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London, February 16th: New research from KX reveals that a majority of firms (90%) plan to increase investment in real-time analytics solutions over the next three to five years. Additionally, nearly two-thirds (64%) of organizations believe having access to real-time data is critical to making smarter business decisions, while over three-quarters (78%) say real-time data and insights are creating a competitive advantage for their business.
However, against this backdrop of understanding and agreement of the value of real-time analytics, the research strongly suggests that many businesses could be missing out on extracting the full value from their investments by not thinking fast enough when it comes to real-time decision making.
Canvassing the experiences of nearly 600 UK and US data professionals and IT decision makers working across multiple industry sectors, the study reveals that less than one third (31%) of firms are currently thinking at the second or sub-second level with 69% believing that real-time means over a second. Moreover, just under half of that group (45%) believe real-time to mean anything upwards from an hour.
“While we’re seeing an increase in both the volume and complexity of data, we also know its value perishes over time. The findings show that many firms could benefit by reducing their data-driven decision-making window,” says Kathy Schneider, CMO for KX. “We have customers across financial services, automotive, utilities and manufacturing that tell us operating at the second or sub-second level is a game changer for them in terms of improving operational performance and sharpening their competitive edge.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 31% of firms who define real-time as a second or faster feel more strongly about access to real-time data being very important for smarter business decision-making compared to the rest of the sample (76% compared to 59%). These sub-second pacesetters also feel better prepared with the tools and resources needed to take advantage of real-time data analysis (65% compared to 48%).
They are also much more likely to have a data-driven culture across their entire organization, rather than pockets of best practice. 62% say they are continuously using insights extracted from data across multiple parts of their business for better decision making compared to just 42% of the wider group.
Skills and Platforms Remain A Barrier
50% of all firms in the study said that access to the technology needed to effectively capture data was the main barrier to smarter decision-making. However, this was only just ahead (49%) of having the right people or skill sets to manage data analytics. Interestingly, the sub-second pacesetters were far less likely (33%) to see access to real-time analytics technologies as being a barrier compared to the wider group (51%).
Firms Are Managing Ever-Increasing Volumes and Varieties of Data
During 2020 nearly all businesses (97%) saw an increase in the volume, variety and velocity of data across their business. Network traffic data (56%) and ecommerce data (51%) unsurprisingly saw a significant increase, closely followed by sensor (46%), customer (46%), operations (43%) and financial (43%) data.
COVID-19 Experience Will Lead to Future Innovation
76% of firms believe their experience managing increased data workloads due to COVID-19 will accelerate data innovation for their organization in future.
To help organizations gain maximum advantage from real-time data analytics, KX has published a playbook called: ‘The Microsecond Mindset’, which offers a 5-step approach to building a culture and capability around real-time data analytics and continuous intelligence.
KX, a global leader in real time streaming analytics, is part of First Derivatives plc, a global technology provider with 20 years of experience working with some of the world’s largest finance, technology, automotive, manufacturing and energy institutions. KX Streaming Analytics, built on the kdb+ time-series database, is an industry leading high-performance, in-memory computing, streaming analytics and operational intelligence platform. It delivers the best possible performance and flexibility for high-volume, data-intensive analytics and applications across multiple industries. The Group operates from 14 offices across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific and employs more than 2,500 people worldwide.