What is Time-Series Data?

In this post, I want to mention about time series and its databases. Why do we need them? Where can we use? I also add some papers, videos and references to get more detail of them.

Time-series is simple meaning of where time is x axis and data(serie) is y axis in graph. So, we have continuous data and it depends on “Time”. We got until this point. Where can we use these series and need its databases? If your data are stored with time and they are going to be huge(big), you can use them. We can also store them in relational databases as SQL. You are right but just tell a real story. You are twitter and each second a billion tweet is already post and all of them includes at least one hashtag. At the end of day, someone ask how many tweet is post for “this” specific hashtag? (You need something more than traditional databases.) This website ask to twitter API to show stats (warn: you can spend a time! -> keyhole)

Okay, another example, you are ceo of chain market such as Ikea (Välkommen till min blogg – ahah), and you want to see how many customer entered your stores by country for last one month (this is irony, I couldn’t found any best effort database to support month, because you never know how many days in a month. – 30? 31? 28? 29?) Anyway, so you have counter device in all entrances and these devices connect each store and each stores connect to center servers. You need a really good system to handle this throughput. You are a designer, you can use any database or tools to collect these data (even assembly can be solution on network). But you do not have time to discover America again. I love this sentence…

IoT (Internet of things), all of us heard this term and we feel that is coming. Each devices, applications, things start to communicate each other and we need to catch the data between them and analyze it. Events, measurements, metrics for applications are also going to be considered. I put these terms because these are also related with why time-series. Okay okay do not mix brains.

Briefly, time-series are simply measurements or events that are tracked, monitored, down sampled and aggregated over time [this sentence and images in below are taken from why-time-series-matters)

This is a Time-Series


This is NOT a Time-Series


Time-Series Databases

We got there is potential data by time and we need collect, store and analyze them. This part of the post, I will give some references of time-series databases, still I continue to search them. If I write wrong information, please update me.

When I meet the time-series firstly I watch this video from influxdata. This is really good explanation to understand what it is. It is important to understand your project’s data are suitable to this approach.

Then, I found these blogs and read them, suggested blog posts.

Then, I found this sheet includes comparison of all time-series databases (wow, God bless you, guys!)
Open Source Time Series DB Comparison

I totally had that question and write to google; Is there a powerful database system for time-series data?

As I mentioned, I still continue to search and learn but I analyzed the InfluxDB and will publish my thoughts in different post. I shared in this post my first touch to time-series. I hope you get enjoyed and get informed!


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