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January 14, 2012 / berniespang

I forgot to make my 2012 predicition: Growth of operational analytics

Recently I explained operation analytics to a colleague who suggested I write more about it.  Thinking about it made me recall an article by Philip Russom, Senior manager of TDWI Research, in which he captured a collection of 25 tweets he had recently shared explaining operational data warehousing.

Real-time does not equal operational

Too often I have heard people equate the idea of operational warehousing or operational analytics with real-time loading of data into a warehouse.  While that can be one attribute, the more important aspect is real-time access to the data and the insights generated within a data warehouse, by the applications that support business operations.  The use of these insights during  operations such as sales, service and customer support – at the point of each business transaction – can dramatically elevate an organization’s performance.

100’s or even 1000’s of answers per second

A data warehouse system that supports such operational applications must not only be able to handle complex analytics, it must also support concurrent access rates that can be in the 1000’s per second.   I know of one client that uses the IBM Smart Analytics System (powered by InfoSphere Warehouse software) to support operational analytics for a solution that executes over 10,000 transactions per second.  This is a great example of using a system that is both designed for data and tuned for the task.

Organizations and technology are both now ready

Today, analytics applied directly in operations with a large number of concurrent users is in the minority of analytic applications.   But based on data like those cited by Philip, and feedback over the last 6 months from colleagues who work on solutions with clients around the world, I believe we will see recognition in 2012 that operational analytics growth is accelerating.  And that organizations which have realized the power of using information for competitive advantage, will pull further away from the pack by achieving that advantage in many more aspects of their business operations.


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