‘Welcome to the Real World,’ says Morpheus in one of the most memorable quotes in the movie The Matrix. I think this is now true in the world of Analytics and Business Intelligence. With the latest innovations in the world of ‘In Memory’ database and data transfer technologies, the realm of ‘Real Time Analytics’ is now truly upon us. Gone are the days when companies had to settle for data from the night before to perform their daily analysis or use status reports provided by the ERP systems that really couldn’t provide true analysis. So what is Real Time Analytics? Real Time Analytics let you monitor your business with real time information – as it’s happening, as the information is being recorded.
With Real Time Analytics, you can:
- Monitor inventory levels as product is moving from the shelf – With the big data capabilities of these systems, you can also view the information in the appropriate context, such as comparing a fast-moving new product to a previous time period or another brand.
- Take corrective action quickly – In the previous age, we would wait for daily stock summaries to update our Business Intelligence and data warehousing systems before we even get the wind of whats happening in a store. You’d lose those critical hours/day before addressing any major issues. In another scenario, customer complaints received in real time aid quick recalls and corrective action, saving invaluable time and resources, and needless to say, your brand’s reputation.
- Plan in the present – In a typical planning scenario, companies used to manage based on an annual budget/plan with monthly versions/updates. With the advent of ‘real time’ capability in planning solutions, plans can be reviewed, modified and corrected much more frequently. ‘What-if’ scenarios can be built based on whats happening right now!
Agreed, all this is great and provide fantastic benefits. But is this just a buzzword and still slideware? Fortunately not. The technology is there. Plan for it.