27 May

Why look at pictures when you can watch a live movie?

According to ZDNet, data insight is on-track to become a “key competitive weapon” in 2016. But there’s a disconnect — while 75 percent of enterprise architects want data to drive business strategy, just 29 percent say their firms are any good at connecting data and actionable outcomes. While data-driven investments should continue on pace over the next twelve months, the real story here is the rise of data science and real-time analytics reducing the time from query to answer and insight to action.

There’s pushback, however, from naysayers who see a finite limit to the speed of static relay; what happens when data points are so close in time they become indistinguishable images of IT trouble spots or emerging relationships? If you’re watching closely enough, you will see the birth of something special: Moving pictures.

Now You See It…      

At Nexthink, we know there’s no business without IT. What’s more, the signs of IT disconnect or more serious corporate issues can be found in the behavior of end-users. Tracking the behavior of these users has always been problematic — beyond asking front-line employees about their experience with a particular piece of software or service, how can companies uncover the truth about user frustration and the impact of technology shifts?

Addressing the issue demanded a change in perspective: Instead of seeing IT as a top-down effort we flipped the lens and made end-users the fundamental piece of the puzzle. Since they’re ones on the ground using the technology you’ve purchased and installed, it’s their behavior which determines the ultimate success or failure of your investment. Historically, the ability to “see” behaviors of this type were limited to static reporting: A frame here and a frame there, forcing companies to piece together meaning from a series of static images. But what if there was a better way?

The new IT DVR

At Nexthink, we decided it was time to do away with frame-by-frame and instead get the whole story. It starts with endpoint collectors which funnel data to our real-time analytics platform. From there, you search your entire IT infrastructure using plain English — like performing a Google search — and find exactly the results you need. Think of it like the birth of movies. Most were simply tiny “shorts” designed to show the beauty of human movement or give viewers a sense of scope: films of train cars pulling into the station had some movie-goers running in fear. But instead of a limited selection, you get access to the entirety of your IT structure and end-user behavior to create custom highlight reels.

Perceptual Shift

So why do movies matter? Consider a museum, trusted to safeguard a priceless painting. If cameras located in the room only pick up and relay data once every twenty-four hours, you’re relying on physical security — not actual data input — to stop any would-be criminals. By the time you get another piece of data, it’s too late: The painting is gone and you’re left to clean up the mess. The same goes for end-user insight: Smooth sailing one day is no guarantee of stress-free networking the next. If you’re missing the middle, you’re not getting the whole picture.

Bottom line? Previews are rolling out for the newest tech blockbuster: Data in real time, driving continuous insight. In short, the era of data-driven cinema.