Having multiple sources of data can lead to various formats of information. These sources can be from third-party servers, direct data input from various sources, or automatically generated information input from internal and external networks. As the recipient and user of this information, you may require the ability to use this information in a uniform and seamless form, without having to manually consolidate and reformat the data to a single form. The process of unifying data from various sources into one format to be utilized by users is referred to as data integration.
Why Data Integration?
The question may arise as to why it is necessary to integrate and merge information and data from various sources.
The reason that this common process is used by any business which collects data and information in its day to day procedure is to make the data more usable and accessible. Data may come from various places and may have different qualities that cannot be examined and processed without the unification of their formats. The ability to examine information as a whole and make decisions based on the entirety of available data can play an important role in the development of your business. You should be able to form decisions easily with information provided to you in a uniform and concise way without wasting time in converting this information to reach the final answer. Therefore, it is important to have a method set in place where this integration can take place without altering the nature of the data provided.
Is this a Complicated Process?
Data integration can, at times, be a complicated process. It takes correct algorithms and patterns to make sure that the information processed is translated correctly. The integration program used must be able to recognize data that is similar, yet coded differently, and reduce the chances of overlapping data where required. Often, middleware will take care of this function.
In addition to the actual conversion and integration of data, the source of data must also be taken into consideration. There may be a number of different sources, mainly third party programs, which all input data into one location in order for the integration to take place. The data integration program must take the necessary steps in order to prevent the disruption of these sources and third party programs while retrieving the necessary information. In addition, there may be multiple computers communicating in a network and providing information. The data integration system must be able to extract the necessary information without disrupting the day to day functions of the systems attached to the network.
Despite all the complexities and potential difficulties that must be addressed when proceeding with data integration, this method is very important in the maintenance of your data. It is a cost-effective method, which reduces errors caused by human intervention in addition to being an automated system that can work in the background without disrupting daily tasks. Choosing the correct developers and programmers to assist you in data integration can help in streamlining your daily functions and provide you with the important information you require in the shortest amount of time.