M2M and Data Analytics: What’s the Connection?

When you get right down to it, M2M is all about data. Sending, receiving, consuming, and acting upon information which allows us to make informed decisions about our day-to-day lives. This is the way M2M improves our quality of living, and empowers us in ways we never thought possible.

At this year’s Connected World Conference, representatives from four major companies in the M2M industry will convene to discuss the possibilities presented by such large quantities of data, and some of the questions surrounding it.

Matt Hatton, director at Machina Research, www.machinaresearch.com, will lead a panel discussion entitled, “What is the Data Telling Us?” Joining him will be Chris Newton, president and CEO of Securus, www.securusgps.com, Joseph T. Mader, president and founder of Guardity Technologies, www.angelguard.net, and Scott Hublou, cofounder and senior vice president of operations at Ecofactor, www.ecofactor.com.

“We’ve got a good range of companies who are looking at all aspects of M2M,” Hatton says. “Guardity in the auto sector, Securus has more of a broad base across a range of different verticals, and Ecofactor looking at the home energy market.”

Among the topics set to be discussed is the contextualization of data. Data itself isn’t necessarily useful or interesting on its own. It all depends on the context of the situation. For instance, a car moving 70 mph might be relevant, depending on elements like speed limits, time of day, or how much traffic is in the area.

But no matter the context, data is only useful once it is acted upon. Hatton says without action, data almost becomes redundant. But how can individuals become influenced to take action once data has been consumed? While there are a number of ways, Hatton discusses the idea of gamification in the context of home energy data.

“You might [act on data] through gamification, making it a competition to reduce your energy usage, and be one of the most energy efficient households in your area,” says Hatton.

Hatton and his panel will also raise a number of pressing questions during the discussion. Among them is the dilemma of how users can be influenced to act on data, and whether such influence is good or bad. Also, what are the pros and cons of device automation? Is it possible for someone to “game” the system and short-circuit the feedback loop?

“The benefit of M2M is predominantly in the data analytics,” Hatton says. “As we become more sophisticated about what we’re doing in terms of connected applications, it more and more becomes about how you analyze the data and what you do with that data in order to make a real difference in people’s lives and change behaviors.”

Hatton says any talk of how M2M can impact the lives of others must include a discussion of data analytics, and he’ll be part of one at the 2013 Connected World Conference, June 12 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

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