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Should enterprises be after real time data or data at the right time?

November 4, 2013

John Hayduk   

Blog Contributor

I recently returned from a trip to India during which time I had the chance to spend a few days with one of our sister companies in the group, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

One of the topics we spent time on is Big Data. For a long time, business and technology leaders alike have pursued the “real-time” model. Having the ability to continuously access real-time information creates the opportunity to transform business value through greater customer responsiveness, operating agility, issue prevention, and improved analytical decision-making. Today’s society and business environment is real-time and mobile; the Internet, text messaging, laptops, smart phones, GPS, and video / voice conferencing have become the norm for business and personal interactions.

Information is more readily available than ever before – anytime, anywhere – at the touch of our fingertips. However, just because we can access and store vast quantities of data doesn’t necessarily derive business value – which is why a mere 28% of enterprises identify data volume as the primary driver for their Big Data projects, according to a New Vantage survey of CIOs. During our session, one of the ideas that was discussed was whether this deluge of real-time or near-real time data created a problem of its own? That problem being that there is now way too much data volume to make any sense out of it.

The conversation then started to focus on the idea of “right time” data instead of real time data.  Getting information at the right time, so that a business decision, customer response or offer could be generated at exactly the right time to be useful.  This then led the conversation to start with what business outcome does an enterprise want to generate?  With that being the end point, what data is required at what trigger point to produce that outcome?  After the session, I really do believe the focus should be on “right time” data, and then let that lead to what real time data is required to produce a business decision or consumer offer.

I’m interested in your thoughts on this…