TARGIT's updated Data Discovery module unleashes the power of bimodal BI for all

February 09, 2016

One of the most exciting tools that has come out of the TARGIT test kitchen over the past year has almost certainly been the release of TARGIT's advanced Data Discovery module. Here, we introduced the ability to combine data sets from data sources outside the data warehouse with those within the data warehouse to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how the external world affects company health. All with simple drag-and-drop technology.

Putting complex data exploration into the hands of everyday business users is what enables a bimodal BI environment to take root in companies. It satisfies the structured, secure, centralized IT data warehouse house roll-out while giving freedom of deep data discovery and exploration for business users. 

This powerful data discovery can be as simple as combining an Excel spreadsheet that lives on your desktop with an analyses pulled from the data warehouse, or as comprehensive as laying weather data over HR absentee records to compare. Combine internal revenue data with industry revenue data to get a better understanding of growth. Or use weather and traffic data to see potential correlations with business performance. Examine population density in certain areas to determine the best new location for a new retail outlet. 

This allows companies to answer questions such as, is my performance affected by the weather? If it is what sells better on a rainy day? What prices do my three main competitors advertise on their website and do I see my performance fluctuate with changes in their advertised prices? That is the kind of power we put at the fingertips of even the non-IT savvy business analysts with this release. The options are as seemingly limitless as the data sets.

Want to see it in action for yourself? Join us for the webinar on Feb. 18 to see how easy it is to foster a bimodal environment by combining internal and external data sets with TARGIT Data Discovery: Break Out of the Data Warehouse.

We see the awesome potential in this tool, so pretty much as soon as it was released, we went back to work making it more powerful, more comprehensive, and more useful for everyday business scenarios. 

[See how asking the right questions and tracking the right key performance indicators leads to better decision making in the free eBook: the Metrics that Matter Most.]

So today I’m happy to announce that the Data Discovery module upgrade is now available. The update is packed with new and improved features that bring powerful new functionality to better connect, manipulate, and transform data. And we’ve established connections with even more data sources to open up millions of external data sets that can be combine with internal company data.

There’s a lot technical details in the new release, so I’ll talk about what I think are the most exciting here today.

New format option

To start, we introduced formats and calculations. In the first version of the Data Discovery module, users had a wide range of options for connecting to various data sources, changing data types, and creating new data models based on their data.

The increased use of Data Service by customers meant an increase in demand for more advanced options to manipulate data in other ways. With formats and calculations, users can unpivot data, create new custom dimensions by merging or splitting existing dimensions, and much more. The updated Data Discovery tool also comes with the ability to create new measures on the data source level with advanced calculations options, much like users are already familiar with in Excel.

Bimodal functionality

Here’s where TARGIT's Data Discovery really stands out from the competition. The beauty of TARGIT Data Discovery is it allows users to establish a bimodal BI environment. Bimodal BI combines agile, user-friendly analytics with reliability and data security. A bimodal BI strategy facilitates both traditional business operation—the classic data warehouse and continuous decision loops—and also discovery and experimentation in “sandboxes.

With this latest version of TARGIT Data Discovery, users across the organization can leverage the work done by the BI Competency Center by connecting directly to existing data models that have been created. The ability to play with data sets and analyze them on top of what’s already in the data warehouse encourages employees to think strategically without the need to pull in IT. This reduces IT’s workload and ensures that everyone, in every department, is looking at the same data.

Other notable improvements

We achieved 70 percent faster data load times for larger big data files. Business never slows, and neither should your software performance. There’s nothing that gets our impatient toes tapping more than waiting for data to load so we can get to work, so we’ve cut that down dramatically. Data Service now also boats substantial improvements in overall query performance with used with TARGIT Decision Suite 2015 HF1.
Here’s what else is in store:

  • New calculation engine: All columns in a data source can be utilized in the new calculation engine, giving users more than 50 functions with syntax for cleaning up and improving raw data that has been imported. Users proficient with Excel will find it simple to clean data, calculate averages, create custom bins, and much more.
  • New unpivot feature: Dynamically transform data in selected columns of data sources with just a few clicks. Or add news columns to existing CSV or Excel files without the need to edit the existing data source. No macro or manual Excel work is needed to mix with existing data sets.
  • Improved connections: Improvements in data load speed and query performance have been made to existing data sources including Directory, HTML tables, and Google Analytics.
  • New data sources: An array of new data source connections have been added to the already robust list of data sources. The complete list of new data sources include can be found in the official press release.

It’s always our goal at TARGIT to arm more people with better insight to make better, faster business decisions. This Data Discovery release puts the power of big data in everyone’s hands.

Don't forget to register for the webinar on Feb. 18 to see how easy it is to foster a bimodal environment by combining internal and external data sets with TARGIT Data Discovery: Break Out of the Data Warehouse.