Internet of Things (IoT) is an ever-growing topic in any industry. New devices are being connected to the internet every day. These devices are producing millions of events every second – however collecting, analyzing, and presenting all these events can include costly infrastructure upgrades. Integrating your IoT devices into Azure, Power BI, and SharePoint can provide a cost effective and high performing solution to collect, analyze, and present the millions of events your devices produce every second.
To begin using Azure to analyze your data, you first need to collect and organize all your data. Azure’s IoT Hub allows you to connect all your devices to a single hub. IoT Hub can receive events from millions of devices and place each them into a queue to then be analyzed or stored by some other service. IoT Hub is very similar to Azure’s Events Hub, but IoT Hub allows for communication back to the devices from the cloud and is optimized to support connections from millions of devices. IoT Hub also supports multiple endpoints for even further organization of your data. For example, if you had devices in multiple locations and wanted to process events from separate locations in different resource groups for billing purposes, you could easily add a property to each message and route each event to the proper endpoint.
Now that you have your data in the cloud and organized in a queue, you need to analyze it. This is where Azure’s Stream Analytics comes in. You can connect an input in Stream Analytics directly to an endpoint on your IoT Hub. Stream Analytics uses a SQL-based language to analyze millions of events in real time. Stream Analytics also allows you to connect to Azure’s Machine Learning service making it even more powerful. For example, you can send real time device data of a piece of machinery to a trained machine learning model and output the expected days until maintenance is required.
However, you’ll still need a way to present this data. After analyzing your data with Stream Analytics, you can place your results in Azure storage, output to an events hub for further processing, or even output directly to Power BI. A common solution is to utilize the multiple outputs Stream Analytics allows and output to storage for archival and to Power BI for real time presentation. If you would like to present IoT data to your entire organization, you can embed a Power BI report directly into a SharePoint site. For example, if you wanted to show a historical report on how certain machinery had been operating, you could create a report based on IoT data within Power BI and embed it directly onto a team site within SharePoint.
Using Azure, Power BI, and SharePoint together is a cost effective and high performing solution to handling your IoT data. You can easily collect millions of events every second from all over the world and analyze and present them in a centralized location. You will be able to reduce downtime and increase productivity by providing your users with all kinds of real time data within Power BI and SharePoint.