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What Is Data Aggregation?

Data aggregation is the process of taking data from multiple sources and combining it into a single, unified dataset. This data can then be used to analyze trends, develop insights, and make better decisions in various business arenas. For example, a company may use data aggregation to analyze customer purchasing habits or sales trends.

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Data Aggregation vs. Data Mining

Data aggregation and data mining are often confused with one another. However, there is a distinct difference between the two. Data aggregation involves collecting data from multiple sources and combining it into a single dataset, while data mining refers to the process of analyzing large datasets to identify patterns or correlations. Therefore, data aggregation is the first step in data mining — the collected data must first be aggregated before it can be mined for insights.

Why Is Data Aggregation Important?

Data aggregation is a powerful tool that businesses can use to gain greater insights into their operations, customers, and markets as a whole. By leveraging the right data aggregation tools, businesses can streamline their decision-making processes, optimize their customer experience, and gain a competitive edge in their industry.

Additionally, data aggregation can help businesses identify trends or correlations in their data that they may otherwise not have noticed. By having access to these insights, organizations can make more informed decisions and better understand their market dynamics.

How Does Data Aggregation Work?

Data aggregation is typically broken down into three main steps: data collection, data analysis, and data reporting.

1. Data Collection

The first step of data aggregation is data collection. This involves collecting data from multiple sources and bringing it into a single, unified dataset. Depending on the type of data being collected, the data could be stored in a database or spreadsheet.

2. Data Analysis

The second step is data analysis. During this stage, businesses will analyze the data to identify patterns or correlations within their dataset. Depending on the type of data, this could involve running queries or visualizing the data in a graph.

3. Data Reporting

Finally, businesses can report their data to stakeholders and other decision-makers. This typically involves creating custom reports or dashboards that show key insights gleaned from the data aggregation process.

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How Is Data Aggregation Done?

Data aggregation is achieved through the use of several different tools. Some of these tools include:

  • Business intelligence software: This type of software enables users to explore large datasets, develop insights, and make data-driven decisions.
  • Web scraping tools: This tool is used to extract data from websites in order to create a unified dataset.
  • Statistical software: This type of software can be used to analyze various aspects of the data collected, such as identifying trends or correlations across multiple datasets.
  • Data visualization tools: This type of software enables users to create easy-to-understand visuals from the data they’ve collected.

Types of Data Aggregation Tools

Modern businesses rely on a variety of data aggregation tools to help them collect, analyze, and report their data. Some popular tools include:

  • Relational databases (such as MySQL or Amazon Aurora)
  • Big data solutions (such as Apache Hadoop or Microsoft Azure HDInsight)
  • Data warehouses (such as Amazon Redshift or Google BigQuery)
  • Analytics platforms (such as Tableau or Power BI)
  • Data integration tools (such as Talend or Xplenty)

The data aggregation tool that works best for a business will depend on the type and amount of data they are collecting, as well as the specific data analysis and reporting needs of the organization.

What Are Some Data Aggregation Tools?

There are several data aggregation software and tools available to help businesses with their data aggregation needs. These include:

  • Layer: Share parts of your Google Sheets. Then, aggregate and approve data input and changes.
  • Microsoft Power BI: Offers powerful data exploration, visualization, and reporting capabilities.
  • Tableau: A leading data visualization platform.
  • Qlik: An intuitive data analysis solution for all types of users.
  • Oracle Data Integrator: For managing and integrating large datasets from multiple sources.
  • SAS Data Integration Studio: An advanced data integration and transformation platform.
  • Informatica PowerCenter: A comprehensive data integration suite for complex projects.

These tools can help businesses quickly aggregate large datasets from multiple sources to gain a better understanding of their customers, markets, and operations. By leveraging the right data aggregation tool, businesses can earn a competitive edge in their industry.

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Data Aggregation Examples

Data aggregation is used in a variety of industries, including banking, retail, healthcare, and more. Here are some examples of data aggregation in action:

  • A retail business aggregating customer data from its POS system, website, and mobile app to gain insights into its customers’ buying habits.
  • A financial institution collecting data from multiple accounts to provide an overview of a customer’s financial status.
  • A healthcare provider using data aggregation to review patient records and identify trends in medical diagnoses.
  • A manufacturing company gathering data from multiple production lines to improve efficiency and reduce waste.

How to Aggregate Data in Google Sheets?

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Using Layer, you can:

  • Share & Collaborate: Automate your data collection and validation through user controls.
  • Automate & Schedule: Schedule recurring data collection and distribution tasks.
  • Integrate & Sync: Connect to your tech stack and sync all your data in one place.
  • Visualize & Report: Generate and share reports with real-time data and actionable decisions.

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Conclusion

Overall, data aggregation is a powerful tool that can be used to unlock the potential of data and provide businesses with actionable insights. By leveraging the right tools, companies can gain a deeper understanding of their operations, customers, and markets.

Layer Google Sheets Add On
Get Started With Layer Today!

Share parts of your Google Sheets, monitor, review and approve changes, and sync data from different sources – all within seconds.

GET STARTED FOR FREE
Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Jan 5 2023, Updated Jan 4 2023