Business intelligence expert Howard Dresner, of Dresner Advisory Services, is bullish on the market for self-service data preparation. Data-savvy business folks who exhaust the capabilities of Excel or get frustrated by Excel's limitations are graduating to other tools, he told Enterprise Apps Today in a recent interview.
Datawatch Corporation, which counts 93 of the Fortune 100 among its customers, hopes the latest update of its Monarch data preparation and visualization software, which it promises on its website is "built for business users not rocket scientists," will appeal to at least some of those folks.
Datawatch Monarch 13.3, which it rolled out last week, adds features that Datawatch promises will enable users to quickly and easily acquire and prepare data found in a variety of multi-structured, semi-structured and unstructured sources. These sources include text reports, web pages, PDFs, JSON and log files.
"We are the only data prep provider empowering ordinary business users to turn data into intelligence for analytic and operational processes," said Jon Pilkington, Datawatch's chief product officer, in a statement. "Monarch 13.3 continues this legacy with new features designed to make self-service data prep even easier, so users can effortlessly deliver business value."
It is not surprising that Pilkington called out operational processes. In a recent interview with Enterprise Apps Today, Steve Jones, Global VP of Big Data for Capgemini, addressed companies' growing focus on operational analytics, noting that the benefits of operational analytics are easier to illustrate than those of customer analytics.
Among Monarch 13.3's notable features:
- Fuzzy matching, which helps users match non-identical, but similar, values and inconsistent data across data sources
- A visual representation of load plan operations and data lineage, which the company says improves information governance and compliance
- A wizard that allows the consolidating of data from similar sources
- A set of advanced calculations, including if-then-else logic, optimized calculations for data cleansing and built-in fiscal period logic, all available via a point-and-click interface
- Data preparation filters that reduce large data sets to required subsets for ease-of-use
Monarch 13.3 also includes improved JSON/XML connectivity, custom report format options and localization support to personalize data sets from multiple geographies. In addition, a partnership with predictive analytics specialist Angoss Software means Monarch users can export data to Angoss' Decision Trees software.