a smaller shop, and you are ready to process that data, and you don’t have a big budget for R & D, then you will be looking for a service that will process it for you. Typically you will be looking at streaming data, as opposed to cold storage data. So, if you don’t have the money to store the data, then you are going to be processing it as it comes in. So these are discussions that you are going to have to have within your organization. For my organization in particular, we get a lot out of Microsoft’s Cortana Analytics Suite because it is similar to a data pipeline service and we can consume each part as we need to depending on what kind of a project that we are on. - Bob George

We have an example of a laundry service company, with about 400,000 internet connected devices. Initially, the devices were connected to the internet to provide data about how much money each machine was bringing in and what the service life was, and when to order repairs. Once the data started coming in, we discovered that they could pair the data with publicly available infomatics or purchased marketing demographics and make great decisions on where to locate new businesses. - Bob George


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Internet Of Things future trends

We are just at the cusp of IoT transforming into something much bigger. Where do you see this sector going in terms of where we are at today, and where we could be headed in the future?

Best practices in the IoT future will be driven by best business practices. - @SwamyCs3

Currently, we are in a state of wonder that all of these things are possible with IoT, but some day, there will be a reckoning. People and organizations are ultimately responsible for data they they collect and they must have a reason for collecting it. I believe that best IoT practices in the future will be driven by best business practices. As technologists, we sometimes run out ahead and build things, without regard to future business consequences. - Swamy Narayanaswamy

I am interested in the data services that we will have in the future. Many of us have “cut the cord” by cancelling our cable services, but now our dishwasher, washing machine, tv, car, maybe even doorbell will be internet dependent. So, IoT has the potential to crush our wallets. I am very interested in these lower bandwidth networks that have potential for out “things” to use. - Dave Mathews

It's important to remember that all modern devices have sensors and telemetrics that they are collecting. - @IonGott

I am really excited about the interconnectedness of it. Our things will not only be performing a function in our lives, but they will be producing data about us and our behaviors in such a way that we will be able to do some really creative profiling. My buying pattern, and the things that I care about will be much more known in the future, and that is very valuable to marketers. Take the data that we have today, and magnify that by 3-4,000 times and that will have to work with through IoT. - Matt O'Donnell

In terms of the role of IoT in marketing, it is very important to remember that our Smart Homes and every device that we have today have sensors and telemetrics that they are collecting. For instance, you may do a Facebook check-in then receive a marketing ad related to your location. That data and information is going to be critical in how we target our audience. - Ion Gott

We are still early enough in IoT evolution that everyone can be a part of shaping the future. - @SADABob

One really exciting aspect of IoT is that we are still early enough in its evolution that everyone in this room can be a part of shaping the future. One of the first things that we will see in this sector is the same type of competition that we see in Cloud providers in the arena of managing and harnessing the IoT data as it is coming in. Also, there are so many sensors out there, I predict competition there as well as competition among the machines who consume the sensor data. I believe that a lot of lines will get drawn over time, and will funnel the data to larger companies. This is a perfect time to establish partnerships, consuming these platforms, and blogging about them. - Bob George

One trend that I see in the retail space is the integration of the physical world with the online world. - @SwamyCs3

One trend that I see in the retail space is the integration of the physical world with the online world. A customer may come in to your location as referred by an online ad or special, you want to document their behavior so that it can be replicated to increase traffic to your shop. The social media campaign may direct consumers to engage with specific products in your store in real time, so you need to place the products appropriately, and so on. - Swamy Narayanaswamy

I hope that an rip cord button or an opt-out button is developed for the case you have already purchased a product and still receive aggressive marketing for it based on prior shopping habits. - Dave Mathews


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Internet Of Things data for marketing

Is anyone in the room currently doing anything with IoT data for marketing?

From audience: We target applications back to the user based on usage habits.

From audience: We do medical office tracking movement through the clinic.

That sounds like an application that I am interested in. I have heard of hospitals having readers to determine if people are looking at their phones while walking. The goal is to lower incidence of slipping. It is a very simple IoT use case, but very impactful on worker safety. - Bob George


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Internet Of Things security measures to keep user data safe

What types of security measures are you taking to keep your technology safe?

Before we wrote one line of code, we wrote a privacy policy. - @GGDM

Before we wrote one line of code, we wrote a privacy policy. We never know the identity of the users who are on our platform, we only know machine IDs. We are very similar to what a tollway would do. It only looks at the license plate of the car, and then reports that data to the DMV, then the DMV mails the registered owner the bill. The tollway does not know who the driver of the car is. - Dave Mathews

We engineered our platform to only collect machine IDs, and never to know who is connected to it. - @GGDM

The potential for IoT to go awry is high, with the Snowden era and the transparency of data. That is why we engineered our platform to only collect machine id, and never to know who is connected to it. That is good for us, because we have many users, including telecoms, airlines, even a dating app in New York City (when you walk by a person who is a match, your phone will buzz in your pocket.) - Dave Mathews

Similar to Dave, we never know the identity of a person walking through a retail store. We only know the identity of the device. – Swamy Narayanaswamy

We never know the identity of a person walking through a retail store, only the identity of the device. - @SwamyCs3

We track where that device is moving. While, technologically, we probably could get other information if we wanted to, but we are living within the legal framework that society has set up. We understand that if we go beyond that framework, we violate privacy and there will be consequences, so we remain within the framework. We limit ourselves to data about the device, collected with the goal of customer convenience and optimization. - Swamy Narayanaswamy


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Avoiding IoT vulnerabilities

From the audience: Are there those who target these platforms to exploit their vulnerabilities to inflict harm?

Not too much. A great strategy to protect yourself is to understand your authorizations, and be clear about who should be able to know what about you. In the future, with IoT companies forming partnerships, they will be able to know more about you through process of elimination. That is why authentications and authorizations are important to preserve your anonymity. - Bob George

Cell phones connect to the nearest cell tower and can be located through triangulation. - @ggDM

Do you remember when OJ was in the white Bronco going down the 405? He was tracked by the cell phone in his pocket, and this was before smart phones. Cell phones connect to the nearest cell tower and can be located through triangulation. This data is available. Apple is obfuscating its “MAC address” by rolling the address periodically. So, as you are walking through a mall, your phone may look like 10 different phones over a period of time. So, operating systems are putting in security measures. There are such things as rogue routers which perpertrate “Man in the middle” attacks. You can often see when these attacks occur, on devices with displays. However, with IoT devices with no displays, this could be dangerous. - Dave Mathews

In general, every time you have something that is convenient for you, it is a security problem. - @SwamyCs3

In general, every time you have something that is convenient for you, it is a security problem. The only way to be really secure is to not use any devices. The bottom line is that IoT will not make you any less vulnerable. You need to have IoT security, just like you have with your other devices. - Swamy Narayanaswamy [su_spacer size="1"]


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IoT app consent for data tracking

Regarding the proximity platform you were discussing earlier: You mentioned that two people walking by each other may have some IoT connection. Have they given prior consent to the app?

Yes, the way our technology works is that we provide a platform for machine 1 to talk to machine 2. It’s a peer to peer network, from device to device. The key for each app is different, and that is called “sandboxing” and placing a firewall between apps. It all boils down to trust. Your mobile phone that you have in your purse or pocket is in essence your “mate.” So, the idea of trust is paramount to us. Authentication and authorization. - Dave Mathews


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Retail IoT and rolling MAC addresses

Does Apple changing or rolling the MAC address cause problems with your IoT systems?

It may make a difference, but typically, the device must move significantly before the machine ID will roll. If the device remains within a few meters, it is unlikely that the ID will change. If it does, then we would have to reevaluate the algorithm. - Swamy Narayanaswamy

One of the reasons why Apple does this occurs on the second visit. They don’t necessarily want the retailer to know that the same device has visited every day this week. - Dave Mathews


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IoT marketing tools

What are some of the tools that your clients are using to work with this information?

There are a lot of new players in the market presently. I think that we are going to see consolidation of newer companies with larger corporations who have the resources to scale. Examples are Microsoft and Azure, Amazon with AWS and Google. We are working with a number of customers who are putting their devices on Azure. The value of the conversation is to think about the process from end to end: from the device itself to the information that you want to get. This is different from building a device, it is connecting something that really influences behaviors. - Matt O'Donnell


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IoT differentiation trends

What do you think organizations need to do to stay competitive in the next 3 years as it relates to differentiation?

It’s a focus on strength. Start with what you are good at. Sometimes those are the easiest things to line up and get started on right away since you already have developed a channel. - Matt O'Donnell

In the world of IoT, technology-only focus will not typically drive results.- @IonGott

I agree that knowing what your organization does best is important. I would suggest that when you are hiring, look for individuals who have a lot of vertical knowledge so that you can tap into that knowledge and break into new areas that you never knew that you would be good at. - Bob George

At Microsoft, we work with a number of clients who are visionary in that respect, and can reach out into other disciplines other than IT for buy-in. In the world of IoT, that is important because a technology-only focus will not typically drive results. - Ion Gott


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IoT traction for users and partners

How do you create an onboarding process, from the device to the sensor?

It is a complicated onboarding process in the retail environment, certainly. It can take many months and require the cooperation between various vendors in addition to the retailer themselves. - Swamy Narayanaswamy

In order to get users to onboard apps, you need to solve a problem, or deliver value to them.- @Mt_ODonnell

In order to get users to onboard apps, you need to solve a problem, or deliver value to them, at the same time as doing good for your client. If you are willing to give people value, people are more willing to allow you on to their devices. - Matt O'Donnell

It’s all about trust. We just got an app installed on Apple TVs that are shipping this week. So, if you hang an Apple TV in your lobby, and you approach it with a phone with Newaer, the phone can talk to the TV and it can greet you by name, offer you a coupon, assuming that you dwell there for a certain number of minutes. - Dave Mathews

From a non-technical side, what you really need to watch out for are partnerships. - @SADABob

From a non-technical side, what you really need to watch out for are partnerships. You may have authorized one app to know one piece of information about you, and another app to know different information, but if they are business partners, they may be trading your information behind the scenes to paint a very complete picture of you. These organizations will onboard you whether you want to be onboarded or not. - Bob George

To wrap things up, the holy grail for IoT is software, because the devices we carry in our pockets or purses are our mates, and it is unlikely that we are going to a time when we will accept less technology. - Dave Mathews

Software today is doing what hardware did in the past. - @GGDM

Since we are in the Microsoft building, one of my inspirations was Bill Gates’ house in the 90’s. As you walked into that home, you were given a pin, which 100 computers used to identify you. They would change lighting, temperature, art and the mood of the room to your preferences. We are now doing the same thing, but with software. Software today is doing what hardware did in the past. I believe that we need a little more glue to hold this world together. - Dave Mathews

If you can dream up an application that would drive more business to you, it can be done. - @Mt_ODonnell

I think that the technology is at the point now that if you can dream up an application that would drive more business to you, it can be done. There really are not many limitations to what can be done and scaled tiny. There are many innovations to come in terms of energy, for instance and water use here in California. Dream it up. - Matt O'Donnell

The devices that are consuming sensor data are going to do pretty cool things for you. - Bob George

You'll need to have data analytics in place, because the amount of data that you get can be overwhelming. - @SADABob

But, you are going to have to learn how to make sense of that data, because you will want to own it for your organization, and want to keep safe from your competitors. This means that you will need to make an investment in the data side. You will need to have data analytics in place or other tools because the amount of data that will come to you will be overwhelming. - Bob George


Internet Of Things Panel Digital Growth Summit