What does it mean to be constantly working in “real-time” when we talk about modern data technology? Real-time analytics is, essentially, a method of immediately processing data that are relevant to the organization that is using them. Through real-time analytics, high volumes of valuable and up-to-date information are sorted, analyzed, and interpreted—and therefore ready for immediate use for crucial decision-making.
Truly compelling is the fact that real-time data analytics and integration is already in use by a number of institutions within different industries. It is interesting to note that real-time data analytics is a mechanism that is flexible, adaptable, dynamic, and responsive—embracing a whole network of users and clients that benefit daily from the precise, up-to-date data integration.
From systems that have to do with customer information processing and environmental observations to public safety and security monitoring—there are many applications of real-time analytics. Here’s a showcase of three industries that employ real-time analytics systems, how they benefit as a whole, and how best they serve their constituencies from this approach.
The Banking Industry
One industry that deals with millions of individual subsets of data and must prove responsible for all of them in real-time is the banking industry. Real-time analytics plays a huge part in many banking transactions. For example, the scheme of relationship pricing across large retail banks is determined by intelligence on what banking services customers consistently use. These data are used to decide on different pricing tiers for the said services.
Additionally, real-time data is important to compliance. Banks must be able to maintain capital reserves against financial and economic stress. An intelligent way of managing such a high transaction volume thus helps banks monitor their adequacy to make capital distributions. A bank’s consistency in its services, and its accountability and integrity as a financial institution, is for naught without such heightened responsiveness.
Disaster Management and Public Safety
Another field where real-time data analytics is the backbone of operations is the field of disaster management and public safety—because staying on top of the data helps save lives. Real-time data analytics and integration must be seamless for scientific processes such as determining an incoming hurricane’s path and intensity. Parameters like these must be within the responders’ grasp even days in advance, to aid in evacuation and relief ops.
Real-time analytics is also capable of determining complex patterns in social media. Organizations such as FIT and Splunk4Good employed this method during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, surveying which communities could be vulnerable to the storm. Some of their emergency prevention tactics were based on determining the locations behind as many as 7 million tweets within the timeframe of October 22 to 31, all of them mentioning being “scared” or “upset” about the pending danger. It is intelligent efforts like these that spur efficient and focused efforts as regards public safety, disaster preparedness and response, and risk reduction.
On the subject of responding to and preventing crime, individual law enforcement agencies have also picked up on real-time data analytics. The notion of “smart policing” covers the management of information from surveillance, existent crime databases, GIS systems, and social media feeds, to name a few, in order to target potential criminal activities and ensure swift and strengthened responses.
Thanks to smart policing initiatives from 38 US law enforcement agencies, crime went down at notable rates—property crime was reduced by as much as 38% within one year in the state of Philadelphia and 12% within six months in Los Angeles; in Memphis, over a period of four years, serious crime decreased as a whole by as much as 30%. Thus, “prevention is better than cure” is an adage that applies to law enforcement.
It’s evident that a “real-time” approach is the kind that can save lives, buoy our economic systems, and create balance and greater connection within our communities—hence, an approach worth investing in.