Sunday, May 10, 2015

CMOs: 3 Tips to Staying Ahead of the Game in the IoT/ Big Data Revolution

As a CMO, you know that there are huge implications in capitalizing on the IoT movement, as current research firms estimate that by 2020, over 40% of data in the world will be from machine to machine (M2M) communication. As an undergraduate at Northwestern University in the Medill School of Journalism’s Integrated Marketing Communications program with an interest in IoT, I have found two articles highlighting the importance in jumping on the IoT bandwagon. 

The first article, titled “Big Data Analytics: Key Take-aways from Mobile World Congress” by Senthil Ramachandran, focuses on how IoT can benefit companies through the building of connections with others in different industries. Ramachandran stresses the importance of building an IoT data management platform that can create value and partnerships with industries like the healthcare and automobile industry that rely on M2M communication because anticipated IoT average revenue per user (ARPU) is low. The article also includes other benefits to IoT, like how IoT devices can collect real time performance data and insights and provide transparency between subscriber and operator. 

The second article, written by Mike Kavis and titled, “The Internet of Things will Radically Change your Big Data Strategy,” echoes the similar sentiments as that of the first article. Kavis also believes in the importance of setting up a data management platform or turning to cloud based technology services since the magnitude of IoT data is just too great for normal storage systems. Furthermore, Kavis argues that it is important not just to store the data, but to also analyze the data. Analysis is the where the real value of big data lies, and if companies can collect IoT data but cannot create any actionable strategies on it, then the costs of storing become unjustifiable. Companies, according to Kavis, also need to be able to hire the right people who can learn the technologies necessary to monitor and keep up with the influx of petabytes worth of data. 

Drawing on these two articles and my experience in the classroom as a student of Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, I have listed three actions that I would recommend to companies who want become leaders in the growing IoT and Big Data revolution:
  • Create Partnerships - This works in two ways; if you are capable of running and analyzing IoT and Big Data, make sure you are working with a company who is interested your services because simply collecting data is not enough. If you are incapable of running IoT and Big Data, make sure you partner with a data services firm that can store, manage, and analyze the data so that you develop strategy based on sound data. 
  • Don’t Wait: So many leading research firms are already convinced that M2M communication is the future. There is a window of opportunity to make sure that you are ahead of the curve when the IoT revolution hits that is closing rapidly, make sure you take advantage of it.
  • Embrace the Data: The world is changing, and IoT and Big Data are at the heart of it. Their purpose is to simplify people’s lives; and if we can use the data that the machines give us to discover insights into how we can better live, then humanity as a whole ultimately benefits. We can evolve with the data.

My name is Doug Chang and I am currently a senior at Northwestern University studying Psychology and pursuing a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from the Medill School of Journalism. I am graduating in June 2015 and looking for full time employment in data analytics and digital marketing. Feel free to reach out or connect with me at @dchang0611.

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