A mashup in simplest terms is an application that combines data or functionality from two or more sources to create a new application or service. From the perspective of business intelligence (BI) the most common example I see is combining BI data with geospatial data. There are a variety of use cases for enhancing BI analysis with location information including:
FreshDirect, an online grocery delivery company serving the New York City metropolitan area, has implemented a BI/Geospatial mashup to better manage on-time delivery and customer satisfaction. They use SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI with Centigon Solutions’ GMaps Plugin for Xcelsius.
If a delivery truck is delayed greater than the normal threshold it shows up on the ops center dashboard. The ops team uses BI to pull up information about the orders on the truck to determine what orders are at risk of not meeting the promised delivery time. Then they use BI to analyze risk mitigation options such as sending an auxiliary delivery vehicle to pick up the at risk orders.
To see a customer success video click here.
The ability to combine BI and geospatial data enables law enforcement to continuously monitor evolving crime patterns, develop crime prevention strategies faster, and adjust their resource deployment to better protect citizens.
On this dashboard you can see:
Different types of crimes as different colored dots
Circles around police stations show the intensity of crime in that area
And shading of suburbs shows the level of crime by suburb
The dashboard also allows filtering by any object or attribute in the database such as:
Day of the week
Value of theft
Specific locations of interest (transportation centers, sporting stadiums, hotels, etc)
This dashboard uses interactive data visualization to navigate and view large amounts of information from Computerworld’s 2008 Best Places to Work in IT and 2007 Salary Survey databases.
Based on your selection, of company size and various criteria, such as training and advancement opportunities the map and table data will update. The dashboard also includes RSS feeds such as company news and current stock quotes for publicly traded companies.
Although these specific examples help illustrate the ability of BI/Geospatial mashups to enhance decision making, the potential uses of BI mashups are extremely broad and deep.
What other examples of BI mashups have you come across?
What do you think are some of the most useful applications of BI mashups?