If your company has started using the data, resulting from Internet of Things (IoT) projects, in product development then you are already ahead of the curve, so keep at it! Although, you may not be ahead for too much longer since an increasing number of businesses are realising the benefits of integrating IoT data into their product development cycles.
With the advent of big data and IoT technologies and analysis, it is clear that companies have got to step up and start making good use of all the data being provided, else they risk being left behind in the marketplace.
Obviously no company is the same and as such, those that are making use of big data and IoT, tend to collect, analyse and use their data in a variety of different ways, whether it’s to check user trends, track locations or any other variety of things that are of interest to a specific company.
The following companies all use data collection from their products to inform their business and gain insight for their company to provide a basis for making certain business decisions. The insight and information gained can have a great impact on the development and structuring of many products and just shows how important having access to this data is.
1. iRhythm is a privately held digital health company. The company uses the data flowing out of its devices, e.g. its heart patches (patches which detect wearers’ heart problems) to make sure the products it produces work as they should. They also use the data to gain a better understanding of how their products are being used.
2. Coca-Cola, the carbonated soft drinks manufacturer has a number of connected vending machines and collects data from these machines on a regular basis. This data enables the company to gain insight into where, when, and how consumers are buying and drinking its products.
The company has reported increases in consumption before certain TV shows are due on air. This kind of information is extremely important to an organisation like Coca-Cola and will help inform their understanding of customer demographics, and enable them to develop a more informed targeted marketing strategy.
3. Bosch is a leading healthcare product company. They have recently developed a nice device that monitors the vital signs of their patients, called the Health Buddy. Crucially, the device can also record a patient inputs. This means that medical staff are able to keep an eye on their patients and ensure health records are up to date without having to be physically in the same room or even district, as the patient! Patients can therefore stay at home instead of having to stay in hospital or a healthcare centre.
4. Trane, is a world leader in air conditioning systems (and a side division of Ingersoll Rand). It sells HVAC products for the homes and commercial use. The company has recently decided to inform its product development processes, and thus its products, based on the collection and analysing of it IoT data.
Joe Bergman, Vice President and General Manager of Industrial Technologies at Ingersoll Rand sees the utilisation of this data as an incredibly valuable step in their product and service development, stating: “connected devices are the major enablers for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to recapture value that would otherwise slip away. More and more we can tell a value-added story about these pieces of equipment based on their real-time operating environment versus their initial design. The ability to deliver services related to the product is crucial.”
5. All Traffic, makes a large majority of the signs that are used in towns, cities and by the police in traffic environments. The company uses its IoT data, collected from its various devices in the creation of apps to help control its networks of additional devices. Thus the data has enabled the company’s customers (through the advanced apps) to alter traffic patterns from a central point.
On the back of their data collection, All Traffic also developed TraffiCloud. This is essentially an ecosystem which can be used to collect traffic-related data. Devices, such as sat-navs, can send traffic data to this ecosystem, which then sends the real-time information to the advanced apps being used by customers and displays useful information, such as, time to destination.
How can IoT data inform your product development?
If a customer buys from you, you should be focused on how the data you glean from that purchase and the customer’s subsequent use of what they’ve bought, can feed into your product development. This initial sales data will help inform current products and services, as well as help you develop new ones.
– Research and development
Using your IoT data will give you full product transparency. You’ll see exactly how your customers use your products, and this can help you to respond to problem areas, i.e. updating or removing certain features from the model (or future models) to better align with your customer’s wants and desires. Customer behaviour will also help indicate where trends may lead, which again should be taken into account in your product development processes.
Using IoT data from your company’s connected devices will give you a much better understanding of what your customers want and why they like your current products. This understanding, in turn will help you to predict your customers’ preferences, informing your customer targeting and segmentation exercises.
– Return on investment (ROI)
Analysing this data correctly and capitalising on the insights you glean will ensure you don’t end up spending enormous amounts of money on product development that will go nowhere. Likewise it will also help target your marketing efforts so you reach the customers you need to reach, i.e. those that the data has shown to be interested. This will be of huge benefit to your ROI.
In summary, incorporating IoT data into your product development should result in products that are much improved and your company should also be able to give a better service. This will add a lot of value for your customers and result in much reduced risk for your company.