The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) as a key technology for many businesses will lead to a significant change in how organisations approach their big data analytics operations.

This is according to a new report from Machina Research, which stated there will be an increasing focus on predictive and prescriptive analytics in order to assist with business decision-making as firms try to make the most of the available data.

The company said that as millions of connected devices come online and provide real-time details about what is going on in the physical world, businesses will look to shift the goals of their analytics activities from examining what has happened to asking what is likely to happen.

Although more traditional activities such as historical and descriptive analytics will still have their place, the real value in the coming years will come from being able to accurately foresee opportunities and threats before they become readily apparent to competitors.

Author of the report Emil Berthelsen, principal analyst at Machina Research, observed: "One of the more significant developments as part of, and in parallel to, developments in IoT, is the approach of two different 'waves' in data management – big data and fast data."

He explained both of these are characterised by high speed and large scale, and the combination of the two has led to significant changes in how businesses interact with data, resulting in new requirements for data management.

"The landscape of IoT data and analytics is certainly evolving and will include a new age of machine learning, augmented insights and managed autonomy, as well as a new set of enabling technologies and data governance tools," Machina Research stated.

By 2020, it is estimated that IoT-equipped gadgets and sensors will make up around half of all connected devices. According to a study by Cisco, this will equate to some 12.2 billion items.

Meanwhile, Machina Research has estimated that revenues from IoT are set to exceed $3 trillion in 2025, compared with just $750 billion last year.