How Businesses Can Perform Data Integration Successfully

How Businesses Can Perform Data Integration Successfull

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Performing data integration throughout your business can yield some great benefits. Once you start combining and analyzing the data from your business, you can gain new insights and make better decisions. However, the data integration process is not always a smooth one. You need to find the right equipment and people to handle the job, based on your current setup. Below are 4 of the most popular options when it comes to data integration – take a look at each one and decide which is the best for your business.

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Option #1 – Use an Application to Simplify the Process

Your first option is to use a software application. Many applications are specifically designed to help businesses integrate their data and perform analysis. With one of these applications, you can locate, retrieve, modify, and integrate all of your data from different sources.

Using an application is a simple solution, but there are a few drawbacks. For starters, you may get inconsistent results, as needs vary from business to business. If you need your application to work across different departments, this can be time-consuming and difficult to set up. When exploring big data integration tools, you should make sure they are compatible with your existing data and technology.

Option #2 – Use Middleware to Act as a Bridge

The next option is to use middleware. Middleware connects different applications and transfers data between databases and the application. Middleware is an excellent option if you are using older systems, as the legacy software installed on those systems may not typically be compatible with newer software. The middleware will then act as a go-between, allowing the two systems to communicate with one another.

To use middleware, you’ll need a developer on your team to set it up and maintain it. That is not typically a process you can set up quickly and let it run on its own. Another issue you may have is finding middleware that can work with your software. Middleware is designed to work with specific systems, so it may take some time to find what you need if you’re using something older or uncommon.

Option #3 – Implement Common Storage Integration

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With common storage integration or data warehousing, your business will create a copy of your data and store it in a data warehouse. The purpose of doing this is to give you more versatility in the ways you can handle your data. A few other benefits of common storage integration include a smaller burden on the host system, the ability to run multiple queries while keeping the data appearance uniform, and running more advanced queries without fear of compromising the data.

On the other hand, using this method means you’ll have higher storage and maintenance costs. If you want to create a copy of all your data, you need a secure place to store it all. And while significant advancements have been made to make storage cheaper than ever, if you have a lot of data, it can still be a considerable expense. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of having someone oversee and maintain this system.

Common storage integration is one of the more popular options because it is one of the most sophisticated. However, this method will only work for you if you have the right resources to do it properly.

Option #4 – Do It Manually

Your last option is to integrate everything manually. That means having a data manager who can write custom code and oversee the entire operation. Your data manager will need to connect to your different data sources, safely collect the data, and allow for data manipulation. It’s a big job, so you must find the right person to do it.

The reason a business might choose to do their data integration manually is that it can often be a cheaper alternative.

You would select this method if you have a small number of data sources and, therefore, don’t need one of the more expensive software solutions. And since you are setting up this system yourself, you don’t need to spend as much time preparing your data or maintaining the system.

If you think this option might be best for you, there are a few things to keep in mind. For one, this method is hard to scale up later. Once you have your system created, it will be difficult to incorporate more data sources down the line, so if you plan on growing, this is something to consider. There is also more room for error with this method, mostly if you have never done this before. The last thing you want is to compromise your data and lose something essential in the process.

Choosing Which Method is Right for You

The critical thing to realize here is that there’s no single best solution for every business. You have several options when it comes to integrating your data, each one with its pros and cons. The best way to make a decision is to consider your business’s needs, assess the resources you have available to you, then investigate each of the methods above a little further.

For example, if you are on a limited budget, you might want to consider a manual integration. But if you’re worried about mistakes compromising your data, the next option to look at maybe an application or middleware solution. For those businesses with more resources available, you should check out common storage integration, as it offers more flexibility and security.

Hopefully, this article was able to shed some light on the data integration options available to you. To perform a data integration successfully, it’s vital that you go with the correct method. From there, you can begin the process of implementation and, before long, start to learn more about your business than ever before. Once you see the benefits of more in-depth analysis, you’ll realize all of the efforts were worth it.

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