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​Opportunities for big data, IoT and cloud in real-time analysis

Developments in data analysis are rapid. Thanks to data science and big data, there are more possibilities than ever to extract valuable information from the constant data flow. Add to this IoT and the cloud, and doors open that were previously hardly thought possible. Real-time data analysis is possible, especially in complex production processes.

Interesting applications of real-time analysis are smart industry, with predictive maintenance, for example. The quality of products can also be guaranteed with the help of big data. Another example comes from the world of real estate: smart buildings.


Smart manufacturing

One of the most interesting applications of the combination of big data, IoT and the cloud is predictive maintenance. Take a production line in the automotive industry as an example. One or more operators continuously monitor the machines: trained professionals who can intervene quickly when they see that a malfunction is about to occur. But what they can't see is a breakdown coming well before something breaks.

Production lines and machines equipped with sensors produce a continuous flow of information about the processes. With traditional BI it is not possible to extract real-time information from it. By allowing the data to flow to data lakes in the cloud and applying AI to it, predictive maintenance becomes possible. This means that the production system indicates when parts are so worn out or can fail for other reasons. These can then be repaired or replaced.

You can also take this further and include all information points in a dashboard that shows a virtual representation of the machines or the production processes. These "digital twins" are a literal reflection of the real machines.

Consistency in quality

Another example of smart industry is ensuring consistency using real-time analysis. Of course, a soft drink producer that has factories in multiple countries wants the products to be the same all over the world. Even if local ingredients must be used. With the help of sensors and AI, processes can be adjusted, so that the same result on color and taste is achieved everywhere. The process itself ensures the right mix of colors and flavors, the individual components of which may deviate from what is used elsewhere.

Smart building

The last example is one from real estate. Large buildings have complex systems for heating, air conditioning and air circulation, among other things. Manual adjustment is difficult, because the result - for example a few degrees warmer or colder - is only achieved when the conditions have already changed again. With the help of sensors and AI, the weather forecast, and other factors can be involved, so that the heating or air conditioning is turned on in time.


All these examples are only possible thanks to real-time analysis of continuously incoming data from IoT sensors. The big data that results from this must be able to be analyzed at lightning speed with the help of AI and machine learning, and then fed back to the system. In this way, the combination of big data, IoT and cloud offers unprecedented opportunities for smart industry.