If you had distill what we at Ranzal's Big Data Practice do down to its essence, it's to use technology to make accessing and managing your data more intuitive, more useful. Often this takes the form of data modeling and integration, data visualization or advice in picking the right technology for the problem at hand.
Sometimes, it's a lot simpler than that. Sometimes, it's just giving users a shortcut or an easy way to do more with the tools they have. Our latest offering, the PowerDrill for Oracle Endeca Information Discovery 3.1, is the quintessential example of this.
When dealing with large and diverse quantities of data, Oracle Endeca Studio is great for a lot of operations. It enables open text search, it has data visualization, it enriches data, it surfaces all in-context attributes for slicing and dicing and it helps you find answers both high-level, say "Sales by Region", and low, like "My best/worst performing product". But what about the middle ground?
For example, on our demo site, we have an application that allows users to explore publicly available data related to Parks and Recreation facilities in Chicago. I'm able to navigate through the data, filter by the types of facilities available (Pools, Basketball Courts, Mini Golf, etc.), see locations on a map, pretty basic exploration.
Now, let's say I'm looking for parks that fit a certain set of criteria. For example, let's say I'm looking to organize a 3-on-3 basketball tournament somewhere in the city. I can use my discovery application to very easily find parks that have at least 2 basketball courts.
This leaves me with 80 potential parks that might be a candidate for my tournament. But let's say I live in the suburbs and I'm not all that familiar with the different neighborhoods of Chicago. Wouldn't it be great to use other data sets to quickly explore the areas surrounding these parks quickly and easily? Enter the Power Drill.