Use Cases of Data integration in Real World Business Scenarios
With almost everyone having a smartphone, and a desktop, the data stored and data searched by the users have sky-rocketed over the past two decades. The data created, copied, and consumed globally in the year 2020 was around 64.2 zettabytes. Professionals have estimated that by 2025 it would reach up to 180 zettabytes. To help you understand how big a zettabyte is, let us tell you that one zettabyte is equal to a billion terabytes.
Not only is it developing in size it is also estimated that the annual revenue of data analytics will reach $274.3 billion by 2022. With so much scope and work under its belly, it is no surprise that data integration and analytics will only go upwards from hereon. Moreover, the need for data scientists has always been very high.
Now you might be thinking about what data integration is all about? Do not worry, as we have got you covered. This in-depth article will explain everything you need to know about data integration, such as its meaning, data integration software, benefits of data integration, data integration use cases, and data integration examples. So without any further delay, let’s start.
What is data integration?
When working in an organization, a data scientist is bombarded with several GBs of data now and then. The professional will use data integration to combine all the data from several outlets into one for efficiently managing the data, gain insights on the data, and then use the data to their advantage. This process is known as data integration.
The professionals have to deal with huge amounts of data, and in this data, around 80-90% of the data is unstructured. This means that the data they get can be in texts, audio files, videos, and images. The data integration software comes in handy during this time, and they help collect this data, regardless of its type, structure, and volume.
What is the importance of data integration?
With every business focusing on organizing the data, the current scenario of data sources is that the data is more distributed than ever. Therefore, companies use data integration and transformation tools to ensure that all the valuable data is collected, integrating the data with the department.
This helps the team accumulate the data at one storage point, thereby helping everyone get all the data easily from a single source. This gives access to data faster and is also responsible for seamless data transfer, increasing productivity, and uniting the team. This is beneficial not only for the company but also helps the employees greatly as their time searching and analyzing the data is significantly reduced.
Data integration tools used by companies
Data integration is a complex process, and since the data will not integrate by themselves, companies use real-time data integration tools. These tools can handle the data, clean it, transform it, map the data, monitor the flow, and report any errors or issues. There are three types of data integration tools; on-premise data integration tools, open-source data integration tools, and cloud-based data integration tools.
- On-premise tools
- Open-source tools
- Cloud bases tools
As the name suggests, these tools excel at integrating data from several on-premise and local data sources. These tools are installed on the local network or the company’s private cloud. These tools manage large-scale databases. Examples of on-premise tools are IBM InfoSphere, Microsoft SQL, webMethods, Informatica Power Center, etc.
For companies with good in-house, open sources are the best tools available at their disposal. Open source gives you the freedom to avoid using proprietary or expensive tools, and it lets your team handle the needs. However, there may be hidden costs in open-source tools. Examples of open-source tools are CloverETL, Pentaho, Skool, Karma, Middleware, etc.
These tools help integrate all the data into the cloud system. These tools are used to handle new and common databases. Since they come online quickly, the cloud-based tools have the ability to integrate them faster than average. Examples of open-based are Alooma, Dell Boomi AtomSphere, Jitterbit, MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, SnapLogic, etc.
What are the benefits of data integration?
Since data integration helps bring the entire data in a single place, it has several benefits, and some of the major benefits are mentioned below.
- It gives the head a complete vision of the company
- Helps you save time
- The data is transparent
- You can customize the tools
- Improves the decision-making skills
- You can form easy and quick connections
Getting your data sorted will help you get all the information about your company in a single place. This gives you the advantage to know precisely every information about each department and the employees working. This helps you monitor and make necessary changes in real-time. Since you can access the data from any device, you need not carry your workstation or laptop everywhere for the smooth functioning of the company.
Since everything is found under a single system, the employees can access the data anytime they want. This helps them save a lot of time. The employees do not have to download and store the information in several places. It can be stored in the same system that everyone can easily access, making the work more efficient.
Since every employee can access the data, the data is transparent and gives the employees a level of faith for working in the company. Also, if any tampering is done, the person can be caught. This does not put other employees in a position of jeopardy. Since maximum transparency is achieved, the workspace becomes easier and more collaborative.
The needs of every company are different regarding the data. Hence the data integration tools can be customized accordingly. There are no restrictions, and you can use the tools to their fullest.
If the data is available for every employee to access, the employees will be aware of the problem at hand and quickly make decisions with co-workers' help and solve the problems. This also helps the employees develop new ideas and share them with the team for good results.
Earlier times, connecting with someone was a painful task that took months. Nowadays, that is not a problem. You can have multiple connections, and they can all work together to deliver the connections on time. Once you’ve deployed new connections, you need to ensure that your employees, the customers, and trading partners have that connection for improved purposes.
Data integration use case and example
In this segment, we will explain the importance of data integration tools with the help of a data integration example.
- For small and medium scale businesses
Google Analytics for tracking the customer, organic traffic growth, and website analytics.
Salesforce can be used to store sales data and customer information.
MySQL to store the user information and
QuickBooks for managing the expenses of the company.
- For bigger businesses
If you have a small-scale or medium-scale company, then you can use several data integration platforms. You can combine the data and then use the data as per your needs and quickly access the data depending on what data is needed.
For example, you can use: -
Since each data storage option and necessity are different, data integration processes are different. This data storage will combine the data and show them for better collaboration and getting better insights about the business.
Suppose you have bigger businesses like Walmart, Amazon, etc. In that case, you need to manage the data across multiple locations seamlessly, the inventory at different places, manage the location of the products for delivery, maintain the mobile app, data from other countries, etc. The workload is huge, and it takes combining and maintaining your data to a whole new level.
Since you’re storing data from several locations globally, you need to ensure they are working in real-time to function properly. In such cases, you need to use real-time data integration tools to ensure the smooth working of your business. Walmart uses Apache Kafka to integrate their data and get real-time information about their products and services.
Why is it important to have a data integration plan?
Following are some reasons why it is crucial to have a data integration plan: -
It helps in reducing the complexity of data. If an organization has around one thousand applications under them, it will have approximately a million interfaces for all the applications. Such numbers are very confusing and can get you on the web, from which you cannot easily get out. But when you have a data integration plan, you can manage the complex interfaces, streamline the connections and deliver the data safely and properly to any system.
The data will be of high quality. The goal of every company is to ensure they work smoothly and sell their products to as many people as possible; it only makes sense to use data integration tools. The data integration tools will ensure that the data combined will be free of errors, duplication, or inconsistency.
You can take good advantage of specialized applications. Whenever you give authorization for software to use the data, it analyzes and transforms the information in a specific way best understood. This gives the software the freedom to use the data per their need and gives you the most desired result.
This was a brief overview ofdata integration, tools, benefits, examples, and why it is important to use data integration tools for combining and storing the data safely in a single place.
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