SINGAPORE: The use of analytical software to make better business decisions appears to be on the rise.
Observers said the Asia Pacific ex-Japan market for business analytics is set to hit US$2 billion in 2030, growing 6.5 per cent each year.
And they said such data processing is fuelling a new form of computing using memory chips.
A customer buying a product, could be blogging about it a few hours later. And being able to crunch such data as soon as possible can help a company make better real time business decisions.
That's where software for business analytics can help.
Business analytics is typically used to uncover trends, patterns and links behind loose data.
Industry players said this can help companies make more informed decisions by identifying problems early and predicting future trends.
Observers said there is also increasing use of it in the financial sector which needs to constantly assess its risk position and liquidity.
But with growing volumes of data being generated from various sources, there is a push to speed up the process of analysis.
Praveen Sengar, research manager, IDC, said: “The trends are that you're increasing your data volume and second you need to optimise very quickly and fast.
“You need to react to the market reality. You don't have time and this is all leading to the need for the system that can do rapid processing which can take a huge amount of volume of data. So you can do a lot of data compression. You need a system that can handle your queries very fast which in turn is driving in-memory appliance that is coming into the market.”
This is where in-memory computing comes in.
This form of computing uses memory chips for data storage instead of traditional hard drives.
They can speed up processes by up to 200 times compared to traditional magnetic hard discs.
Simon Dale, SVP, Business User and Platform Organisation, SAP Asia Pacific and Japan, said: "In-memory computing is all about removing the bottleneck which today is disc storage which is just to slow. What we're looking at here is a way of really speeding up the way people look at information and discovering the insights in that information that can help them run their business better."
In-memory computing has been given a boost by falling memory chip prices and growing capacity in recent years.
Krish Datta, president, SAP Southeast Asia, said: “Memory chips are getting cheaper and cheaper. So very soon it will approach a price point where it is viable.
“So you get the advantage of storing data in a much more efficient and compressed form. You're looking at a compression of between 10 to 30 times so compressed data, much larger volume of data, far better access and affordable.
“I would say over the next two to three years, this will catch on. It’s difficult to put on an exact time but we definitely see in the next five years, a significant amount of analytics and other data repository shifting to in-memory and making it viable for customers."
Software maker SAP is banking on the trend towards in-memory computing as one of its growth drivers.
It is among several IT vendors that have recently made product offerings in this area.
But observers said while in-memory computing may ultimately be more cost efficient, companies may hold back because they have already invested heavily in conventional systems. - CNA/vm