Last September, when DM Review published my article entitled "BAM and Business Intelligence," the real-time business intelligence (BI) and business activity monitoring (BAM) marketplaces were very much in their infancy. Over the past year, real-time technologies have become more mature, our understanding of the use of real-time processing has improved and companies are beginning to implement real-time BI and BAM applications. My objective in this article is to review these changes and look at the benefits real-time BI processing offers.

Perhaps the biggest advance I have seen over the past year is that companies are beginning to understand that there are many different types of real-time processing, each with its own uses, benefits and issues. IT staff are also realizing that right time is a better term to use than real time. Right time implies that different business situations and events require different response or action times. When planning a right-time processing environment, it is important to match technology requirements to the actual action times required by the business - some situations require close to a real-time action, whereas with others, a delay of a few minutes or hours is acceptable.

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