New Paths to Data Integration: Taming Big Data Helps Address Lingering Issues

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Enterprises lacking effective data integration strategies and capabilities for data —in any volume or variety—will be left behind. However, the increased scope of data—and the fact that enterprises are opening up to the cloud—adds urgency to the challenge. “With cloud adoption, the number of potential sources is growing exponentially,” John Goodson, senior vice president, product development group at Progress Software, tells DBTA. “It’s now critical for enterprises to integrate on-premise data and cloud data sources such as CRM, ERP, and HR.”

There are several key benefits that an effective data integration process can deliver, including “greater availability and quality of data and information,” Komissarov says. Interestingly, he adds, many of these benefits can be realized right up front, during the planning process. “As a part of preparation of an IT project, a business has to come up with clear goals, requirements and existing data analysis,” he points out.

There are multiple areas of an organization that can benefit in rapid fashion from a data integration effort. Sales and customer service are prime examples, as members of these departments would be able to “provide consistent, relevant experiences for customers by using data that has been consolidated, correlated, and essentially structured,” Diane Berry, senior vice president of marketing and communication with Coveo, tells DBTA. Better integration enables customer service departments “to respond more effectively to customer service requests, better understand what the customer should purchase next, and how to best move them along the buying and servicing continuum.” With well-integrated data, self-service is better enabled, allowing customers to “solve their own, complex problems, thanks to an ability to instantly assemble contextually relevant information during each interaction.”

Another area that benefits from data integration is R&D and engineering, Berry continues. “These are arguably the most knowledge-intense departments in most organizations,” she says. “Helping teams innovate incrementally through the ability to easily and accurately surface relevant past work and current experts, across lines of business and geographies, enables faster time to market with more innovative products. Moreover, R&D can now benefit from all the customer service, sales and marketing information to create products that customers need and want. Marketing can now provide one-to-one, personalized web experiences through data integration.”

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