Mashups Empowering End Users

This is a continuation of the DM Radio Webcast, “The Last Mile: Data Visualization in a Mashed-Up.” The following is a 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.

Eric Kavanagh (EK): OK, but there are lots of different ways that you can use mashups and I think it seems to me, and we can have a debate about this, but there should be a general movement in this whole industry of business intelligence or decision support or whatever you want to call it, analysis, of empowering the end-user, and so one of the values that I see in the mashup concept is that ideally what you need to be doing is enabling your end users to mix and match data sets very quickly and very easily in order to allow them to do a better job of analyzing, right?

William Laurent (WL): Yeah, right, and that’s where the collaboration perspective comes in. And again for the mashups to achieve their goal, any type of business agility, it’s the collaboration angle that I am always looking for.

EK: Let’s bring in Malcolm as well. I know he’s in the New York studio as well. Malcolm, welcome to DM Radio.

Malcolm Chisholm: Thank you.

EK: You, in the preshow, were talking about some interesting case studies. And there’s one involving the United Nations, is that right?

MC: Right, the United Nations Development Program, which is responsible for social and economic development for the UN,

has a number of deal projects in significantly important countries where they make a good deal use of this. In fact, you can see, for instance, in Afghanistan, you can look at all the activity in Afghanistan. If you go to the DAD, that’s the Donor Assistance Database, it has a significant number of mashups on it. You can see all the Donor country activity in Afghanistan. What every country is doing, what they are spending there. And the way that this helps the UN is you can see gaps where certain areas are not receiving assistance and where there are gaps in a particular sector, say agriculture, not being addressed, or overlaps between the donor.

So I think mashups have been actually quite significantly helpful.

EK: And really one of the ways to enable mashups is to enable APIs, right? Application Programming Interfaces for data sets to allow people to get data and make it easy for them to do that, right?

MC: Right. I think that’s also critically important. And I think that is something that is going to have to be thought of quite carefully in the future because there are all sorts of meta data implications since you have to understand the source, so on and so forth.

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