What is data streaming? Simply put, data streaming is the process of transmitting, processing, and ingesting data continuously rather than in batches. This is the present and future way to handle data especially for organisations that want to analyse data and get results in real-time. As the stream passes, you analyse continuously and get results on the go. That’s great, isn’t it? In this article, we will explain in detail what you need to know about data streaming.
Streaming vs. Batch Processing
Data streaming can best be understood when compared with traditional batch processing. In batch processing, data is collected and stored in a database; afterwards, it can be analysed at any time. For example, let’s consider a restaurant that captures transaction data from the point-of-sale terminals; the data is stored in a database and cumulatively gathered such that complex and varied analysis can be carried out over yearly, monthly, weekly and daily timeframes.
That’s batch processing.
However, this cannot work with processing data that is valuable in the short term. For instance, a cybersecurity team in a bank needs to continuously monitor the bank’s network to detect fraudulent transactions and potential data breaches. The bank needs to monitor and analyse that huge volume of data generated in real-time from customer transactions at ATMs, branch locations, web and mobile apps etc. to identify and stop potential threats. Only data streaming can do this in a relevant and timely way, it’s not a matter of days, but a matter or seconds.
Applications of Data Streaming
Apart from the example of a bank given above, there are other areas where data streaming can be applied. They include the following:
- Investment firm: The stock market data can be streamed in real-time and combined with other financial data from different holdings to identify immediate opportunities and make necessary adjustments to the portfolios.
- Aviation Industry: An airline can monitor data generated from different sensors that are installed in its fleet of aircraft. This will enable the airline to identify changes in pressure, temperature and output of different components. This data streaming capability will allow the airline to detect early signs of malfunctions or defects in the aircraft thereby creating the chance for timely maintenance.
- Retail outlet: A retailer with an e-commerce website can monitor shopping activity in real-time and utilise the result of data streaming to make promotional discount offers at the right time based on a customer’s shopping history.
Axual provides a data solution for ingesting, consolidating, distributing, analysing and synchronising data. Apache Kafka is the core of data streaming processes and your business can acquire huge benefits from this. Download our whitepaper below to get a first introduction on how we did this.
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