With Real-Time Business Intelligence (RTBI), you will move to the beat of a new digital drum, accelerating the evolution of your organization in ways you never imagined imaginable. Here, we go deeper into these fundamental principles, beginning with definitions and looking at a mix of practical examples.
What is Real-Time Business Intelligence (RTBI)?
The speed of modern processing systems has made it possible for common data warehousing to operate in real-time. As a result, Real-Time Business Intelligence is produced. Business transactions are loaded into a real-time BI system, which keeps track of the enterprise’s present state. The RTBI system not only supports the traditional strategic purposes of data warehousing for gaining information and knowledge from past company activity, but it also provides real-time tactical assistance to drive enterprise activities that respond to events as they happen. As a result, it supplants both the traditional data warehouse and the Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) activities. This type of event-driven processing is a fundamental principle of Business Intelligence Real Time.
Real-Time Business Intelligence (RTBI) refers to the process of supplying Business Intelligence (BI) or information about business activities as they happen. Real time means having near-zero latency and having access to information whenever it is needed.
Real-Time Business Intelligence combines data analytics and various data processing techniques to provide access to the most up-to-date, relevant data and visualizations. RTBI makes use of smart data storage solutions such as real-time data warehouses and business intelligence (BI) systems to assist enterprises in making more informed decisions.
RTBI is enabled by technologies like data virtualization, data federation, enterprise information integration, Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), and Service-oOriented Architectures (SOA). Complex event processing technologies evaluate real-time data streams and either initiate automated actions or alert people to patterns and trends.
To get the most out of their RTBI solutions, organizations must have a solid infrastructure in place to store and process data. They must also have systems in place to assist in understanding the value of their data, as well as a strategy for collecting and analyzing the most appropriate data kinds. Depending on the needs of the organization, strategies may include developing and deploying a data lake, data warehouse, or data mart, or a combination of these.
Today’s Real-time Business Intelligence Tools Needs
The gap between analytical and operational processing is closing rapidly. Complex data-mining searches that used to take hours to complete now take seconds. Just as Moore’s Law is still used to describe the rapid pace of technological growth. If only these data-mining engines had the latest values of the data, the tactical and strategic needs of business intelligence along with data insight could be merged into a single solution. The two most significant barriers to effective and efficient Real-Time Business Intelligence and business insight are data latency and data unavailability.
The term “data latency” describes to the staleness of data. Data loses value quickly as it gets older. When people rely on RTBI to tactically assist them with on-the-spot decisions (real-time decision support), they require the most up-to-date data and the quickest reaction times.
The unavailability of data is a death knell for enterprises. Because business operations have become so reliant on RTBI, the loss of this intelligence due to a malfunctioning system could grind operations to a halt.
A company cannot respond to events as they occur if it does not learn about them for hours, days, or weeks (data latency). It also cannot respond to events instantly if the system that provides the analysis of these events is unavailable (data availability). Businesses can respond to new information and knowledge proactively rather than reactively if data latency and data availability issues are resolved. These issues are addressed by sophisticated data replication engines. So, the continuous provision of RTBI services is critical.
Real-Time Business Intelligence Systems
RTBI Dashboards are used to bridge the gap between BI and Real-Time Business Intelligence. The picture below depicts a monitoring dashboard that displays not only historical data but also the current status of stock trading data. The dashboard is intriguing because it performs all three business intelligence functions: strategic, operational, and tactical.
- From a strategic standpoint, it displays market trends and uses predictive analytics to provide three potential prospective price movements.
- From an operational standpoint, the dashboard displays recent trading volume, current market patterns, the RSI (relative strength indicator), and the general health of the trade sector.
- From a tactical standpoint, the RTBI system driving the dashboard can issue trades based on current price information as trade information is processed.
Investors took notice as RTBI grew. Algorithmic trading accounts for 75% of shares traded on US exchanges, according to Investopedia. It is even more common on cryptocurrency exchanges. Some blame the 1987 stock market disaster on algorithmic trading.
ETL is the process of extracting data from a source database, transforming it into a common format, and loading it into a destination database (the data warehouse’s database). Because modern ETL facilities are batch-oriented and run on a regular basis, they are classified as offline ETL facilities. As with EAI, three ways can be utilized to construct an online ETL facility: connecting via adapters, employing message-oriented middleware, and synchronizing via low-latency replication engines.
Real-Time Business Intelligence requires an online ETL facility that can deliver both historical strategic data and current tactical data. The job of the online ETL is to produce and maintain a synchronized copy of a source database on a target database (the RTBI system) while both the source and target databases are continually updated and used by many applications. In fact, as transactions occur throughout the company, they are trickled-fed into the RTBI system in a way that makes this activity transparent to other ongoing operations.
To connect corporate systems to the RTBI system, adapters were employed. The outcomes of transactions completed by an external system were sent to the RTBI system via adapter connections. The adapters also handled requests from external systems and returned RTBI system responses to them.
Each adapter was individually created for that application and knows the proprietary formats of the application data structures as well as how to connect with it. Because the adapter was changed every time the application changed, not all apps could participate in the online ETL function.
Message-Oriented Middleware (MOM)
Message-oriented middleware (MOM) is software or hardware architecture that allows dispersed computers to send and receive messages. MOM enables the distribution of application modules across heterogeneous platforms, reducing the difficulty of designing applications that span numerous operating systems and network protocols.
MOM was intrusive and necessitated application changes in order to transmit and receive suitable messages in a common interconnect data format, or to employ adapters. Access to the application’s source code was required in order to make updates, but this source code was frequently lost or was the intellectual property of a third-party vendor, and hence was not available.
Furthermore, any time the program changes, the MOM code could have to be modified. Adapters and MOM RTBI implementations suffered from network connectivity challenges in the same way as EAI implementations did. Because RTBI is instantaneous, if the interconnect fails, the RTBI response is either delayed or fails entirely.
Data replication can be synchronous (data is replicated to the target system while the application data is changing) or asynchronous (data is replicated to the target system some very short time after the application has made its changes).
Asynchronous replication is commonly utilized in RTBI applications, allowing the replication process to be completely transparent to the application. The application continues with no knowledge of or impact from the replication activity, and the replication engine extracts the application’s database activity via a transaction log, triggers, or intercepts. The replication engine sends selected changes to the RTBI target system, where they are applied. The replication latency interval, which is the time it takes to propagate a change from the source database to the target database, is often measured in sub-seconds.
In a Real-Time Business Intelligence scenario, data replication solves the adapter and MOM challenges of application invasiveness and specialization, as well as data availability. A data replication engine solely deals with the database and is isolated from the application since it is non-invasive and application-aware.
Most relational databases, as well as many non-relational databases, are supported by replication engines today. Another advantage is that the same data replication engine can serve other functions in addition to completing the RTBI mandate, such as providing business continuity and disaster recovery.
Another prerequisite for online ETL is an online copy utility, which is required to start an RTBI system. Before the RTBI system can be used, an up-to-date snapshot of the data in the various corporate systems that will feed it must be imported into it. Because the source systems are busy running the enterprise, this load must occur without impacting them, and it must incorporate all of the numerous changes that occur throughout the copy, which could take hours or even days to complete.
Furthermore, the copy must include all transformations performed by the online ETL facility in order for the initial RTBI database to accurately reflect the condition of the organization.
Once an enterprise activates RTBI, it would suffer greatly if it lost this capability. Continuous availability of the Real-Time Business Intelligence system is of paramount importance.
A fault-tolerant solution requires the RTBI system to be backed up by a geographically remote site that takes over in the case of a primary site failure. Otherwise, replacing the system could take days, weeks, or even months, interfering with routine corporate operations for disasters that take out an entire data center.
The best “backup” for an RTBI System is a continuously available, active/active system, that provides continuous availability. An active/active system consists of two or more geographically separated nodes that are already up and running, with each node actively processing and sharing the application load with the others. If a node fails, transactions (or users) must be shifted from the failed node to the surviving nodes, which is a switch that can be done in seconds.
There are two key benefits of having an RTBI active backup. First, failover takes only seconds. Users of the RTBI services may be unaware that a breakdown has occurred. Second, the failover operation is not interrupted. Because the backup system is already active, it is known to be fully functional, and its operation is confirmed with each transaction it handles.
What benefits does Real-Time Business Intelligence provide?
RTBI Tools provide significant advantages that are useful right out of the box for various market verticals. These advantages include the following.
Improved decision-making is one of the primary advantages of Real-Time Business Intelligence. You can engage with a wealth of helpful insights at the moment if you have access to fresh, clean data presented in an understandable style.
RTBI allows you to interact with a variety of insights with a single glance, allowing you to make solid strategic decisions based on trusted information sources. This will not only raise your confidence as a decision-maker, but it will also consistently improve your performance. (This, in turn, will help to accelerate your organizational growth).
For example, if a business sells goods online. The company’s website and call center personnel must have the same up-to-date inventory levels. When a consumer placed an order and a specific size or color is out of stock, the customer can be contacted and forwarded to a similar item.
Having company-wide access to the correct Real-Time Business Intelligence Tools will ensure that everyone in the organization is always working to their full potential.
Intelligent communication and collaboration will thrive if everyone across departments can exchange responsive insights across departments, ensuring the entire firm pulls in the right direction.
Advantage in the marketplace
As customer expectations rise, making intelligent judgments based on real-time data becomes increasingly important for business relevance. RTBI provides businesses with the knowledge they need, such as forecasting and trend analysis, to make tactical decisions that allow them to capitalize on events as they occur. Businesses can gain a competitive advantage and enhance revenue by using enterprise data to improve customer engagement, productivity, and efficiency.
For example, at Continental Airlines, RTBI assisted in moving the company from “worst to first” and “first to favorite.” As the example of Continental Airlines shows, firms cannot overlook the relevance of RTBI in overall customer happiness.
Critical flaws are detected quickly
Real-Time Business Intelligence is about more than just increasing your bottom line. Businesses can also use it as a service intelligence tool to improve maintenance routines and avoid downtime.
By interacting with dynamic data visualizations, you can identify emerging trends, patterns, or issues. As a result, you will be able to take focused actions to either capitalize on a growing trend or nip a problem in the bud before it snowballs.
If you detect a significant decline in your contact center’s service levels, for example, you will be able to dive down into the data straight away and take immediate action (such as calling in additional people or creating new communication channels) in the process. Staying responsive is critical in our hyper-connected digital age, and real-time data analytics technologies will help you accomplish just that.
Better customer experiences
Using Real Time BI Tools will also provide you with the plethora of relevant insights you require to match your clients’ expectations across channels.
You may watch behavioral patterns, purchasing data, and engagement insights armed with a mix of consumer or partner-facing analytics, allowing you to establish short-term strategies and produce responsive communications that deliver value and build trust in every pocket of the customer journey.
By continually satisfying or exceeding your clients’ expectations, you will extend your audience, raise brand awareness, and position yourself ahead of the competition.
RTBI in supply chain analytics
Supply chain managers and staff can use Real-Time Business Intelligence to generate reports, customised dashboards, and alerts to track performance against objective goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for supply chain management. They can use RTBI Tools to quickly solve problems, test theories by analyzing patterns and trends in data, and prepare for future demands while avoiding disruptions.
Real-time data analytics with BI, on the other hand, is not required for all aspects of a company’s operations. Most BI users can fulfill their business objectives by analyzing weekly or monthly performance figures as well as long-term trends such as year-over-year comparisons. Finance departments may not require real-time data to examine financial metrics or compare actual budgets to estimates.
Because RTBI implementations can raise the overall cost of a BI system, firms should only adopt Real-time Business Intelligence Tools when absolutely necessary.
Real-Time Business Intelligence examples and use cases in various industries
Given the numerous applications and benefits of RTBI, it’s wise to apply a multipronged approach. The following are some other RTBI application areas:
- Application performance monitoring (APM)
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Data security surveillance
- Validation of data
- Demand sensing
- Dynamic pricing and yield management
- Monitoring of fraud detection
- Operational intelligence (OI), and risk management systems
- Systems monitoring
Example about retail store dashboard
- Sales By City
- Stock Items
- Top 5 Articles By Sold Items
A well-managed retail store inspires, educates, and cements success. Because seamless operations are so important to retail growth, having the innovations to respond to real-time data with informed efficiency will help you stay ahead of the competition.
The retail dashboard is a crucial piece of Real-Time Business Intelligence. It features a balanced mix of real-time insights meant to assist retail managers and professionals in making critical modifications or changes to their store strategy by exploiting data as it appears on-screen.
For example, if anything runs out of supply, you may quickly see which items need to be restocked and retain your best performance. Customers, as we all know, can rapidly locate someone else to order from, thus your stock goods should be properly monitored at all times.
This dashboard provides everything you need to reach or exceed your core retail goals while being adaptive at all times, with a logical style and data visualizations optimized for responsive benchmarking. It’s RTBI Tools that produce amazing outcomes.
If you want your company to grow and evolve in a competitive digital commercial environment, embracing the potential of Real-time Business Intelligence Tools is no longer a distant luxury—it’s a vital breathing requirement.
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