Page 2 of 6 Sponsored byReal-time AnalyticsBest PracticesContentsReal-time analyticsaims to boostbusinesses’speedofthoughtReal-time analyticsbrings BI data directlyinto businessoperationsMany organizations are looking to make theirbusinesssystems“smarter” through the additionofintegrated analyticscapabilities. One of the driving forcesisa desire to improve decision making by undoing the usualdecoupling of businessintelligence andanalytics systemsfrom businessapplications. In thisE-Guide, readerscanlearntips on gaining a competitive advantage by drivingoperationaldecision makingin realor near realtime.Real-time analytics aims toboost businesses’ speedofthoughtIn an interview published on TechTargets ebizQ website in 2011, Gartneranalyst Roy Schulte discussed efforts by a growing number of the consultingcompanys clients to make their business systems "smarter" through theaddition of integrated analytics capabilities. One of the driving forces Schultecited was a desire to improve decision making -- on the fly -- by undoing theusual decoupling of business intelligence and advanced analytics systemsfrom business applications. "Theres a gap between what the businessintelligence department knows and what the people running the businessknow," he said in the interview.Schulte still sees lots of value in closing that gap: Interviewed again for arecent series of stories on real-time data analytics, he toldSearchBusinessAnalytics.com contributor Beth Stackpole that everycompany has operational processes requiring immediate decisions, and thathaving access to real-time business intelligence (BI) and analytics data canhelp business users make more effective decisions in such situations.Real-time -- or, more commonly, near-real-time -- analytics is particularlypopular with Wall Street trading firms and managers of corporate callcenters. But it also has uses in transportation, health care and otherindustries. If your organization is looking to go down the real-time analysisroad, youll find practical advice on evaluating, planning and managing
Page 3 of 6 Sponsored byReal-time AnalyticsBest PracticesContentsReal-time analyticsaims to boostbusinesses’speedofthoughtReal-time analyticsbrings BI data directlyinto businessoperationsdeployments in our series. In one story, we examine the business case forreal-time analytics. We also look at the benefits and challenges of combiningbig data and real-time BI systems. And we detail real-time data analysis bestpractices -- as well as some steps that are best to avoid in real-time rollouts.Real-time analytics bringsBI datadirectly intobusinessoperationsBy Beth StackpoleLooking to generate immediate improvements in business performance andgain a competitive edge on rivals, companies increasingly are trying to takeadvantage of business intelligence and analytics tools not just to garnerstrategic insights, but also to drive operational decision making in real or nearreal time.Real-time analytics -- or operational intelligence, as many prefer to call it --has been heralded as the next logical progression for BI deployments.Nevertheless, consultants say real-time tools are still in the early stages oftechnology maturity and that implementations are far more prevalent in largercompanies with sizeable IT budgets and deep benches of BI and analyticsprofessionals."Simple kinds of real-time or near-real-time analytics are within the budget ofvirtually every company," said Roy Schulte, an analyst at Gartner Inc. inStamford, Conn. As an example, he cited a business dashboard that getsrefreshed every five minutes to monitor the volume of incoming customercalls received at a corporate contact center. But, Schulte added, morepowerful real-time analysis systems "can require hundreds of thousands ofdollars in software license fees and several times that in staff costs todevelop and deploy."Schulte said real-time BI technology gives business users or automatedsystems immediate access to operational data. The goal is to enableanalytics applications to be applied to business processes that have limitedtime windows or require rapid reactions to events and changing conditions.
Page 4 of 6 Sponsored byReal-time AnalyticsBest PracticesContentsReal-time analyticsaims to boostbusinesses’speedofthoughtReal-time analyticsbrings BI data directlyinto businessoperationsSales offers on the spot with real-time toolsIn that scenario, a real-time BI system might help a customer servicerepresentative make a cross-selling or up-selling offer to a customer basedon his recent activity on the companys website or something said during thephone call. "Any large company has a number of applications in which theirbusiness processes would be smarter and more effective if they were usingreal-time analytics," Schulte contended.In fact, with the cost of processing power coming down and more toolsbecoming available, its going to become easier to make a business case forreal-time analytics beyond the traditional use cases in call centers andfinancial and trading applications, said John Myers, senior BI and datawarehousing analyst at Enterprise Management Associates Inc., a researchand consulting company in Boulder, Colo."With the barrier to entry lowering, it starts to open up a whole new realm ofthings people can do," he said. For example, a retailer could push real-timedata analytics to the cash register level, according to Myers. In such anapplication, the analytics system could serve up a simple alert that woulddirect the cashier to make specific offers to customers based on what theywere buying as well as their previous purchases and risk scores assessingtheir payment and credit histories.Being able to make BI-driven decisions as events unfold can be especiallyimportant when customer satisfaction is at stake. "Companies used to beable to look at [key performance indicators] every three months to see howthey were doing," said John Crupi, chief technology officer at JackBe Corp.,a vendor of real-time analytics software in Chevy Chase, Md. "Now, if theresa problem impacting customers and you dont find out about it for a fewweeks, you wont have your customers for too long."Real-time not always the right BI fitEven with all its potential, real-time business intelligence and analytics iscertainly not a match for every company or every BI business case.Organizations need to think through whether providing end users access to
Page 5 of 6 Sponsored byReal-time AnalyticsBest PracticesContentsReal-time analyticsaims to boostbusinesses’speedofthoughtReal-time analyticsbrings BI data directlyinto businessoperationsthe most current data will actually change business outcomes and results --or just flood them with more data to no great effect."Not every instance requires real-time data," said Lyndsay Wise, presidentand founder of WiseAnalytics, a Toronto-based consultancy that focuses onBI and data visualization deployments in midmarket companies. "It dependsnot on how quickly you need the data, but what are you going to do with thedata and where are the action points."An online retailer might benefit from using real-time analytics to help it betterservice customers or manage product inventories more effectively, Wisesaid. But giving business executives updated views of sales data in real ornear real time isnt so useful if that information doesnt precipitate anyimmediate actions on their part. To properly assess the need for real-timecapabilities, she added, organizations need to look closely "at the cause andeffect" of proposed deployments.
Page 6 of 6 Sponsored byReal-time AnalyticsBest PracticesContentsReal-time analyticsaims to boostbusinesses’speedofthoughtReal-time analyticsbrings BI data directlyinto businessoperationsFree resourcesfor technologyprofessionalsTechTarget publishes targeted technology media that address your need forinformation and resources for researching products, developing strategy andmaking cost-effective purchase decisions. Our network of technology-specificWeb sites gives you access to industry experts, independent content andanalysis and the Web’s largest library of vendor-provided white papers,webcasts, podcasts, videos, virtual trade shows, research reports and more—drawing on the rich R&D resources of technology providers to addressmarket trends, challenges and solutions. Our live events and virtual seminarsgive you access to vendor neutral, expert commentary and advice on theissues and challenges you face daily. Our social community IT KnowledgeExchange allows you to share real world information in real time with peersand experts.What makes TechTarget unique?TechTarget is squarely focused on the enterprise IT space. Our team ofeditors and network of industry experts provide the richest, most relevantcontent to IT professionals and management. We leverage the immediacy ofthe Web, the networking and face-to-face opportunities of events and virtualevents, and the ability to interact with peers—all to create compelling andactionable information for enterprise IT professionals across all industriesand markets.Related TechTarget Websites