Real Time Data Integration

Real time data is the information that is distributed immediately after it is collected. There is no or negligible time lag in this collection and delivery. Many organisations today have lot of data collected at real time. However, its usability is often a backdrop for lack of systems, accuracy, processing times, and the costs involved in it and forms a very important operation when getting large chunks of data together and interpreting it for further usability. A lot of business decisions depend on this timely and accurate data availability. Many business operations would be using data from different sources like application modules, database systems, web services, and so on. It is important to assimilate all these information and provide integrated real time data for additional execution. These business decisions can provide better service to the customers, or adapt to market dynamics, or even assist in market research.

In principle, real time data integration operation involves two crucial aspects:

  • Creating business rules that will define the part of data which needs to be altered and integrated with other fragments.
  • Defining technical specifications that will actually handle the task of data extraction and loading.

The need stirred up because of some complexities faced by businesses. Some of these challenges that significantly contributed to development and improvements were:

  • To continue with detailed analysis and easy-to-use reporting formats of data, better and improved methods were required. Conventionally, data warehouses were updated at certain time periods (daily, weekly, monthly) and the data was then used for reporting. However, certain reports needed updates at very short intervals for accurate analysis and this eventually widened the scope.
  • Data warehouses were used to store large amounts of information. The increase in volume of information led to increase in efforts and resources. Also, the integration of all the needed data became inefficient and difficult to handle.
  • Increase in requirement to identify and respond to business critical incidents as and when they occur.
  • It was important for the organisations to keep a track of all modifications done to the data during auditing. Real time data integration helps in continuously tracing changes to the data.
  • All the transaction data should be in-line with the business processes and the data flow must be done in a real time manner so that organisation has access to similar unambiguous data. To achieve this synchronisation, implementing techniques was essential.

Jeff Smith is the managing director of Karma Technologies and feels strongly about implementing ways to be green into their business practices, to a point they are almost a paper-free company.

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