Introduction to streaming data platforms

Data-driven strategies are becoming a greater part of an organization’s DNA. Executive management is embracing how data can be used to create, sustain, and strengthen competitive advantage. Disruptive companies are building business models based on data that other organizations leave behind. Employees are growing into the role of data analysts as part of their day-to-day responsibilities, and companies are introducing new data sources to continue this trend.

Specifically, data-driven strategies can be seen in the way that organizations are taking advantage of modern technical architectures in mobility, cloud, and device sensors, and integrating that information into new ways of doing business. The use of location-based mobile apps, optimized supply chains for online retail applications, and the introduction of the internet of things, increased the focus on low-latency data collection, transformation, and analytics.

With the rise of importance of data-driven organizations and the focus on low-latency decision making, the speed of analytics increased almost as rapidly as the ability to collect information. This is where the world of streaming data platforms comes into play. These modern data management platforms bring together not just the low-latency analysis of information, but the important aspect of being able to integrate information from operation systems, mobile applications, databases, and the Internet of Things in real-time/near real-time.

The true key to streaming data platforms, and the applications they support, is the integration of technical and business data sources in real time. Without this level of streaming data acquisition, or data integration, the analytics that data-driven strategies and the business models built on those strategies cannot match the promise of the business stakeholders who are looking to create new business value and increase competitive advantage.

As the business models and strategies of data-driven organizations drive real-time applications, many technologists may ask the following question:

The simple answer is that the low-latency many streaming applications require and that streaming data platforms provide is associated with the acquisition and integration of data sources as opposed to simply the processing of the data into analytics.

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