Data exists to help businesses strengthen their operations, coordinate with employees, and make important decisions.
THE DANGERS OF DATA SILOS
That’s why silos can be damaging. When data is placed in a silo, it becomes virtually meaningless. It is widely believed among business executives that extensive data streams from their manufacturing processes, but silos tend to get in the way. In fact, silos can often prevent departments from gaining access to valuable information.
A silo is a source of stored data or information that generally remains under the control of a single department within an organization. This data is often secluded and “kept away” from other departments, much like how grain silos on farms are sealed off and secured. Though some systems are required to be kept separate from others for security reasons, the cons far outweigh the pros.
For the most part, ideas behind data silos are outdated and ineffective. They typically occur when data systems are not compatible with one another, and they often lead to data integration problems. Furthermore, many experts claim they can decrease an organization’s performance and have negative impacts on a company’s culture and employees.
FINDING SOMETHING BETTER
With all this in mind, it’s easy to say data silos aren’t all they should be, and finding new, more effectual ways of storing and sharing data are inherently called for. The Internet of Things is centered in and around data; it’s predicted value for the year 2025 is slated to stretch beyond $11 trillion, and is largely based on its abilities to analyze and integrate data. When it comes to streaming information, the IoT does the job with general ease.
But one problem is that many companies aren’t stepping on board, or don’t have the knowledge to fully organize the data they have. Information is frequently collected, but businesses are doing lackluster jobs of documenting what they have, and often, they do not have the right analytics or property tools to get things done.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle companies are experiencing is that transforming analytics into actionable ideas requires the assistance of data scientists. As things stand, most IT departments do not have the knowledge or skill necessary to transfer data alone, but the aid of data scientists is something many companies cannot or will not pay for. At the same time, scientists have the knowledge to not only find large amounts of data, but make recommendations and deliver information in “plain English.” The data is gathered and inherently simplified for personnel to understand.
The future is coming closer, and companies have no choice but to fully accept the changes that lie ahead. Matt Gould, chief strategy officer at Arria, says that data is being created faster than anyone could have predicted, and the correct usage and storage of data could allow IoT adopters to save both money and time respectively.
Several examples exist already in areas like the industrial sector, which has experienced reduced costs and improved uptime of equipment. Software companies like National Instruments have lowered operation costs for oil and gas refineries, power plants, and other energy providers by using IoT data to “predict and prevent problems before they occur,” and potentially halt unplanned work stoppages.
Other platforms, such as solution provider SML, also make bold predictions about retail. SML claims the IoT can help retailers improve inventory accuracy by as much as 98 percent, increase SKU density by nearly 50 percent, and heighten sales of out-of-stock items by up to seven percent. The IoT clearly provides a level of insight unseen in today’s corporate universe.
CONCLUSION: ADAPT NOW
Still in its beginning stages, the Internet of Things has yet to show its full potential, though examples of what it can do already exist in multiple industries. Companies and businesses are consistently advised not to wait; that the time to examine IoT technology is now, not in three to five years. Businesses must think about the future, and in doing so, they will see the IoT is not just about connectivity, but also organized data, and many experts see the IoT as a vastly powerful tool.
“IoT gathers an unprecedented amount of internal and external data, which when sifted through, can give you answers to the questions you didn’t even realize you should be asking,” says the CEO of Profitect Guy Yehiav.
Feldman, Jonathan. “Why IT Needs to Tear Down Data Silos.” InformationWeek. UBM, 22 Mar. 2016. Web. 04 Mar. 2017.
“Silo Mentality in Companies.” Rotize. Web. 04. Mar 2017.
Dickson, Ben. “How IoT Adopters Can Make Efficient use of Their Data.” TechCrunch. TechCrunch, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 04 Mar. 2017.
“The Backbone of the Internet of Things: An Examination of the Implications for Retail.” SML Group Limited. SML. 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.