For those unfamiliar, let’s start with a definition. What is a “mashup”? The term actually originated from the music world but has been adopted in the technology sphere to mean an application that combines data from different sources into a whole new application.

In today’s business environment, where everything can and is being measured, we need to be able to juggle multiple tools to collect the relevant data we need to run our day-to-day business.

Let’s use an organization’s Marketing Department as a mashup case study. According to Kelton Research as reported by eMarketer, the average marketer uses 5-6 marketing tools to execute and measure a typical marketing campaign. This is no easy task considering most of these tools come from different vendors and integration of the data across platforms can be complicated or often impossible.

Think about the types and masses of data we collect on a daily basis. If you have a website and web analytics software like Google Analytics, we collect website traffic data. More and more marketers are using marketing automation tools like Marketo or Eloqua to collect data about leads and campaigns. Many marketers today depend on CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools like Salesforce.com to measure what happens to campaigns after they are passed on to the sales team. The list goes on and on.

The real strength in analyzing these data sources is the ability to aggregate this data into a single dashboard. How many organic leads visited your website (Google Analytics) responded to a specific campaign (Marketo), converted to a qualified lead (Salesforce.com – Lead Report), or even converted to a paying customer (Salesforce.com – Contact Report)?

Sisense’s Elasticube click and drag mashup technology fuses disparate data sources without depending on a middle step of data warehousing and without the technical database skills the IT department would traditionally need to step in with. This gives the end-user the flexibility to combine different data sources or combine different tables from within the same source, in ways that had not been originally anticipated.

When mashing up data becomes as easy as click and drag, the result is tremendous IT savings. By implementing this self-service framework, there are fewer cases where the end-user cannot do what they want with their BI tools. This also cuts down on IT overhead, work backlogs, and special report requests that only highly skilled analysts can accomplish. By giving end-users the self-serve capability, future planning requirements become more efficient.

Organizations cannot realistically expect end-users to know in advance all the possible data sources or combinations of data that might be made available to them. Business intelligence should enable the business to answer any question that may arise now and in the future.

Check out this Interactive Sample Dashboard to see how Sisense connects to a combination of different data sources and presents data in a variety of visualizations, making data more visible as well as more fun to look at.

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