Why is the ability to handle data variety important in a modern BI tool? Because combining data sources can deliver more insight, which, in turn, may reveal new business opportunities. Slicing and dicing your way through finance, sales, logistics, customer, and employee data, analysts can more deeply and broadly understanding what makes your business work.
It’s always been necessary to combine data from different systems. That’s why ETL is so common and why the data warehouse and multidimensional cubes are still around. But setting up and maintaining data warehouses and cubes is an expensive undertaking. And much of the data organizations acquire today doesn’t yield easily to familiar ETL-based data blending. Standard connectors aren’t available. And the workarounds… don’t always work very well.
But technical issues aside for a moment, security is one of the biggest hurdles for traditional data blending. Once you have reliable security in a data store, making an extract requires moving the data and securing a secondary system. As time passes and data grows, the more resources are required to manage and secure those extracts and transformations.
Ideally, you’d want to blend data without the extraction layer. Blend the data sources by connecting to them directly. It may seem counter-intuitive to some, but in a big data world, direct connections are safer and offer a more more efficient way to increase the ROI on your modern data systems.
And, that’s exactly what you can do with Zoomdata. Zoomdata has native connectors to many modern systems like Elasticsearch, SAP HANA, Snowflake, and your big data lake solutions from Cloudera and Hortonworks. If you have them, we can also connect to pure-play, data virtualization platforms, which offer a more structured, standardized way to blend legacy, conventional, and modern big data systems. For Zoomdata, they’re just another data source.
What's more interesting are the opportunities Zoomdata provides regular users for working with multiple sources at once. Zoomdata Data Fusion offers a more traditional federated query approach, so multiple data sources appear as one to the business user. Zoomdata has always allowed mixing and mashing up charts and graphs on dashboards. New in version 3.7, you can apply common filters and even create keysets on one source and apply it to others for sophisticated set and cohort analysis -- all on-the-fly and without requiring any programming, SQL coding, specialized markup, or IT intervention.
To learn more about the opportunities in multi-source data analysis, download our eBook, Multiisource Analysis: Don’t Overlook Its Importance in Modern Business Intelligence. The book explains how multisource analysis works without a lot of technical detail. Of course, we have plenty of that if you’re interested. Check it out!