Stream Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

I just wrote an article for another website on the merger of stream analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

I wanted to get snarkier than I knew the website editors would allow.

My position is IoT data streams that don’t have some AI monitoring the incoming data are almost worthless.  You certainly need to store a large amount of history before you can produce most types of AI models.  Most companies have been storing their IoT data streams for long enough that lack of historical data is not a problem.

Most companies I have encountered, talk about the IoT incoming data as a huge asset but they act like it is a costly burden.  Most companies just store the data without much thought to what the data means or how they can take action based on it.

It is the business equivalent of hoarding.  Data Hoarding!

Most stream analytics projects stop at the point of monitoring the data streams connectivity and health.  They create cool dashboards which tell everyone that X amount of data is being streamed into the data center every minute.  There are neat looking line charts showing data volume over time, a few pie charts for some quick compares, but almost no insight into what the data means.  Data Hoarding!

The companies talk about deriving value from the data and using the incoming stream to spark immediate action but they stop short.  AI is the only type of analytics which will be able to analyze the incoming data in a time frame that can trigger action.

The biggest fear I encounter from management and technologists is the fear of change.  AI will change, data streams will change, processes will change!  That is all true but you have to start somewhere.  I always recommend starting small and focused.

This seems almost intuitive management.  The hard part is getting the right people in the organization together to work on extracting actionable insight.  The team needs to start small.  Resist the pressure to deliver everything quickly.  Focus on a process which the data stream can affect immediately that is small enough people can understand quickly.

Start focused and create plans to expand in stages.

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