Power BI and IoT: A Game Changer for Real-time Analytics

By BDO Digital| September 11, 2015

Since last spring, Power BI has had the capability to accept live stream data from the Azure Stream Analytics service. We, BDO Digital, started to tinker with the offering during the summer and built our first streaming dashboard with a Twitter sentiment feed. It was a lot of fun and surprisingly easy to build. With our feet wet and our appetites whet, we decided to build something a bit more practical.

Enter the Internet of Plants

Yes, you read that right; we’re building a small IoT demo environment of networked potted plants.

Using Raspberry Pi 2 , Windows 10 Core Edition and various commodity sensors and Wi-Fi adapters, we will be collecting plant health data such as moisture/humidity, temperature, and light. That information will be sent to Azure for processing and then outputted to Power BI for analysis. All in all, the cost for each device fully configured has been under $80.

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What Does this Mean for My Business?

The internet of plants demo is fun and does a good job of demonstrating the capability of the Microsoft BI platform for your business. Many organizations, particularly in manufacturing, collect massive amounts of sensor data from many devices. Until now, the analysis of that sensor data was often done via proprietary solutions or isn’t analyzed in a timely fashion due to the technical challenges of getting the data in format that business users can understand. Azure and Power BI greatly simplify the architecture and allow for easier and cheaper real-time analytics.

 

Access Power BI and predictive analytics demo