Top capabilities you should consider in an IoT data platform

Written by Habib Heydarian
IoT capabilities

How to evaluate an IoT data platform

In the exploding world of IoT, it can be challenging to navigate through all of the buzzwords, acronyms, and platform options to understand the major impact IoT devices will have in the future. We get asked all of the time, “What capabilities should we be looking for in an IoT data platform as we comb through all of the options out there?” Here are the four capabilities you should look for in an IoT data platform, to build anything from smart home automation systems to large scale industrial IoT.

1. Connectivity

It starts with how a device or sensor connects to the internet and a cloud platform. There are many options to choose from WiFi through a hub or gateway, 2G, or 3G cellular networks. Once you have connectivity in place, now you can get the device or sensor talking to your cloud IoT platform. Ensure you find a service provider that can send data through clean API’s that are easy to implement and install. This will ensure you can get quickly setup and start capturing your data within minutes.

2. Control

The next capability necessary when evaluating an IoT data platform is control of the device. There are a number of different scenarios for control including controlling a device through an application, device-to-device communication, or control from the cloud (based on an event, rule or some other pre-determined condition). For example, if you have a water leak detector, it can automatically send a command to the device which could be an appliance or part of the core infrastructure to turn off the water valve. Here, using two-way communication, a signal can be sent from the detector to the device via the cloud to shut off the water. Lastly, you can program the device from an app (or website) to shut off at a certain time or schedule based on a pre-programmed rule.

IoT device control

3. Device Management

Device management is also a major consideration. To keep devices and sensors up to date and functional, a strong device management solution is a core component of an IoT cloud platform.
There are a few main capabilities a device management platform provides, including the ability for manufacturers to send software or firmware updates OTA (over-the-air), factory provisioning, as well as an out-of-box experience (OOBE).OOBE is part of a core experience that is often left to the last minute or completely glossed over. It’s the first experience that an end user, be it a consumer, installer or technician has when interacting with a device for the first time. A great OOBE experience significantly increases the probability of an end user successfully installing and configuring a device. Furthermore, it reduces the likelihood of a support call or the end user returning the product altogether.

4. Actionable Data

The last capability you should consider in a IoT data platform is how you can query the data in a manner that is clear and meaningful. It’s one thing to get all your data in place, but the value of the data is only realized when it’s turned into information that can help solve a problem. We want organizations to focus on their core competency, like making great appliances or services that deliver value to their customers, rather than focusing on cloud infrastructure that makes it possible. At Buddy, our job is to provide an end-to-end turn-key solution to connect the world’s IoT devices and provide real-time business insights for decision making. That can take the form of simple dashboard or deep analytics through integration with partners and services.

Keep it simple when you’re evaluating IoT data platform options. If a platform is connected, allows two-way communication to the device, device management and a visual IoT data graph, these are the main areas you should focus on during your process.

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