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Time to shift to ‘analytics of things’

Time to shift to ‘analytics of things’

Jim Davis of SAS estimates there will be 30 billion things connected over the Internet in five years: 'All the data is out there for us to capture, do something with, and make a difference.'

Around 30 billion objects may be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020 and we should really be talking about the “analytics of things”, said Jim Davis, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at SAS.

All the data is out there for us to capture, and do something, and make a difference.

The Internet of things is all about objects that have unique addresses that can talk to each other and involve some fairly complex activities as well, Davis said in his keynote at the opening of the SAS Global Forum in Dallas, Texas this week.

“What is interesting is not that these objects can talk to themselves, but why these devices are talking to each other,” he said.

All the data is out there for us to capture, and do something, and make a difference.

“We should be talking not about IoT but we should talk about the analytics of things, how we can take advantage of it,” he said.

Read more: SAS Global Forum 2015: How data-oriented companies are closing the analytics skills gap

Jim Davis at the opening of the SAS Global Forum 2015 in Dallas, Texas
Jim Davis at the opening of the SAS Global Forum 2015 in Dallas, Texas

Impact on industries and ICT teams

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“When we think about IoT, a lot of it evolves around sensors that are sitting in devices, in appliances or any type of objects,” said Bob Messier, practice lead, global sales development and product management at SAS.

“Each of these objects is going to emit information about what is happening.”

“Understanding what is happening and the connection between the two different devices is going to require more than business rules, it is going to require analytics to figure out the probability of something else will happen next.

“This topic [of analytics of things] is coming up, but are you ready, really ready from a business standpoint?” he asked.

Questions for enterprises moving into this space include: What business problem or opportunity do you see? Are you ready architecturally because the data is coming at a pace that we are not used to managing, he said.

The marketing departments are among those that will change in the future through the analytics of things.

“Because you have so much more information from all these connected devices you will have a better understanding of true customer behaviour,” he explains.

For instance, a life insurance company has a pilot project providing health monitors to customers to see how often they go to the gym and how often they exercise. This information can have an impact on premiums, he said.

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Bob Messier, SAS practice lead, global sales development and product management, at the SAS Global Forum 2015 in Dallas, Texas
Bob Messier, SAS practice lead, global sales development and product management, at the SAS Global Forum 2015 in Dallas, Texas

So what are some trends in this space CIOs should be aware of?

“They probably need to look at their storage strategy from all these data,” said Messier. “They need to looking at their analytics strategy to figure out where they want to apply analytics. They need to look at streaming technology as data comes in.”

The biggest challenge is the governance of all these new data.

“It is going to be a new paradigm shift in velocity in terms of which data is coming into the most organisations,” he said. “Where they can store it cheaply, how much of the data will they action, how much is noise?”

Big data analytics for the masses

At the SAS Global Forum, SAS also released the SAS visual analytics for UN Comtrade, which provides unprecedented access to 27 years of UN Comtrade data – more than 300 million rows – collected by the UN Statistics Division.

“Anyone can view all of the data at once, in a high-performance environment, to gain greater insights and ask better questions. It makes our analysis much more efficient,” says Ronald Jansen, chief of the UN Trade Statistics Branch.

Using cloud technologies and high performance analytics, SAS Visual Analytics for UN Comtrade uncovers stories hidden across hundreds of trading partners and thousands of commodities to reveal how nations have interacted economically through the last three decades

Traditionally, only large organisations could glean knowledge by analysing big data in real time. Now everyone, via the web, can unlock valuable information that benefits policy makers, businesses, researchers and the general public.

“SAS is helping advance the next wave of the UN’s ‘data revolution.’ We’re not just making the data public, we’re making the insights public – for the good of society,” says I-Sah Hsieh, SAS global manager for international development. “This is big data analytics for the masses.”

We’re not just making the data public, we’re making the insights public – for the good of society...This is big data analytics for the masses.

I-Sah Hsieh, SAS

Executive Viewpoint panel: SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, Cloudera Chief Strategy Officer Mike Olson, Hortonworks President Herb Cunitz and SAS CMO Jim Davis
Executive Viewpoint panel: SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, Cloudera Chief Strategy Officer Mike Olson, Hortonworks President Herb Cunitz and SAS CMO Jim Davis

New product announcements at the SAS Global Forum include:

The integration of SAS Visual Analytics and SAS Visual Statistics to help business users and data scientists work in tandem. “The new releases reflect the converging needs of business professionals and data scientists, as both sets of users seek to boost their productivity,” said Wayne Thompson, SAS Chief Data Scientist. “Some business analysts want to go beyond descriptive analytics and do more with predictive analytics. SAS provides an easy way to look into the future.”

For example, users can build a regression model and then superimpose the predictions onto a geographic map with a few clicks. Data scientists can create models in SAS Visual Statistics and explore the predicted outputs in a variety of visualisations in SAS Visual Analytics, including predictive visualisations. And with support for iPhone 5 and later, and several Android smartphones, users can share and explore interactive visualisations wherever they are.

SAS Model Risk Management.The new model-governance solution provides a complete and detailed view of all models within the bankThis means associated model risks and related findings can be precisely monitored and managed.

Banks are increasingly finding that effective management of their analytic model inventory – including understanding model relationships and bank-specific workflows for improved model life cycle – is a critical component to meeting regulatory requirements and meeting business needs. SAS says the software relieves banks from reliance on disparate ad hoc solutions, providing a comprehensive, aggregated view of model risk to manage model lifecycle workflow.

Last week, SAS also unveiled SAS Cybersecurity, which harnesses high-performance analytics to process and evaluate billions of daily network transactions in real-time, shrinking the time to detect security events and improving the efficiency of security operations.

SAS Cybersecurity uses advanced analytics to understand the normal business behaviour of each system by analysing daily network transactions correlated with business contextual information. It optimises, then analyses, data in real time to capture a continuous picture of active security risks. By first understanding normal behaviour and then unearthing hidden, complex patterns to identify potential threats, an organisation can have a comprehensive view of risk to sustain its information advantage over attackers.

Related: Bringing cyberanalytics to the frontline: Thwarting the “upward spiral” of cyber attacks demands a firmer grasp of big data with more proactive analytics, reports IDC.

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Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

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