You think running analytics on and attribution on mobile Web, Andorid and iOS campaigns is a pain in the butt? How about crunching numbers coming in from mobile phone apps, RFID tags in warehouses, the hundreds of sensors in every car, traffic lights, etc.? While you and I may be mired in the mere mortal realm of apps and smartphones, the big data doyens at IBM are predicting a future where mobile phones are just a small slice of the devices sending data through the ether.
The much-discussed, rarely illustrated "Internet of Things" may be years from reality, but IBM just issued one of its first appliances designed to manage the tsunami of incoming data types and points.
No technological advance occurs without unimaginable numbers, so here are yours. MessageSight will manage data from devices and sensors of all kinds to process massive numbers of events in real-time in one place to product insights and actions. It can support one million concurrent sensors and devices and process 13 million messages per second.
The idea here is that sensors on everything from your engine service light to traffic cams will be sending updates on status from what IMS Research says will be 22 billion Web-connected devices by 2020. The result will be -- wait for it -- 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day.
But what will all that sensor-fueled Big Data from the sky do for consumers? According to IBM, expect to see things like your car engine light trigger a service alert with your car dealer. This will also help the manufacturer know about patterns of failure on vehicles in the aggregate as they are happening. Interconnected traffic lights could detect emergencies and reroute traffic flows accordingly.
The biggest promise for brands in this proliferation of sensors is the ability to build new and genuinely valuable services for customers. My guess is that the mobile phone (or whatever wearable device may supersede it) is going to be a critically important channel for relaying these alerts, conveniences and other value-adds that companies cook up from the sensor-driven Big Data cloud. Real value (as in the stuff real people put value on, not what marketers dream up as a "value add") comes when brands can connect people with the other things and people in their lives that matter.