The value of events

Joe McKendrick quoted a previous blog entry of mine, but he prefaced my quotes with the statement that I was “questioning the value of EDA to many businesses.” One of things that any speaker/author has to always deal with is the chance that the message we hope comes out doesn’t, and I think this is one of those cases. That being said, if you feel like you are misrepresented, it probably means you didn’t explain it well in first place! So, in the event that others are feeling that I’m questioning the value of EDA, I thought I’d clarify my stance. I am a huge fan of events and EDA. Events can be very powerful, but just as there has been lots of discussions around the difference between SOA and ABOS- a bunch of services, the same holds true for EDA.

The problem does not lie with EDA. EDA, as a concept, has the potential to create value. EDA will fail to produce value, just as SOA will, if it is incorrectly leveraged. Everyone says SOA should begin with the business. Guess what, EDA should as well. While the previous entries I’ve posted and the great comments from the staff at Apama and their postings have called out some verticals where EDA is already being applied successfully, I’m still of the opinion that many businesses would be at significant risk of creating ABOE- a bunch of events. This isn’t a knock on the potential value of events, it’s a knock on the readiness of the business to realize that potential. If the business isn’t thinking of themselves in a service-oriented context, they are unlikely to reach the full potential of SOA. If the business isn’t thinking of themselves in an event-driven context, they are unlikely to reach the full potential of EDA.

5 Responses to “The value of events”

  • So, what exactly should business be asking themselves in terms of requirements to position for EDA?

  • Good stuff, Todd – agree about the comment about ABOE – a bunch of events. That said, I think part of the reason EDA is getting so much interest is that most companies have a lot of events *already*, they’re just not doing anything with them yet.

    For example, to cite the well-used example of algorithmic trading in capital markets, event data from the markets has been available for years, and electronic trading has been performed for years. But electronic trading isn’t algorithmci trading; algorithmic trading didn’t start happening until the early 2000’s. Now almost every firm is trading with algorithms depending on asset class.

    The point is they always had events, then they found a real business use for them, and the space is taking off. I think this is the way it’s going to go with EDA – the business use cases will drive it’s adoption.

    And that’s good.

  • My apologies for mangling your message, Todd! I posted an update at the blogsite with excerpts from your above post.

    Great post, by the way. Looks like there’s a chasm to cross before many businesses can effectively leverage EDA to the point where it delivers measurable value. I really like the acronym, ABOE — A Bunch of Events.

    Best Regards,

  • In response to James’ question, I may be oversimplifying things, but it really comes down to asking “Why?” more often. Retail financial services is a good and familiar example. In the simplest sense, more trading volume typically equals more commissions which equals more revenue. How then, does a retail firm do anything other than sit back and be at the mercy of the companies whose stock they are selling? To be successful, you need to perform trend analysis and try to make correlations between the behavior of the customers and the events that trigger those behaviors. If you don’t have any events, however, how can you do any correlation? Many companies only record the outcome of the behavior in their data warehouses without any representation of the triggering events. Unfortunately, it’s not easy because those events may be external. As was suggested in an early comment from the guys at Apama, however, you can take things like news feeds and turn them into “events” that you can now perform correlation analysis on. Again, I’d love to hear more on how events cane be used in businesses that aren’t typically “event-driven.”

  • Addressing the question of “I’d love to find out more about how events can be used in business that aren’t typically “event-driven.”

    Some have questioned the role of events in retail and supply chain. Rather than re-write it all here I will point you at a number of case studies, videos, and more on our customer page on Apama:

    Look at the “BGN” case study and you will see tons of ROI, use case, and other information on how EDA delivers business value.

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