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Key Criteria for Evaluating Streaming Data Platformsv3.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Streaming Data Platforms Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analysts’ Take
  8. About Andrew Brust

1. Summary

The shift to real-time processing, analysis, and actions is one of the most profound developments throughout the data ecosystem. Historical analysis, business intelligence (BI), and diagnostic analytics will always have their place. However, the immediate future of application-building, transactional systems, and customer interactions lies in the real-time interactions exemplified by those of streaming data platforms.

These solutions handle some of the most demanding workloads organizations undertake in terms of data quantities, speed, and variation. Commonplace use cases include sensor data from the internet of things (IoT) and industrial internet sources. Web applications (like ad tech, e-commerce, and gaming) often involve streaming data, as does rapid processing of log files, media and entertainment streaming services, and more. Additionally, the advent of 5G internet connectivity, the proliferation of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and the influx of sensor data reinforce the need for real-time interactions.

Continuous data streaming requires an updated paradigm compared to the conventional batch methods that once typified analytics deployments. Today, batch jobs of historical data are regularly aggregated with streaming data for comprehensive analysis, customer 360s, real-time offers, and other low-latency processing activity. Therefore, the onus on streaming data platforms is twofold. They must integrate with conventional analytics while also ingesting, transforming, enriching, classifying, and analyzing real-time data streams. The number of sources involved in these tasks is significant and, for some use cases, is growing alongside that of the data volumes. Conversely, the window of opportunity for acting on the resulting insight, such as for denying a fraudulent transaction before it goes through, is shrinking.

There are several open source options that help with these workloads. However, proprietary streaming data platforms supplement these options with a number of built-in features for making intelligent inferences from data, curating data, and enhancing data with enterprise levels of consistency and security. Thus, these platforms are gaining credence for their ability to improve decision-making, their analytics sophistication, and the range of data sources they can access for an increasing number of use cases.

Prospective buyers should understand what features and capabilities are typically found in streaming data platforms as well as the vital points of distinction among them. Applying this information to organizational objectives, specific use cases, budgetary concerns, and the technical aptitudes of the current and future user base reveals which offerings are most appropriate.

The GigaOm Key Criteria and Radar reports provide an overview of the streaming data platforms market, identify capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technology) and non-functional requirements (evaluation metrics) for selecting a streaming data platform solution, and detail vendors and products that excel. These reports will give prospective buyers an overview of the top vendors in this sector and will help decision-makers evaluate solutions and decide where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.