Contextualization: What Is It, and How Does It Help You Manage Big Data?
“Contextualization” means adding related information to big (or any) data in order to make it more useful. Patterns, trends, and correlations only stand out against a background of context. When you integrate data into sets that provide context for what your users (or customers) did during their last interaction with your company, hardware, or device, you get a lot more value out of the data than you would have if you had left it on its own.
We usually have to contextualize big data because otherwise it can be far more challenging – or even impossible – to decipher or interpret in a meaningful way.
For example, say you have a sensor that emits temperature readings for a 24-hour period. By looking at the data stream, you can see that the readings rose from 98.6 to 102.5 degrees during that time. What does that tell you?
Without context, the answer is “nothing.”
Context lets you dig out the patterns, trends, and correlations that are most relevant and important to the decision or scenario at hand. If you know that the temperature comes from a patient in a hospital, you would know that the patient had spiked a fever and someone needed to take action. If you know that the temperature came from a CNC-controlled milling machine with a tolerance of up to 150 degrees, you’d know that you were within specifications and no action was necessary. But it takes that context to determine what’s going on, what action you should take, and what impact that action would probably have.
At my company, our iWay Big Data Integrator (iBDI) software contextualizes big data from the Internet of Things (IoT) by natively ingesting, cleansing, and unifying it. This eliminates the challenges of fragmented, inaccurate, or incomplete information, and ensures that the information you rely on is comprehensive, and of the highest quality at all times.
In addition, our Omni-Gen product can integrate and master data, providing additional context that empowers users to interpret it in meaningful and relevant ways.
Both products focus on simplifying integration processes, which reduces the need for expensive skills and extensive training when managing big data deployments. To find out more about these awesome technologies, try this: A free trial of iWay Big Data Integrator and our informative white paper, Achieving Digital Transformation Using IoT and Big Data.