Why is the ability to handle data variety important for modern BI? Because combining data sources can deliver more insight, which, in turn, may reveal new business opportunities. Slicing and dicing their way through finance, sales, logistics, customer, and employee data, can help analysts see the business from different perspectives.
It’s always been necessary to combine data from different systems. That’s why ETL is so common and why the data warehouse and data cubes are still around. But setting up and maintaining data warehouses and cubes is an expensive undertaking - and much of what the data that organizations acquire today doesn’t yield easily to familiar ETL-based data blending. Standard connectors aren’t always available. And the workarounds… don’t always work very well.
But technical issues aside for a moment, data security is one of the biggest barriers to traditional data blending. Once you have reliable security in place for your big data or streaming data, you don't want to move and secure data in a secondary system. This is particularly important when dealing with personally identifiable information (PII) and data regulated by HIPAA, GDPR and so on. The more data systems, the more risk is introduced and more resources are required to secure, manage, and maintain those extracts so they stay relevant and useful.
Ideally, you want to connect directly to your source systems and use pushdown queries and in-memory processing to blend data on-the-fly. It may seem counterintuitive 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.
Variety of Big Data
What's more interesting are the opportunities Zoomdata provides regular users for working with multiple sources at once. Zoomdata Data Fusion offers a more familiar 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 multisource data analysis, download our eBook, Multi-Source 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!