Why Do End-users Need Data Mashup?

Can’t IT just set up all of the data relationships that end-users need ahead of time? These are natural questions to ask before embarking on a BI implementation project. But organizations already in the throes of this process certainly realize the difficulty of this task. No one can ever fully anticipate all the needs that users may have for enterprise data. End-users have a hard enough time documenting needs that they currently know about. During the planning stage, one is fortunate to be able to ascertain even a small measure of what is needed or desired in terms of data and its manipulation.

Organizations cannot realistically expect end-users to factor in all the new sources of data that might be made available to them, and the additional requisite analyses that may emerge. Even if an organization does not plan to add additional data sources, it is still an impossible feat to anticipate every data structure requirement of the future. One cannot know the unknown. Business intelligence, by its definition, is meant to enable the business to answer any question that may arise – including questions that only arise thanks to the power of exploration and discovery your BI solution introduces. BI should essentially be both specific and adaptive.

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Remember, an effective BI solution is not just providing a centralized tool for data access. It is also empowering all types of people to explore data, learn new things from it, ask new questions that may never have been asked before, and come up with business decisions that allow the company to move forward, remain competitive, and work more efficiently.

Realizing that there will always be data-use requirements that cannot be predicted, the question becomes whether IT should be serve as an intermediary in the process? Besides IT resource issues, it is crucial to keep in mind how important end-user satisfaction is for a successful BI platform implementation. Certainly end-user dissatisfaction has been a significant reason for past BI project failure - even after significant licensing fees have been paid and manpower resources have been spent. Providing end-users with self-service enables them to move farther ahead much more quickly. In fact, one of the ingredients to a correct BI implementation is enabling end-user experimentation, providing a virtual ‘sandbox’ to explore and analyze in.

Providing end-users the ultimate in self-service that data mashup allows will do even more to increase the success of a BI implementation. It will increase end-user satisfaction, which will in turn increase adoption and usage. Consequently, organizations will experience an increase in the throughput of analysis, findings, decisions, and actions, all of which add more value to a successful deployment. Considering the significance of unlocking beneficial information that may have been previously overlooked or concealed, the value of the initial monetary investment becomes evident. And, this is only one half of the business case for the value of end-user defined data mashup.

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“Flexible product with great training and support. The product has been very useful for quickly creating dashboards and data views. Support and training has always been available to us and quick to respond.
- George R, Information Technology Specialist at Sonepar USA

Why IT needs data mashup

What about IT resource savings that result from the self-service capability of end-user defined data mashup? It may be obvious at this point, but by implementing this self-service framework, there will be fewer cases where the end-user cannot do what they want with their BI tools. This will also cut down on administrative overhead, work backlogs, and special report requests – reports or analysis that only highly skilled analysts can accomplish. By giving end-users the sandbox capability, future planning requirements become more efficient, as users discover what information needs to be gathered, rather than blindly speculating in advance. The improvement of the process then, translates into savings in due to reduced workload and administrative overhead.

Workload reductions offer savings in manpower, whether this comes from reduced hiring requirements, the redistribution of resources, or just increased throughput of existing resources. For instance, one may reduce reliance on SQL experts and statistics specialists such as SAS analysts. In all cases, businesses experience hard cost benefits.

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The business case for enabling data mashup

Here is the summary of the business case for enabling end-user defined data mashup:

Businesses will achieve a higher ROI on their BI investment due to:

• A higher success rate of deployment due to higher end-user satisfaction, usage rates, and adoption rates.

• A greater number of actionable learning made from enterprise data, generating business returns through greater sales or greater efficiency.

• Faster decision making; greater competitive market responses or strategies that stay ahead of the competition; better tactical or strategic moves in reaction to market conditions or customer performance

You also benefit from a lower TCO due to:

• Reduced personnel needed to support your BI solution

• Reduced number of highly-skilled analysts or DBAs needed to satisfy end-user demands

Clearly, traditional information management philosophy misses the mark of effective business intelligence. Consider InetSoft’s unique solution to end-user defined data mashup the first step to a creating a smart, progressive, and efficient business model.

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