The Coming of Real-Time Business Intelligence

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Harnessing the Wisdom of Business Intelligence

Valuable insight into BI usage and products currently in the market.

One thing that business executives have come to appreciate in the wake of the economic downturn is having relevant information as soon as possible.

Naturally, this has given rise to interest in gathering business intelligence in real time. But there are two distinct schools of thought about how to best to go about actually doing that. The first involves complex programming efforts tied to a sophisticated middleware engine. The other is a graphical approach that allows business analysts to link objects in order to enable various sources of data to share data in real time.

This latter approach is what differentiates the approach to real-time BI taken by Astera Software according to company CEO Ibrahim Surani.

The core issue facing companies, says Surani, is that most of them can't afford the expense associated with taking a programmatic approach to real-time BI. The Astera approach, by contrast, is based on a complex events processing engine the company developed that is invoked using visual representation of objects to integrate data sources.


Surani says that in addition to taking programmers out of the BI equation, IT organizations also need to consider how their application portfolio will evolve over time. Each new application that gets added to the enterprise portfolio should not require a major programming effort in order to be added to a BI framework.

There's no doubt that there will be a lot of debate over how to best go about achieving real-time BI in the enterprise. But the one thing that is for certain is that business executives wanted it yesterday, which means the days of batch processing BI data are numbered.

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Jan 18, 2011 11:23 AM Dave Schrader, Director of Marketing and Strategy at Teradata Dave Schrader, Director of Marketing and Strategy at Teradata  says:

As you point out, Mike, real-time BI is critically important for companies.   A third approach is to put all information, real-time or not, into a data warehouse and make that information available to front-line people and systems, like web sites. Information includes both data (intra-day bank balances, for example) as well as insights (what the contact center person should recommend).  One cannot underestimate the power of having timely, relevant information in the hands of decision-makers, especially in industries like healthcare, banking, travel and utilities.  Customer service representatives can easily provide customers with the current status of the customer's order or service request; airlines might leverage the joint solution to re-route a stranded traveler within seconds of a missed or canceled flight; banks and financial institutions could  do much better risk assessment with mark-to-market capabilities.   

Real-time access to data and insights not only improves customer satisfaction, it creates efficiencies  by leveraging infrastructure.  Given the recent economic climate, enterprises want  to leverage the same data and IT systems not just for strategic back-office insights but also to increase the IQ of frontline people and systems.   Given technology advances, there is no reason any more for two copies of data. 


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