As the number of connected devices increases, the volume of transmitted data will grow exponentially. With this growth, big data devices will collect mass amounts of raw information and will quickly become bottlenecked due to limited internet bandwidth, putting a strain on infrastructure and increasing latency. In order to remedy this less than ideal user experience, future IoT devices will need to better handle data generation and transmission and maintain a seamless experience for end users. One promising solution is small data (or Lean Data).
Unlike big data, small data is processed and manipulated prior to transmission so that it only communicates the relevant pieces of information. Instead of sending a large stream of raw data, the information is first analyzed to produce small, actionable insights before it is transmitted over the internet, helping to reduce the amount of bandwidth needed for the transfer.
Another difference lies in the way in which small data relies on fog computing rather than cloud computing to process data. Fog computing is an architecture that depends on multiple devices, rather than a cloud-based data hub, and allows for data to be analyzed prior to transmission. As future IoT devices will be evaluated according to their ability to deliver real-time results and streamlined user interfaces and experiences, small data will become a key player, because it allows for a more effective and efficient transfer of information.