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IoT Data Visualization for Better Understanding of the Big Data

Data is Everywhere! Right from a customer visits a company’s website until he signs out, all the data and the behavioural pattern is tracked. The data received from the wearable devices that monitors your health to the large logistics and transportation company that checks the supply chain stocks, assets tracking all leads to a heap of Big data.

All these data becomes useless, unless they serve for a particular purpose. Analysing the data and predicting the future trend and where to focus more are some of the significant benefits it offers. These smart data visualization tools and technologies helps to slice and dice the data to the minute granular level.

Do these Data visualization tools really help to scale up an Enterprise? Yes it does! Indeed SAP’s revenue has accounted to 2 billion US dollars by using these BI tools.

IoT Data Visualization

“A picture speaks a thousand words” that’s exactly the impact a visual data creates a user! Many psychology studies have proven that the human brain is wired to consume tons of images quickly than mere numbers or words! Let’s put on our technical hat in defining the IoT Data visualization techniques. Read on to know more about these tools and why it’s the much sought after technology by business verticals.

Stepping into a Data-Driven Era

IoT Data Visualization is the technique where the raw data is presented into a more insightful one that is derived from different data streams. It analysis the data and looks into the certain patterns & behaviours that improves with better business decision making. It helps to create a viable business strategy.

Data Visualization across Business Verticals

Here’re some of the industries which increased the operational efficiency by implementing the IoT data visualization tools in their business models.

1) Transportation Business – Heathrow Airport

Heathrow airport , one of the busiest international airports in the world, uses Power BI for all their data analytics measurements. With real-time passenger traffic, current traffic changing conditions, gates traffic, calculating the terminal distance, connecting flight info and so much more. These real-time graphical data gives the passengers a hassle-free flight experience.

2) Financial Sector – State Farm Insurance

Headquartered in Illinois USA, Statefarm insurance company is a reputed insurance firm gaining trust from millions of customers. I was a part of their Business intelligence team where they were using Cognos tools for all their reporting purposes.

Cognos 10 BI tool analysis their customer data and produce reports according to their customer needs. Cognos tool helps to analyse various tools, using Report studio, event studio and use different metrics to get a deeper insight.

3) Travel Sector – Booking.com

To get the visualization of the metrics data at a large scaleBooking.com used Grafana tool with Graphite as a monitoring engine. With the help of these data visualization tool , the engineering team came up with a hybrid solution to secure all the sensitive data. With Grafana, Booking.com was able to drastically reduce the coding part.

Grafana tool helped to optimize the stack by storing millions of metrics per second. It gave them a better use of time, less inbox traffic and gave a lot of flexibility.

How Contus helps in IoT Data Visualization

Contus has leveraged the data visualization technology across multiple devices where it transforms the raw data into meaningful insight of information. Our skilled in-house iot application development team presents these data into a readable visual format like pie charts, graphs where you can drill down and get data upto granular level.

Having worked with several business verticals and build innovative IoT applications, Contus provides data visualization services that helps to create customizable and interactive dashboards for better decision making.

Accelerate your business intelligence developments with Contus data analytics services with greater resource allocation and build strong infrastructure.

Data Visualization Tools for IoT application

Here are the top 3 IoT Data visualization tools that are widely used across several industries globally. As said before, the big data collected from the various IoT devices, needs to be interpreted for analyzing them to take better business decisions. Hence, IoT data visualization tools helps to provide strong analytics data.

1) Grafana Tool – One Tool for all your Monitoring Needs

Before looking into Grafana tool definition, let’s understand one important metric which is ‘time-series’ database. Basically, time series database stores data which changes over time.

Time series data are measured over a duration of course like 4 to 5 years, like specific time period in days , weeks etc. Or data collected based on certain predictable pattern and data collected as per the current economic condition. Grafana, an open-source data visualization tool, is built to consume these time-series metric data. There are several time-series data storage backends where Grafana supports with specific labels, data sources.

How does Grafana tool work?

Lets look into a real-time scenario where they have successfully used Grafana tool. Grillo used Grafana tool to detect when the earthquake may occur along with its magnitude level. With 60 sensors implemented in the actual earthquake prone sites, the Grafana tool helped to send 90 readings per second.

This real-time feed provides a strong basis for analyzing the data, proving Grafana tool to be more scalable and affordable. Grafana tool provides a visual dashboard which covers multiple functionalities all under single and powerful interface. Several panels in the grid is responsible for analyzing the data and presents the data in different visual formats like,

  • Heat maps

  • Geo Maps

  • Histograms

  • Charts – Pie/Bar

  • Graphs

Highlights of Grafana Tool:

  1. Grafana supports various data sources seamlessly like Elasticsearch, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Graphite, Prometheus and so on.

  2. Provides time series analytics to monitor, analyze data over a period of time.

  3. Upbeat of this Grafana tool is it provides on-premises cloud storage or any other cloud of your choice, which gives complete control of the infrastructure.

  4. Alert notification can be set up whenever an unfavourable event occurs which gets prompt notification using any communication platform.

  5. It has several built-in support features like Graphite, CloudWatch, Elastic Search, InfluxDB.

2) Kibana Tool – To Analyze and Monitor all your Logs

Kibana Tool is an open source data visualization tool for analyzing large volumes of log data. To work with Kibana tool, it needs two more technological stack which is Elasticsearch and Logstash. It is popularly known as ELK stack, globally used log management platform.

How does Kibana Tool Work?

  • Initially , the logstash is responsible to collect all the data from the various remote sources

  • Next, these data logs are then pushed and sent to the Elasticsearch

  • Elasticsearch acts as the database to the kibana tool with all the log information

  • Finally, Kibana tool presents these log data in the form of pie charts, bar or line graphs to the user.

Highlights of Kibana:

  1. Canvas visualization gives colorful visual data comprising of different patterns, texts known as workpad. Kibana also represents data in the form of bar chart, pie chart, heat map, line graph and so on.

  2. Contains Interactive dashboards and easily it can be converted into reports for future references

  3. Create visualization with the help of several dev tools where you can work with indexes to add, delete and update the data.

  4. Timelion , a timeline visualization tool helps to get the historical data and compare them with current data for getting deeper analysis.

  5. Supports third-party plugins and to get near to real experience view, it effectively uses coordinate and region maps

3) Power BI Tool for Real-Time Data Visualization

Microsoft’s product PowerBI is a popular Business Intelligence Tool. Like its predecessors, Tableau and other BI tools, it provides a detailed analysis reports for large Enterprises. Power BI comes with a suite of products with Power BI desktop, mobile Power BI apps and Power BI services for SaaS.

  • Power BI Desktop – Helps to create reports

  • Power BI Services – Helps to Publish those reports

  • Power BI mobile app – Help to Views the reports and dashboards

How does Power BI work?

First, the data is collected from the external data sources. With ‘Get Data’ option it allows you to get information from various sources including Facebook, Google Analytics, Azure Cloud, Salesforce etc. Also it provides ODBC connection to get ODBC data as well.

Using Power BI, you can create visualization in 2 ways, one is by adding from the right side panel to the report canvas which is in a table type visualization format or by simple drag and drop of value axis under visualization. Once the report is developed , it can be published to web portal with the help of Power BI service. We can access the report, export it in pdf, excel or any preferred format.

Highlights of Power BI:

  1. Though PowerBI offers paid services, it is comparatively cheaper than other BI tools. It offers free services upto 1GB storage

  2. Helps to analyze both streaming and static data

  3. Provides rich data visualization

  4. Short learning curve

  5. Provides IoT integrations

Conclusion

Before choosing an IoT data visualization tool for your project, have a clear picture of what type of data you need to analyze and do you also require to know about historical data. IoT consulting services provides data visualization tools and techniques to monitor and analyze the data for predicting future trends. Always it’s important to identify the goals before selecting a tool for your organization.

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