As we enter a period of uncertainty, it is important to get more value from existing investments, including event stream processing infrastructure. Categorical data represents a largely ignored and untapped resource capable of providing significant business impact.
But categorical data has largely been ignored by enterprises. This post explores what categorical data is, why it has been ignored, and most importantly, the value it can unlock with minimal investment.
Categorical data contains important insights
There are two principal types of data: categorical and numerical. Numerical data, as the name implies, refers to numbers or metrics (e.g. temperatures, counts, scores or ratings.)
Categorical data is everything else – colors, product models, addresses (IP and terrestrial), telephone numbers. And what is more, categorical can express the relationship between objects – an individual and their favorite color or the education distribution by postal code are two examples.
Categorical data is vast and expressive, describing attributes of the real world which, for enterprises, can provide the holy grail of insights: understanding and even predicting behavior.