The Internet of Things, with its sensors and endless data streams, will continue to transform the world of business. In the process, it will separate the data-savvy companies from those who aren’t willing to keep up.

 

“Big data is here to stay and we need to get used to it,” Mike Wood writes for Business.com. “In fact, so many companies are now using it that they gain an advantage over those who don’t.”

 

Dealing with data doesn’t have to be hard — every business must start somewhere, he writes. His first tip: as you begin, start with an idea of what you’re looking for. “You really need to understand what you want to accomplish with the data you collect before you even begin to analyze,” Wood writes. “No sense in putting information into a chart if that is not the information you want to use.”
Wood also suggests using cloud-based software tools to dig into your data. “Cloud solutions enable businesses to quickly get started with analytic solutions,” he writes. “They are also affordable, and they are easy to try and easy to scale as a business grows.”

 

Once you get a handle on these concepts, you can move into more advanced analytics. Tom Davenport, writing for Forbes.com, lists eight more advanced tips for taking your company’s data analysis to the next level. They include creating a strategy for data curation, enabling a data lake where you can store raw data and figuring out how and when to start using predictive analytics.

 

All of these — and more — will be useful as the Internet of Things, or IoT, continues to explode, Davenport writes. “It’s time to think now about the data management and analytics capabilities you will need to have over the next five years as the IoT matures and blooms,” he writes. “It’s time to get busy and make sure you have an implementation trajectory that will ensure you are ready when the IoT data starts flowing in a big way.”

 

And finally, don’t forget your product’s design. A march toward a more connected world “will require a fundamental reorientation in the way that technologists and product designers work together to create successful connected personal devices and home appliance products,” Scott A. Nelson and Paul Metaxatos write for Harvard Business Review. “This evolution will be difficult for many companies to achieve — not for lack of technological expertise but because they’ll fail to recognize the value of design in connected product development.”

 

Businesses should be thinking about user experience — something that hasn’t been a priority as companies have developed B2B solutions. “Increasingly, the pull of user experience will drive market demand,” they write, “and product design will be critical to getting consumers to adopt offerings in this new IoT 2.0 world.”