Famed inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla believed, “The future of our problems does not lie in destroying, but in mastering the machine.” This insightful comment published in a 1935 edition of Liberty magazine is material to today’s world and the billions of Internet-connected devices, or “machines”, now gathering, analyzing and storing the millions of terabytes of data being created. These multibillions of devices, embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity that enables objects to collect and exchange data, populate what is known as the “Internet of Things,” or “IoT”. Tesla would have felt right at home with the innovations of visionary companies such as Carl Data Solutions, Inc. , Teradata Corp., Splunk, Inc., Oracle Corp., and International Business Machines Corp., all of which are transforming key technologies in the digital world of Big Data.
Carl Data Solutions, a Canadian developer of Big-Data-as-a-Service (“BDaaS”)-based solutions for data integration, business intelligence and Industrial Internet-of-Things (“IIoT”) applications, turns vast quantities of information into meaningful, actionable insights for any business. The company’s strategic business model, which is scalable to any industry, focuses on environmental sensor monitoring and modeling technology, connecting the IIoT, and collecting and managing data to protect industrial and infrastructure assets.
Who needs this type of protection? Literally any industry that could possibly be affected by costly natural disasters or emergencies, or any industry that routinely faces an overload of data. With respect to the former, since 1980 the United States alone has experienced more than 200 weather and climate-related disasters with cumulative costs exceeding $1.1 trillion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Supported by a team of professional and experience data scientists and application developers, Carl Data builds environmental monitoring and modeling technology that collects, connects and manages data to protect industrial and infrastructure assets from natural disaster or other burden.
Carl Data Solutions is well-positioned in key IIoT market segments and offers customized low cost, low power, high quality hardware to collect complete, high accuracy information in near real-time. Custom sensors, data loggers, wireless networks and gateways are designed to meet current and future IIoT standards. Carl Data Solutions and one of its subsidiaries, FlowWorks, provides a prime example of an IIoT solution serving the water and waste water facilities of large and small cities located throughout North America.
Engineering and service companies have also signed on as partners, which allows the FlowWorks system to be used across multiple verticals utilizing data from a wide variety of industries. Carl Data Solutions also adapted its FlowWorks technology to enhance environmental monitoring at mines. The new app is being used at Teck’s Fording River Operations in British Columbia’s Elk Valley, where it helps monitor site water levels and provides predictive modeling to forecast future water levels up to seven days.
Greg Johnston, CEO and president of Carl Data Solutions, notes that while government and industries around the world clamor for assistance when natural disasters strike, the answer to many of these inevitable problems is adequate preparation based on facts. The company’s predictive analytics, machine learning and web-based applications deliver results that alert its clients to potential danger, so assessments can be made on critical infrastructure. Gathering data from any sensor, monitoring system, historical data or online source before a disaster strikes can provide critical information to decision-makers. The value of collecting data in order to be prepared for any event can’t be overstated and public agencies should incorporate IoT data into their emergency response plans, an article in the Harvard Business Review states.
Analysts forecast that business-to-business marketing and spending on IoT technologies and solutions will reach US$267 billion by 2020 as Internet-enabled devices stream more and more data. A BusinessWire article notes that IoT technologies and solutions are anticipated to transform virtually every industry vertical across consumer, enterprise, and industrial segments. In a report titled, “Internet of Things (IoT) Technologies, Solutions, and Market Opportunities 2017 – 2022,” a future is outlined that declares successful companies will be those that “understand how and where IoT technologies and solutions will drive opportunities for operational improvements, new and enhanced products and services, as well as completely new business models.”
Carl Data appears to recognize this opportunity, as its predictive analytics, machine learning, and web-based applications can be utilized for waste and storm water management, in the protection of oil and gas pipeline stream crossings, and by hydro-electric dams and toxic tailing ponds, among other industrial uses.
Opportunities in IIoT exist for R&D, technology integration, and development of new solutions and applications, as Carl Data Solutions and its industry peers are well aware. One of those companies, Teradata, based in Dayton, Ohio, provides analytic data products and related services. The firm operates in two segments: data and analytics, which captures, integrates, stores, manages, and analyzes data of all types. Its solutions include components such as data warehousing, big data, discovery tools, integration tools, and business intelligence tools, to manage and integrate the complex data ecosystem.
Splunk is another company providing software for machine log analysis. The firm’s flagship solution is Splunk Enterprise, used for application management, IT operations and security. The company primarily deploys its solutions on-premises, though the SaaS delivery model is growing in popularity with Splunk Cloud, and recently helped a major client, Heartland Jiffy Lube, to modernize its security while reducing the cost of security operations.
Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, sells a wide range of enterprise IT solutions, including databases, middleware, applications, and hardware. Oracle recently announced the launch of its 18c database product, which is a major improvement from the company’s legacy database products given that it is entirely cloud-based. The new product is billed as a “self-driving” database because once a problem is identified, the database can repair itself through its artificial intelligence systems.
International Business Machines Corporation is an IT giant with an operating history dating back more than a century. The company’s offerings span a range of services, software, and hardware. IBM operates on a global scale, with operations in over 170 countries. The firm has an entrenched position globally within the largest multinational firms, providing an end-to-end portfolio that helps enterprises’ plan, build, manage, and maintain IT infrastructure, platforms, applications, and services. IBM is also reportedly planning to be an industry leader in blockchain technology.
There is no doubt the world is quickly becoming more interconnected and that a concerted shift from “one size fits all” is underway. Companies with experienced leadership and innovative technologies and solutions will be at the forefront of the IoT explosion as it sweeps the globe. A Goldman Sachs equity research paper, titled, “The Internet of Things: Making Sense of the Next Mega-Trend,” describes the potential of IoT to transform the world as a “wide open opportunity”. Making significant advancements since the publication three years ago, the potential of IoT to impact efficiency across a wide range of sub-sectors is enormous and is certain to create new winners in a world where everything is connected. For companies like Carl Data, this hyper interconnectivity is a breeding ground of opportunity.