Recently I have been writing about the Database of Now without really defining it. While the definition was somewhat implied in the context of the write-ups, it is time to make it an official thing by defining it. Keep in mind that the definition is ideal at the moment and will emerge over time as digital technology advances to enable it. I have invited a coauthor who has some real-world examples to help flesh out this definition in context. Please welcome Dominic Ravita, whose bio is included.
Database of Now Definition
The Database of Now is a set of structured or unstructured data representing the present time or a moment without any processing or location delays. The Database of Now represents the most accurate and up to date state from which to make observations, decisions and take appropriate actions within the context of desired outcomes and goals.
The Database of Now must be considered in context and time continuums as the data meaning will vary with these vectors. An accurate state of now is a must to interpret the past and potentially predict the picture in emergent situations. Maintaining an accurate database of now is exceptionally challenging today with the amount and speed of data currently.
Benefits of the Database of Now
The Database of Now delivers operational insights and advantages by providing the current state of the business. It is a modern, efficient approach to cloud data management which broadens, accelerates and simplifies access to all the relevant in-the-moment with historical data while unifying data access styles and patterns
Why Care About the Database of Now?
Digital transformation projects have accelerated to meet the increased demand for digital products and services, providing answers or solutions with immediacy. With the onset of the "always-on" culture, the pervasive use of smartphones and ubiquitous devices has driven a global shift in customer experience and consumer expectations. Business is now won or lost in a moment.
The Database of Now delivers the operational insights and advantages by providing the current state of business to proactively identify, capture, and capitalize on the most crucial moments for their endeavors and their customers' success. It achieves this by simplifying the data infrastructure required to execute diverse workloads across various data styles, patterns, and types. Data professionals, application stakeholders, and end-users gain the advantages of speed, scale, and simplicity.
Characteristics of the Database of Now
Instant Integration & transformation
Self-Managed with Incremental Ingestion/Cleaning
Run Anywhere Dynamically
Pattern & Event Recognition
Ability to Learn from Analytics, Machine Learning, and AI
Ability to Suggest Alternatives
Ability to Take Action within Allowed Freedom Levels
Cash Burn & Flow Need the Database of Now
Managing cash flow and burn down in uncertain times requires a “hands-on” real-time look at the monies and where they are going. Having a pulse on money and how much is flowing out right now is vital when unpredictable revenues. Having a chokehold on expenses can be just as much of a mistake today, so watching the corporate performance in real-time is a fantastic advantage. Watching spending patterns in the market and your organization in a real-time fashion is a key to organizational success. All of this monetary care must be watched in the context of current business scenarios that could be subtly changing and appearing in new events and patterns.
The Digital Customer Experience Needs the Database of Now
Measuring what your customer is experiencing in real-time yields much better satisfaction and results than looking at slanted surveys and inconsistently timed customer forums. Real-time data mining leveraging the Database of Now will give insights into customer behavior. While customers generally have consistent goals in the way they behave, they are now experiencing new pressures. Many organizations are declaring victory because they could continue supporting customers with a remote workforce quickly, but few look at the customer experience impact of the recent moves. The long term future of many organizations hangs in the balance with the customer experience. Digital, along with instant adaptation, will go beyond remote workers to customers and other partners.
Saving Lives Needs the Database of Now:
Seconds can save lives too. True Digital of Thailand's mission is to protect children from sex trafficking, and they do that by continuously processing massive amounts of web data to identify children in danger. They were able to decrease law enforcement investigation time by as much as 63%. True Digital also seeks to proactively reduce the likelihood of new viral hotspots, including COVID 19, by monitoring mass population movement trends and rates of population density changes through anonymized cellphone data location data.
Industry 4.0 Needs the Database of Now
When organizations interact to create outcomes with each other, especially when hyper-automation is involved, having instant transparency and acting nearest to the emergent events or patterns is essential. The Database of Now operates well at the edge, leveraging cloud presence, and work shifting capabilities. Measuring results at the edge and adapting within a set of guidelines and goals set up by inter-organizational governance bodies is essential for success.
Each of these examples has make-or-break moments in time. “Now Scenarios” are time-critical, but the length of time available for effective action varies by situation, as does the variety, volume, and velocity of data required. What is essential for these “Now Scenarios” is to leverage all the relevant data to establish the most accurate, complete, and timely context to drive proactive responses. For business operations and management, real-time revenue is lost or gained in a split second with each passing moment.
The new world is much faster in terms of reactive, proactive, or predictive decisions or actions. The Database of Now is now or will be a critical fundamental contributor to many digital transformation efforts. Organizations that can sense shifts and intercept the outcomes in time will be those who flourish best.
Additional Case Studies Can Be Found Here:
Domenic Ravita is MemSQL’s Field Chief Technology Officer and Head of Product Marketing. He brings 24 years of experience across consulting, software development, architecture, and solution engineering leadership. He brings product knowledge and a senior technical perspective to field teams and to customers, and represents the voice of the customer to the product & engineering organization. He is a trusted technical and business advisor to the Fortune 500 having served global customers through multi-year transformations enabled by event-driven architectures. He has experience in distributed, in-memory data grids, streaming analytics, databases, integration, and data science.
Additional Reading on Database of Now:
Better Corporate Performance
Better Customer Experiences