October 29, 2020

Navigating the new normal: five reasons for better data integration today

Dennis McLaughlin

Topic:   Data

Your organizational data is one of the most valuable assets you own – but only if you know how to harness it properly.

Data capture is something most mid-market companies have been doing for a decade, but many fail to turn that critical information into actionable insight. If your company data is siloed by department and you’re still rolling the numbers up to administration in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, you may be surviving – but it could be that you’re falling somewhat short of thriving in a data-saturated business world.

A modern, integrated data management platform may be just what you need to capitalize on your hidden and underutilized data. Here are five key reasons to leverage data integration tools to find new value in the data you have and supercharge your business.

1. Data integration and management tools simplify your data.

The mass of data from multiple sources can stymie the analysis process. Scattered, siloed data plagues most companies, making for disjointed decision-making, redundant processes, and higher costs. Simplifying data is the first step toward standardization that will allow you to look at all of your data from one unified lens. Today’s data management solutions transform the patchwork of information that you typically use in your business from sources such as real-time, batch, and streaming data; big data; structured and unstructured data; cloud-based data; social networks; mainframes; and machine-generated data into a single source of truth.

2. Data integration tools and a management platform increase data value.

If you have hidden data in your organization, it doesn’t yield real value. It’s like leaving money on the table. Leveraging a data management platform allows you to uncover all of the organizational data that’s siloed in the various departments of your business. Then, today’s data integration tools can democratize the data so that everyone in your organization can use the insights found within, increasing the value of the information you’ve captured. Once your data is democratized, your key stakeholders and thought leaders can get to work on monetizing it, using the insights culled from the data to make decisions that lead to cost-saving measures or that surface revenue-generating opportunities.

3. Data management platforms help reduce errors and mitigate risk.

A certain volume of errors come with human activity. Manual processes breed mistakes, and despite best efforts, there is an element of rework within every large human-centric task. Datasets with errors or omissions breed incomplete or incorrect assumptions. Sometimes, they fuel business decisions that can cost thousands or even millions of dollars. According to Gartner research, the average annual financial cost of reliance on poor quality data is $15 million.

The workaround is to run reports repeatedly to search for discrepancies – which is, again, a manual process. Modern data management platforms enable automated real-time reporting with greater accuracy and less redundancy. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) add in predictive and prescriptive analytics capabilities, layering nuance into the equation that gives your data breadth and scope and enhances decision-making.

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4. Data integration tools and data management platforms net you more time.

Data integration cuts down on the effort you spend tracking, visualizing, and analyzing data. It eliminates the need for rolling up the numbers on an Excel spreadsheet each month. It can also automate mundane tasks that are prone to human error. Saving time and improving data accuracy also saves money by improving workforce productivity.

5. Modern data management platforms provide better data security.

When your data is housed in multiple databases with multiple users, maintaining security is much more complex and riskier than if everything were managed through one centralized, secure data management platform. A data management platform that integrates seamlessly with your other business applications as well as external data sources – while still ensuring the security of your data – is an essential part of a digitally mature business today.

That said, even if you’re only at the beginning of your journey toward digital transformation, data security should be one of your first priorities, considering the value of your data on both your reputation and finances. A well-designed data management platform with built-in, robust integration tools is a great place to start.

The bottom line

Many companies don’t realize the importance of their data because they simply aren’t using the right tools to leverage it. Today’s data integration tools and data management platforms can finally open the door to true data-driven decision-making at all levels of your organization.

If you’re ready to finally harness the power of the data you’ve been capturing, download our ebook, “From status quo to supercharged: propelling business forward with strong data management” to see what your data can really do.

Dennis McLaughlin has held a number of senior management positions at ibi. He currently serves as vice president of Omni Operations and Product Management, and leads the vertical product solutions team focused on Healthcare and Insurance. He is an accomplished executive with more than 25 years of progressive experience driving global sales, revenue growth, and customer success in business intelligence, data/application integration, data quality, and master data management solutions to the Fortune 1000. His broad understanding of both domestic and international distribution channels encompasses direct sales, partners, agents, and subsidiary organizations.

A graduate of Baylor University, Dennis presents at numerous conferences and industry events.

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