The clock is ticking: catch perishable insights and act on them before time runs out

5 min read

The clock is ticking: catch perishable insights and act on them before time runs out

Change doesn’t stop, so neither should your analytics. You could capture the most crucial, valuable insight of all—but if you don’t identify and act on it while it’s still valid, or before your competitors do, it’s worth nothing.

Imagine you’re an electronics company that has sunk thousands of hours and millions of dollars into building a profile of the perfect customer for a new product release. Before you can claw back your investment with a wildly successful launch, a rival comes along and disrupts the entire industry with an innovative device like no one has ever seen before. All that effort and resources expended… all for nothing.

Is there anything the company could have done to escape such a fate? Some might say no, that companies don’t have a crystal ball that tells them when a side swipe like that is coming out of nowhere. But the truth is that usually, there are clues about what’s afoot—enterprises that get caught out just miss them.

So, how can I escape such a fate?

The answer lies in streaming analytics, which Forrester defines as: ‘Software that provides analytical operators to orchestrate data flow, calculate analytics, and detect patterns on event data from multiple, disparate live data sources to allow developers to build applications that sense, think, and act in real time.’

That’s quite a mouthful! But it’s worth wrapping your head around, as streaming analytics is making a splash right now as the key to powering IoT and other real-time applications. Whether you’re trying to make sense of data that comes from the click of a mouse, a sensor reading on a device, a transaction in a database or a market feed, streaming analytics has you covered.

According to Forrester, streaming analytics solutions help you identify perishable insights, which must be acted on within a given timeframe or else the chance to influence business outcomes will pass. They also provide continuous integration, orchestration of business processes and integrated execution of code. As a result, they can help you augment or create applications that sense, think, and act in real time.

Weighing up your options

There are plenty of streaming analytics solutions available, so how do you know which to choose? Luckily, Forrester has taken some of the headache out of the selection process by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of offerings from 13 leading vendors—including IBM.

Forrester compared the solutions across 25 evaluation criteria, grouped into three broad areas. The first is the quality of the offering, taking in the solutions’ technical architecture, stream handling features, and intensity of real-time analytics, alongside associated developer tools.

Next, each vendor’s strategy was put under the spotlight, with Forrester assessing its likely success in the enterprise streaming analytics market. Aspects such as the product road map were closely examined during this stage of the evaluation.

Finally, Forrester looked at the customer base, revenue and market awareness of the streaming analytics solutions to determine each vendor’s market presence.

IBM stands out from the pack

Forrester singled out IBM as a leader in the streaming analytics space, scoring strongly on all three evaluation factors. In particular, the IBM solutions (IBM® Streams and IBM Streaming Analytics for Cloud) received perfect scores for administration, deployment, acquisition and pricing, ability to execute, implementation support and partners criteria.

The organization also singled out the IBM ‘cognitive everything’ vision, noting how it has brought about a leap in thinking around how companies plan their future with clients, operations and employees. And to make the cognitive enterprise a reality, organizations must be able to make sense of data in real time.

This is where IBM Streams comes in, providing a nervous system to connect the real-time world to applications that drive cognitive decision-making, automation and artificial intelligence. IBM can offer a broader portfolio of cognitive solutions than most other vendors, giving it an edge.

So, don’t delay—get your streaming analytics projects off the ground and let that competitive advantage roll in by contacting IBM today.

To read the entire ‘The Forrester Wave™: Streaming Analytics Q3 2017’ report, visit:

To learn more about IBM Streams, visit

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