Although big data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) are terms that have been around for a long time, there is still some confusion about what each means and how they might or might not relate to each other. This blog post describes the meanings of these terms and benefits they provide as well as links to related information.

Big Data Analytics

Big data analytics is the process of examining large and varied datasets to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences, and other useful information that can help organizations make better informed business decisions. Driven by specialized analytics systems and software, big data analytics can point the way to various business benefits, including new revenue opportunities, more effective marketing, better customer service, improved operational efficiency, and competitive advantages over rivals.


According to a survey by Datameer in 2016, 78% of enterprises agree that big data has the potential to fundamentally change the way they do business over the next one to three years. To learn about the different big data technologies, segmentations, and ecosystems, check out this new “What Is Big Data” page.


According to the book Digital Destiny, by 2020 the number of devices connected to the Internet is expected to grow to 40 to 50 billion. That’s roughly five connected devices per person on earth. IoT is defined as a system of physical things such as vehicles and home appliances embedded with sensors, software, electronics, and connectivity to allow it to perform better by exchanging information with other connected devices, the operator, or the manufacturer. So big data is about the analytics of data, and IoT is about data, devices, and connectivity. To learn how to enable the benefits of IoT through a Data Fabric, read this blog post.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara is a senior leader of product and solution marketing at NetApp with 25 years of data management and data storage marketing experience. Before joining NetApp over 10 years ago, Mike worked at Adaptec, EMC and HP. Mike was a key team leader driving the launch of the industry’s first cloud-connected AI/ML solution (NetApp), unified scale-out and hybrid cloud storage system and software (NetApp), iSCSI and SAS storage system and software (Adaptec), and Fibre Channel storage system (EMC CLARiiON). In addition to his past role as marketing chairperson for the Fibre Channel Industry Association, he is a member of the Ethernet Technology Summit Conference Advisory Board, a member of the Ethernet Alliance, a regular contributor to industry journals, and a frequent speaker at events. Mike also published a book through FriesenPress titled "Scale-Out Storage - The Next Frontier in Enterprise Data Management", and was listed as a top 50 B2B product marketer to watch by Kapos.

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