Everyone in business has data. We collect data on our customers, our products, our support and much more. Often the data that we want to use and understand is in disparate sources making it hard to create reports and connections. These connections are often what can drive innovation and growth.
There are lots of services on the Internet and tools that companies like Denver DataMan build to bring data together. But the questions is always, why can I not just see this data in the tools I use?
The challenge is that data comes in lots of different shapes, sizes, and organizational patterns, or as we geeks call it, schemas. If I want to compare data from two sources, I need to make sure I am comparing the same attributes. Hence, a new schema must be born that can account for the data that I am comparing. For example, if one source has data separated by hours and another by days, I will combine the hours so that they can be shown as days.
Microsoft has announced that they are making strides toward easing this bottleneck. They are releasing what they call Common Data Schema (CDS) that will connect popular software like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and others that have yet to be announced. These data sources will slide into their existing Power BI Software that is also seeing improvements.
This will enhance the apps that Power BI can connect to and further the ways that companies can analyze data in one place.
For example, if you want to correlate sales in your brick and mortar store with customer use of Google Business listings or Google paid searches, you could do this in a more stream-line fashion.
You can also read more in this article from VentureBeat.