Extract and analyse data from multiple sources

Technology blog discusses big data

To coin a commonly used oxymoron, data is painfully beautiful. When done right, it gives us new insight and new control over our business, which can lead to better decision making, more timely actions and ultimately more streamlined operations. On the flip side, when a data implementation is done badly, it can be hard to get the data that you so sorely need and can be extremely frustrating – so then, I think that data is an excellent example of an oxymoron.

As more and more people begin to realise that data can make or break a company, more business intelligence solutions are being rolled out that can help a company to capitalize on the data that they have. One such product, which I have discussed before, is Qliksense (and Qlikview). This is a great tool for extracting data from your databases and excel files, but as a standalone product, it lacks the ability to connect to third party tools.

You may say ‘that’s no big deal, I have all the data that I need in house’, but do you?

If you run a web based business you’re likely to have Google Analytics installed on your website and if you’re socially active, you probably have Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin and Youtube accounts. Maybe you also have a mailing system (like Mailchimp or Hubspot) and perhaps you monitor your website with New Relic. If you’re like me, then you will have ALL of these and you’ll also have your own, in house, data stores.

To analyse such a lot of data, from multiple sources was nothing short of painful, until today. Today, I download QV Source, which is a plugin for Qliksense / Qlikview. Essentially, this works as a connector to any REST API on the web (including all the social sites and Google Analytics). This means, you can quite quickly extract all of your data, from multiple sources and pull reports to help you make better decisions.

All you need is a little bit of SQL knowledge to help tie all of the data sources together. Suffice to say, this has been a life saver for me.

Image used under creative commons

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