Real-time Reporting and Real-time Monitoring

The following is a transcript of a podcast by InetSoft's CMO, Mark Flaherty.

What is real-time reporting?

This is a BI technology that listens to streams of data and the aggregates of it. It enables people to slice and dice real-time information for making up to the minute decisions that are necessary in certain organizations. So you’re analyzing data in motion, effectively, or the data in flight. The analytic engine might pull data out of a data warehouse to create historical context.

What is happening right now in the most current five minutes is set against a metric or threshold that you have in your data warehouse to make a scorecard that tells you is it above or below the norm, so you can judge whether you have to do something about it, instantly. This is for the operational manager who needs to make instant decisions and needs to be informed to be able to do make them.

So you are analyzing the data which previously was only in the data warehouse but now is in motion. Now the results of that analysis can also be saved into the data warehouse for historical purposes and refining future analysis. You want to be able to store the history so that you can analyze that as another data source.

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What are the types of industries or functional areas where real-time monitoring is appealing?

The high-volume, data intensive industries like financial services, telecommunications, some e-commerce retail companies care about real-time information. In hospitals you’re seeing real-time monitoring of newborn babies health to know when a baby is going into distress, and be able to respond very quickly to it. In terms of specific departments, line manufacturing and call centers are two areas where real-time analysis is beneficial.

How do companies measure the ROI of a real-time reporting application?

They start off with an objective of making smarter decisions on resource deployment, or investment, for instance. Then once implemented, they measure how decisions being made are contributing the bottom line. I have seen a CFO study that looked at classifying the organizations that implemented such a BI solution vs. ones that did not. Then they looked at the balance sheets and income statements.

They found that those organization that used BI to drive their decision had a 30% higher revenue growth, 12 times more EBITDA, and 32% higher return on capital. So this really shows analytics driven organizations can really outperform their peers.

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