Yahoo! recently released Yahoo! Pipes, an “interactive feed aggregator and manipulator”.
With a user interface reminiscent of enterprise data integration tools such as Business Objects Data Integrator, it lets anybody create RSS mashups from multiple different sources, complete with transformations and different output formats. Here’s a quick example of how to build one, courtesy of ComputerWorld.
While it’s limited to RSS right now, there’s nothing in theory stopping Yahoo! from opening this up to other XML data sources, web services, etc.
This will clearly have longer term consequences for BI, both in terms of making it easier to provide Information as a Service (see post on BI as a service), and making it easier for information users to collect and combine data from multiple sources without having to call on the IT organization.
If you’re interested in mashups and information feeds, and making it easier for non-IT users to take advantage of the new web standards, check out the graphics masher and query as a web service areas of the Business Objects Labs site.