Big data and data analytics are revolutionizing the way business is done in the modern age. Data-driven decision making can make companies more responsive, more proactive, and more effective as well. But there’s more to it than collecting large amounts of data in real-time. There are some real and not inconsequential obstacles to overcome when thinking about whether real-time big data is a good fit for your business.
In a previous article, we discussed the pros of investing in real-time big data. Today we’re providing a brief overview of the cons of real-time data analytics for your business.
Hadoop, the most widely used tool for big data analytics, is not currently equipped to handle real-time data. Therefore, some other tools are required, with an expectation that in the future Hadoop will add functionality for a real-time approach. What that means is that if you have already taken action to invest in big data analytics and were hoping to build off a foundation of Hadoop to bring a real-time element into your analytics program, you’re going to be disappointed. Or at the very least frustrated that you’ll need to invest in additional tools to accomplish what you are setting out to do.
New Approach Required
Some organizations are used to receiving insights once a week. However, with the constant inflow of real-time big data, a completely different approach is required, simply because the data is coming in at a much faster pace. This could be a challenge for some organizations and could lead to remodeling of some decisions and plans, including designating more resources to support the influx of information, both to capture it and to make use of it. Because what’s the good of collecting information if you’re not able to act on it?
Some organizations may see real-time big data analytics as a shiny new toy, and want to implement it immediately. But like all other major technological advances, when it’s not implemented correctly, there is a higher chance of failure. Such a problem could escalate quickly and cause a multitude of other problems. The bottom line is that if a business isn’t used to handling data at such a rapid rate, it could lead to incorrect analysis, which could cause larger problems for the organization. If you are not ready to receive and act on real-time data analytics, there’s no benefit to adding it to your toolbox. In fact, it can do more harm than good.
Real-time big data analytics can be very helpful and very important to the long-term success and responsiveness of a business, but a business must first recognize the challenges that accompany this powerful new technology. If the pros outweigh the cons in their particular situation, and if they are capable and prepared to overcome those cons, real-time big data can be an amazing tool. The fact is that this is still a relatively new technology, and it is expected to evolve in the future. Hopefully, future iterations will help resolve some of its current challenges, but until then it’s important to fully understand what you’ve signed up for and how your business will respond.