Data Is The New Oil (But Bits And Bytes Can’t Fill Your Tank)


American shale fracking technology, and to a lesser extent Canadian oil sands, enabled easy access to billions of barrels of reserves and ushered in a new “era of energy abundance” driven by way too many producers producing – or capable of producing – way too many molecules. The result was a “no moat” energy sector, margins got clobbered, and energy stocks got hammered. Today, the global oil and gas industry is beholden to state controlled energy companies (Saudi Arabia, Russia, etc.) to withhold millions of barrels of spare production capacity off the market simply to achieve WTI=$40/bbl. Meanwhile, technology companies have flourished as smartphones and CPUs/GPUs continue to evolve to higher levels of sophistication and performance, while emerging technologies like 5G, the cloud, AI, and the IoT (internet-of-things) have become reality. E-commerce and many other technology trends have been pulled forward and accelerated by COVID-19 and the WFH and SFH movements. Data has become essential. Data is the new oil. And it’s been that way for years now.

The result is no surprise and can be seen in a comparison between the Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) and the Invesco NASDAQ-100 Index ETF (QQQ) over the past decade:

Source: Seeking Alpha Charting Tool

Technology out-performed energy by over 200% over the past 5-years while over the past 10-years it’s even worse: almost 500%.

And, of course, this all makes sense. The 21st century will certainly be the century of electronic based technology – much of it software that takes advantage of all the bits-and-bytes of data that is mass collected and analyzed for a multitude of various insightful ways. I have no doubt that five-to-ten years from now all the rage will likely be about specific hardware and software applications that will be figuring out how to take full advantage

Ekatra Reduces Development Time for Industrial IoT Fertilizer Tank Monitoring Application by 50 Percent Using Sierra Wireless Octave


Octave All-in-One Edge-to-Cloud Solution Simplifies Industrial IoT Infrastructure, Helping Ekatra Launch Leak Monitoring Application for Liquid Fertilizer Tanks in Only Three Months

Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) (TSX: SW), the leading IoT solutions provider that combines devices, network services and software to unlock value in the connected economy, today announced that Ekatra successfully reduced the development time of its new Industrial IoT (IIoT) liquid fertilizer tank monitoring application by 50 percent using Octave™, the all-in-one, edge-to-cloud solution for connecting industrial assets. Octave enabled Ekatra to easily integrate IoT edge devices into industrial tank equipment, extend application intelligence to these IoT edge devices, and then integrate tank data into their cloud, allowing them to cut development time for the application from six to three months.

“Small and medium-sized companies are driving the growth of the Industrial IoT with innovative, practical, problem-solving applications that are transforming industries,” said Olivier Pauzet, VP Product IoT Solutions at Sierra Wireless. “Ekatra is an excellent example, transforming regular liquid fertilizer tanks into smart tanks that can tell you when they are leaking or automatically stop themselves from being overfilled, and in only three months. By eliminating the need to build IIoT infrastructure from scratch, Octave makes it easier and faster to get IIoT applications from concept to market, allowing practically any company today to begin realizing the benefits of Industry 4.0.”

In addition to reducing development time, Octave has delivered Ekatra additional benefits, including:

  • Edge Intelligence and Distributed Processing:Octave enabled Ekatra to develop and deploy edge processing rules in its IoT gateways from the cloud using simple Javascript code. This provides Ekatra with additional flexibility and capabilities, such as processing and filtering tank data at the IoT gateway before it’s transmitted to the cloud. Data transmission costs are reduced, while edge device battery life is extended