Five things your business is missing out on without data streaming

Andrew Sellers Profile picture for user Andrew Sellers June 1, 2023
Summary:
72% of modern businesses rely on data streaming to run critical systems. For those still unsure about making the leap, Andrew Sellers of Confluent offers five reasons not to miss out.

Two business professionals using data streaming technology © Jay Yuno - Canva
(© Jay Yuno - Canva)

Data has emerged as the biggest differentiator of an organization’s competitive advantage.

And with data volumes growing at breakneck speed, every organization — regardless of industry type — needs their data to be consumable and well-contextualized to manage their data efficiently and draw insights from it.

That's exactly what a technology like data streaming enables, making it a critical component for running modern businesses.

In fact, the just-released “2023 Data Streaming Report: Moving Up the Maturity Curve” found 72% of modern businesses rely on data streaming to run critical systems.

But for companies still undecided about leveraging data streaming, which is emerging as one of the most crucial technologies for businesses today, what are they missing out on?

1. Fueling agile decision-making

In today’s digital era and economic climate, business success hinges on making well-informed decisions made in real time.

Data streaming allows for speed in decision-making by providing continuous access to quality, real-time data that can be viewed, analyzed, and acted upon quickly.

With data streaming, businesses can make informed decisions by gaining real-time insights into all facets of business operations — rather than relying on outdated or incomplete data from slow, batch-oriented processes.

Data streaming enables organizations to be more agile by empowering them to quickly respond to customer needs and market trends. This allows businesses to be more responsive, all while driving decisions that are attuned to business goals. As Eric Sammer, Founder and CEO of Decodable observed:

Streaming data and a real-time architecture directly impact cost and opportunity. Making better decisions faster reduces cost and drives revenue. It's as simple as that. Slow is expensive. The longer it takes to detect fraud, waste, or abuse, the greater the loss of trust, safety, and money. If customers don't have up to date and accurate information about inventory in a store, delivery status of a shipment, or transactions in their bank account, they have a greater reliance on support, or simply go to a competitor who can provide that. When you don't have an accurate picture of a customer, you make worse product recommendations or show them the wrong content, which means reduced sales or lost engagement.

2. Boosting customer experience

Companies that deliver real-time experiences to customers have a competitive advantage over those that don’t, because these businesses react to customer needs promptly as part of sophisticated product experiences.

Consumers have come to expect these kinds of experiences everywhere after years of getting instant delivery information on Amazon, watching a movie at the click of a button on Netflix, and knowing to the minute when their Uber will get them to their destination as soon as it is ordered.

Apart from resulting in improved customer experience, data streaming creates competitive advantage, cost savings, greater lifetime value of customer relationships, and higher customer retention.

Data streaming allows companies to gain a contextualized and current view of customers, which is key to developing unique customer experiences. Having this view of comprehensive customer data translates to better customer service, faster response times, and improved customer satisfaction — resulting in more sales and better revenue.

Gaining insights into customer needs and preferences helps businesses inform and shape product development and services. By enabling companies to monitor customer behavior and identify issues in real time, organizations can also become proactive about problem-solving.

The 2023 Data Streaming Report found 74% of IT leaders are already seeing significant or emerging benefits when it comes to enhancing customer experience with data streaming. David Menninger, senior vice president and research director at Ventana, noted: 

Customer churn is an expensive proposition for nearly every business, especially so for consumer-oriented businesses,. In fact, studies suggest that depending on the industry you are in, acquiring a new customer can cost five to seven times more than retaining an old one.

3. Bolstering security posture

Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT issue. It’s now a board-level concern.

With the threat landscape evolving rapidly, maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture has become imperative for protecting sensitive data and preventing financial losses and reputational damage. It’s also important for ensuring business continuity.

Data streaming technologies help companies better protect their data and organization and manage risk effectively by allowing for real-time continuous monitoring of network traffic, system logs, and user behavior. This equips security teams with the ability to detect and respond to security threats in real time and limit the impact of an attack.

The cyber threat landscape is continuously evolving, but data streaming enables new insights and analytics informed by telemetry generated from the latest sensors to be brought to market far faster than data indexed in a SIEM.

What’s more, by empowering security teams to analyze historical data and identify patterns, it enables them to anticipate and prevent potential security threats.

Take the financial services industry, for example, where fraud detection is crucial. Leveraging data streaming can help finserv organizations to aggregate all of their data to build timely context around each customer profile, automate the detection of potential fraud, audit data with confidence, and much more.

And applying data streaming to security is catching on: the 2023 Data Streaming Report found that 44% of IT leaders say they are using data streaming in production to improve cybersecurity.

4. Data democratization

Data democratization allows everyone in an organization to have access to the data they need. This enables businesses to make data-driven decisions faster.

Data streaming plays an important role in data democratization by enabling data to be discoverable, contextualized, and trustworthy. The bigger data gets, the more specialized one has to be in how it is organized and queried. The specialty of data streaming is that it organizes data to be efficiently consumed and integrated, driving collaboration by providing stakeholders with a shared understanding of the data. This leads to more informed decisions and helps break down organizational silos.

Data streaming allows organizations to share data without them having to wrestle with data infrastructure and being beholden to data models designed for legacy applications. Shaun Clowes, Chief Product Officer at Confluent, said: 

What you really want to do is enable people to be able to interact with data as products and also contribute back to that same set of assets, make it richer and better, so others can drive value from this. Data streaming equips businesses with this ability.

5. Increasing business revenue

Revenue is the primary driver of profitability. It helps companies measure growth and stay viable in the long run.

Data streaming allows businesses to continuously collect and analyze real-time data from various sources, so they can gain valuable insights that help drive informed decisions — which is key to improving revenue streams.

Businesses can also leverage data streaming to monitor and optimize their operations in real time to drive increased efficiency and cost savings. Take real-time monitoring of supply chain operations, for example. This can help identify bottlenecks to avoid stockouts, tackle supply and demand issues, and reduce delays in delivery times. This results in increased customer satisfaction, which increases customer retention and thus directly affects revenue.

In fact, the 2023 Data Streaming Report found 67% IT leaders are seeing significant or emerging benefits when it comes to overall increase in business revenue after adopting data streaming.

Gaining insights into emerging market trends and customer needs also means businesses can now identify avenues for new revenue streams. They can then design and launch new products and services to address these unmet needs and market opportunities — potentially leading to revenue growth and increased market share.

Want to learn more about how organizations worldwide are leveraging data streaming to drive success and benefit from the incredible ROI it provides? Download our just-released “2023 Data Streaming Report: Moving Up the Maturity Curve” report now.

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