Data Performance in a Digital Universe

Data Performance in a Digital Universe

Posted on July 13, 2015 0 Comments

In part 2 of his data performance series, Jesse Davis describes how high-performing data connectivity determines success in an increasingly digital world. Also read part 1 of the series: "Progress Delivers Proven Performance."

We’ve become used to sharing everything we do all the time—what we like, what we don’t like, what we do and even what we eat. We make this information available for everybody to see, and this has led to a much more global community. We’re very social creatures already, and social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn make it easier than ever to share what we find. And every time we share something, we are generating data—little digital footprints that we leave as we wander around planet Earth. This data is useful for getting to know your customers, allowing you to meet them where they are and responding directly to their needs. But just how do we make use of all it all?  How do we mine it so that we can better improve experiences for people, or to enhance our businesses in real time?

Data Surrounds Us

Hulu offers an interesting example. In the evenings, when I’m sitting down to watch some TV with my wife, we get to choose our own ad experience. Doing this, we are changing the way companies are presenting information to us by telling them what we are interested in up front. All of this is tracked. All of this is stored. Hulu uses this information on what we like to algorithmically present us with ads and shows we may like. We don’t mind because we aren’t presented with commercials that aren’t interesting to us.

Another example is in department stores like Macy’s that embrace low-energy Bluetooth transmitters like Apple’s iBeacon technology. When you walk in, Macy’s not only knows that you’re in their store, but thanks to iBeacon, they can tell that you’re in the handbag section, or you’re in the shoe department on the third rack of shoes. This technology goes beyond geolocation, improving accuracy from feet to inches while reducing power consumption. With that data in hand, you can combine it with other information you have on your customer in order to present with them a coupon on you know they want and offer them a chance to purchase it on-the-spot.

If you don’t believe the ubiquity of data is growing like I claim, think about this: during the first day of a baby’s life, we generate 70 times the information contained in the Library of Congress. When I first heard that statistic from The Human Face of Big Data, it struck me. My niece had her first birthday not long ago, and as my brother and I watched, five family members surrounded her. They took almost two gigabytes’ worth of pictures and videos of her eating a piece of cake! I was one of three children, so when I was a kid, I was lucky to get a single picture.

Today, these children have online presences before they are even born. Parents write what they do, like and say at an astonishing cadence. Having all this information about someone, even prior to birth, enables companies and social media apps to not only present pertinent ads to the parents as they make these posts, but to base those posts on the amazingly detailed data collected about that person. This information will be used as the basis for offer targeting for the rest of their life. Imagine 20 years from now when it is hard for someone to remember their favorite toy, but then they are presented with an ad for it along with a family picture of them using it with their father or sister from ages past; it’s much more powerful marketing than what we have today.

Harnessing Data with Better Performance

There is an enormous amount of data in our digital world, and companies continue to struggle with what to do with it. One thing we do know is that the amount of data generation shows no signs of slowing. As data continues to grow, performance becomes a bigger and bigger problem.  Algorithms and software systems designed to process all this information must retrieve and process data at exceptional speed: every millisecond counts. Performance of these systems determines how fast we can mine it, how fast we can make use of it, translate it, transform it, analyze it and use it to make decisions.

The drivers my team and I build here at Progress® DataDirect® are designed to be the fastest in the industry, and we stand behind that claim with award winning technical support. When you find performance degradation issues in our software, we treat them like any defects because we understand how important speed is to your business. You can pick up a free trial today and try it out for yourself,  or watch a replay of my webinar, “Industry Insight: Optimizing Your Data for Better Performance.” Don't forget to check back for the next installment of this series!


Jesse Davis

Jesse Davis

As Senior Director of Research & Development, Jesse is responsible for the daily operations, product development initiatives and forward looking research for Progress DataDirect. Jesse has spent nearly 20 years creating enterprise data products and has served as an expert on several industry standards including JDBC, J2EE, DRDA and OData. Jesse holds a bachelor of science degree in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State university.


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