By Lance Speck, VP and General Manager, Integration Products, Pervasive Software
What is your data integration strategy? If you’re at a loss for words, don’t worry. Many organizations don’t even realize how data integration can help them. If you do have an integration strategy, you need to consider how data trends are evolving and how your integration strategy will adapt and scale to manage growing volumes of data from various sources. Oh, and here’s another caveat—your integration needs to be cost-effective.
Organizations today are facing huge data challenges, especially in this fast-changing tech world where assessing, understanding and leveraging your data drive your competitive edge. You’re most likely under tremendous pressure to deliver improved service, comply with increasing government and industry regulations and standards, keep costs low, and generate more revenue. In order to alleviate some of this burden, you need to take a look under the hood at your integration strategy.
Data integration helps automate back-end processes, resulting in reduced friction in sales cycles and faster deployment. Most importantly, implementing a reliable and smart data integration strategy provides ISV, SaaS, SI and BPO providers a way to increase revenue, close deals faster, achieve faster time-to-market, and establish deeper roots within accounts.
Integration is key to various forms of data processes, including: Big Data analytics, marketing automation, business intelligence and cloud integration. If your data is incomplete, inaccurate or not integrated, you’re wasting the dollars and time your organization invests in these initiatives.
Big Data Analytics
“Big Data” can be defined as growing volumes of structured and unstructured data that lives in various sources. In order to implement and deploy Big Data strategies, data integration needs to come first. Otherwise, how else do you plan to manage the movement of data from one storage location to another? The data also needs to be prepped, cleansed and at the right place at the right time. With robust integration technology, you have the ability to move diverse data from a large variety of sources into Big Data systems to perform rapid analytic processes that help you gain actionable business insights.
Data integration is everything in the world of marketing. With data from online searches, sales processes, social media profiles, demand generation campaigns and more, marketers need a process to integrate both online and offline data.
Organizations need to form customer hubs that integrate data from all their customer data sources in order to analyze holistic information and make well-informed business decisions, as well as manage customer relationships more effectively. With integration, marketers can reap the rewards of having better customer insights, leading to more conversions, better customer retention, a boost in cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and faster service and deployment.
According to Aberdeen Research’s research report on agile data integration, titled: Beyond Agile Analytics: Is Agile Data Integration Next?, data integration is a key factor in delivering agile business intelligence. On average, organizations designate 19% of total resources for new BI projects to data integration. The secret here is to perform smart integration. For near real-time business intelligence, the process heavily depends on high quality, reliable and real-time data. The business output from implementing smart integration includes optimal and reliable business intelligence and analytics.
As more data is placed on private or public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services and Rackspace, you need to be able to synchronize that data back in on-premise applications. In addition, you need integration to keep the data consistent as it migrates between the cloud and on-premises systems and databases. If you skip this step, you run the risk of creating another silo of data, and encountering inconsistencies and duplications within the enterprise. The result? High costs and time lost as you attempt to stop the bleeding. Clearly, it makes sense to define a data integration strategy before you move to the cloud.
Make Integration A Priority
Integration is often forgotten about or buried under other priorities. Only when organizations experience challenges do they realize the significance of having their data aligned through integration.
When integration is not prioritized, you create huge bottlenecks that can hinder your organization from competing successfully. You fall behind your competitors, who most likely have some kind of integration strategy in place already. Treating integration as an afterthought is a huge misstep that leads to wasted time and resources applied to fixing errors. By using agile, strategic integration tools and solutions from the beginning, you can immediately begin to see investments pay off in the form of happy customers, increased sales and more time to focus on your core business. Having a smart, proactive integration strategy in place will give your business a significant competitive advantage.
With a smart integration strategy, organizations can increase sales and close more deals in less time with less friction. Moreover, companies can achieve increased customer satisfaction for lasting business.
Lance Speck is VP and General Manager of Integration Products for Pervasive. In his position, Speck is responsible for the growth of the data integration business unit and its strategic leadership position in delivering innovative on-premise and cloud-based integration. To be connected with an “integration doctor,” connect with Speck at: Lance.Speck@Pervasive.com
His team is responsible for thought leadership and execution strategy for integration products delivered via direct and indirect channels, including SaaS vendors, ISVs, and BPOs, as well as to the enterprise. These primarily address data management, data quality, and data integration for customers in industries including healthcare, financial services, billing, marketing automation, retail, HR, and logistics, as well as local, state and federal government.