Market researchers have the challenging assignment of looking ahead while also paying attention to the present and the past. To get a sense of how the Internet could look in 20 years, just think about the immense magnitude of change since 1995. As Jonathan Swift observed, “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible to others.” A key component in this ongoing market research challenge is the ability to grasp the Internet of Things — IoT.
For the world of market research, the Internet of Things — also known as the Internet of Everything — especially involves the evolution in how data is transferred over networks. In this article, Research Optimus explains IoT and how it is significant to market researchers.
Internet of Things Definition
While there are currently a number of Internet of Things definitions making the rounds due to marketing buzz in conferences and research publications, here is a working definition for this article — IoT encompasses a technology revolution in which an increasing number of Internet-capable devices can communicate and network with each other; as a result, the ability to transfer data without human-to-computer or human-to-human interaction is more prevalent in an IoT environment. The concept of an Internet of Things is part of Future Internet.
How IoT Works
Internet-connected sensors are all around us, monitoring and taking measurements. The connections are both wired and wireless — the “things” that sensors are attached to can be either living or inanimate objects such as smartphones and tablets. When you are carrying a mobile device, many of your activities are tracked, analyzed and acted upon by the Internet of Things.
Internet of Things and Big Data Analytics
The world of “Big Data” has daily ramifications for businesses and market researchers — big data best practices and big data applications play an expanding role in market research activities. The Internet of Things also plays a supporting role in these conversations because connected algorithms, sensors and devices represented by IoT are directly operating in ways that involve massive amounts of data.
Of course, collecting data is not enough — data processing and analysis must occur in short order. When IoT is operating as intended, the Internet of Things helps to create a seamless transition that ideally leads to businesses improving and operating more profitably.
2 Internet of Things Examples
Two examples of IoT might help to put the Internet of Things into a clearer perspective.
Reducing Environmental Impact — United Parcel Service (UPS) uses big-data analytics and sensor data to lessen environmental impacts while also improving efficiency and saving money. UPS delivery vehicles have sensors that monitor engine health, number of stops, mileage, miles per gallon and speed. As reported by UPS, these sensors are present on a fleet of 80,000 vehicles and capture more than 200 data points. Harmful emissions, fuel consumption and idling time have been reduced by these measures.
Understanding Consumer Behavior — Disney World’s MagicBand is a sensor-laden and wearable wristband that accompanies vacationers during their Disney World experience. It facilitates checking into hotel rooms, buying lunch, going through turnstiles and reserving a place at some attractions. As a result, Disney World collects data on visitor movement, staffs rides more effectively and regulates inventory at both shops and restaurants.
Make Your Business Truly Connected
Businesses, consumers and technology are all changing — often at lightning-like speeds. Future market research successes are likely to be more dependent on the use of sensors, algorithms and devices that facilitate faster and more accurate gathering and analysis of relevant data for business decisions. The Internet of Things seems destined to play an expanding role in this challenging mission.
One practical solution for keeping up with the changing IoT world is to outsource your analytics requirements to Research Optimus, a world leader in data management operations. With Research Optimus, you can start immediately and cost-effectively — we can make this work for even small budgets and small businesses.
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