Proving the value of analytics on the edge


Edge computing offers big potential advantages for companies in a variety of industries. This distributed computing model, which brings data storage and analytics closer to the sources of data, can offer organizations better response times, decreased network latency, reduced bandwidth costs, and even enhanced security.

Computing at the edge helps support initiatives such as the internet of things (IoT), by enabling remote processing of the data gathered by connected objects. Without such systems in place, the immense amount of data generated by connected devices would easily overwhelm an organization’s central data infrastructure — or incur significant costs if shuttled to cloud repositories for analysis.

By pushing more analytic capabilities to the edge, where data is collected, organizations can achieve greater responsiveness and efficiency. Here are some examples of how organizations are deploying analytics at the edge for a variety of use cases.

Roadway safety

Trimble Transportation provides technologies such as routing and optimization, tracking and visibility, and safety and compliance systems for its customers. Those clients, generally motor freight carriers, generate more than 10 billion data points each day from their in-cab telematics devices. That includes more than 50 variables such as engine temperature, turbo speed, oil pressure, velocity, and coolant levels.

An increasing number of vehicle sensors monitor key performance metrics and alert drivers to issues such as low tire pressure, lane departures, and back-up obstacles. While this has enabled many advances in safety technologies, it also generates a massive volume of data that needs to be processed quickly in order to be useful in real time.

For Trimble, edge analytics provides a way to deliver insights faster. The company, which is creating a connected supply chain by developing hardware and software for transportation and logistics companies, is building a hub-and-spoke network system where the back office of a trucking carrier is the “hub,” says Chris Orban, vice president of data science at Trimble.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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