Using Real Time Data in Business

By | March 22, 2012

Any manager that has been in business for a while will have experienced the pressure of making decisions in an intense working environment, when the only resources available are out of date and inadequate. Whilst a good manager should have the skills to be able to deal with these situations, ideally you shouldn’t be in that position in the first place. To be able to operate at maximum capacity members of a team should always have access to the most accurate, recent and relevant data. Through technological advancements in recent years has allowed all businesses access to real-time updates, from a basic level of current task status within a project up to complex market conditions. With this type of information more readily available than ever, businesses of all sectors should be utilising it when making critical decisions.

In order to have the most recent data consistently available, it’s necessary to have a source which provides constant updates to a centre within an organisation where this information can be processed and filtered through to the locations where it is required. Sources like stock tracking services provide a constant stream of data or a “firehose” whereas others can be scheduled to update periodically, putting less strain on company servers. Modern hosted computer systems can now update automatically from a remote server, meaning the company can always rely on the system being the most recent version. Examples of hosted software are most finance software packages, legal updates services as well as on-line banking.

Due to the high volume of data passing through these systems, it’s crucial that adequate methodologies are in place to handle it. Inefficiencies here can be damaging and lead to uncertainty within the company when decisions are required. A good software system is able to streamline and focus the data, which bares particular prevalence for financial decisions. As a company’s finances determine its success, employing a financial software package that can deal with real-time data input along with efficient reporting and visualisation is essential for managers to make informed choices before proceeding with a project.

Although once the system is in place and the data stream set up, it’s still important that regular checks are assigned to ensure complete functionality and that the information is presented correctly and timely. Whilst hosted software tends to be reliable due to external monitoring, a human eye can still sometimes pick out irregularities or odd results which a software system may overlook.

These outliers may be decision-breakers and could be detrimental if ignored so periodic analysis by a team or an individual could be very influential. With this in mind, decision making is still ultimately a human discipline but by utilising the technology that is no available, business can run more efficiently.

About the Guest Post Author: James Bentham is a UK blogger writing on behalf of Iris Exchequer, who specialise in financial software. He has over 6 years’ experience in creating content for the web and specialises in business and technology topics