Today, the increase in data volume and diversity is both a boon and challenge for companies. Since they collect, store, and analyze more and more data to better understand their customers’ expectations and the trends in the market, data is becoming more complex to manage with time.
That’s why most businesses are incorporating data integration techniques in their work processes to keep track of their incoming and outgoing data. This also helps them improve their strategic decision making and increase their competitive advantage.
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Now, before anything else, it is essential to understand what data integration is. Next, we’ll discuss the importance of data integration and why businesses should opt for it.
Data Integration – A Basic Overview
Data integration is the process of combining data from different sources into a unified view: from importing and cleaning to mapping and transforming in a target deposit, ultimately making the data more actionable and more useful to users who view them.
Plus, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to data integration. However, data integration solutions typically share a few things, including a network of data sources, a master server, and clients that access data from that master server.
In most data integration processes, the client sends a request for data (query) to the master server. The master server imports the necessary datasets from internal and external sources. The required data is extracted from these sources and then combined into a consistent and unified form. The result is delivered to the customer in a consistent and actionable format.
Importance Of Data Integration
1. Data Integration Improves System Unification And Overall Collaboration
Employees across departments, who are sometimes in remote physical locations, increasingly need corporate data access for individual or shared projects. To make it easier for them, the IT department must define a secure solution to offer self-service access to all departments’ data.
Here, data integration acts as a unified and collaborative process, allowing employees to generate information, improve and enrich data that the rest of the business could benefit from.
2. Data Integration Saves Time
When a company takes the initiative to manage its data using data integration tools, it significantly reduces the time required for their preparation and analysis.
Moreover, employees no longer need to perform manual data collection or develop an A-to-Z relationship when generating a report or building an application.
Besides this, the time saved on these manual tasks can be used for other purposes, such as spending more hours in analysis and execution to make the business more productive and competitive.
3. Data Integration Reduces Errors (And The Need For Modifications)
Managing a company’s data resources requires several tasks. To collect data manually and ensure their datasets will be complete and accurate, employees need to know all the locations and accounts they might have to explore – and install any necessary software before they start their research.
Plus, in the absence of an integration solution that synchronizes data, reports should be revised periodically to reflect recent changes.
However, with data integration tools, reports can be generated more easily in real-time and available to users when they need them.
4. Data Integration Increases The Value Of Available Data
Over time, data integration efforts provide an additional benefit: they improve the value of business data.
Integrating data into a centralized system allows quality issues to be identified and necessary improvements to be made, resulting in more accurate data, which is the foundation of quality analyses.
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