Your Analytics must follow the pace of your Business
When doing Business Intelligence, we always focus on the reports, analytics and dashboards but data is the underlying asset we analyse. This edition of the BI Stories discusses incremental and real-time loading of data and why this matters in many use-cases.
You did setup your data backbone, like discussed in Data for your employees but how - and most importantly when - does the data flow into your end users reports and dashboards? Some data, for instance the list of cars in the fleet of your company, is not time critical for your business but data like leads, transactions or visitors on your web site during a marketing campaign is data you want to see as it arrives. The difficulty with Business Intelligence analytics is that they deliver their value best on the full volume of data and that this volume is growing after weeks and months of data collection. The time it takes to load this data into the analytical system - which means downtime for the end user - is proportional with its size and a full load will take more and more time and disrupt end users work as it happens.
What is the solution? You need to put in place a mechanism to load data in your analytical system as it arrives in your back-end data stores. You need to ensure that the analytical system support data load "on the flow" and that your end users do not suffer from down-time or inconsistent results.
A significant part of the data you use for business decisions is important when it arrives and not hours or days later. Timely update of your analytics on this category of data is an important factor for your business performance and you need to pay attention to also chose an analytical solution supporting real-time data feeds and put in place the back-end mechanisms to load these increments as they come. You need to pay attention that incremental updates are well supported and ensure that the end users see - at all times - a consistent view on the business and don't suffer from downtime.
icCube is the solution stack of choice for all companies needing to setup a simple and maintainable data infrastructure that can be shared across the organisation through standard dynamic reporting or Microsoft Excel™ integration. Since its version 3, icCube includes incremental load and optimizations to support real-time analytics.