IT Brief UK - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
Why Change Data Capture is a topic every business leader needs to understand
Wed, 1st Mar 2023
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Data is the lifeblood of any modern business. Maintaining the flow of data is crucial to the vitality of the organisation, and can be the deciding factor in whether your business succeeds or fails.

This is why Change Data Capture (CDC) is an important subject for any business leader to get to grips with. It’s a technology that can boost the speed, efficiency and quality of access to data, meaning that business leaders can make the right decisions faster, target the right customers, and avoid costs and data loss.

The sea of data around us all is growing bigger by the year, with the amount of data produced worldwide forecast to grow to 180 zettabytes by 2025. With such vast datasets, businesses risk being overwhelmed and unable to gain the value they need. As such, understanding and engaging with CDC is a matter of urgency for business leaders to master their own data and turn it into business value.

What is Change Data Capture (CDC)?

Effectively, CDC is a replacement for an older, less efficient way of doing things: batch processing. In batch processing, instead of data being synced ‘live’, it’s done in bulk during specified ‘batch windows’. This has several disadvantages compared to CDC: data isn’t synced right away, which means business leaders miss out on up-to-the-minute insights. Also, the burden of transferring huge amounts of data during ‘batch windows’ means that other systems can slow down, potentially inconveniencing customers.

CDC is a faster way to track changes in the data generated by a business, which include source datasets such as business applications, ERP or operational databases. Data will then be synced instantly and effortlessly with a data lake or data warehouse, where it can be processed and turned into actionable business insights. By detecting changes in data and uploading them to cloud-based platforms, CDC works in real-time to turn data into business insights.

Delivering results

Having the right data to hand at the right time is increasingly important in today’s 24-hour global economy: this is one of the reasons why CDC generates significant business value. In terms of cost savings, moving from inefficient batch processing to CDC means that businesses don’t have to deal with huge data transfers that consume bandwidth.

The up-to-the-moment nature of CDC also offers opportunities to build revenue by having data in a business leader’s hands in real-time. To take one example, if you have a data point showing a customer entering a brick-and-mortar store, it’s extremely valuable for the next few minutes - and far less valuable 12 hours later. CDC empowers business leaders to beat their competitors to deals and offers higher-quality data for rapid-fire decision-making.

Consistently using old data, even if it’s just a day old, means businesses face long-term operational consequences. If your whole data infrastructure is built around old data, the consequences are not only long-lasting but also worryingly hard to reverse.

Big data, no big problems

When it comes to big data, small inaccuracies can make a huge difference. Data warehouses store filtered and structured data for businesses and exist to deliver business intelligence activities, especially analytics. Using CDC to deliver data to the data warehouse ensures that data is as accurate and timely as possible - and this is important, as even the slightest undocumented change can mean your crucial business analytics are less accurate.

Using a batch process can slow down and degrade performance - meaning that platforms such as e-commerce sites might slow to a crawl once a day, leading customers to look elsewhere. As CDC doesn’t require ‘batch windows’, there’s never a time when everything slows down - leaving your business fit for a 24-hour, global business world.

Data is one of the most important assets for businesses, and its protection is key. By tracking changes in real-time, CDC empowers businesses that experience data loss with a chance to repopulate impacted datasets. Once data is gone, it can’t be regenerated. But with the protection of change data capture, businesses can recover their essential data to fuel further growth.

CDC and the future of your business

We live in a data-driven world, and having real-time data is only going to be increasingly important for businesses as the amount of data around us grows. Companies armed with CDC have measurable advantages, including cutting costs, speeding up decision making and avoiding problems such as opportunity costs and data loss.

CDC is a technology business leaders cannot afford to ignore. It’s not just an upgrade, it represents a way for businesses to move at the speed of their data and outpace rivals in the years to come.