Big Data

What is event streaming? The next step for business

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What is event streamingAs data proliferates across business types, event streaming is becoming ever more important. But what is event streaming? A simple way to think about it is that event streaming enables companies to analyze data that pertains to an event and respond to that event in real time.

Currently, in all markets, everything is being driven by events. For example, when a business transaction takes place, such as a customer placing an order or a deposit being added to a bank account, that is an event that drives a next step. With customers looking for responsive experiences when they interact with companies, being able to make real-time decisions based on an event becomes critical.

Top 3 business uses of event streaming

The vast number of business events creates an incredible amount of data, which can make real-time decisions difficult. Companies must gain reliable insights that can lead to quick decisions and enhanced customer experiences. Event streaming can help.

Here are the top three reasons event streaming is important for businesses today:

1. Using unused data.

Businesses have massive amounts of data everywhere.

For example, manufacturing companies have data on machine failures, time to completion, capacity peaks and flows, consumption data and more. Airlines have information on customer wait times, plane delays, maintenance records and ticket purchasing patterns, along with many other sources of data. Right now, so much of this data is sitting collecting dust. Organizations can use that data for good.

2. Taking advantage of real-time data insights.

One of the key tenets of event streaming is real-time insights and the ability to react to these insights. Say there’s a customer shopping online browsing for a new TV, but it’s out of stock. It does the retailer no good if they get insights on that data a week later. The customer has already gone somewhere else.

Companies should be able to take advantage of real-time insights. For example, if a customer shops at a specific store often, using location data from cell phone traffic or public wifi can enable a store to send a targeted ad or coupon based on the customer’s location.

3. Creating better and more engaging customer experiences.

When a business puts the influx of data and real-time data insights together, there’s an opportunity to create better and more engaging experiences for customers.

With all the choices that customers have these days, winning hearts and ultimately business not only means having the greatest product, but also having the best and most engaging customer experience possible. By responding to situations as they are detected, companies can create new ways of engaging with their customers, increasing customer sentiment.

Consider the example of an airline. When flights are canceled or delayed, customer service agents and desk agents are flooded with an influx of unhappy flyers. With event streaming capabilities, employees can see the event, in this case a canceled flight, and react to it in real time by rebooking passengers with similar itineraries, therefore creating a better customer experience.

All of this and more can be done through event streaming.

Apache Kafka and event streaming tools

Right now, the most prevalent and popular tool for event streaming is Apache Kafka. This tool allows users to send, store and request data when and where they need it. That’s where IBM Event Streams becomes helpful. Event Streams works with Apache Kafka in order to make it repeatable, scalable and consistent with a simple-to-use three-click deployment model. Since Kafka is an open source solution, it’s constantly evolving. Users are always looking to use the latest versions however, enterprises cannot just turn off their event streaming capabilities when they want to upgrade to the latest version of Apache Kafka. With IBM Event Streams, users are able to upgrade with zero downtime.

To learn more about Apache Kafka, watch our video, What is Kafka? To see how event streaming can be used in your company, explore IBM Event Streams or IBM Cloud Pak for Integration.

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