Sumit Sarkar helps marketers navigate the often confusing world of data preparation when using marketing SaaS applications as a data source.
For the last couple years, I have been working with Tableau developers, marketing data scientists, consultants and ISVs, showing them how to integrate SaaS data using Progress® Easyl™. In doing so, I've seen a lot of interest in marketing data sources like Hubspot, Marketo and Eloqua. This isn't all that surprising given the glut of articles and surveys describing the rise of data and technology driven marketing organizations. These marketing clouds work very well given the volumes of data I've seen across activity and lead objects, but that usability comes at a cost – access to the data.
During my POCs, I've overheard a lot of business questions being asked, and marketers have a lot of them. Questions like:
Even though it seems like these would have simple answers, the data you would find those answers in is often spread across multiple SaaS applications and very hard to access. This is where Progress Easyl comes in, making data available to Tableau either in real-time or as a scheduled native Tableau Data Extract (TDE) file. It all happens within our cloud platform without any additional software or staging database requirement.
And it's pretty cool that Dustin Smith, Product Marketing Manager from Tableau endorsed our technology for marketing folks during a joint webinar last year.
As a data nerd, I like getting down into the weeds and looking at APIs and raw data whereas Tableau geeks (and other normal people) prefer to visualize their data. Easyl does the ugly work of preparing data and below are examples of awesome things you may or may not really care about:
In summary, our goal is to transparently present the latest data available from marketing application APIs. That way, Tableau users can focus on making awesome visualizations rather than worry about all the nerd talk above that we handle with a team of engineers who don’t sleep well.
Since I’m a techie, I’ll tell you what data is not available through APIs as of today—even if marketing preferred I didn't:
We do work closely with all the Marketing SaaS vendors, and share this feedback so you can get all the data you want.
The biggest complaint we hear is about SaaS data models is that they are hard to understand and make it difficult to see what the data actually looks like. Our solution is Easyl Data Blender which lets you visualize the data alongside quality statistics. This is usually the first time shops have seen Hubspot, Marketo, or Eloqua data outside of those applications:
Viewing Hubspot data with Easyl Data Blender
Once you have prepared the data you want and decided how often to refresh it, you have two options:
Tableau can utilize Easyl data through ODBC
There’s no way to get around it, working with data like this can be a challenge to the uninitiated, so it’s important to know you're not alone! We want you to leverage our collective experience, so drop us a line or leave me a comment below. We’re here to help! Then, once you’re eager to jump in, register to get started with Progress Easyl for SaaS Marketing data.
Sumit Sarkar is a Chief Data Evangelist at Progress, with over 10 years experience working in the data connectivity field. The world's leading consultant on open data standards connectivity with cloud data, Sumit's interests include performance tuning of the data access layer for which he has developed a patent pending technology for its analysis; business intelligence and data warehousing for SaaS platforms; and data connectivity for aPaaS environments, with a focus on standards such as ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET and ODATA. He is an IBM Certified Consultant for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and TDWI member. He has presented sessions on data connectivity at various conferences including Dreamforce, Oracle OpenWorld, Strata Hadoop, MongoDB World and SAP Analytics and Business Objects Conference, among many others.
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