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16 December  2007 ~

mashupecosystem.jpgIn this age of information technology, businesses and their employees are increasingly responsible for extracting strategic insight from prodigious amounts of data. For some, it is literally becoming like trying to find a needle in a haystack.   

The savvy CFO has already been working on building the next generation of solutions and they are called “mashups”.  Mashups are a DIY (do-it-yourself) function that enables a user to simply aggregate the data they need, in the format they want, and do it very quickly!

A mashup is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool.  A very basic way of looking at mashups would be to compare them to “dashboards”. They allow users to obtain much more detailed information from their various sources (i.e. rather than from a bunch of spreadsheets), and in a much richer format through combining such things as videos, images, spreadsheets, and text.    A very simple example of a mashup can be seen at www.housingmaps.com.This combines house prices from various states in the USA with the cartographic data from Google Maps (Real Estate + Google Maps). 

There are numerous other examples such as from news sources.  If you have ever created customized news catering to your personal interests, you’ve created a mashup.  Video and photos have created interesting opportunities for mashups as well.   

From a business standpoint, mashups are becoming another strategic tool CFO’s are turning to in an effort to quickly convert raw data from a variety of sources into strategic business knowledge.  Mashups produce some amazing results, especially when it comes to trend analysis or getting the best content you can from traditionally disparate sources. 

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