Scratching Out Business Intelligence | Hackaday


At Hackaday, we love things both from scratch and in Scratch, Scratch being the blocks building helpful language for teaching kids and the like how to program. However, when you have a large amount of data that needs to be processed, queried, and collated to get meaningful insights, it is a pain to rewrite a SQL query every time a new question arises that needs an answer. So perhaps a more elegant approach would be to give the people asking the questions the tools to answer them, but rather than teach them SQL, Mongo, GraphQL, or any other database, give them the tools to scratch out the answers themselves.

That’s enough scratch puns for one article. [Tommy] ran into this situation in 2011 and recently wrote about it. Scratch came out in 2003 and has inspired several projects, such as Google’s Blocky. [Tommy] used Blocky to create a web app where users could drag and drop different blocks to form queries. These layouts were passed to a PHP-backed (though later HVVM for performance reasons) and executed as SQL.

Eventually, big data came around, and the company hired proper data scientists. Though [Tommy] notes that some of those who used his tool went on to learn proper SQL and do it themselves. Applying concepts from programs designed to teach children programming might sound a little odd in a business sense, but we love seeing projects that help someone become curious enough to peer inside the machine.



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