Real-Time Data: A Game of Two Halves

May 20, 2019


4 minutes

Any organization can generate, collect, and store real-time data. The challenge is leveraging that data to take strategic action in real-time.

Now more than ever, real-time data plays a pivotal role in the short- and long-term success of any organization. By collecting the right data and putting it in the hands of key decision-makers at the right time, enterprises can empower their teams to take strategic action when it’s needed most.

Across a wide range of industries, organizations understand that they will succeed or fail based on their ability to collect and act upon real-time data. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day — 90% of which has been created in the last two years alone. The challenge for enterprises (and the opportunity) is knowing how best to utilize the wealth of data they’re collecting.

What sometimes gets lost in the enterprise-grade hustle to collect real-time data is a clear vision of why this kind of information is essential and, significantly, how one should use it. It’s no longer enough to sit on troves of information that may not add value to your organization or to collect data in real-time that you don’t use — or can’t use — in actual real-time.

Accordingly, organizations need to ensure that they’re focused on every dimension of real-time data operations. While this may once have started and stopped at data creation and acquisition, a new generation of real-time analytics solutions and situational awareness tools have enabled savvy enterprises to embrace one of the most critical parts of real-time data: real-time action.


Real-Time Data: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Until recently, there’s been a general misunderstanding that real-time data is just data that’s produced, collected, and delivered in real-time (or near real-time). While this is an essential component of successful data-driven operations, it’s not enough for organizations that want to maximize value from IT investments in IoT, data analytics, and more.

Instead, stakeholders need to refocus on the “doing” side of real-time data. While the data that an enterprise collects and the way it stores that information says a lot about its priorities and its goals, what will ultimately determine whether it can make good on those priorities is the extent to which they’re able to make real-time data actionable.


Real-time data and real-time action


Real-Time Data Acquisition

In this way, it’s important to consider what role real-time data acquisition plays in the process of supporting real-time action. Indeed, lots of systems produce real-time data. Depending on how that data is collected and where it’s collected from, it may get pushed to a server and stored. You may run it through rudimentary real-time analytics in your data warehouse. It may even be useful for the select few personnel who know how to access it and are skilled enough on their own to extract some insights from it.

However, models of real-time data acquisition that don’t integrate with real-time action capabilities can only ever benefit organizations up to a certain point. While they may be able to help teams with post-facto analysis — which is, of course, useful in certain instances — they relegate teams to reactive operations rather than proactive strategy.


Turning Real-Time Data into Real-Time Action

Instead, generating and acquiring real-time data with the goal of real-time action can help organizations extract maximum value from their data operations. Rather than collecting information for the sake of hoarding it and hoping that you find some business analytics application for it at a later date, investing in real-time data processing tools that make that information actionable can support a transformative paradigm shift in a range of industries.

To do so, it’s essential that real-time data gets delivered to the right people at the right time. This data should be integrated to maximize its actionability and contextualized so that the right personnel can act on it instantaneously. By completing this process in real-time — and that means milliseconds, not seconds or minutes — real-time data can actually be put to use and empower teams to act in critical ways.


Real-Time Data Real-Time Action


Software for Real-Time Data Solutions

Supporting real-time data generation, acquisition, and delivery in a way that empowers real-time action requires sophisticated applications designed to pull out relevant data from disparate systems so that stakeholders can act on it in the real world. Ultimately, that means powerful applications that get the right data to the right people at the right time.

This is where the Coolfire services foundation comes in. Coolfire leverages established data infrastructure and connects the dots between disparate devices, legacy systems, and personnel to turn real-time data into real-time action.


Why Real-Time Data Matters

Generally speaking, most organizations understand the role that high-quality, real-time data plays in supporting essential operations. From supply chain managers optimizing shipping and logistics routes in the face of widespread delays to manufacturing professionals coordinating highly complex factory floor operations, properly applied real-time data can save money. And, from first responders coordinating search-and-rescue operations in the wake of an avalanche to police departments rushing to a school facing an active-shooter emergency, delivering the best information possible the moment it’s needed can save lives. With a platform designed to enable situational awareness, companies can do more than understand the importance of real-time data — they can realize it too.


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