Business Intelligence Mashups

In music, a mashup is a song created by combining parts of other songs. The Kid Rock song “All Summer Long” is a mashup of songs by Lynyrd Skynyrd (the vocals in “Sweet Home Alabama”) and Warren Zevon (the music in “Werewolves of London”). Did you know that “mashup” is becoming a common term in Business Intelligence also?

A Business Intelligence mashup combines data from multiple systems together to present the information required for a specific context. For example, for a weekly department meeting, a Marketing executive at a midsize company might want to look at several metrics that come from different systems, such as:

  • Website Visitors from Google Analytics
  • New Leads from Dynamics CRM (or Salesforce.com)
  • Upcoming Sales Appointments from Dynamics CRM (or Microsoft Outlook)
  • YTD Marketing Expenses from Sage
  • Comments by Followers from Twitter

In most companies, this is done today in one of two ways:

  • An employee spends time prior to the meeting running reports from multiple systems and combining them into a Excel or PowerPoint file for the department meeting
  • Reports are separately printed from each system, photocopied, and combined into a paper stack for review at the marketing department meeting

This is inefficient usually involves working with stale data. Business Intelligence mashups allow the display of the reports and metrics from several different systems without having to log in to each system and running the reports. In a single web page, the required metrics can be pulled from various systems and displayed in a readable and actionable format. The diagram below provides an illustration.

 

Business Intelligence Mashup

Combines data from multiple systems for specific roles and contexts.

 

Business Intelligence mashups can be viewed on a web page or on a tablet or mobile phone. Mashups save time and give executives the freedom to view up to the minute metrics from anywhere. Companies can save time and money because they do not have to purchase system licenses for users who log into CRM or QuickBooks or Sage etc. only to execute reports.