The phrase 'data is the new oil' aptly summarizes just how vital a role it plays in the world today. However, given the virtually endless sources of data, it can prove to be quite challenging to leverage it properly. Also, that is precisely where the concept of data integration comes in. Before we explore this idea further, allow us to walk you through some basic facts about it. First things first, data integration refers to the process of channeling data from disparate sources into a unified system within a company. Moreover, this harmonization of wide-ranging data into a single, uniform structure presents an unparalleled opportunity for organizations since the phenomenon of data integration forms the basis for enhanced collaboration across the company and, as a result, for improved customer service as well.

Despite its apparent benefits for businesses today, it continues to pose a challenge to a vast majority of organizations across the globe. Why? There are a variety of reasons such as the quantity of data sources, the different set up of one app across different environments, and free data. However, none has proven to be a significant roadblock than the lack of understanding of precisely what makes data integration work. So, here's a quick overview of its components.

  1. Data warehousing: This refers to the technology that collects structured data from either one or several sources and then compares and examines it to attain insights and business intelligence. Let's say data warehousing is quite an effective way of acquiring an improved understanding of the business' performance.
  2. Data migration: It alludes to the process of moving data between either formats, applications, or locations. While there are myriad reasons that drive the decision for data migration in an organization, it is typically because of the development of either a new location or system for the data.
  3. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI): Unlike the first two, this component of data integration is a class of strategies aimed at enabling interoperability between different systems used by businesses. Enterprise Application Integration involves dealing with issues about the company's modular architecture.
  4. Master Data Management: The fourth component of data integration is essentially a specialty that deals with the collaboration between business and IT to accomplish not only accuracy, but also uniformity, accountability, stewardship, and semantic equilibrium in the context of shared master data resources. Among other things, master data comprises attributes as well as identifiers that constitute a business' foundation, i.e., suppliers, sites, customers, and more.
  5. The process of data integration is vast and complex and continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Therefore, it is imperative for businesses to leverage their organization’s data, especially considering that we live in the age of big data and the cloud. For this, you need a reliable resource that can help a company transform its treasure trove of valuable data into business insights. Of course, there are a variety of options in the market; it is advisable that you carefully find a healthy choice, such as the Talend big data integration tool, to ensure you can successfully benefit from this effort.

Author's Bio: 

Kaushal Shah manages digital marketing communications for the enterprise technology services provided by Rishabh Software. This article is written with an emphasis on data integration and its process.