Stream Processing

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What Does Stream Processing Mean?

Stream processing is the process of analyzing streaming data in real time. Analysts are able to continuously monitor a stream of data in order to achieve various goals. Stream processing as a way of optimizing data flow is popular with tech firms, for example, in use by social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but it is also useful in a wider spectrum of tech uses where companies want to direct data flow in a more precise or specialized way, for instance, in IaaS and PaaS offerings, or in various types of ERP resources.

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Techopedia Explains Stream Processing

One of the best examples of stream processing is a technology that monitors a real-time data stream that is measuring some property such as the temperature of a room. The stream processing technology is always running in real time, so as soon as the temperature of the room hits a particular high or low “strike point,” some event is triggered — for instance, turning on (or off) a heating or cooling system.

The key to stream processing is achieving the real-time monitoring of the streaming data according to design goals. Stream processing capacity will typically be assessed in time units with the ability to monitor multiple times per second. The engineering also has to specify what aspects of the data stream are being monitored — while some data streams may not benefit that much from stream processing, data streams involved in manufacturing and industrial processes are a key use case for stream processing technology.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.