By 2023, there will be over 5 billion internet users, and 29.3 billion networked devices. All of these users and devices will be producing copious data.1 If you’re still working with a data company that sends data in batches, or if you’re working with data that you personally store yourself, you’re always going to be playing catch up.
Continuous Integration, also known as Continuous Delivery Capability, is the new standard for data delivery. Continuous Integration means a product is always sending and receiving real time data so your product team and company can make decisions based on what’s actually happening.
Take, for instance, a vending machine. Every week someone from the snack company brings the same snacks. Some options sell out fast, some not at all. With continuous delivery, the vending machine tells the company which snacks it’s selling and when. The company uses that data, as well as the data from all their other vending machines, to cater the snacks they send for regional or local preferences. They also use the data to time their restock routes better. Without continuous data delivery, the company would always be a little behind and a little less flexible with the products they sent out.2
If your team is trying to find ways to improve their product, it may be that you need to reassess your data company or data management system. Continuous integration is the future, but what does that mean?
To figure out if your data company is up to snuff, check their receipts.
API’s, or, application programming interfaces, are software to software interfaces. They securely connect with other applications to deliver information or services without humans involved in the transaction.
For instance, let’s say you’re making an app for a new food delivery system. Customers want to know when the delivery driver is near their house, so you set up a geofencing API that works with google maps. When the driver’s device crosses a boundary, or into a region that includes the customer’s home, your customer will be alerted, through your app, based on GoogleMap data and processes. The API facilitates the exchange of information from app to app, system to system.3
API’s are becoming more and more standard. Anytime you’re working with data, APIs allow you to utilize the data without storing it. Data Axle’s APIs, for instance, allow you to inject data and perform key processes directly into your platforms in real time. Product updates, delivery tracking, security alerts, real estate pricing—APIs help keep all of that data up to date minute by minute.
Ask your current company about their APIs. What are they doing to keep your business current?
If your data vendor is providing you with big data sets, like Data Axle, what cloud-based delivery solutions do they offer? You might think that on premise data storage is more secure, but actually it’s the other way around. Large data management companies who specialize in cloud hosting, like IBM or Oracle, use extremely advanced security measures to keep sensitive data protected, while still allowing your authorized team members to access the data from anywhere. They can help you with automated backups and disaster recovery, as well.
A good data company will also talk with you about scalability. Let’s say you’re working on that delivery app. Your marketing team wants to have a whole nation’s worth of demographics and contact information so they can put their ads in front of the right people at the right time. Your dev team is running continual testing on locations and edge cases to test the flexibility of the program, and your CEO decides, at the last minute, that you need to add or change a whole new aspect to the project. You need to run a new set of statistics to understand the feasibility of their request.
But then what happens after, when the product’s launched and things calm down? Are you going to keep paying for that high level of data usage? Scalability allows your data plan to keep pace with what your company actually needs.
Data Axle uses automated database synchronization to keep our client’s data up to date and continually fresh. You need to build and scale applications without maintaining a large database, and Data Axle works to provide flexibility and power in your data to accomplish all those things.
Your team, or your customer, may need to sift through a huge amount of data to find the patterns or specific details they need. So how helpful is the system your data company uses to facilitate their work? Successful data visualization knows its audience and works with its users to distill huge amounts of data into easy-to-understand elements.
Your company’s marketing manager will have a different frame of reference and set of needs for a set of data than your geo-engineer, even if they both need to run counts and calculate statistics on database segmentation. Data Axle’s continual delivery system allows your team to dig deep into the information you need in a way that is easy to understand.
If your data visualization is on point, people in your company will be able to search out vast amounts of data and see it presented in a way that allows them to quickly understand and communicate the information to team members, project leads or stakeholders. Human brains have an easier time understanding graphics rather than sheer numbers or reports of numbers. A map with a red dot is easier to understand for most people than a set of latitudes and longitudes, especially if it’s not just one red dot, it’s thousands of red dots.
Data visualization and cloud technologies often go hand in hand, making a hybrid model of data delivery. Data Axle’s system allows you to clean and enrich a data set quickly and easily, filling in gaps and subscribing to changes across the database.
When you have access to an easy-to-use system that is scalable, secure and cost effective, you can begin to design better products, and pay better attention to your client’s specific needs. You can start paying attention to the nuances between consumers. You have the data to get into the nitty gritty of what each person or each group needs, and how they need it.
Data Axle hones and refines intelligent, intuitive user interfaces, APIs, and data delivery methods so you’re not just getting the data you need to fuel your products, you’re getting it efficiently and seamlessly. With our free trial, run tallies, test our APIs and search our database of over 17 million businesses and 300 million customers.
Carson Collins has spent the last 5 years building his career in data licensing with Data Axle. Carson understands his client's challenges and is passionate about customizing solutions to best fit their needs and helping them exceed their business goals.