How to use external data successfully

— Reading Time: 2 minutes — 


Kevin Goßling
is the founder and CEO of Fusionbase. Fusionbase is the data hub for data from external sources. In this interview Kevin Goßling talks about external data and how Fusionbase helps companies to use it.

Why do I need external data?

External data are used in many areas and information-driven industries such as media, insurance, finance or logistics. There are many data sources on a wide variety of topics. For example, texts such as weather reports or game reports can be created automatically from external data. But you can also better understand and predict natural disasters or armed conflicts if you have access to past or current events. The range of possible applications are wide, as are the data sources that are available. 

Where can I get external data?

External data are classified as Open Data, Public Data and Commercial Data. Open Data are free available and usable data, which are often published by authorities such as the Federal Statistical Office. Public Data is generally available data, but is not always freely usable. This can be data from websites that are publicly accessible and can be extracted automatically with crawlers. Commercial Data is data from commercial data providers who generate and sell proprietary data from their business model. ImmoScout is an example of this.

Why is it so difficult for many companies to use external data?

To make external data usable, you have to bring together data from many different sources that are difficult to extract automatically. It is especially complex to ensure that the data is always up to date when new data is published. A current example: To get the latest COVID-19 case numbers, you have to extract data from at least 16 health authorities, merge them and keep them up-to-date. Because of the dynamic situation it is very important to always provide up-to-date data and to make sure that the data will continue to be extracted when the websites of the health authorities change.

How does Fusionbase help companies to use external data?

Our technology allows to automatically discover new data sources and then quickly connect them to our data hub. We have now added over 100,000 data streams to our data catalog. Each data set is always up-to-date and machine-readable. Using standard interfaces, the data can then be connected to business intelligence software or automatic text generators such as AX Semantics without any great IT effort. 

How do your customers use Fusionbase?

Many of our customers from the media industry use Fusionbase in the area of robotics and data journalism as well as in the area of audience analytics. The Münchener Merkur, for example, uses our COVID-19 case numbers. Regional publishers use our data to automatically generate game reports or weather reports, for example. Industrial customers like BMW or insurance customers use our data to automatically generate risk reports on topics such as crime, corruption, terrorism or natural disasters.

What are the next steps for Fusionbase?

We will continue to expand our data catalog and plan to have 1 million records accessible next year. We are also working on exciting functions for the automatic preparation of data based on machine learning approaches so that our customers can work with our data even faster and easier.

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