Time used to be when businesses and organizations enjoyed the luxury of time to analyze data. Information was usually stored and compiled, and accessed only during periodic reviews or planning.
Take for instance the process of developing marketing tactics and campaigns. A marketing professional would usually commission a research study to analyze the market and to determine the needs of target consumers in order to effectively craft a sales and marketing strategy.
The Internet Age
These days, due to the astounding speed of Internet and mobile communications, data and information are literally generated with every second that passes. Experts are calling this phenomenon real-time data—everything from stock market info, weather updates, and navigation data to social media posts, twenty-four-seven news coverage, and shipping data.
With each click of a button or tap of a finger, valuable insights are waiting to be mined from human behavior and activity that are tracked on various media. Companies can also use real-time data to accomplish a multiplicity of important tasks and functions. The problem with most businesses is that traditional systems and processes are not set up to react with immediacy to maximize such opportunities.
Real-time data replication
More specifically, the business data and tools are available, but the speed with which the data is accessed and analyzed is not responsive and efficient enough in order to enable quick business decisions and assist in various business requirements. This is where real-time data replication comes in.
This is also known as log-based replication. Instead of going straight to the source of the data, the underlying log files are monitored for changes, patterns and trends, and these are copied for use by relevant analytic systems. This way, the steady stream of information is not disturbed but can be observed and acted upon with the same speed and immediacy as the information comes in.
Real-time data replication is finding immense use and application in a lot of industries and sectors today, such as:
- Retail – The world of shopping is one that is abuzz with all the wonders of real-time data analytics. Retailers and distributors are able to keep more accurate track of the supply chain movement every step of the way, and data also improves product and service delivery. Consumers are also on the winning end with more rewarding and satisfying, tailor-fit retail experiences, whether it be online or in brick-and-mortar stores.
- Logistics – The shipping industry relies heavily on well-oiled supply chain monitoring and management, and real-time data replication has helped ensure and even expedite port operations all across the globe. As much as 80 percent of global trade still relies on sea freight, with a daily traffic of hundreds of ships and barges carrying an average cargo of 1,500 tons each.
- Law Enforcement – Nothing can be more varied and complex than human demographics, and perhaps nowhere is this type of information in constant use and analysis than in police work. In order to prevent crime more efficiently and effectively, law enforcement has come up with “smart policing” processes based on real-time data analysis. Information gathered from various sources—from physical and remote surveillance to social media activity—are run through predictive analytics to determine trends in crime and their potential causes.
- Utility Services – Utility providers such as those for electricity are finding real-time data most useful in delivering basic services more reliably and efficiently. Information on usage and demand helps manage the grid better, in order to prevent power outages. Safety is also enhanced with constant weather monitoring and immediate coordination with power produces and grid suppliers during adverse situations.
- Banking and Finance – With millions of financial transactions happening every day, the banking industry is leveraging real-time data in analyzing customer behavior and activity in order to come up with better products and services. Banks are also benefitting from the ease and time-saving convenience of data management in ensuring complicated federal compliance requirements.
Many more businesses, organizations and sectors of society are seeing the light when it comes to real-time data management and analysis. It is safe to say that data replication is here to stay, for as long as the world moves on the high-speed digital information highway.