When we talk about “real time,” this is a relative concept. There will always be a certain amount of time between the moment of data generation and the moment that it is replicated.
However, this time lag has become shorter and shorter, to the point that it’s now almost negligible. That’s right, data can now be copied almost instantaneously! This means it can be replicated in multiple locations while it is being generated.
Real-time data is used in real life all the time. If you ask a bank for credit, they will access your credit score and make an assessment whether you’re a good candidate or not. Another way that real time data is used is in customer relationship management.
You can use real-time data to target customers with promotions while they’re in certain parts of the store, and it can be used to detect fraud when a sale is made. Examples of real-time analytics include:
The pace of business seems to be increasing all the time. If decisions need to be made on a tighter time scale, that means data-based insights need to be available as soon as possible. Now that so many people are working remotely, this is even more relevant.
Teams working in different locations need access to accurate, up-to-the-second insights. Wherever decisions have to be made, real-time data makes it possible to have all the information you need.
An agile business is one that’s able to respond flexibly to new information. You can see how real-time data supports this in the “squad” model, where small teams with a tight focus are given the power to directly make decisions.
If a squad in responsible for a specific product line, for example, they can make decisions that would have previously needed review by management.
This streamlines your company’s decision-making processes, allowing people who are close to operations to react promptly in a business environment that’s constantly changing. To make decisions, your squad needs up-to-date information, which is where real-time data comes in.
Real-time data is helpful in identifying stoppages and backlogs: in this context, data from sensors or video is used to recognise issues and run predictive maintenance. This reduces downtime as companies don’t have to wait for staff members to notice the problem to resolve it.
Real-time reports are also used to provide traffic reports and weather forecasts. Delivery companies use this information to plan efficient routes. Sometimes delivery trucks need to be kept at a certain temperature. An onboard temperature sensor can send alerts if a change in temperature occurs.
In the stockroom, real-time data can keep track of product levels, sending notifications when supplies run short. It can monitor whether deadlines are being missed or met and remind you to hire more employees if required.
Stock-trading is probably the most obvious example of an industry that fluctuates rapidly. To succeed in this business, real-time data is a must!
What about airlines? They need to change their prices and their availability in accordance with data regarding current events, weather, and other factors that change quickly from minute to minute.
Even in the world of retail, real-time data can be used to respond to changing demand and trends in customers’ purchasing patterns.
These days, very few industries have the luxury of moving slowly. Data is what has empowered companies to move faster and smarter in response to the business context and market demands.
Think about your experiences with online retail. Have you ever been greeted by a bot that seems to know exactly what you’re looking for? Real-time data accumulated over time can be used to change how you see the site each time, offering you particular deals and providing tailored recommendations.
This isn’t a universally popular development: some people find it weird that sites are so knowledgeable about their browsing habits! However, it’s becoming increasingly normalized. Sometimes, we may not even notice that it’s happening behind the scenes.
If you’re interested in the potential that real-time data replication could unlock for your business, talk to the experts at Gravity Data. We are a team of data engineers who would be delighted to explore your options with you.