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.