Real-time data management is the application of intelligence to data as soon as it’s created or acquired, rather than being stored for later analysis. Data is processed and forwarded to users as soon as it’s collected – immediately without any lag. This ultra-rapid data management is considered crucial for supporting real time, in-the-moment decision making.
Real-time data is especially valuable for businesses, for a multitude of reasons. It can provide immediate insight into sales trends, and it can also provide immediate insight to security vulnerabilities or degradation of the corporate IT infrastructure.
With digital transformation initiatives well underway, companies are investing in strategies to ingest large volumes of data that enable them to make the right decisions in the moments that matter. Handling the sheer volume and complexity of this data store is exceptionally challenging.
As enterprises meet these data-intensive digital demands, here are five real-time data management trends we anticipate over the next year.
Data Visualization to Identify Patterns and Trends
Whether it’s real time or sitting at rest in a database, data is nothing more than numbers without visualization. To bring real-time data to life, you need real-time data visualization. Visualization, such as charts, graphs, maps, or other colorful displays, can give you an edge over the competition by mapping out not only the data, but where it is going in terms of activity.
Where data visualization works best is helping to alert companies if something is abnormal or out of the ordinary. For example, a spike in outbound network traffic would show up on the meter, giving a visual cue to anyone watching that there is a sudden flow of traffic which should be investigated.
But it also has positive benefits as well. If a company notices an uptick in sales during certain parts of the day, that would show up on a chart as well and command immediate attention. Real-time visualization enables people to take action in case of emerging opportunities, to capitalize on a potential opportunity or possible negative outcome.
This enables decision-makers to get ahead of the curve and respond quickly and early on, rather than after the fact when an opportunity is missed or damage is done. It also encourages more data interaction, because no one wants to sit and pour through numbers. In contrast, looking at a graph or a chart which summarizes 24 hours of activity in one picture is much more accessible.
With real-time data analysis, companies can identify trends and monitor how well they are achieving goals. They can access data remotely, monitor purchases, manage resources, and help secure their network.
Also see: Top Data Visualization Tools
Data Security is More Important Than Ever
The federal government has issued a Federal Zero Trust Strategy that requires, among other things, adoption of Zero-Trust security measures across the federal government and private sector.
The zero trust strategy will enable agencies to more rapidly detect, isolate, and respond to cybersecurity threats and intrusions. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued a series of specific security goals for agencies aligned with support existing zero trust models.
For the unfamiliar, zero trust is a new networking design that takes its name literally. One of the knocks on cyber security is that once the bad guys have breached your firewalls, they can move around within your network with impunity. Zero trust network requires validation and credentials to move anywhere within the network. It is a much stricter networking protocol designed to bottle up anyone who breaches the outer wall.
Because of this design, the federal strategy puts a great deal of emphasis on enterprise identity and access controls, including multi-factor authentication, along with encryption and comprehensive auditing.
Also see: Best Data Analytics Tools
Invest in Digital Tools That Improve the Customer Experience
Research from Boston Digital found 83% of customers are willing to switch to a brand with a better digital experience, and 70% of customers are more likely to trust brands that provide a great digital experience.
That means that customers are increasingly loyal to brands that offer a direct relationship with them and knows their wants and needs. That also means they won’t hesitate to leave you if they’re not getting the experience they want from you, and it’s extremely easy to switch consumer loyalties these days.
Therefore, it is important to invest in the right tools to continuously and actively optimize your digital presence to meet customer needs, and to stay on top of changing trends as they constantly shift.
Also see: Guide to Data Pipelines
Businesses will Reinvent Customer Profiles with Real-Time Data
For years, companies have easily fetched customer identity and other information from cookies. With the end of cookies in 2022, and with more than 70 percent of the world’s population protected by privacy regulations, businesses will have to adapt to new targeting strategies to quickly recommend a product or decide if a transaction is fraudulent.
As identity becomes less of a fixed or known data point, enterprises need to immediately analyze a massive swath of data, look for patterns, and extrapolate a likely persona for targeting. They will need to find patterns in real time that target individuals based on attributes or behaviors other than a cookied identity.
As data volumes constantly grow and demand for real-time transactions increases, these trends will traverse all industries where scaling is instrumental to survival. For example, ad tech is experiencing a renaissance, garnering significant investment, innovation, and attention as platforms rapidly seek to serve ads to targeted audiences at petabyte scale.
Likewise, with massive amounts of data streaming from mobile, 5G, and IoT sensor applications, telecom companies need to quickly ingest data and then process it at petabyte scale with virtually no latency.
As we move forward, enterprises need to embrace the opportunities and challenges ahead of them and manage real-time data in new ways to drive successful business outcomes.
Bottom Line: Real Time Data Management in 2023
Real-time data management is the new normal in business. The days of batch processing on a mainframe overnight and analyzing it the next day are long gone and hard to find. The good news is that there are plenty of tools out there to enable it, ranging from Apache open-source software to commercial software from leaders like IBM and SAP.
Data is also coming from many new sources that weren’t around 10 or 20 years ago. This includes social media, the edge/IOT, and mobile users. So real-time data analytics does not just include your databases and network security, it includes your entire enterprise.
At the same time, data is more regulated than ever. There have been significant data breaches in recent years, and companies have paid massive fines for their sloppiness. So regulatory compliance and protecting your data is as important as extracting value from the data.
About the Author:
Lenley Hensarling, Chief Strategy Officer, Aerospike
Additionally, tech journalist Andy Patrizio updated this article in 2023.