Is Real-Time Analytics A Money Pit?

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Certainly, it is important to have analytics available in the timeframe needed for making decisions. For many years, it was too difficult and expensive to execute analytics anywhere near real-time and so everything was done using infrequent batch processes. As processing power has increased exponentially and costs have dropped to unprecedented levels, it is feasible to perform a wide array of enterprise analytics on a near real-time basis. However, many organizations today are vastly over-utilizing real-time analytics and are paying a price for it that, unfortunately, isn’t always recognized.

Forget Real Time. Focus on Decision Time!

Naturally, I am a proponent of ensuring that business decisions are made in a timely fashion. However, many decisions do not need to be made in anything approaching real- time. Just because something can be analyzed in real-time does not mean that it should be analyzed in real-time. Creating real-time processes where they aren’t needed leads to a lot of additional complexity and cost. Careful consideration is needed to decide how fast or frequently a given analytics process should run.

The first step is to identify the true speed required to meet business needs. I like to call this required speed “Decision Time”. While you might be able to make a …

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