Data curation: the present and future of Business Intelligence
Whenever Business Intelligence is mentioned, two concepts inextricably crop up: data and information. However, as of now a third must be added to these, namely data curation. According to the incisive definition given by the University of Illinois, it is “the active and ongoing management of data throughout its entire lifecycle of interest and usefulness to scholarship, science and education. Curation activities enable the discovery and retrieval of data, maintain its quality, add value and enable its reuse over time”. To which we add a touch of complexity: these data usually originate from different sources and must be integrated into repositories that will be of greater value than the source itself.
Data curation, essential for the success of the present-day company
The Business Intelligence tools used nowadays by companies must overcome a constant challenge: managing the data reaching them from multiple sources.
From out of this vast stream of data, which we know as Big Data, we must know how to pick out the truly useful data and uniformly combine them with the rest to obtain information that the business might find extremely helpful.
This process of purifying, filtering and combining data is now one of the most important tasks these analytical tools must perform, far more so than graphical representation or the combining of different dimensions.
The very latest Business Intelligence platforms now incorporate advanced data curation applications supported by concepts such as:
- Data catalogues. These function like a dictionary or glossary of data sources and shared data definitions. Administrators and advanced users can add descriptions and definitions to the data sources and fields, as well as label them so as to be able to locate them faster or incorporate degree of quality indicators into them. Together with a Business Intelligence platform, they help to verify the data sources and identify their impact using matrices.
- Semantic management. Supported by metadata, semantics are one of the components that is going to play a leading role within the Business Intelligence tools. Indicating inter-concept synonymy and establishing precise relationships between them is going to help users to interact in new ways with the data. In this respect, the use of natural language is going to enable the information to be gathered, managed and analysed far more simply, quickly and efficiently without having to refer back to complicated instructions.
It is evident that data curation is one of the spearheads of modern BI tools. We at Intelligence Partner are experts in this area, and we would like you to make the most of the opportunities they offer to make your business even more successful.
A good example are the business intelligence solutions we offer. Among the most noteworthy of these is Tableau, which includes the advanced data curation tool Tableau Prep. We have already mentioned it in a previous article of this blog, in which we compared the process it performs with the famous motto of the Spanish Royal Academy (“Cleans, fixes and gives splendour”).
Do you want to improve your results by supporting your business activities with accurate and perfectly catalogued data that are ready to be analysed from multiple viewpoints? Intelligence Partner can help you to discover the best way of combining data curation with your Business Intelligence tool.
You can start by downloading a free test version of Tableau Prep.
Step into the future.