Out-of-band, near-real-time data warehousing allows companies that could never afford real-time data before find good reasons to pay for it.
It's a clichÃƒÂ© in business to say that time is money, but the people who repeat it usually don't quantify how much of one it costs to buy the other. That's probably a good thing, too, because the equation is changing. Time is getting cheaper. Not radically cheaper: Saving time for other parts of the business still costs IT hard dollars for computer power, lines of code and bandwidth.
But the kind of technology that can crunch and deliver data quickly enough that its results are considered "real time" has become so much less esoteric that it is now available to more than just brokerages, air-traffic controllers and emergency response agencies--organizations that would lose either their clients or their shirts if their information were more than a few seconds old.
Many of the companies moving into real-time systems are those for whom it's a priority to measure time in seconds and to preserve as many as possible. Others are more surprising. Grocery products, for example, come with notoriously narrow profit margins, short shelf lives and complex buying patterns that have made after-the-fact data mining more successful than real-time sales tracking.
But near-real-time data allows grocery chain Haggen, Inc. to respond to low-inventory warnings as the inventory dwindles, rather than long after both inventory and prospective customers are gone.
Source: Baseline, http://www.baselinemag.com
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