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October 30, 2015
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Getting Ahead of Enterprise IoT with Agile Analytics

Our guest blogger today is Nyla Beth Gawel, Manager of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Internet of Things Practice. Booz Allen Hamilton, one of our strategic System Integrators, describes how they help customers with their IoT analytics using Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF), powered by Apache NiFi.

Consumer Internet of Things (IoT) has taken off in forms ranging from wearable technology to smart home devices to remote patient care. On the other hand, Enterprise IoT is still struggling to realize the promise of the connected workplace. Though industries like pharmaceuticals, energy, and transportation have been using sensors to monitor and automate operations for years, companies have yet to realize the full value of IoT data.

The challenge in IoT analytics is that the data is multi-directional, communicative, and streaming. This is a stark contrast to legacy systems, which are designed to handle linear data flows in centralized data management systems. Many older systems are unable to digest IoT data – an issue that has created a widening information gap between data and the enterprise. Bridging that gap will require companies to assess and adapt their analytics processes in the very near future.

At Booz Allen, we’re no strangers to rethinking analytics methodologies to tackle large scale issues. A few years ago, a major pharmaceutical company wanted to improve its understanding of the yield variation in vaccine production – a key issue that was thwarting its ability to move critical vaccines to the market quickly. The company presented Booz Allen with a business problem: to connect data across disparate systems and use analytics to find more efficient ways to create better products – all in 90 days. We rapidly deployed a cross-functional team of domain experts, cloud software specialists, and data scientists to figure out a new approach to this old problem. This team needed a platform to match their agility and scalability, which is where our ability to identify and work with leading industry partners comes into play. Using Hortonworks’ platform and software, our team identified the fermentation factors that influence yield. This discovery allowed us to move its product to market faster and increase revenue for the pharmaceutical company by improving parameter control and lowering costs associated with labor, assembly, and analysis.

Successes like this are part of the reason we’re constantly challenging our approach to analytics and data science. Internet of  Things is an opportunity for us to think critically about how to improve the way we turn data into business intelligence – solving known problems and forecasting solutions to problems only the data can suggest. We see IoT analytics as a Data Prism – the influx of data sources is refracted into the spectrum of edge, streaming, and deep analytics processes. Insights from these processes are fed back into the system and mission operations creating a continuous feedback loop of data, analytics, and technologies that constantly enhance an organization’s efficiency. This feedback loop is a key component of successful IoT solutions. Insights aren’t only the result of data ingest, accumulation, and analysis. They enable an organization to assess its selection of technology and infrastructure in real-time to gauge whether the data it collects is the ‘right’ data or even useful. Across this refracted spectrum of analytics processes, insights become inputs and organizations become more efficient, more mission enabled, and more intelligent. Working with Hortonworks enables us to have this dynamic approach to the full spectrum of analytics.

The Internet of Things (Iot) Data Prism

Hortonworks was founded on the belief that collaborative open source development is the best way to approach innovation and adoption of platform technologies. Booz Allen’s approach to innovation aligns with theirs: one of our key tenants is don’t go it alone, which is why we place such emphasis on building strong collaborative relationships. Our team of more than 500 data scientists is building products, workflows, and visualization dashboards to analyze IoT data. To do so we need a scalable way to collect the data from dynamic and distributed sources as well as conduct bidirectional data flows with edge devices. That’s why we’re collaborating with Hortonworks to build solutions with Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF), powered by Apache NiFi. Booz Allen has been working with NiFi technology for years and has already trained more than 30 staff on Hortonworks DataFlow. We’re excited to explore the possibilities that immediate data ingestion and processing will bring to the connected enterprise.

We challenge you to take a step back from the micro-scale today. No company can survive without a forward-thinking, collaborative strategy for adaption. How will you make enterprise IoT part of yours?

IoT at Booz Allen

Booz Allen brings together capabilities in engineering, digital, cyber, strategy, and analytics to ‘build and field’ IoT solutions and services. While the term “IoT” is relatively new, Booz Allen has been securely applying remote sensing, connectivity, analytics, cyber security, and technology strategy to solve client challenges for years. We work with multiple industry, computing, and software organizations to meet the diverse needs of IoT. Our cross-functional experts have been pioneers in designing, developing, and implementing connected solutions to solve our clients’ toughest challenges. Learn more at boozallen.com/iot.

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  • Nice article.I am looking forward a solution for better management of capital equipments used in factory and industries.

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