For some time now, we've been seeing just what kind of a payoff real time analytics have to offer companies, especially those who put such tools to work to measure a variety of everyday operations. But real time analytics were hardly universally used despite the clear benefits, a point that Cisco believes is going to turn around to the positive with the arrival of 2015.
Cisco Consulting Services—itself a part of Cisco Systems Inc.—put out the word via its vice president of the global Internet of everything (IoE) practice, Joseph Bradley. Bradley's predictions were part of a larger gathering of work, Cisco's second annual release of the Technology Predictions series, in which an array of experts in the field share thoughts about the upcoming year. Real time analytics were of course a substantial part of that; indeed, one of the major predictions to emerge from this study was that big data was going to have to show that it had “real time business value”, meaning that real time analytics would have to be a much larger part of the field than it currently is, limited mainly to early adopters and the small start-up field.
Several other predictions joined the fray, including a complete revamping of what it means to be a technology company, and what a corporate culture looks like thanks to the impact of the Millennials, who are becoming an increasingly large part of the business environment as baby boomers retire or die off. Nearly 20 percent of the workforce will be Millennials by 2020, and that brings a lot of new tools into focus. Millennials, used to the power of blogs, wikis, videoconferences and the like will challenge a lot of the fundamental notions of work, and have a much better idea of how to reach the generation just behind itself as well.
But also adding in to the prediction roster was a word that mobility was going to “become a critical driver of any company's business success.” This in turn relates to real time analytics as much of mobility becomes part of business intelligence (BI) operations; as more and more customer interaction with a business comes from the mobile device, so too must companies be prepared to collect, curate, and put that information to work, processes which business intelligence covers so well.
But real time analytics is clearly the point to work with here, especially when backed up by fog computing. The potential for gain across any of a number of industries will be too great to pass up, and as companies learn how best to put the data collected routinely to work—and start better seeing where the holes in the process are—that will combine to mean both a great opportunity for companies that use big data systems, and for companies that provide big data solutions.
Real time analytics has already shown itself to be a valuable proposition in a great many ways. From getting a better handle on what sells and what doesn't, to what customers are looking for, to even how a store's layout fundamentally changes the nature of what's purchased at what time of day, real time analytics—particularly when backed up by fog computing and big data technologies—can produce some staggering results. Those companies that best understand what's at stake are those most likely to succeed here, and though it won't be the only development in the field, real time analytics will be a major part of many companies' 2015.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi