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Rich Julius brings clear skies to marketing operations with better data preparation for business intelligence tools.
Among all the line of business (LOB) disciplines, marketing arguably has the most need for business intelligence (BI). Marketing is both an art and a science, but the science of marketing —like forecasting the weather—is metrics-intensive and data-driven. Timely analytics can spell the difference between a successful campaign and a huge waste of money, but without effective data preparation the forecast will always be cloudy.
You might remember that old line, “I know half my marketing budget is wasted…I just don’t know which half.” Modern marketers know conversions down to the click, and they know just what that click costs. But have you ever tried to gain insights using a BI tool with marketing data? Tools like Tableau, Spotfire and QlikView are terrific. But even the best of them don’t have adequate built-in support for cloud applications like Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua, MS Dynamics and other marketing campaign systems.
Direct support for marketing applications is one of the many reasons why data access and preparation tools like Progress® Easyl® are so important for BI. You can’t gain insights unless you can access data from your marketing systems effortlessly and just as easily blend that data with CRM systems like Salesforce, back-office ERP systems, and other sources of business intelligence, like Google Analytics. And of course, it has to be just as easy to seamlessly pump that data directly into your favorite BI tool.
In fact, for many marketers using BI tools, a data prep tool is the only way to quickly add marketing campaign data to the BI mix. So unless you want to learn another API (who does?), you need a tool like Easyl to give you access to your marketing data without coding—meaning that any LOB professional can get fast answers. Just enter the credentials to your favorite marketing system, and Easyl brings back the results displayed as simple worksheet data.
Progress Easyl in action
Easyl lets you see not just the data, but important data profile information as well, such as how many nulls are in any given column, or the frequency of certain values, the overall date range, or the statistical average/mean/mode/standard deviation.
Easyl also turns all sorts of strangely shaped data into tidy rectangles, making it easy to perform data blending across different systems. And our data blender combines simplicity with power; anyone tasked with creating marketing reports can blend campaign data like an IT pro.
Not only does Easyl enable you to cast a light on all your data—be it a few thousand rows or millions—it also makes that data easily accessible to BI tools, or as pack-and-go Excel files, or even as a direct pipe to BI visualization software like Tableau.
Of course Easyl will generate Excel and Tableau TDE files, update them automatically, and synchronize them to your desktop. But consider this cool feature: Progress also provides every Easyl user with a personal, hosted data mart for your prepared data, built on open standards—meaning your data is never held hostage. No complex coding required; in fact, we may be the only company to enable you create and host your analytics data online with a single click!
We store your blended, filtered, and prepared data securely, with no infrastructure to manage, so that it can be accessed by any BI tool, application, database, or dashboard you authorize, using standard ODBC and JDBC connections.
Easyl makes it easy to access, sample, investigate, blend, download and export the data to your favorite BI tool. Now that’s a great forecast for business intelligence—with a chance of marketing!
It’s easy to get started with Easyl. Just grab your free 30 day trial and get blending! And don’t forget: we’re here to help. Contact Sales or leave a comment below with any questions you have. Let us know how we can get you blending data for better BI today!
Rich is the Principal Product Manager for Progress Easyl, a cloud-based data integration and blending tool that enables you to create reporting data sets and data marts “on-the-fly” quickly and easily. Rich has spent two decades working with data-driven applications and marketing automation, and served in senior management roles at a number of Silicon Valley companies before settling in North Carolina. Rich has led consulting engagements for Fortune 1000 clients including Cisco, Microsoft, Seagate and McKesson, and is an alum of PeopleSoft, Oracle, and Informix. Rich was nominated in 2015 by President Barack Obama to serve on the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board.
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