Pitney Bowes Ponders Streaming Analytics Opportunity

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In 2018, Pitney Bowes looks to apply streaming analytics to satisfy client needs for real-time, actionable data.

One of the major challenges that providers of third-party data sources such as Pitney Bowes face going into 2018 is how to apply streaming analytics to satisfy demands for information about customers to be updated in real-time.

Dan Adams, vice president of data for Pitney Bowes, says that as the company’s business model of providing data-as-a-service continues to evolve in the age of digital business it’s becoming increasingly critical to be able to provide these capabilities. What’s not clear just yet is to what degree organization will be willing to pay a premium to have Pitney Bowes to either provide access to data in real time or analyze it on their behalf.

See also: 3 ways streaming and real-time analytics could evolve in 2018

“Right now, the most many organizations on average are willing to spend on acquiring third-party data is a little over $10,000 a year,” says Adams. Nevertheless, Adams says he’s optimistic there is a significant business opportunity as organizations of all sizes evolve into digital businesses that need to constantly compare their own data against external data sources because the freshness of the data on which decisions are being made will become even more critical.

A recent survey of 800 senior-level data acquisition and analytics decision-makers conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Pitney Bowes finds the top challenges facing organizations that rely on third-party data are accuracy (70%), percent), maintaining the quality of data as it changes (69%), and improving the ability to detect and track changes in data (69%).

The top methods employed for accessing that data is via application programming interfaces (81%) and self-service portals (77%). As technology advances enabled by microservices continue to mature, Adams says he expects the volume of data being accessed via APIs to only increase.

Pitney Bowes Investing Heavily

Adams says Pitney Bowes has already invested heavily in advanced analytics technologies to analyze data at rest. Streaming analytics creates an opportunity to provide additional services based on data in motion. Adams adds Pitney Bowes is still in the process of testing specific use cases involving streaming analytics. But given the rate at which data changes, Adams says streaming analytics should prove to be a natural extension.

The biggest challenge, adds Adams, may not be delivering analytics in real time, but rather educating customers on how to act on the information being provided in real time. Adams says he expects over time much of the information the company provides will be available on demand via an online marketplace that will enable customers to subscribe to more granular data feeds about specific topics or corporations

In general, sales of streaming analytics software is expected to increase on a compound annual basis 35 percent through 2022. Naturally, much of the demand that software will span multiple industry segments. In fact, Pitney Bowes is not the only provider of information services looking to incorporate streaming analytics into its portfolio. But as the information services industry continues to evolve in the age of digital business, it’s clear that the latest, greatest data is going now going to matter a whole lot more than ever.

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