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The Internet of Things wouldn't get anywhere without some support from analytics platforms. Whether through the use of predictive modeling software to anticipate key developments in business or IBM's Cognos BI to get a clear picture of the state of operations and its future, the data that machines provide by communicating with one another can make a major difference in making things work and helping companies understand where they stand. By combining the two, a variety of applications appear that can help businesses do far with what they have.

A strong circle
IBM suggested there are a lot of uses for the IoT that involve analytics platforms in some capacity. In its infographic "A 360° view of the world of the Internet of Things," it showed that different industries have capabilities for machine communications can benefit from analysis. Consider manufacturing, which has a lot of different systems working in tandem to create products. Equipment can deliver key metrics such as status and uses to an asset management program, which can then help plan and schedule maintenance for these items. Similarly, smart meters for utilities can send output to a facility management application that monitors energy usage. The two programs can also work in tandem to utilize a more efficient operation.

"IoT is more connected than businesses realize."

While IBM's diagram represents a circle where certain industries coalesce around key applications, many industries can use more than two analytics programs to receive more efficient operations. Consider retail: While it may benefit from both building management and maintenance programs that use IoT data, it can also utilize real estate management to get a better picture of certain storefronts' profitability. Automotive can augment dynamic people flow and maintenance and repair apps with inventory management for parts. In many ways, IoT is more interconnected than businesses realize.

The third wheel to IoT and big data
Of course, with so much data going around to different applications, there's the matter of trying to store all this information for processing. Holding it together requires a significant amount of storage, which is why cloud computing is now essential. Business professional Antony Johnson explained to LinkedIn that the cloud can be the necessary mistress to the marriage of analytics and IoT. However, it's much simpler than that: By holding together platforms such as Cognos BI and machine communications, the cloud is the big third wheel on a tricycle, pushing everything forward. When these combine, businesses can maximize their potential with all three.