Business-intelligence tools allow companies to drill through massive piles of data in order to discover insights that, if acted upon in the proper manner, can result in boosted profits and a better bottom line.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. But there can be something of a gap between those insights and profit—how exactly is the company using the software expected to turn that information about, say, dipping parka sales in December into actual cash.
GoodData’s pitch is that its new platform, BizData, can deliver actionable insight as opposed to just another collection of interesting data points. “Today, the difference between success and failure is the ability to monetize a new class of data,” Roman Stanek, founder and CEO of GoodData, wrote in a Sept. 10 statement. “It’s ironic that, despite billions of dollars spent on business intelligence systems, we are still data-bankrupt.”
BizData incorporates three components: the BizData Monetization Platform (a cloud-based analytics software package), the GoodData BashMarketplace (a warehouse for business-intelligence applications), and Powered By (a partner network to extend that marketplace’s ecosystem).
But the real “secret sauce” of GoodData’s platform, so to speak, are the “Bashes.” In an effort to add a bit of hipness to the fairly stolid world of analytics, the company defines these “Bashes” as “mash-ups,” only with analytics applications instead of two instantly forgettable pop songs.
GoodData’s pre-built Bashes (clients can also build their own) analyze data from social media, mobile devices, and other sources; combining them together supposedly provides a granular view into very specific aspects of a business. For example, combining a Bash drawing data from a company’s marketing list with a Bash related to sales can offer insight into whether marketing and sales goals are truly aligned.
Bashes can track revenue and other business data, segment aspects of an organization into specific verticals, and compare and correlate data. By giving clients the ability to create their own Bashes, GoodData is clearly emulating a model developed by IT vendors such as Salesforce and SAP, which encourage third-party developers to create apps that analyze data in very specific ways.
Indeed, those other companies’ increasing emphasis on analytics customization could blunt GoodData’s attempt to stand out as an IT vendor capable of delivering piercing insight into clients’ data. Nonetheless, the ability to customize data apps according to individual needs could prove a powerful attractor.