Like any new frontier promising limitless potential and unrivaled riches to those who stake an early claim, Big Data has sparked the interest of some great minds and grabbed a sack full of column inches heralded as a real, living game changer with the capacity, not only to change the world, but predict the future.
It’s not all hyperbole either. At this moment, an estimated 4.9 billion sensors are connected to the internet and that number is expected to rocket to 38 to 50 billion in just five years. The market for connected cars alone is projected to reach $54 billion in the next two years, Big Data applications within healthcare, $117 billion by 2020 and GE Digital estimates that the industrial internet—the B2B IoT—has the potential to add a jaw-dropping $15 Trillion to the global GDP by 2035.
There’s no doubt about it, Big Data and IoT are positioning to change everything from the way we eat and exercise, to how we manufacture the things we want and produce the energy we depend on.
A compelling dynamic in the Big Data race is not just who is taking part and what they’re creating, but who is out front. A recent Gartner report highlighted that innovation in the Internet of Things is being fuelled, not by major corporations but by the maker generation: young, dynamic startups delivering new and bleeding-edge Big Data solutions to market.
In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2017, 50 percent of Big Data and IoT solutions will originate in startups less than three years old making it the new, great plains-scale breeding ground for tech unicorns.
Lush feeding grounds
Wearable technology is undoubtedly becoming very big business. From smart watches, to fitness trackers, smart clothing and intelligent safety wear, innovation in the space is rampant and finding increasingly intelligent ways to, not only collect data, but analyze it in order to provide pattern-based predictions.
Medical wearables now present colossal opportunities, as pools of smart data are being used to refine and improve treatments and predict clinical endpoints. As an example, a smart wristband developed by US firm Empatica, is able to accurately measure the onset of seizures and ultimately determine if and when an ambulance should be sent to someone’s home.
Industry has arguably seen the greatest adoption of Big Data and IoT solutions with telecom and financial industries having led the charge in the commercial sector. 87% of enterprises believe Big Data analytics will redefine the competitive landscape of their industry within the next two years and 73% of companies are already investing more than 20% of their overall technology budget on Big Data analytics.
By leveraging intelligent insights provided by Big Data collection and analysis, the best-in-class industrial solutions are creating dramatic increases in operational efficiency and productivity, the lowering of operating costs and increased security and uptime through prediction-based mitigation of hardware failure or malfunction.
The best applications being created by leading innovators in the Big Data space have the potential to provide their users, whether industrial or consumer, with exponential benefits. Whether these are in elevated health, elevated profits or reduced environmental impact, they offer a highly compelling proposition and with that, the potential to drive valuations associated with the leading organizations, into previously unseen territories.