Real-time business intelligence is an approach to data analytics that enables business users to get up-to-the-minute data by directly accessing operational systems or feeding business transactions into a real-time data warehouse and business intelligence (BI) system.
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
The technologies that can be used to enable real-time BI include data virtualization, data federation, enterprise information integration (EII), enterprise application integration (EAI) and service-oriented architectures (SOA). Complex event processing tools can be used to analyze data streams in real time and either trigger automated actions or alert workers to patterns and trends.
Real-time BI can help support instant decision-making, which is necessary, for example, if a company sells clothing online. The company's website and representatives at the company's call center need to have the same up-to-the-minute data regarding inventory levels so if a customer places an order and a particular size or color is sold out, the customer can be notified and redirected to another, similar item. A real-time approach isn’t required for every part of a company's business, however. Most BI users can meet their business goals by looking at weekly or monthly business performance numbers and long-term trends such as year-over-year comparisons. Similarly, finance groups aren’t likely to require real-time data to analyze financial metrics or compare actual budgets to forecasts.
Because real-time BI implementations can increase the overall cost of a BI system, the best practice for organizations is to deploy real-time BI technology only when it’s absolutely required.