December 17, 2014
Cisco Systems is now selling analytics that provide insight into the information gathered by the company’s hardware. Cisco’s “connected analysis” will rely on sensor data from its customers’ pre-installed data transmission networks, providing rapid analysis of consumer activity in a stadium or retail store, for example. Business customers will have the ability to respond to new patterns quickly because the analytics are relayed in real time. General Electric is also planning to relaunch its analytics service.
Cisco’s “connected analytics” is one way for the company to make more money from the people already using Cisco’s systems. The analytics could be used for tracking how people or products move through a store.
For example, Cisco’s sensors could tell the business customer that there are a number of consumers in the freezer section and the analytics could tell them that most people checkout after visiting the freezer section. The business manager could then send more people to man the cash registers.
To produce analytics in real time, the data has to be processed on the Cisco hardware, instead of a distant centralized computer. “Analytics is still highly centralized, but data is decentralized,” Michael Flannagan, general manager of Cisco’s data analytics business, said in The New York Times. “There will be more and more use cases where analytics at the edge will be important.”
Cisco is just one of several tech giants following the trend of offering analytics of machines and people. General Electric is teaming up with SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications service provider, to sell GE’s analytics service known as Predix. GE mainly specializes in analytics of industrial machinery, while Cisco mainly tracks human behavior.