Data Overload Threatens to Incapacitate Our Networks

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Click to learn more about author Michael D. Shaw.

A data logjam threatens to undermine all manner of industries. Call it a bottleneck. Call it a snag. Call it anything you like. But do not call it a false alarm, because unless we compact data – unless we increase the flow of data –we will not enjoy the benefits of current or forthcoming types of technology. Since we are voracious consumers of data, we tend to use and store more data than we have the bandwidth to handle.   

Without compacted data, smartphones and tablets will not be able to receive data involving the Internet of Things (IoT). Nor will they be able to send that data in a timely manner. We need technology that shrinks, speeds, and secures data – especially when millions of devices communicate with one another.

For the sake of comparison imagine your smartphone without pictures, which is to say picture your phone without the ability to download anything but a pixelated image of nothingness. A picture too big to consolidate, too burdensome to share, too blurry to see.

Now picture a seemingly endless amount of data – a universe of ones and zeros in which machines cannot relay the right numbers, and where numbers outnumber machines and lose their meaning, all because of a breakdown in technology.

According to Charles Yeomans, founder and CEO of AtomBeam:

“Optimizing data for the IoT market is essential for many bandwidth-constrained services, including satellite communications, telemetry, and the development of autonomous vehicles. AI-based encoding, transmission, and storage software solves this problem by processing small IoT data packets (less than 100 bits).”

I agree with Yeomans’s statement for two reasons.

If more data taxes the strength or reliability of a network, if more data causes a network to slow or stop, what good is the network in the first place? Put another way, even the most valuable data is worthless if it is inaccessible or non-transmissible. 

And secondly, it is better to expedite how a network operates than it is to eliminate a network altogether. To paraphrase Yeomans, better processing makes the process run faster and more dependably. Innovation in the transmission of data, thanks to small IoT data packets, is the answer to averting a network crisis.

All innovation that ensues from this solution is a win for businesses and consumers. Some of what ensues we will see for ourselves, while most of what happens we may take for granted. That is to say, we may grow accustomed to cars that drive themselves, machines that maintain themselves, and devices that power themselves.

What we must not assume is that these things will happen automatically. Not unless we do what is necessary to deliver data with greater speed and security. Not unless we do what is wise to advance intelligence. Not unless we do what is smart to further the cause of science.

Innovation is the basis for how we access or analyze data. To have this data at the ready, free of extraneous or erroneous material – to have this data, period – is a triumph of engineering. To profit from this data is to learn how data is integral to success. 

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