Many organizations struggle to understand how their business performs. In an attempt to gain operational visibility and situational awareness, teams have created multitude reports, spreadsheets, key performance metrics, portals, and dashboards. Business analytics attempts to increase event correlation, enhance presentation, and increase business insight, but analytics often does little to increase real-time visibility. In between weekly, monthly, or quarterly analytic execution cycles, business managers guestimate how to increase supplies, adjust marketing campaigns, offer sales discounts, or hire additional resources.
Create a Comprehensive Business Visibility Environment
Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) and Complex Event Processing (CEP) augments business analytics by contributing a high performance data capture framework, in-stream event correlation, alerts and notifications, knowledge mapping, flexible data storage, scalable Big Data processing, and real-time dashboards. By readily composing advanced middleware capabilities into a unified solution, teams are able to enhance information relevance and improve informational delivery. The middleware enables filtering, aggregating, mapping, and reducing large, multi-faceted datasets over greater temporal ranges with analytical processes composed using statistical languages, event correlation languages, and MapReduce script languages.
Use a High Performance Data Capture Framework
A high performance data capture framework is a pre-requisite to collecting, filtering, and storing enterprise business activity. Data collectors are injected into applications, business processes, APIs, services, or message streams. The collectors analyze business activity and send BAM event messages to real-time complex event processors and NoSQL event storage. BAM solutions may differentiate themselves by delivering a low-latency, high-volume, and scalable environment. The environment should enable data collection across numerous data sources and multiple information source types.
Implement Event Correlation and Knowledge Mapping
The BAM environment may perform event correlation and knowledge mapping using an in-stream complex event processing component, or defer correlation and mapping until after the event messages have been stored in a scalable Big Data repository. A NoSQL database is often used to flexibly store event message formats without prior message schema knowledge. In-stream complex event processing is often chosen when near real-time alerts and notifications are required to proactively manage business activity shifts. For example, perform credit card fraud detection and lock down accounts minutes after identifying anomalous events.
Scalable Data Analytics
Scalable data analytics using more distributed Big Data components (e.g. Hadoop and MapReduce) can operate across large data sets and temporal ranges. The goal is often deep data forensics by searching through a combined dataset spanning historical and near real-time records. Common queries perform root-cause analysis, statistical analysis, and business event aggregation. The most powerful visualizations correlate business events to inform business owners on how business actions drive business results. Real-time dashboards enable powerful A/B testing of marketing campaigns, sales pricing, and trading options.
Business Activity Monitoring Roadmap
When starting a BAM initiative, consider the following BAM roadmap:
1) Determine areas where enhanced business activity visibility can improve business results
2) Identify applications, business processes, APIs, services, and databases that are used to perform or track the business activity
3) Instrument the applications, business processes, APIs, services, and databases with BAM data collectors
4) Integrate the data collectors with complex event processing engines or BAM repository message listeners
5) Build BAM analyzers that will map, reduce, and process the raw event data and create useful business activity information
6) Develop dashboards to visualize business activity information, notify business owners, and recommend business actions.