In today’s data-driven, digitally connected world, we often hear terminologies like “real time” being thrown around quite often. Quite understandably, the words “real time” in laymen’s term refers to the actual time in which an event occurs. You will have encountered TV programming that is described as happening “in real time,” which simply means the broadcast is transpiring at the same time the event being broadcast is taking place.
In computing and information technology, the term “real-time” is often used as it relates to data. For example, “real-time data” describes data that is presented as it is obtained or created, while “real-time data replication” describes a process in which data is instantaneously copied to one or more location as it is created.
In both the everyday and IT sense of the word, “real time” implies immediacy or instantaneousness. In practice, however, there is always a time delay that transpires between the time the instruction to process data is given and the time when the processing of data actually starts. This time lag is referred to as “latency,” and it can be measured in different units of time. It can be so long as to be more than a minute or as short as a sub-second. In this regard, “real time” can actually be a relative term.
How Do Enterprises Take Advantage of Real-Time Data?
If you were to ask what sort of companies need real-time data, the answer would be a lot of different companies from many industries. As the world becomes more data-centric and as business intelligence becomes ever more sophisticated and dependent on data, many enterprises will find themselves at a disadvantage if they don’t learn how to gather data and mine them for relevant, beneficial, and actionable insights
For other types of enterprises, institutions, and agencies, the ability to use data is directly related to their capability to address a range of needs in their production environments. For many of these organizations, not being able to gather and process the data they require means they won’t even be able to survive or fulfill their purpose.
In today’s world, some of the most important use cases for real-time data include big data, analytics, geographic distribution, hybrid cloud computing, data integration, and application and database migrations.
What Sort of Industries Take Advantage of Real-Time Data?
As previously mentioned, the applications of real-time data gathering and analysis in the modern world are plenty. In fact, it would be difficult to imagine what the world will be like today if it weren’t for our ability to make good use of data.
In the list below, we present some examples of sectors in which the use of real-time data is mission critical to the survival of their key players. This section also enumerates some of the real-world applications of real-time data analysis for each of the industries.
Banking and Finance – Monitoring, analysis, and automation of financial transactions, as well financial fraud detection.
Retail – Optimization of supply chains, inventory management, and delivery of personalized shopping experiences to customers (e.g. geofencing and beacons).
Transportation and Logistics – Fleet management and tracking, route optimization, and provision of real-time updates to passengers or customers.
Utilities – Predictive maintenance, resource tracking and management, and creation of dynamic pricing promotions.
Law Enforcement – Smart policing and crime hotspot analysis.
Travel and aviation – Real-time flight planning.
With the many advantages of real-time data gathering and analysis, it’s easy to understand why more and more enterprises and public sector agencies are beginning to rely on them to address the current challenges they are facing. Only time will tell what other benefits we will be able to gain by using the insights and information we glean from previously hidden data.