Tutorial: Use device groups to analyze device telemetry

This article describes how, as an operator, to use device groups to analyze device telemetry in your Azure IoT Central application.

A device group is a list of devices that are grouped together because they match some specified criteria. Device groups help you manage, visualize, and analyze devices at scale by grouping devices into smaller, logical groups. For example, you can create a device group to list all the air conditioner devices in Seattle to enable a technician to find the devices for which they're responsible.

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Create a device group
  • Use a device group to analyze device telemetry

Prerequisites

Before you begin, you should complete the Create an Azure IoT Central application and Add a simulated device to your IoT Central application quickstarts to create the Sensor Controller device template to work with.

Create simulated devices

Before you create a device group, add at least five simulated devices based on the Sensor Controller device template to use in this tutorial:

Screenshot showing five simulated sensor controller devices

For four of the simulated sensor devices, use the Manage device view to set the customer name to Contoso:

Screenshot that shows how to set the Customer Name cloud property

Create a device group

To create a device group:

  1. Choose Device groups on the left pane.

  2. Select + New.

  3. Name your device group Contoso devices. You can also add a description. A device group can only contain devices from a single device template. Choose the Sensor Controller device template to use for this group.

  4. To customize the device group to include only the devices belonging to Contoso, select + Filter. Select the Customer Name property, the Equals comparison operator, and Contoso as the value. You can add multiple filters and devices that meet all the filter criteria are placed in the device group. The device group you create is accessible to anyone who has access to the application, so anyone can view, modify, or delete the device group.

    Tip

    The device group is a dynamic query. Every time you view the list of devices, there may be different devices in the list. The list depends on which devices currently meet the criteria of the query.

  5. Choose Save.

Screenshot that shows the device group query configuration

Note

For Azure IoT Edge devices, select Azure IoT Edge templates to create a device group.

Analytics

You can use Analytics with a device group to analyze the telemetry from the devices in the group. For example, you can plot the average temperature reported by all the Contoso environmental sensors.

To analyze the telemetry for a device group:

  1. Choose Analytics on the left pane.

  2. Select the Contoso devices device group you created. Then add both the Temperature and Humidity telemetry types:

    Screenshot that shows the telemetry types selected for analysis

    Use the gear-wheel icons next to the telemetry types to select an aggregation type. The default is Average. Use Group by to change how the aggregate data is shown. For example, if you split by device ID you see a plot for each device when you select Analyze.

  3. Select Analyze to view the average telemetry values:

    Screenshot that shows average values for all the Contoso devices

    You can customize the view, change the time period shown, and export the data.

Next steps

Now that you've learned how to use device groups in your Azure IoT Central application, here is the suggested next step: