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Analytics Need To Be Real Time To Maximise Their Value

Most analytics and business intelligence programmes target reports and dashboards as a means of communicating the insights to users.

Users need to login to access those reports which are perhaps updated at end of day. They then need to interpret the data and action the recommendations, perhaps communicating to other people in order to do so. This introduces a big delay from identifying the insight to having it actioned in the real world.

Generally, the earlier we can use the insight the better, and the gold standard should be real time:

  • If we notice that an order has just passed it’s SLA for being shipped, we should instantly trigger an alert rather than wait for the next batch;
  • If a customer cancels their order, an event should immediately be sent to the warehouse to prevent it being shipped and returned;
  • If a potentially fraudulent transaction is logged, we should identify this before accepting the payment;
  • If a hotel experiences a spike in demand, prices should instantly be adjusted in order to maximise revenue;

Rather than a human analysing reports or dashboard, these types of interactions should not involve a human, and ideally should be actioned by an API call or integration directly into the business process. As well as improving the business process, this also removes manual effort from your business, adding further value.

Timeflow is a platform for supporting these types of real time closed loop analytics. We can detect an arbitrary complex situation, decide how to act, and then call out to external APIs to action the change in real time, whilst we can still make a difference to the business and customer experience. This is an order of magnitude more valuable than being told about a declining KPI weeks after the fact.