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The Value of Nstream’s Real-Time UIs vs. Traditional UIs

The Value of Nstream’s Real-Time UIs vs. Traditional UIs

Imagine a tool that empowers businesses to harness the full potential of streaming data by showing real-time updates at the granular level of real-world objects; the possibilities would be endless.

Real-time UIs present a paradigm shift –– both from a technology standpoint and business users’ expectations once they interact with real-time UIs.

Nstream’s real-time UIs employ tech innovations that empower users to make full use of their streaming data to better see, understand, and react to the real-time state of their business.

Nstream’s real-time UI vs. traditional UIs

Real-time UIs allow you to see the state of your business in real real-time, as it changes at network-level latency (often in milliseconds), rather than an echo of what your business looked like 1, 10, 60 minutes, or a few hours ago.

Standard web apps may give the impression of real-time responsiveness but often have delays when connecting to backend services as they query or poll whenever they need the UI updated with the latest data.

A true real-time UI updates instantly, pushing data at network-level latency (often in milliseconds) with backend application states. In a real-time UI, data streams dynamically to present the desired view, and the interface responds immediately to any user actions.

When UIs are real-time, the connection between user-facing interfaces and backend systems is instantaneous, enabling significantly improved business outcomes across different use cases. For example, this would enable an online retailer to maintain a live view of items’ status to ensure the supply chain is running smoothly, as well as give customers the ability to track delivery progress with second-by-second accuracy.

What are the benefits of a real-time UI?

The benefits of a real-time UI are many and significant; employing a real-time UI is more than a ‘nice-to-have’ feature. In fact, real-time UIs are critical to making the best use of your streaming data. Here are a few business benefits that real-time UIs enable:

Real-time business visibility: Gain real-time visibility into the entire business – from functional operations down to the real-world object (such as a truck, customer, prospect, financial transaction, point-of-sale record, IoT device, or other assets). Real-time visibility and situational awareness help businesses increase agility, enhance operations, and deliver a stronger customer experience.

Improved decision-making: Make better data-driven decisions rooted in the current state of the business rather than on stale data or predictions of current state. This is vital in a business landscape where things change quickly and thousands of events happen every second.

Increased efficiency and productivity: Identify areas to add sophisticated automation (like automated workflows and/or triggers) to streamline processes. For example, a bank could automate text and email notifications if fraudulent activity is detected. This automation informs the customer immediately so they can act, building trust and loyalty by demonstrating a commitment to their security.

Competitive advantage: Real-time business logic leads to real-time business decisions. To remain competitive with behemoth companies that boast vast amounts of resources, enterprises must employ applications with real-time business logic that enable visibility, analysis, and automation on top of real-time streaming data. Falling behind in real-time capabilities leaves your business vulnerable to disruption and customer churn.

While some large tech companies have successfully leveraged the benefits of real-time UIs, many enterprises have faced challenges and failed to capitalize on them fully. Falling behind in real-time capabilities leaves your business vulnerable to disruption and customer churn because competitors with real-time capabilities will attract these customers away from you.

Nstream’s real-time UIs vs. traditional UIs: At a glance.

  Nstream’s real-time UIs Traditional UIs
Frequency of updates: Updates are reflected in real-time, at network-level latency (mostly in milliseconds). As real-world objects change, updates are pushed to the UI. Updates are queried/polled at specified intervals (e.g., every 5 mins, 15 minutes, etc.), or users manually query for updates.
Delayed updates due to batch processing/querying/polling can hinder highly time-sensitive use cases, such as offering customers personalized in-store coupons.    
Visibility: Full real-time visibility into the state of the business/deployment. Limited visibility to real-time state of business, events, systems, functions, etc. 
Granularity: View functional operations and zoom in to view real-world objects, such as assets, transactions, customers, etc., with real-world object-level dashboards. View a certain aspect or function of your business. 
Limited visibility into how all aspects of your business are working together can make it challenging and time-consuming to identify the root of problems versus the symptoms.    
Decision-making/problem resolution: Monitor the state of your operations and respond to changes in real-time.   
Monitor for and identify early indicators of anomalies and take action before events spiral out of control for enhanced security, customer experience, and more. View snapshots of your business to identify patterns and make business decisions that are not time sensitive.   
Accessibility: Access via a web browser; no installation of proprietary software or bespoke app download required. Accessibility depends on the vendor. Many require installing proprietary vendor software, app download, etc.
Integration: Easily integrates with BI (Tableau, Thoughtspot, Looker, etc.), enterprise applications (ServiceNow, Twilio, etc.), microservices, and custom UIs (Angular, React). Varying integration capabilities depending on the vendor.
Examples: Real-time interactive map view of 20M+ IoT devices. Can isolate to an individual IoT device level. Stale view of a deployment of IoT devices where state updates once an hour. Cannot isolate to individual IoT device level.

Real-time UIs can benefit companies across an assortment of use cases. Here are two examples.

Palo Alto traffic application

[Add GIF here showing the UI zooming from the city view into a specific intersection]

The real-time UI of the Palo Alto traffic application empowers users to interpret and act upon real-time traffic information.

Users can zoom in or out to focus on specific traffic lights or entire blocks for a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of a traffic situation. This information empowers users to make informed decisions, save time, and contribute to smoother traffic flow.

For example, automating traffic light timings can proactively reduce congestion, resulting in a more convenient and reliable commuting experience.

View Real-time status and interactions of Palo Alto traffic

Cellular data app

For telco companies with cell towers nationwide, the value of real-time data lies in the ability to diagnose network performance issues effectively.

For example, if a cell tower reports poor performance or disruption, the telco company requires contextual data to understand the problem. With real-time data, the UI can promptly display areas of poor cell service, enabling the company to troubleshoot, minimize outages, and enhance customer satisfaction swiftly.

View Real-time performance/monitoring of a cellular network

Nstream’s real-time UIs and enterprise integrations

Nstream’s real-time UIs can be built using even the most complex data sources. There is no need to change your streaming data technologies or invest in a host of new tools — Nstream seamlessly integrates with the systems and sources you already have in place. Users of the Nstream Platform also have access to our pre-built, auto-configured real-time user interface templates to help enhance the overall user experience and functionality of your UIs.

Interested in learning more about how real-time UIs are created? Watch this video for an inside look at building real-time applications plus a walkthrough of a real-time UI.