Real-Time Analytics: Definitions, Details, and Tools

In today’s increasingly competitive business landscape, the success of a business depends on how efficiently it processes data. Businesses that can instantly detect an issue with a product or service and make adjustments in real-time typically experience faster growth and more success than those who do not.

That’s where real-time analytics come in. Real-time analytics offers a variety of business benefits that can help businesses of all shapes and sizes beat their competition and thrive.

What is real-time analytics?

Real-time analytics is the process of delivering information about a business as it occurs. It allows businesses to make faster and more effective decisions than those organizations with stale or no data.

With real-time analytics, businesses can ensure the information they are receiving and analyzing is completely up to date. This is essential as data that’s a few months, or even a few hours behind, may steer a business in the wrong direction.

Use cases and examples

Virtually any industry and business can benefit from real-time analytics. Let’s explore how real-time analytics can be used to make informed decisions in a few use cases.

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Real-time analytics for airlines

As customers go through the booking, check-in, security, flight, and other touch points of a trip, airlines can benefit from collecting real-time customer data. For example, if the airline knows a customer has passed through security and has made it to the airport waiting area, the airline knows it’s a good time to email them a seat upgrade offer. On another note, if a flight is delayed or canceled, an airline can identify a high-value traveler and put them on the next available flight in first class.

Check out this demonstration on how to create a simple real-time data pipeline that transmits aircraft data, and helps track airline flights and review patterns in and around Paris.

Real-time analytics for retail

Since its inception in 2008, Groupon has become known as an e-commerce marketplace that connects subscribers with local merchants by offering goods, activities, travel, and services. Every day, the company processes more than 1 terabyte of raw data in real time and stores this information into its various database systems. Groupon uses this real-time data to closely align its email marketing activities with target group interests and preferences.

Business benefits of real-time analytics

There are a variety of ways businesses can benefit from real-time analytics.  Some of these include:

More effective use of resources

Before real-time analytics came to life, managing resources was a manual and error-prone process for many businesses. With real-time analytics, a business can see which resources are being used and which ones aren’t doing anything at any given moment, allowing for a more effective use of resources.

More accurate targeted marketing

Targeted marketing gives organizations the chance to get the right products and services in front of the right people. Real-time analytics makes this process more accurate by identifying the most relevant promotions for specific customer demographics.

Improved inventory management

Many businesses run out of items they need or lose money from having too much inventory. Real-time analytics can help avoid these problems by helping businesses understand current supply levels and trends in usage.

Faster improvements

The only way to correct errors and improve business operations is to look at data and determine weaknesses. By seeing potential problems on the spot through real-time analytics, businesses can make faster improvements and run more efficiently as a result.  

Real-time analytics solutions checklist

Fortunately, there are a plethora of real-time analytics solutions on the market that can help businesses receive data as soon as it becomes available. When looking for a real-time analytics solution, businesses should look for these features and capabilities.


A real-time analytics solution should allow a business to host their data on the cloud so that it can run on any computer with an internet connection. This way, an organization won’t need to purchase more servers or add more capacity to its in-house data warehouses.

Easy and cost-effective scaling

With a quality real-time analytics solution, businesses should be able to scale more easily and cost-effectively in order to add custom attributes and receive data that’s even more powerful and relevant.

A good user experience

If a real-time analytics solution is confusing to use or only a few people in an organization understand how it works, it’s not a great investment. Businesses should ensure the solution they select is easy to use and understand for most users — especially those with little to no in-depth technical skills.

Custom attributes

When it comes to real-time data analytics, every business has different needs and preferences. For this reason, it’s essential that the solution an organization uses features custom attributes that allow data to be tailored to what’s important for them.

Getting started with real-time analytics

Real-time analytics offers a number of benefits to businesses in various industries. With the right solution, a business can take full advantage of real-time analytics and reach new heights of success.

Using Talend’s leading real-time analytics solution, organizations can gain the most of its data at the speed of business. Talend Data Fabric is a single suite of apps that can easily be scaled and used for data integration and data quality. With its ability to create custom attributes and store data in the cloud, Talend Data Fabric makes it easy for business to access real-time and relevant data needed to make strategic decisions.

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