Data scientists who do mashups from disparate data sources are able to gain deeper insights into problems and develop more comprehensive approaches toward attacking them by having a richer data set to work from. In turn, data mashups can help companies become more agile and speed time to market.
Consider the use of customer data. Customers interact with companies using a wide range of channels, including online, email, mobile, voice, SMS, and social. Companies collect heaps of data from customer interactions, including structured data amassed through online surveys, unstructured data such as sentiments that are shared in social media, as well as preferences and needs that are captured in recorded contact center discussions.
Many companies struggle to blend these data sources together and enable data scientists and decision makers to gain a complete view of customer needs, preferences, and attitudes, mainly because the data is often siloed between channels and product groups. Companies that are able to integrate these rich data sources and analyze data mashups quickly can spot customer trends ahead of their competitors and gain an edge in the market.
Data mashups are also providing value to the public sector and citizens who are able to use the resulting services and information. According to a recent article on Nextgov.com, information from the federal government’s massive data set repository – data.gov – went into roughly 1,100 new applications and data mashups developed by the public and government over the 16 months leading up to September 2011. That makes it easier for citizens and public officials to more easily find information ranging from energy to law.
Another key benefit to mixing and matching data sets lies at the heart of what data scientists do best – use data and analytics to unlock new trends and to conceptualize new approaches to attacking business challenges. Mixing online services and data is creating new revenue opportunities for companies that are enabling other organizations to glean fresh insights into consumer habits faster and more efficiently.
According to Gartner, one-third of analytic applications tied to business processes will be delivered through “course grained” application mashups beginning this year. Although it’s yet to be seen whether this level of mashup usage is achieved this year, it’s safe to say that the use of internal and external data feeds will continue to rise and generate business value for those companies that apply them effectively.