How Data Mashups Work

The DM Radio Webcast, “The Last Mile: Data Visualization in a Mashed-Up” from Information Management continues. The transcript of that Webcast, which was hosted by Eric Kavanagh and included InetSoft's Product Manager Byron Igoe and BI consultants William Laurent and Malcolm Chisholm resumes below:

Eric Kavanagh (EK): OK, and Byron, let’s drill into the underpinnings of this stuff because we talked earlier about APIs and third party data, and so forth, and ideally with a mashup, again, you want to enable these end users to mix and match data sets very easily. So how do you deal with that marshalling area of data. Do you, for example, are you just exposing a range of data feeds, and is that in your product, or do you leverage another product? How does that work?

Byron Igoe (BI): So specifically in our product, it’s all homegrown technology. The common context, so to speak, is as Jim would say, at the metadata, always. So it doesn’t really matter where the data is coming from, whether a relational database or other sources. As long as they are compatible types, you can still combine them, and in terms of enterprise mashups being used inside a company, you don’t have to limit yourself to these global contexts like geography. Within a particular firm, everybody knows what a customer is, and so they can combine information about that customer from different departments and get a total view of where they stand with a particular customer, and that is just one example. Products and many other subject areas are also common contexts for people to combine information.

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EK: That’s a good point. One last question before we go to the break. I see that you guys also are offering a solution around Salesforce, and this it seems to me is a very interesting dynamic in the industry because you have this handful of companies that have done so extremely well, Salesforce being on of them. That you have all these software companies out there designing products just for the express purpose of working with Salesforce. What are you doing, and what is that all about?

BI: It’s essentially a targeted use of our application. Where normally it is a development tool people use to build something custom based on their environment. For Salesforce we have actually eaten our own dog food, so to speak, and we’re providing an application that comes with many default dashboards, analytic tools, and data mashup capability for the users to hit the ground running with things that work directly with their sales data and then also have the ability to bring in other sources and combine them with their Salesforce data.

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