BI, big data bring real-time analytics to companies of all sizes

It wasn’t toolong ago that real-time analysis tools were considered a luxury, available primarily to larger organizations. However, with the rise of business intelligence (BI) and big data, organizations of all sizes have the ability to conduct instant analysis.

“Simple kinds of real-time or near-real-time analytics are within the budget of virtually every company,” Roy Schulte, an analyst at Gartner, recently told TechTarget.

According to the source, real-time analytics, also known as operational intelligence (OI), could be the next BI solution to surge in popularity. In particular, these tools can improve a company’s sales numbers and customer service capabilities. For example, certain tools allow retailers to monitor consumer behavior – both general and individual – in real time. This can help business representatives offer timely responses during customer service calls, or alert management anytime a company-wide issue may be on the horizon.

“Companies used to be able to look at [key performance indicators] every three months to see how they were doing,” John Crupi, chief technology officer at JackBe, told TechTarget. “Now, if there’s a problem impacting customers and you don’t find out about it for a few weeks, you won’t have your customers for too long.”

Taking advantage of data analysis tools
Operational intelligence is quickly developing into a corporate buzzword, as organizations look to the technology for real-time analysis for business process management. In a recent blog for Smart​Data Collective, Tony Cosentino, vice president and research director at Ventana Research, discussed some ways OI, much like big data, is providing companies with useful real-time information.

Cosentino​highlighted research by his company, which found that currently, operational intelligence is most commonly used for performance management (cited by 59 percent of respondents), fraud and security (59 percent) and risk management (58 percent). He also said that financial firms, manufacturers, government agencies and healthcare organizations have vastly different uses for OI.

Over the next few years, Cosentino suggested that as operational intelligence and big data analytics continue to gain popularity, they will begin to intersect more with business intelligence. As a result, BI specialists will likely be in high demand in 2013, according to a recent IDG News Service report.

Alice Hill, managing director of, told the source that data analysts increased 335 percent in the past year alone, cracking the top five for the first time ever. This need will likely rise even more, particularly as related technologies like cloud computing, social media and mobile solutions continue to grow.

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