Why Businesses Need Access to Up-to-Date, Real-Time Analytics
They say money makes the world go around, but we dare say data is what makes the business world go around. Think about it; data influences every business decision you make. And its absolute accuracy is what determines whether the decision will bear fruits or not.
So the big concern should be to ensure that the countless amounts of data your company collects daily are extremely accurate and useful. That’s where up-to-date, real-time analytics come into play. Curious to discover what this invaluable business tool is all about? Perfect! Let’s face it :
- What is real-time analytics?
- How does real-time analytics work?
- What are the benefits of real-time access to data analytics?
- What are the real-world examples of real-time analytics?
What is Real-Time Analytics?
Real-time analytics is the process of collecting live data, processing it instantaneously, and using it to inform or guide business decisions. Or as Gartner puts it, “real-time analytics is the discipline that applies logic and mathematics to data to provide insights for making better decisions quickly.”
Up-to-date, real-time analytics is a massive upgrade from the old-school method. Traditionally, analytics had a lag time and reporting systems needed up to 24 hours to sift through loads of data and interpret them purposefully.
Real-time analytics’ acceptance is largely attributable to the fact that today’s business world is changing so rapidly. Hence, there’s a need to keep tabs on the trends as well as stand out from the competition through quick and effective decision-making.
The pandemic has also played a significant role in goal-oriented businesses adopting real-time data analytics to remain agile in the changing world. Today, companies are turning to cloud computing to help process and manage huge amounts of data, enabling access to deeper insights and actions.
How does Real-Time Analytics Work?
Real-time analytics occurs at the edge of the network, ensuring that data analysis occurs closer to the source to reduce latency. That means raw data gets analyzed before it reaches the data warehouse. But how so? Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of what it takes to visualize data in real-time:
Capturing of Streaming Data
The first step is to capture live streaming data using collectors, listeners, agents, scrapers, etc., and storing it in a database. NoSQL databases like MongoDB, Cassandra, and Hadoop’s Hive have emerged as preferred storage solutions, thanks to their high performance and reliability.
Stream-Processing the Data
There are several ways of streaming the processed data, including but not limited to calculating, splitting, merging, and linking it with external data sources. To realize this feat, you’ll need a diversified and fault-tolerant database system ideal for real-time computational algorithms.
Presenting the Data for Reading by the Visualization Component
After the data gets stream-processed, the next stage is to store it in a structured format in the NoSQL database. From there, it gets read by the visualization component, which is nothing more than a charting library implanted in a business intelligence system.
Updating the Real-Time Dashboard
After the visualization component reads data from the structural database, it draws a chart, gauges, and performs other visualization roles in the reporting interface. Note that the frequency at which processed data gets drawn is known as the refreshing interval. And in some apps, such as stock trading apps, the visualization component is capable of triggering certain pre-set rules as it draws a chart.
We know what you’re thinking; these all sound and seem very complex from the outlook. And you’re right! But guess what? The whole analytics process occurs in seconds, or even milliseconds, thanks to the first-class database technology that enables real-time processing.
What are the Benefits of Real-Time Access to Data Analytics?
Data is the lifeblood of any goal-focused business, don’t you agree? Real-time analytics platform gathers and processes data that your business can use on the go. And the reward? This aids accurate decision-making, plus you enjoy quick reaction times to potential risks and market changes.
Here’s an in-depth look at the benefits of real-time access to data analytics:
Instant Data Visualization
Up-to-date, real-time analytics enables instant visualization of data, creating a live picture of what’s happening within your business. Hence, you can base decisions on the most current and accurate info as well as react quickly to changes and avoid mistakes or risks.
Unlike your competitors using traditional data processing methods, you can pinpoint trends faster and take quick business-rewarding actions, thanks to real-time analytics. What’s more, you can also gauge competitor performance in real-time and identify areas that need improvements.
Real-time analytics provides access to data-driven customer behaviors, e.g., shopping routine, likes, dislikes, etc. You can use such information to upsell, run promotions, customize marketing campaigns, and explore new markets. Overall, this enhances customer experience and retention.
Every goal-driven business aims to minimize costs while maximizing output to increase revenue. And real-time analytics is one of the most reliable cost-savers in today’s business environment. By reducing the amount of time you spend analyzing data, you can snatch value-adding opportunities and buy your employees more time to focus on their areas of expertise in full capacity.
Traditionally, businesses relied on a series of past events to derive insights on what’s happening now and predict what’s likely to happen in the future. Of course, this was marked with numerous inconsistencies and inaccuracies that lead to poor decision-making. Thankfully, real-time analytics has changed the narrative, as it can predict outcomes accurately and instantly as well as suggest alternatives if need be, hence minimizing risks.
What are the Real-World Examples of Real-Time Analytics?
Real-time analytics has made significant strides in various business sectors. Here are a few examples of how analytics is improving business performances:
- Credit Scoring. Imagine being able to empower your customers to finance and make purchases without a waiting period. That’s what credit scoring is about, all thanks to real-time analytics.
- Marketing. Did you know that 44% of businesses report a significant increase in customers and revenues after adopting real-time analytics in their operations? The technology works because you’re able to feed the right info to the right people, at the perfect time.
- Fraud Detection. Real-time analytics helps detect statistical outliers resulting from security breaches, machine failures, or network outages. Hence, you can take corrective measures before the risk occurs.
- Emergency Response. Responding to emergencies has never been easier with the integration of real-time analytics and edge devices like drones. Attaching data analytics engines to such devices enables responders to gather crucial information like weather, traffic, and geospatial details. Thus, you can effortlessly make informed decisions on how to respond to emergencies.
Other real-world applications of data analytics include information security, telehealth, financial trading, manufacturing, customer relations management, and more.
Final Say: Achieve More With Real-Time Analytics!
Real-time data analytics has changed the way businesses approach the decision-making process; from speculative to factual. The best part is that the data collection, analysis, and interpretation process occurs almost instantaneously. That means your business is always alert to the latest trends, risks, and opportunities. And the reward is that you save on costs, enjoy a competitive edge, cut risks, enhance marketing, among other benefits.
So if your organization hasn’t tapped into the full potential of data analytics, you better jump into the bandwagon or risk getting left behind! Feel free to contact us today.