Data integration / DI / ETL

Provide data from a wide variety of systems and use cases.

Jochen Möller
13.08.2020

One of the most important factors in a company is data and information. These are called up, analyzed and processed again and again by employees in many different work steps. Problematic is that this data is usually stored in different systems, which is why accessing it takes a lot of time. Here data integration can help. Its aim is to integrate data from different systems into one tool so that employees can access all information from one data source. In this article you can read how this works and what benefits it brings for companies.

 

Definition: what is data integration?

Companies use many different systems and tools at their respective locations to manage their areas of responsibility. Customer relationship management in customer service, a campaign overview tool in marketing, customer applications, sales systems, etc. - they all have in common that they contain a lot of important data. This information is in good hands in the applications, but what if, for example, an employee in sales needs all the information available about a customer? Including the promotional emails received, the previous calls, the content of the conversation and the last purchases made? To do this, the sales employee has to log into many different systems, which leads to increased workload due to which it is often not feasible.

Here data integration comes in. It provides all data and information from the various sources in a single view. A process is carried out that includes the recording, cleaning, assignment and transformation of the data to match the target system.
The advantages of data integration are diverse:

  • The collaboration and standardization of different systems is improved
  • The company's employees save a lot of time through the uniform presentation of the data.
  • The susceptibility of the data records to errors is minimized.
  • More useful data can be accessed at the same time.

The company’s goal is to increase the clarity so that decisions can be made more easily, in order to ultimately remain competitive.

“Reliable information is absolutely necessary for the success of an enterprise.” Christopher Columbus

Differentiation from system coupling

As the name suggests, data integration integrates data and information from many different sources into one single view, with the effect that the number of interfaces to other programs is significantly minimized. That is the difference to system coupling.

System coupling brings together different systems and tools in one view without actually having integrated the data into this application. The system coupling tool is therefore only one link between many different systems, which increases the number of interfaces. It does not have to be negative per se, it is just more prone to failure. The great advantage of system coupling is that the merging of the systems works much faster than the complete integration of the data in one tool.

How does the data integration work?

The integration of the data brings with it some challenges that companies have to cope with. It starts with the need to be clear about what kind of data is being integrated and what is going to happen to them. Do they need to be available for special analyzes, are they for reference purposes, and how often do they need to be updated? In addition, a lot of data is stored in systems that are out of date. You are missing information such as time or date information. The situation is similar with data from external systems, which often lack details that are available in internal data.

In order to be able to respond to all requirements, companies can choose from various data integration options:

  • Manual data integration: With manual data integration, all data from the various sources is compiled by hand. Due to the high effort involved, this process is only useful for small companies with very little data.
  • Middleware-based data integration: With this form of data integration, the middleware tool acts as a kind of middleman, collects the data and transfers it to the master data pool. This is mainly used when the actual data integration tool has problems with certain data sets, for example because they come from outdated systems.
  • Application-based integration: Different software is used here to localize and integrate data. To do this, they convert the data into a form that is compatible with the target system.
  • Uniform Access Integration: In Uniform Access Integration, the main component is a front end that displays all data from the various sources in a uniform manner, while the actual storage location remains the original source. The data are therefore only displayed in the same way, while they remain essentially different.
  • Common Storage Integration: Common Storage Integration is the continuation of Uniform Access Integration. Copies of all data records are made and integrated in the target system. There they are then displayed in a uniform view.

When it comes to data integration, you have to pay attention to a number of things and make many decisions. To make the process as uncomplicated as possible, a data integration tool is recommended. There are a large number of different uses here. How do you find the right data integration tool from this mass?

Data integration tool: EcholoNs Data Workflow System

The main difficulty of data integration is that these data have to be filtered, sorted, broken up or put together, regardless of the original system from which they originate. Not every tool can do that. In addition, it should be possible to manually determine the intervals at which information and data are to be imported.

The data workflow system from EcholoN offers exactly that. With the graphical user interface, you can intuitively master data integration. The entire data communication takes place without programming, which makes the exchange extremely convenient. The aim of the software is to avoid duplicate data maintenance and thus to create free resources. All data is always up-to-date and correct - from a single interface.

In addition to the above, the Data Workflow System offers several other advantages over other tools available on the market. Feel free to contact us; together we will find the right solution for you!