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Magazines > Information Today > December 2013

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Information Today
Vol. 30 No. 11 — December 2013
Personalizing the Internet of Things
by Pat Sabosik
President, Elm City Consulting, LLC

Pat SabosikThe topics that will drive discussion in 2014 on Twitter and in blogs, conferences, and magazines, such as Information Today, are wearable computing and the Internet of Things, personalized and individualized learning, and analytics. Technology trends such as mobile, Big Data, and predictive analytics are shifting from “how it works” to “what it can do” for me as a consumer or as a business.

Wearable computing, personal health trackers such as Fitbit, Nike’s SportsWatch GPS, and iHealth’s Wireless Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor are just a few of the new devices that capture our activity and send it to the cloud. We manage our data and communicate with others via the cloud by sending results to our doctors or sharing stats with friends on Facebook. Business Insider forecasts the annual wearable device market at 100 million devices by 2014 and 300 million units by 2018, adding up to a $12 billion market by 2018. How aggregated data will be analyzed will be a topic of discussion in 2014.

The Internet of Things, as reported by GigaOM, is growing faster than expected. GigaOM’s Mobilize 2013 conference pointed to the increased activity and illustrated how the “world is becoming increasingly connected through mobile technology.” In a white paper that focuses on business transformation and connectivity, Cisco forecasts the Internet of Things, which it calls the Internet of Everything, to be a $14.4 trillion market with increased revenues and reduced operating costs by 2022.

Personalized and individualized learning will gain traction in 2014-driven by adaptive learning and massive open online courses (MOOCs). MOOCs were a hot topic last year, positioned as disrupters of online learning, and students worldwide took the self-paced online courses generating a rash of learning analytics but little revenue. In 2014, the discussion will shift to how MOOCs can be beneficial. Adaptive learning systems, which are tailored for individual students, are developing as an area of educational growth now that online courses have secured a beachhead in higher education. A mix of traditional publishers, new entrants, and new platforms are developing new algorithmically based learning solutions with deep student performance analytics that can be used to customize individual learning paths. While the market size is modest, the University of Phoenix is looking at a $1 billion market, and Education Growth Advisors laid out the landscape and potential for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

At the Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) DataContent conference in October 2013, Jeanette Horan, IBM’s chief information officer, identified four trends that will help IBM shape its 21st-century business: Big Data, advanced analytics, cloud computing, and social and mobile. She called Big Data the planet’s new natural resource. IBM is using customer and product analytics to predict likely buying patterns for themselves and their customers.

There is a new crop of companies that we’ll hear more from that are using analytics to create new information services. They include services such as SourceMap, which used location data to map supply chains and calculate carbon footprints, and HealthMap, which used location and proximity data to develop the smartphone app Outbreaks Near Me.

Customer analytics will be a key focus for 2014, and B2B information companies can compete in this interconnected landscape by knowing more about their customers. CIO Insight recently identified some of the challenges and opportunities of capturing customer analytics in the changing face of business intelligence. I expect 2014 will bring us closer to our customers and an interconnected world.

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