How much data is enough data for your IoT application?

IoT data is valuable. But acquiring, processing, transmitting and storing data also has a cost. To build a solid IoT business case, you need to determine how much data is enough. In other words, you need to determine your data resolution.

Most are familiar with image resolution and pixelation. Consider this low-resolution image.

iot data resolution step1

There’s not a lot of information here. In fact it’s quite impossible to tell what you’re looking at without any context. Let’s say I told you it was a building. While you might not be able to tell me what building you’re looking at, you might rightly conclude that the weather is nice and the sky is blue. If that’s all you’re trying to achieve, you have enough and maybe even more than you need.

Consider this second image of the same motif, this time at a medium resolution.

iot data resolution step1

Most will be able to recognize this building as the White House in Washington D.C. If that’s your goal, you’re all set, but you might need more information.

Finally, consider this relatively high-resolution image.

iot data resolution step1

Here, you’ll notice a man wearing a red tie on the balcony. Even if you can’t make out the facial features, the red tie is a giveaway to his identity for most people. Of course, given the right equipment and stored properly, the resolution could be even higher.

Resolution of a picture isn’t all that different from resolution for other kinds of data. The more data you have, the better visibility you have. Consider this picture of energy usage in a house.

iot data resolution house

You can clearly see when the house is inhabited and when it is not, and you could even do so at a lower data resolution. But at the resolution in this picture, you can also see a lot more. You can see when the dishwasher is running and when the refrigerator door has been opened. At even higher resolutions, it is even possible to see when you’re charging your phone.

Maybe you’re using product data to learn how your customers use your products, or even using it as the basis for pay-for-use business models. Maybe you’re using condition monitoring of your process line to perform predictive maintenance. No matter the case, determining how much data is enough data, your data resolution, is an essential part of your cost / benefit analysis.

So what considerations do you need to make? Contact Seluxit at to get help determining what IoT data resolution is right in your case.

Written by Daniel Lux

I am a nerdy person who loves going into depth in diverse areas of knowledge. The less I know about a matter, the more I can learn. I always find it exciting to meet people with a different area of expertise from mine. Solving challenging problems is one of the most exciting things to do and working in a group is always more rewarding than working alone. Working with engaged, driven people, women, men, old, young, different professions, cultures, and religions is a great experience. In my work as co-founder of Seluxit, I have gained in-depth knowledge in the field of the Internet of Things, from wireless communication protocols, over cryptology and security, to cloud services and user interfaces. Doing an IPO with Seluxit in 2018 has been a fascinating journey and taught me a lot about business plans, due diligence, PR/IR, and how to professionalize and grow a listed company. Next to my work, I engage very actively in climate change discussions. My main focus is on finding solutions and the effects that CO2 has on our human body. You can find my articles about this subject on Medium and some videos on YouTube. I enjoy running, playing piano, and socializing to balance my busy work life in my free time.