As we have progressed in terms of technology in the past few years, one of the main benefits for those working in data, has been the ability to see data in real time.
This has allowed people to see how their actions have affected different elements of their business, from web traffic to sales. It has essentially acted as a digital stethoscope, meaning that people can check on the health of their company whenever they want, rather than needing to wait for reports that could show data from several weeks ago.
So what are the advantages of seeing data in real time?
Having the ability to have a live dashboard is undoubtedly the biggest advantage of any real time data programme. It means that at a glance you can see all of the vital information, from the number of people on a particular website to where they are viewing particular content from.
This means that it is quick and easy to see what is being done effectively and which elements could be improved.
A dashboard also allows people to make decisions when they need to be made, rather than needing to wait for reports to be pulled and assessed. A dashboard acts like a window that gives a view of how the company is performing at any given time.
As mentioned regarding dashboarding, the ability to make decisions fast is the core to any real time data programme.
One of the most common uses of this is with marketing initiatives, so if a newsletter is sent out then it is possible to see how it has been received by your audience. It could also be used as a way to track how particular company divisions are performing against others.
It is also vitally important for effective A/B testing to be able to see how certain changes are making differences in real time so that winners can be implemented as quickly as possible.
Accessing data in real-time and with the ability to make quick changes comes down to being able to swiftly see what is happening. This means that clear, concise and understandable visualizations become important.
The knock-on effect of this is that people will increase their understanding of data and the analysis of what it means. This is similar to how the use of visualization in sports broadcasting has meant that more of the general population are data literate.
As more people become adept at understanding the data as it comes in, they will be able to perform better as they understand the weight of their decisions on the overall company performance.