Real-time analytics uses streaming data and makes sense of it quickly, accurately, and responsively.
Ready to be inspired? I’ve compiled some of my favorite examples of companies that are using real-time data analysis to help their companies thrive and get a competitive edge.
Let’s dig in.
A Crackdown on Fake News: Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter harvest a massive amount of data from users’ activity on their platforms, and they analyze that data in real-time. In the 2020 election, Twitter used streaming analytics to identify, label, and/or remove fake news posts. Facebook and Instagram are both working on ways to identify language that indicates bullying, and then automatically stop that online behavior using real-time data.
Internet of Things (IoT) Devices: The Internet of Things is a network of physical objects that have embedded sensors and software that connect and exchange data with other systems and devices over the Internet. These devices can continually monitor us and analyze data in real-time.
For example, my watch can monitor my heart rate and blood oxygen levels 24 hours a day, and give me an immediate warning if something is amiss. Today’s innovative devices can provide us with helpful data on everything from our sleeping patterns to our stress levels.
Protecting Our Bank Accounts and Credit Cards: Companies like HSBC, Visa, and MasterCard use real-time data to keep our finances secure. They analyze transactions in real-time and use pattern matching to see if a purchase might be fraudulent. If a customer spends an unusually large amount or makes a purchase from a strange location, the bank could flag the transaction and reach out to the customer for authorization before allowing the purchase.
Ferreting Out Hackers: Companies can use real-time data analytics to monitor the way data is accessed and spot unusual or suspicious activity, then shut hackers and data thieves down before data is lost or security concerns fester.
Protecting Endangered Animals: One of my favorite examples of real-time analytics is in the field of animal conservation. Wildlife Insights uses snapshots from camera traps or animal-loving individuals to track and monitor the health of endangered animal populations worldwide. With their system, vacationers can upload images of the zebra they just spotted on safari to their favorite social media site, and the species in the image can be automatically detected using AI. Insights from those photos could be used to help conservation efforts and understand the animal kingdom.
Precision Policing with Real-Time Sound Data: Did you know sound data can be analyzed in real-time? ShotSpotter now uses sound detectors to monitor soundscapes in cities to autonomously identify gunshots, triangulate the location of the shots, and give police the ability to respond proactively.
On-Site Safety Solutions. Energy company Shell is one of my clients, and they use real-time data analytics from the security cameras outside their gas stations to detect when customers are smoking. Photos get analyzed in real-time, and the system sends out a message indicating a potential fire hazard that says, “Don’t smoke near flammable liquids.”
Predicting Equipment Maintenance: Companies are now using remote monitors and real-time data analytics to monitor trucks, planes, construction and manufacturing equipment, and other machines so they can spot maintenance issues prior to breakdowns. Predicting issues with real-time data analytics not only saves time and money but also prevents catastrophic accidents.
How Can Your Company Use Real-Time Analytics?
I hope these real-world use cases inspire you to think about how your company could process streaming data and use it to drive intelligence.
The widespread availability of streaming data and the easy accessibility of streaming analytics tools now make it possible for nearly any company to improve performance and drive business growth by using data in innovative ways.