For me the most insightful part was from Samantha, who talked about the "conceptual mash." A conceptual mashup:
- Guides decision making
- Gives roughly right idea of the community
- Reveals areas for further research
- Raises questions that need to be validated
With a conceptual mashup doesn't mean that you're actually combining systems. Instead your analyzing data in one system and using the result to query another system. For example, how does your community compare to other communities or the state/nation? You might take Census data, and compare specific data points with another source (e.g., Pew Internet), and decide what that tells you. Not only do you look for what it says, but also decide what questions you have now. You then will look to answer those questions in whatever way makes sense.
I think we do this more than we know...but I also know that there are more times that this type of "mashup" would help us make more intelligent decisions and ask more intelligent questions.