Data Behind a Glass Door
This metaphor is a perfect depiction of how most of the business users view the business data today: they know they have it (their companies practically hoard it), they can literally see it, but most of the time they can’t do anything with it.
If you work in marketing or sales what do you have apart from basic dashboards and canned reports that provides almost no value? Can you ask an ad-hoc question about your AdWords, Twitter or Facebook campaign performance, or how any of these correlate with website traffic and activity? Have you gone through an extensive training on how to use Google Analytics and Saleforce.com and their complex reporting capabilities?
The answer is mostly likely no — and that’s why that data remains behind a glass door for you. You know you have it, you can see it — but you can’t touch it.
Look at this series of basic marketing & sales questions and answer to yourself if you can answer any of them in just a few seconds (or at all):
- What are the basic website stats by states where users’ number increased at least 20 % for the last month comparing to the previous one?
- What are the countries where users’ number has increased for the last 3 months?
- What are the German cities where users appeared only this year?
- What are the main California cities where users spend more time on site than average users across all cities?
- What is the total number of visitors for the most active sales months in US?
- What is the correlation between new users and opportunities created for Texas?
- What are the top 10 most visited pages in the best sales month?
- What are the web stats for cities where the sales were closed last year?
Unless you are an experienced data analyst with an extensive knowledge of both Google Analytics and Salesforce.com as well as SQL or VBA programming — the answer is still no… you probably can’t answer these benign questions at all.
Just Ask The Question
How do you get behind that glass door? Interestingly — the only thing you need is something you already have — it’s a natural language you already know and speak. Free-form natural language is a universal interface: everyone knows it and knows how to use it, and it applies equally to any data source.
And you’ll need a system like DataLingvo that lets your convert natural language into actions by implementing full comprehension for the free-form natural language.