If your business doesn’t use data blending, it isn’t running as efficiently as it could. Data blending helps nearly all modern businesses, from insurance companies and healthcare providers to manufacturers and financial institutions.
So why doesn’t every company already use it? One reason is that many business owners aren’t sure where to start. They need to know which data sets to merge, how to blend them, and how to generate insights from the data. It’s a complex process.
This guide will help you identify the right data blending strategy for your business. You’ll discover all of the benefits of this process and the best blending tools and methods. When you embrace data blending, you’ll generate powerful insights that will propel your business forward.
What is Data Blending and Why Does Your Business Need It?
Data blending is the process of merging data from multiple sources. It focuses on bringing all of your big data together in one place, allowing you to compare data sets and draw new insights. You can merge data that you collect in-house or compare your data to information collected from a third party.
Data blending is very different from data integration. When you integrate data, you normalize it or store it in one place (such as a data warehouse). This process makes your big data easier to find and use, but it doesn’t allow you to directly compare data sets or generate insights. To do this, you need a blending strategy as well as an integration strategy.
For example, let’s say that you wanted to compare these two data sets:
- Total sales by month at 10 branches in 10 different cities.
- Monthly sales made by every employee at every branch.
If you just put all of this information into a combined spreadsheet without blending it first, you won’t learn much from the data. You’ll also end up with duplicate data. When you filter the data by branch location, for instance, you’ll get all of the total branch sales figures as well as the individual employee sales figures. Redundant data is difficult to process and visualize.
When you run the two sets through blending software first, you’ll eliminate duplicate data and make fast, accurate comparisons. Data blending software is designed to look at data from multiple angles and filter results based on many dependent factors. For example, the software could generate:
- A chart showing who the highest and lowest performers are at each branch, on average;
- A projection of what next month’s sales figures will likely be based on employees’ past sales;
- Recommended quotas for each branch and employee to keep everyone on target; and
- Lists of employees who make the most sales. If most of these employees work at the same branch, you may find out what this branch is doing differently or transfer a few members of the team to struggling branches.
With the right data blending strategy and software, the possibilities are endless. Even a small amount of data can generate hundreds of new business insights and help you make better decisions.
Which Data Blending Tools Should You Use?
There are many data blending software options available, so choosing the best one can be a daunting task. Businesses typically use the following tools to blend big data:
- Excel: You can join different spreadsheets, normalize data, and create formulas to automatically compare figures or organize data. Data blending is not the primary focus of the software, so most of this work must be done manually by someone who knows how to use these features.
- Tableau: This software focuses more heavily on the data blending process. You can use this software to blend data from multiple sources and generate insights or visualizations. However, one challenging aspect of this software is that it may require some training. For example, you may need to know when it’s appropriate to use a join (combining related data based on a common field) or when to use more advanced data blending tools.
With both of these options, there is often a steep learning curve. Tools like Excel and Tableau are capable of generating very powerful insights. However, using these tools effectively requires training and data analytics experience.
This is why many businesses seek help from business intelligence (BI) experts that already understand how to use these and other BI tools to maximize data’s utility and value. When you hire an IT firm to integrate and blend your data, you’ll make more accurate predictions about your business. You’ll also improve your efficiency, as you won’t have to train your IT department to use new tools.
Data Analytics Firms Can Help You Maximize Your Data
The main benefit of hiring a firm to handle your data blending needs is that experts can offer you a greater number of blending options that you may not have considered or don’t know how to generate yourself.
For example, if you have data in multiple spreadsheets that come from different data sources, filtering it is complicated and time-consuming. You may have to use multiple filters. Instead of that, experienced BI firms use specialized tools like dynamic parameters. Dynamic parameters make it easy to filter multiple sets of data using just one parameter. These calculations require some experience and skill to use properly.
Because BI firms have years of experience blending data and using state of the art BI software, they can help you do more with your data. They know the most effective methods for generating every type of prediction or visualization your business needs. Tek Leaders has dashboards for:
- Loan calculations by location
- Mortgage production reports
- Loan exception reports
- Loan activity
- Loan calculations by type
- Delinquent loan reports
- Commerical loan reports
These dashboards can be used for more than just complex loan calculations. We customize each visualization dashboard based on your business’ unique situation. You simply upload the data to the warehouse and select which type of report you’d like to generate. And if you want to start tracking new sets of data in the future, we’ll help you make this transition.
Data blending is a powerful tool. With help from the data analytics industry’s leading experts, you can take full advantage of this technology and make ever-more thoughtful choices for your business.
Data blending doesn’t have to be complicated. Contact Tek Leaders today if you’re ready to make the most out of your data. Our team of experts will build customized systems for extracting and comparing information to generate valuable insights. Or, if you have more questions about our data blending process, you can reach us by email directly.