Data integration is the consolidation of numerous sources of data into a single source of data. This is an elaborate process and requires a lot of time. The process is lengthy because the various sources of data are incompatible with each other. Even simple items like, column names on a spreadsheet need formatting of data. The process of integration of data is most commonly seen in circumstances where two separate groups started working separately, but were later brought together. The abundant presence of online databases and free sources of data has made integration a significant aspect in the IT world.
As far as ‘data’ of data integration is concerned, it can be anything as long as it stays in a computer system. The way in which the data is saved is more important than what is present inside the data. In most cases, the data is saved in databases that are actually organized systems holding information. Databases are equipped with exclusive fields and entries that help a user to quickly get hands on a piece of information.
Advantages of Data Integration
By integrating data, companies can reduce redundancy, manage IT portfolio and face lower risk of failure of application.
- Reduce redundancy – Data integration enhances lifecycle of IT development thus, removing the problem of excess.
- Manage IT portfolio – It informs about the active projects and the not so active ones.
- Lower risk of failure of application – With improved planning and understanding of IT setting in the company, it checks application failure to a great extent.
Managing Lack of Data Compatibility
- Data is the biggest obstacle in the process of data integration. In several instances, when data was initially established, the concept of merging the set of data with another was never thought of. This indicates that even if sets of data speak about the same thing, they are not compatible with each other.
- Two databases can be incompatible for any type of reason. Merging data can become difficult even if something as petty as width of column or field order do not match. This means that mere difference in presentation can become a cause for incompatibility. Merging turns out to be tougher when the data content is different. For instance, one database has less information than the other.
For this reason, approaching a data integration company is an intelligent step a business can take in order to avoid the above-mentioned issues.
Domains of Maximum Data Merging
There are two domains that demand data integration to the maximum intensity. They are research and business domains.
- As regards research domain, the process of data merging is easier than that of business domain. When a researcher shares his or her data with a fellow researcher, it is the same process the two are looking at. This signifies that they are going to use similar processes to store their information and catalogue them.
- In the world of business, department merging or company merging involves the combination of segregated data into one structure. This type of integration is tough unless the groups had data goals equivalent to each other. The groups should also have similar software in order to enable convenient merging. Integration firms solve any problem faced during merging databases.
In the early stage, data integration covered a small part of data studies. However, this has altered in the past decade. With the help of an efficient integration firm a business owner can gather data from contrasting systems like cloud and enterprise IT systems, find out the correct information needed for reporting tasks and analysis, deliver information in near real-time or real-time modes, clean data to reform quality of information, render industry specific structure and create development procedure as well as design of system.
Bathilda George is a renowned data integration expert who has contributed several blogs and articles for the benefit of business owners.