Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

Related Topics: Oracle, Java, Linux, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo, Big Data Journal, @ThingsExpo

Oracle: Article

Big Data's Many Dimensions (IoT)

Urgency, Importance, Frequency, Consequences, Remedy & Cost

It occurred to me, as I'm sure it's occurred to most of you, that driving a car is a classic example of the IoT in action. In this case, my brain is the CPU, and all of my car's gauges are the things. 

I was making a routine 30-minute drive to raid a local vegetable stand. As I processed all the information coming in, I realized there were several dimensions to it. The same principle is at work with IoT projects, no matter what their scale.

One of the classic charts/concepts widely used in information management is determining urgency vs. importance. Urgent & important things are represented in the upper-right quadrant of a square, urgent but not important in the lower right, important but not urgent in the upper left, and that phone call from your old college friend asking for money in the not urgent and not important lower left.

Riding Along in My Automobile
In my car, my speedometer sends me a reading that is urgent and important. My gas gauge reading is not urgent but important, and becomes urgent and important once I start running low. My gearshift is important but not urgent. 

My car has a tachometer but also an automatic transmission, so the tach reading is not urgent and not important. I can go down through the checklist of everything from the odometer, water temp, battery, and oil pressure, to the heating/AC settings, the radio; to the stream of other info and alerts kept by the car's computer.

It's Not That Simple
But this simple classification misses a lot of important stuff. For one thing, as I note above, much of the information changes its nature depending on conditions. Not only am I in trouble if I run out of gas, I'm in big trouble if any of the water, battery, or oil gauges changes. They seldom do, but if they do, they become red-flag urgent and important.


So an IoT monitoring & analytical architecture must take into account the changing, sometimes fluid nature of the dataflows. 

Many Dimensions
It must also take into account frequency, consequences, remedies, and cost. Returning to the gas gauge, I need to look at it infrequently, the consequence is embarrassing but usually not life threatening, the remedy is generally easy, and the cost is not high. The speedometer, on the other hand, must be monitored in real time, whether I ignore it or not.

Should the engine throw a belt and cut my power while driving at night, the consequence is more severe, the remedy more difficult, and the cost higher. Should I ignore a low oil pressure warning, then I'm potentially getting into a dangerous, difficult, very costly situation.

I've had air conditioning systems conk out on me, something for which there is neither a gauge nor an alert. This problem is not urgent or important (as uncomfortable as driving without AC in the heat can be), has little consequence (unless you need to drive people somewhere who may be less tolerant of the heat than you), but can be very difficult and expensive to fix. 

I've also had wheels fall of my car--twice. The first time was when I was 19 years old, driving a decrepit used car, and speeding down the road in the manner of many teenagers who think they're going to live forever. I missed slamming into a bridge by inches, but ended up merely on the side of the road with nobody hurt. I also slowed my driving down forever. 

The second time I was going 5 miles per hour, and thought I had a flat tire. Even at this slow speed, the incident could have had very bad consequences. Losing control of the car is a terrifying thing. This car was not particularly old, but had these supremely annoying aluminum wheels that raise all sorts of Cain with tires and linkages. Again, no gauge here to help me out, but both times I was put in a potentially fatal situation. 

"Gaugeless IoT"
The "gaugeless IoT" of AC & wheel failures exists in many other aspects of driving my car. For example, even though a thermometer courteously tells me how hot or cold it is outside--something I had already nailed down as I was walking out to my car--it doesn't have an anemometer. I have to know and gauge the effect of wind myself. It doesn't let me know about traffic jams ahead, flooding, or perhaps a tornado coming my way. It doesn't warn me of kids on bicycles or dogs or deer darting out in front of me, or big trucks suddenly crowding me. It doesn't predict any of the other thousands of examples of atrocious driving I've encountered with my fellow Americans.

But wait a minute, that's why I have eyes and ears. And memory, my own organic expert system. 

So, So Early
This brings me to my overall point: Even as the IoT will generate trillions of dollars within the global economy very soon, we're still in the very early days. I'm tempted to say that we're only now in Act I of the Information Age. All previous progress has been mere prologue.

There's been a golden quest for decades to smarten computers up by attaching sensors to them. Sure, our wondrous machines have been able to crunch numbers better than us forever, and can perform all manner of brute-force tasks. Today they can even play a nice song or movie at a very high quality. 

But the IoT will bring sensory to our systems in a big way for the first time. They will need to measure all the new incoming data in several dimensions, with built-in decision points that assess remedies and consequences. Even so, it will be decades before IoT applications can "see" and "hear" with anywhere near the ability of people. As always, let's not get too arrogant about the power of our machines, and remember that human beings are sometimes the weak link but sometimes the salvation of the systems we build.

Contact Me on Twitter

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubN...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
SYS-CON Events announced today that On the Avenue Marketing Group, a sales and marketing firm that utilizes events to market and sell products to consumers, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. On the Avenue Marketing Group (OTA) is a sales and marketing firm that utilizes events to market and sell products to consumers. On behalf of our clients, we attend thousands of fairs, festivals, exp...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch ...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists will discuss how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations m...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
of cloud, colocation, managed services and disaster recovery solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. TierPoint, LLC, is a leading national provider of information technology and data center services, including cloud, colocation, disaster recovery and managed IT services, with corporate headquarters in St. Louis, MO. TierPoint was formed through the strategic combination of some of t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies, a global technology solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a leader in application performance and infrastructure management for commercial and federal markets. The company is headquartered in the United States, with a diverse and talented team of more than 350 employees around th...
Health care systems across the globe are under enormous strain, as facilities reach capacity and costs continue to rise. M2M and the Internet of Things have the potential to transform the industry through connected health solutions that can make care more efficient while reducing costs. In fact, Vodafone's annual M2M Barometer Report forecasts M2M applications rising to 57 percent in health care and life sciences by 2016. Lively is one of Vodafone's health care partners, whose solutions enable o...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will mee...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Public Cloud IaaS started it's life in the developer and startup communities and has grown rapidly to a $20B+ industry, but it still pales in comparison to how much is spent worldwide on IT: $3.6 trillion. In fact, there are 8.6 million data centers worldwide, the reality is many small and medium sized business have server closets and colocation footprints filled with servers and storage gear. While on-premise environment virtualization may have peaked at 75%, the Public Cloud has lagged in ado...
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) ap...
The best mobile applications are augmented by dedicated servers, the Internet and Cloud services. Mobile developers should focus on one thing: writing the next socially disruptive viral app. Thanks to the cloud, they can focus on the overall solution, not the underlying plumbing. From iOS to Android and Windows, developers can leverage cloud services to create a common cross-platform backend to persist user settings, app data, broadcast notifications, run jobs, etc. This session provide...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applicatio...