Producing Business Intelligence has always been thought of as a linear process where, you have at the beginning of a the BI process, all the data, then it gets cleaned; then you populate your data warehouse and then you do your reports. The reports are then of immense use to you!
Hardly works in real life! In fact, truly useful Business Intelligence lies in Excel Spreadsheets and skunkworks projects within companies in many departments. Yes. There may be a central Business Intelligence effort, but frustration with getting precisely the information they needed at any time in the forms they need, has always been the achilles’ heel of many BI efforts within companies, especially larger ones.
I ran across a novel way of thinking about this whole process. What if you just had all the data sources available to you somewhere and you assemble in the form of a flowchart, your own unique Business Intelligence mashup including Geographic, Demographic data as needed? What if you could just drag and drop these components on the screen and you get the new kind of mashups you need?
SRC is a company that makes a product called Alteryx that enables this kind of Business Intelligence.
What is interesting about this product is that it first of all, it serves customers better! Consumers of Business Intelligence for the most part do not know ahead of time all the different kinds of Business Intelligence they need and what data needs to be collected and stored in the first place.
Add to it, the waste of human effort, and time spent on monolithic Business Datawarehousing, and Business Intelligence efforts. This is not to talking about waiting for IT resources to free up to work on the precise kind of reports you need for your work!
By making it easy for consumers of Business Intelligence to do a lot of the assembling and analysis themselves, it makes for a Lean form of Business Intelligence effort within the company.
With the amount of Geocoding, Demographic and other location-related data available for many countries in the world in great detail, tools like these enable a Lean form of Business Intelligence, cutting a lot of wasted efforts within large companies. For small and medium sized companies that do not have large IT departments, of course, something like this is a natural!
You can observe a lot by just watching – Yogi Berra