Perhaps one of the most defining characteristics of life in the 21st century is the deluge of real-time information. From live news updates and stock market movements, to e-commerce and most especially social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—not a second seems to pass without information being created and passed on from one person to another.
Thus, this real-time phenomenon has also changed the way enterprises run their businesses. Planning and business intelligence used to be based on periodic data analysis only. Companies would collate information straight from the source, and store them in data warehouses, only to be accessed to run reports from time to time. Traditional business information systems are developed to support this type of data use.
Faster analysis and business decision-making
The fact is that companies these days need to be adept in making use of real-time data in today’s world. Otherwise, they lose out on gaining the ability to perform vital functions that will help improve many aspects of their business—from sales and profitability, to expediting logistics and delivery processes, and even creating the most memorable and positive customer experiences.
The only way that this can be done is if real-time data is analyzed and processed in an immediate and timely manner. Business intelligence tools such as database replication software are being developed and utilized for this purpose. Instead of looking into operational databases for the information being sought, these tools work with the log files that underlie the data being monitored. The log changes are the ones replicated and transferred into an analytical system to gain insights and trends.
This approach is called log-based replication. It is an innovative way of gathering data required to produce real-time analytics without disturbing the flow of real-time information. This is something that traditional business systems are not equipped to do—data warehouses do not support streaming data or those that are updated in real time.
Real-time analytics are in great demand from private enterprises and even government organizations as well, and as such many software vendors today are now offering this service. Large, well-known industry names and specialty vendors are all developing data replication solutions, but how does a business know which one to go with?
In order to determine if a data replication program is the right one for your company or organization, consider these parameters:
- Access to all data types required to support the target analytics
- Capacity to scale in order to support the volume of data needed
- Time required to implement the data replication solution and how soon it will lead to tangible results in your business
- The need for highly trained or specially dedicated individuals to manage the solution
- Flexibility and adaptability to use other database products or hardware versus strictly proprietary ones
- Quality and accessibility of vendor support
- Ease of doing business in general with the vendor
These things are important to keep in mind when selecting the right data replication solutions provider. It may also help to look at the track record of the vendor and see the diversity of the industries it has served, and to check customer feedback about their product and services. Referrals from peers or colleagues in the industry would also help.
Investing in data management solutions is not cheap, and faulty systems can lead to even bigger problems or even data disasters. That’s why it is very important to enjoy a great relationship with your vendor from the get-go. A data management solutions provider is, in many ways, a true partner for growing your business with the power of effective and efficient real-time data analytics.