Businesses create as much as 2 quintillion bytes of data every single day. And that’s a number that can make anyone’s head spin. But while having more data is seen as a good thing, it can also become a hassle if you don’t know how to use it and end up sitting on this goldmine of an opportunity without doing anything about it.
The problem becomes even worse because most businesses generate data on multiple platforms and applications. Analyzing that data in a unified way can seem like an impossible task, but luckily, today’s technology has managed to catch up with the issue and offer viable solutions to businesses of all sizes.
Using data integration, businesses can get a unified view of their data and learn to use it more effectively. But that’s just barely scratching the surface of what it can offer.
Let’s explore the possibilities of data integration below. But first, let’s establish a clear definition.
What is Data Integration?
Data integration is the process of combining data into a singular view from multiple sources. Usually, it uses a technique called ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) to map, clean, and transform the data into a unified format that can then be used for analysis.
However, it’s not the only method, and other approaches include:
- Extract, Load, Transform
- Data Replication
- Data Virtualization
- Streaming Data Integration
But no matter what process you might end up using, the underlying principle is still to transport the data from one source to another and create a consistent format. For instance, if you want to transfer data from Google Data Studio to MongoDB, you will need to use a solution that can streamline the process. Luckily, there are software tools available that can perform such tasks automatically, without code, and in minutes.
This way, even small companies can take advantage of the data they collect from various sources, quickly consolidating and gaining valuable insights that they can use.
Why Your Business Needs Data Integration & Management
The reason why data integration is so important is that it can completely change how your business operates. But when considering data integration solutions, it’s still important to know exactly how it can benefit your business.
With that in mind, let’s explore some of the main benefits it can offer your business below.
See the Full Picture of Your Business
The main benefit of data integration is the ability to integrate data from all of the applications, tools, data warehouses, and anything else you might be using. Even though this benefit might seem self-explanatory, the sheer impact of having this in your company is significant enough to reiterate.
Only by combining the information from different sources can you expect to gain a more unified view of your company and its performance.
Remember to include real-time voice analytics as both inbound and outbound calls are a critical aspect of your profitability.
You can empower your departments and decision-makers to make the best decisions possible in every given situation, eliminating the need for guesswork and allowing them to fall back on data and make choices much more confidently.
Another important reason for using more effective data integration processes is the potential to significantly boost your performance. And that’s because of the unifying outlook that data integration can provide.
When you collect data from multiple sources, you are limited in the way that you can analyze it.
By combining data from various sources, you can get a full view of what is working, where you can pursue new opportunities, and what areas need improvement. Instead of dealing with fragmented data, you can have a unified way to look at the entirety of what your data can tell you and base your decision on the insights you can gain.
Improved Data Quality
When using data to make business decisions, you want to make sure that it’s not just easy to access but also accurate. Otherwise, the data can become worthless or even pose a threat to your business since you might be drawing the wrong conclusions.
Unfortunately, when trying to integrate data from multiple sources, maintaining its quality and accuracy isn’t always easy.
If you set up a process for analyzing and profiling data before integration, you can create an effective data integration workflow and create a consistent format that will be easier to analyze. And using today’s tools, you can not just make sure that the data is accurate but also speed up the entire data transfer process, providing real-time insights to your team.
You can ensure data quality during integration by adding quality management to the data lifecycle, removing duplicate data, creating roles in your team for overseeing data quality, and using automated tools for data profiling to help save time and reduce manual labor on the process.
Learn More About Your Customers
Finally, as a business, your top priority is discovering ways to provide a better service for your customers. In a business environment where competition is fierce, and customer demands are increasing, the only way to stay in front is to have a proven and reliable method for making decisions that are actually based on data rather than assumptions.
And since most companies already collect a massive amount of data, the real advantage will be gained by those who manage to systemize and streamline the process of integrating that data for analysis in a singular format.
Whether you need to make decisions about your brand, your products, or even your marketing strategy, having a way to look at the entirety of your data will be a game-changer and allow you to feel much more confident about the choices you are making.
Over time, being able to rely on data to make decisions can not only impact the outcomes you achieve but even change your company culture, as your teams will learn to use data in everything they do and get better at recognizing the opportunities that come with it.
Managing data and understanding how to use it are two of the biggest challenges businesses face today. But with modern data integration tools, even large companies that collect unimaginable amounts of data can now systemize it and ensure that it’s accurate and easily accessible.
The benefits outlined above barely scratch the surface of what modern data integration and management practices can offer, so even though the process can be tricky, the rewards you reap will always be worth it in the long term.