There are moments in life when you see something and think “I gotta have one of those”…
The first time I remember this happened to me (outside of Refresher chews, Zoom lollipops, and a Knickerbocker glory) was with my dad when we visited a friend of his in a little English village called Elston. His name was Peter Jones. I am not quite sure what he did; although, I am reliably informed he worked for SAPA. But I do remember that he lived in what to me looked like Downton Abbey… caveat being that I was probably around five years old at the time so take the impression with a grain of salt!
Peter was giddy with excitement when he ushered us into his office which seemed rather baron but sported a small table and chair. On said table was a collection of metal boxes, buttons, switches and what looked like a small television screen. He explained with detail that it was a “computer” and I even believe he was playing some primaries textual game on it. I had no idea what it was, why it existed, or even why I should care – but I definitely knew in that instant that I wanted one.
What’s subsequently blown me away is how I managed to see this so early. My timeline zeros into roughly 1972-1974 in the north of England. Given Peter worked for SAPA, there’s no real clue as to why he would need this computer for work. So I have to assume it was a kit built from a serial tinkerer.
Flash forward to my formative boarding school years when I was around ten years old. We were returning to school after summer break when a fellow boarder, Raymond Chow, recently back from visiting his family in Hong Kong, was sporting an odd device clamped to his belt with headphones blaring. I found myself again thinking that I have no idea what it is but I “gotta have it!”
In keeping with the theme of formative moments that accidentally shape your life directions profoundly, it would be remiss if I didn’t sidetrack and mention where my thirst for cars and career choices originated. Call it 12 years old when I remember clearly admiring Weir Larson who, again was a friend of my dad’s, seemed to always turn up in new and rather flashy cars. Isn’t it funny how kids decide what career they want based on some unexpected impression early in life e.g. a pop star, a dancer, a pilot, an astronaut? Well my career aspiration from that point on was to be an IBM sales rep. Mind you, I didn’t know what that was exactly, but if it gave me cool cars to drive then I was ALL IN!
I confess the other keen memory I can’t quite figure out how to shoehorn into this blog but feel it is worth a mention is the arrival of “Jaws” which my dad brought me back from the states. Longtail made me the absolute bomb at skate-city – tip that baby back and watch the sparks fly! Pretty sure there were a few other blokes at the skate park who had their “I gotta have it” moments after seeing this beauty in action.
So now back to the topic at hand and the present day.
My company, DataTorrent, delivers real-time analytics and actions on data in motion. There is a use case that’s reoccurring in pretty much every customer meeting I attend. But I have a nagging problem for how best to articulate this since it has no name and the best I can come up with is a “persistent session”.
This use case is a blend of “at rest” data and augmented real-time streaming diverse data delivery with the promise to collect everything you know about a critical asset and then “top up” this asset’s master data record with real-time data so you can have a constant 360 degree “now” view of said asset. You can immediately take actions against it while it’s hot and in the moment!
We see this instantiate everywhere including for credit applications, cyber security, RF Smart meter grids, Oil production platforms, targeting geographic regions, manufacturing production pipelines, surgical gas distribution in hospitals and the list goes on….
The simple fact is that every company has its own flavor of what’s important and what it needs to know to better run the business.
How powerful would it be for you to have a current ‘up to the second’ + total historical, stateful viewpoint of your key indicators for your businesses success? You would be able to poke this data set and react to it while activities and events are still in motion. Voila the ubiquitous use case for every customer I’ve encountered.
For now, I will continue calling this a “persistent session”, part customer 360, part master data management but this digital insight is one of those moments that will change the very nature of how you view, slice, dice and act smart, fast, and NOW! And once you know it is possible, pretty sure the response will be you just “gotta have it.”