Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Amy Eager, John Rauser

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

@BigDataExpo: Article

On-the-Go Big Data Requires a Different Approach: Four Guidelines

The mobile revolution

By the end of 2013, 1.4 billion smartphones will be in use by consumers from around the world. Around 2015, Gartner predicts that more tablets will be sold than PCs worldwide and in 2017 1.75 tablets will be sold for every PC. The growth of smartphones is not only in the Western world. Seventy-five percent of all new smartphones will be sold in Africa and Asia. The mobile era is upon us and this will require a different approach by organizations. What is the effect on Big Data and how can on-the-go Big Data add value to your organization?

Mobile devices, meaning tablets, smartphones, smart watches and smart glasses, seem to have different guidelines than desktop computers. Although it is difficult to predict the behavior on smart watches and smart glasses, the behavior on tablets and smartphones is a good example.

The Mobile Revolution
Mobile devices are becoming faster every day and with that consumers are becoming less tolerant to wait times on mobile devices. Nowadays consumers expect an answer on a mobile device in just three seconds. They can wait up to five seconds, but after that 74% abandon the website. Even more challenging is that 71% of mobile browsers expect web pages to load almost as quickly or faster as web pages on their desktop computers. This is regardless whether the user is on 3G or on Wi-Fi.

Luckily telecom networks are improving and 4G is well underway in quite a few countries. It does take quite some time though before it is up-to-speed like 3G is at this moment. 5G is also coming and European Commissioner Neelie Kroes recently made € 50 million available to make Europe ready for the 5G era in 2020. However, as long as 4G is still relatively expensive and 5G is still far away, consumers will have to do with the slower 3G. It is clear, however, that data consumption will grow on mobile devices in the coming years. Ericson predicts that the average monthly data usages for smartphones will grow to 1.9 GB in 2018 compared to 450 mb in 2012. Tablets will grow to 2.7 GB compared to 600mb in 2012.

What Is On-the-Go Big Data?
What is on-the-go Big Data exactly? Basically it means making the results of Big Data analysis available on mobile devices. Of course, any proper analysis or number crunching cannot be done on mobile devices, thus it is merely about giving consumers and organizations access on a mobile device to (visualized) results of analysis done somewhere else. This sounds simple, but it implies a lot of challenges.

Challenges of On-the-Go Big Data
First of all, the upcoming trend of Bring Your Own Devices is a challenge for IT departments in organizations. Especially in the BRIC countries, BYOD makes a significant uprise, with about 75% of employees in Brazil and Russia taking their own devices to work. IT departments are getting tired of supporting devices that they cannot manage or control. However, because it decreases costs for organizations and increases conveniences for employees, it is a trend that is hard to stop.

Several organizations such as Microsoft or IBM are reaching out to help by developing company platforms that can be used by the employees to securely download the necessary apps as well as secure the data that is transmitted. Organizations who want to make company results from Big Data analyses available on mobile devices of employees will have to ensure a high security level. In order to achieve that, organizations better start working as there is a lot to do. They should:

  • Assess the employees who have access on a personal mobile device to the data
  • Document which data can be viewed via 3G/4G and which data can be viewed via secured Wi-Fi
  • Train the employees in dealing with the data on their mobile devices and how to keep it secure
  • Create, document and communicate policies around how to use Bring Your Own Devices
  • Prepare your IT department for a plethora of questions related to all kinds of devices

Second, the screen sizes are a lot smaller. It might be a retina display or full HD display, but it still is and will always remain a small screen (apart from a tablet of course) - a small screen that is used on-the-go and in public areas. When the intelligent watches are coming (with a screen size of 128 x 128 pixels) or a Google Glass (with an expected display resolution of 640x360 pixels), this challenge becomes even bigger. This is of course not a problem, it only requires a different approach though.

Third, mobile devices do have keyboards (except again the smart watches or Google Glass), but typing on them is a hassle for a lot of people. Entering a query in a mobile Big Data dashboard thus becomes difficult and will take a lot of time. In addition, it is also prone to errors, resulting in unnecessary queries and data transmission.

The Advantages of Mobile Big Data
Well, with quite a few challenges, what are the advantages of on-the-go Big Data that validates spending time and money to overcome these challenges?

First of all, the availability of a large amount of sensors gives a lot of opportunities. There are numerous sensors in an iPhone and this will only increase in the coming years:

  • The proximity sensor: Determines how close an iPhone is to your face
  • The motion sensor / accelerometer: Enables the iPhone to automatically switch between landscape and portrait
  • Ambient light sensor: Determines the amount of available light in a space;
  • Moisture sensor: Detects whether an iPhone has been submerged in water
  • A three-axis gyroscope: Enhances the perception how the iPhone is moved
  • A magnetometer: Measures the strength and/or direction of the magnetic field in the vicinity of the device
  • GPS sensor: Determines the location of the iPhone

These sensors can help to increase the effectiveness of the visualizations shown on mobile devices. It can provide effects and tools not available on desktop computers and therefore increase insights into the Big Data. When developing a Big Data startup or a Big Data strategy, it is therefore wise to take on-the-go Big Data into account and make the most of the sensors present in mobile devices.

Second, mobile devices simply make it possible to have access to all your data at any time and anywhere. This will increase employee productivity, because a warehouse employee for example has all necessary data on his or her tablet instead of having to walk back and forth to a desktop computer with that information. Also in the health industry it can provide a lot of value. A doctor that has all available data about a patient while standing at the bed of the patient can save extremely valuable time and even save lives. It can ensure that all doctors have the same, correct, information available on their mobile devices at all time, anywhere.

A third advantage of on-the-go Big Data is the availability of push messages that allow real-time data analysis to have the most effect. Whenever an event is triggered by data analysis it can be pushed to the users via the mobile devices. This can result in immediate action, while desktop computers require the users to be behind a desk. If the mobile device also allows the user to respond immediately, the efficiency as well perhaps customer satisfaction will increase.

Four Guidelines Organization Should Take into Account When Using On-the-Go Big Data?
In order to be successful with on-the-go Big Data, organizations should take into account four guidelines. These guidelines will help organizations make the most of their mobile Big Data strategy:

1) Use simple but smart visualizations
Although the smaller screens of mobile devices require a different approach, the large number of sensors in mobile devices allows smart visualizations. Organizations should remember that on a small screen only the most vital information should be shown, as too much information will confuse the user. Especially on tiny screens like the watch or the glasses this is even more important. Give the user the vital information first, but also give the opportunity to dive deeper if wanted. Remember to limit the steps needed by the user to find more information; a small screen is not suitable for a lot of different steps.

2) Enable voice recognition
The mobile Big Data dashboard should recognize voice input. Google Glasses as well as smart watches do not even have a keyboard anymore and focus almost solely on voice recognition. Even smartphones and tablets are not suitable for entering a (large) query with a keyboard, as that is generally a hassle. If possible integrate the mobile Big Data dashboard with existing programs such as Apple's Siri. Users are familiar with Siri and it already consists of sophisticated voice recognition software.

3) Ensure fast loading of visualizations
Users expect a mobile device to work lightning fast. Complex data analyses are done in the cloud and the results are returned to the mobile device. Take this into account when giving the user the ability to view Big Data visualizations on their mobile device while on 3G network. Data intensive tasks could drain a monthly data subscription plan easily, while the user becomes frustrated. Focus on the most important analyses that a user needs to be able to perform while on 3G and allow the rest of the analyses and visualizations to work only on Wi-Fi.

4) Secure your data transmission
Only 4% of the smartphones are protected with security software. On-the-go Big Data will require giving mobile devices access to (sensitive) data results. Determine which data is sensitive and ensure that this data can only be transmitted when the user has a secure and acknowledged Wi-Fi connection. Especially in health organizations sensitive data should not be used on public Wi-Fi or 3G/4G networks. The data that is only available via WIFI should also be available offline, so that if needed an employee can continue to work even when there is no Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connection.

The Future of On-the-Go Big Data
The future of mobile Big Data is difficult to see as we are at the brink of a mobile revolution. According to Nathaniel Mott, the future of computing will be a question of head vs wrist instead of desktop vs mobile. The coming years we will probably be flooded with new mobile devices currently unknown and all of them will require a different approach of on-the-go Big Data. So the challenge ahead for organizations is to accept this and adapt on time to meet the needs of the mobile future.

This story was originally posted on BigData-Startups.com.

More Stories By Mark van Rijmenam

Mark van Rijmenam is a Big Data Strategist and the Founder of BigData-Startups.com.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@BigDataExpo Stories
"We focus on composable infrastructure. Composable infrastructure has been named by companies like Gartner as the evolution of the IT infrastructure where everything is now driven by software," explained Bruno Andrade, CEO and Founder of HTBase, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
Join us at Cloud Expo June 6-8 to find out how to securely connect your cloud app to any cloud or on-premises data source – without complex firewall changes. More users are demanding access to on-premises data from their cloud applications. It’s no longer a “nice-to-have” but an important differentiator that drives competitive advantages. It’s the new “must have” in the hybrid era. Users want capabilities that give them a unified view of the data to get closer to customers and grow business. The...
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effi...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...