Cisco introduced a data and analytics strategy and a suite of analytics software designed to allow customers to translate their Internet of Things (IoT) data--or Internet of Everything, as Cisco calls it--into actionable business insights regardless of where the data resides.
To be sure, it's not always easy to immediately make sense of the vast amount of data that's being generated, and sometimes it's not worth saving it to the cloud if the opportunity to use that data passes by.
"Traditionally most organizations created data inside their own four walls and saved it in a centralized repository. This made it easy to analyze the data and extract valuable information to make better business decisions," writes Mala Anand, SVP, Cisco Services Platform Group, in a company blog. "But the arrival of the Internet of Everything (IoE)--the hyper-connection of people, process, data, and things--is quickly changing all that. The amount of data is huge. It's coming from widely disparate sources (like mobile devices, sensors, or remote routers), and much of that data is being created at the edge."
Organizations can get data from everywhere--from every device and at any time--to answer questions about their markets and customers that they never could before. But IT managers and key decision makers are struggling to find the useful business nuggets from this mountain of data, Anand writes.
A Cisco study finds that 40 percent of survey respondents regard the inaccessibility and inability to interpret data as the biggest obstacle to translating connections into actionable insights. Cisco Consulting Services also estimates that analytics will drive $7.3 trillion of the $19 trillion IoE opportunity over the next 10 years. To capture this opportunity, a new approach is needed to get analytics to the data for instant insights, the company says.
Enter Cisco, with a strategy to manage these insights. The company is combining intelligent networks and infrastructure with data virtualization to enable customers to access highly distributed data, while adding analytics capabilities to extract insights.
Cisco's Connected Analytics for Events, for example, uses insights from Wi-Fi and device usage reporting to provide immediate visibility at various venues. Understanding what fans are doing, where they are in the venue and what kind of experience they are having allows organizations to make "split-second decisions" that will enhance the fan experience by indicating, for example, where concession stands need additional staffing or where extra event security may be needed, according to Cisco.
Cisco also has similar analytics solutions targeting retail, service providers, IT, network deployment, mobility, collaboration and contact centers.
Michael Flannagan, general manager of Cisco's data analytics business, shared an example with The New York Times whereby a large retailer tracked movements of people through its stores. When many people shopped in the frozen food section, that was an indication that they were about to check out, as they didn't want to risk having the food melt while they're walking around the store. That provided the store with information about when it needed to increase the number of available cashiers.
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