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Build a Data Integration Strategy

Integrate your data or disintegrate your business.

  • As organizations process more information at faster rates, there is increased pressure for faster and more efficient data integration.
  • Data integration has become critical for downstream functions of data management and for business operations to be successful. Misaligned integration patterns restrict the value of data.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Every IT project requires data integration: Any significant change in the application or database ecosystem requires you to address a data integration problem.

Impact and Result

  • Create a data-centric integration solution that supports the flow of data through the organization and meets the organization’s requirements for data accuracy, relevance, availability, and timeliness.
  • Build your data-centric integration practice with a firm foundation in governance and reference architecture and the appropriate technology and resources to ensure that the process is scalable and sustainable.
  • The business’ uses of data are constantly evolving, and as a result, the integration processes that ensure data availability must be periodically reviewed and repositioned to continue to align with the business.


Build a Data Integration Strategy Research & Tools

1. Build a Data Integration Strategy Deck – A clear blueprint that provides a step-by-step approach to aid in the development of your integration.

This blueprint will help you understand what data integration is, and how it fits into your organization.

2. Data Integration Trend Presentation – A tool to help you to understand many new IT technologies.

This tool will help you:

1. Bring IT professionals up to date with the technology landscape.

2. Know the possibilities and practical applications of the technologies.

3. Data Integration Mapping Tool – This tool can be used to document the mappings and allow them to be stored in a content or knowledge management system.

This tool should be used by a business systems analyst or integration specialist as input to detailed design. This tool can also be used by an integration specialist or application developer for hand coding a data map if the integration tool being used does not offer a visual mapping capability or the mapping is too complex to put into a visual tool.

4. Data Integration Pattern Selection Tool – This tool will support your organization in identifying the integration pattern that should be used for each identified integration scenario.

Each evaluated scenario will be evaluated based on its fit against the ETL, Data Virtualization, Data Federation, Data Replication, and Near Real Time integration patterns.

5. Data Integration PoC Template – This tool provides the reader with information on the proof of concept (POC).

This tool provides the reader with information on the POC as follows:

  • Business Objective and Requirements
  • POC Environment
  • Test Approach and Success Criteria
  • Results

6. Data Integration Requirements Gathering Tool – Use this tool to identify and track requirements for data integration.

Use this tool to identify and track stakeholder involvement, elicitation techniques, and scheduling, as well as tracking categorization and prioritization of data integration requirement.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

10.0/10


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Average $ Saved

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Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

ESSILOR MEXICO SA de CV

Guided Implementation

10/10

$6,499

5

best: to have a clear path to our Data Roadmap

Loenbro, LLC

Guided Implementation

10/10

$14,949

55

Very knowledgeable advice. Though we didn't get into a specific solution, he was right in directing us away from a solution until we better underst... Read More


Build a Data Integration Strategy

Integrate your data or disintegrate your business.

Table of Contents

19 Phase 1: Collect Integration Requirements
22 Step 1.1: Identify Integration Pains and Needs
29 Step 1.2: Collect Business Requirements for the Integration Solution
43 Phase 2: Analyze Integration Requirements
45 Step 2.1: Determine Technical Requirements for the Integration Solution
50 Step 2.2: Leverage Integration Trends to Address Requirements
52 Step 2.3: Architect the Data-Centric Integration Strategy
68 Step 2.4: Calculate ROI to Attach Dollar Value
74 Phase 3: Design the Data-Centric Integration Solution
76 Step 3.1: Validate Your Data-Centric Integration Patterns
82 Step 3.2: Design the Consolidated Data Model
88 Step 3.3: Map Sources to Target Model
91 Step 3.4: Capture Integration Metadata

INFO~TECH RESEARCH GROUP

Build a Data Integration Strategy

Integrate your data or disintegrate your business.

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Analyst Perspective

Enterprise integration (EI) enables execution across the extended organization.

  • Enterprise integration (EI) enables seamless execution across the extended organization.
  • Enterprise integration is the practice that provides for all communication and data flow throughout the organization, from shared data structures, messages, data movement, and management to real-time service invocation. Integration is pervasive and provides real-time telemetry across the tapestry of enterprise capabilities, delivering reliable, scalable, synchronous, and asynchronous communication on demand.
Wayne L. Cain, Principal Research Director, Enterprise Architecture, Info-Tech Research Group.

Wayne L. Cain

Principal Research Director, Enterprise Architecture
Info-Tech Research Group

Our understanding of the problem

This research is designed for:

  • Business analysts communicating the need for improved integration of data.
  • Data engineers feeling the pain of poor integration from inaccuracies and inefficiencies during the data integration lifecycle.
  • Data architects looking to design and facilitate improvements in the holistic data environment.
  • Data architects putting high-level architectural design changes into action.

This research will also assist:

  • CIOs concerned with the cost, benefits, and overall structure of their organization’s data flow.
  • Enterprise architecture trying to understand how improved integration will influence overall organizational architecture deployment.

This research will help you:

  • Understand what data integration is, and how it fits into your organization.
  • Identify opportunities for leveraging improved integration for data-driven insights.
  • Design a loosely coupled integration architecture that is adaptable to changing needs.
  • Determine the business needs for integration and design solutions to fill gaps.

This research will help them:

  • To fully understand the current data situation and how data flows within the organization.
  • Create an understanding of how a mature data architecture affects operations within the enterprise.

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

  • As organizations process more information at faster rates, there is increased pressure for faster and more efficient data integration.
  • Data integration has become critical for downstream functions of data management and for business operations to be successful. Misaligned integration patterns restrict the value of data.

Common Obstacle

  • A clear understanding of the value of integration is needed to justify business investment focused on integration.
  • Evolving business models are growing rapidly, exceeding the investment in data management and integration tools. As a result, there is often a large gap between business demands and IT capabilities.

Info-Tech’s Approach

  • Create a data-centric integration solution that supports the flow of data through the organization and meets the organization’s requirements for data accuracy, relevance, availability, and timelines.
  • Build your data-centric integration practice with a firm foundation in governance and reference architecture: the appropriate technology and resources to ensure that the process are scalable and sustainable.
  • The business’ uses of data are constantly evolving and, as a result, the integration processes that ensure data availability must be periodically reviewed and repositioned to continue to align with the business.

Info-Tech Insight

Every IT project requires data integration. Any significant change in the application or database ecosystem requires you to address a data integration problem.

Your data is the foundation of your organization’s knowledge of today and insight for tomorrow

Data should flow and not be constrained by applications.

Data is one of the most important assets in a modern enterprise. Contained within an organization’s data are representations of the customers, the products, and the operational details that make an organization function. Every organization has data, and this data may fully serve the needs of the business today. However, the only constant in the world is change. Changes in addresses, amounts, product details, partners, and more occur at a rapid rate. If your data does not flow, it will quickly become stagnant. Getting up-to-date data to the right place at the right time is what data-centric integration accomplishes.

“Data is the life blood of the organization.”

(Wayne L. Cain, Principal Advisory Director, Info-Tech Research Group, 2020)

Examples of data surrounding apps being replaced with apps surrounding data.

Organizations continue to struggle with explosive data growth and complexity

To keep up with increasing business demands, organizations are processing and exchanging more data than ever before.

The most difficult integration problems are caused by semantic divergent data structures and data synchronization across the enterprise. (Database Research Technology Group, n.d.)

80% of data is going to be unstructured by 2025. And 95% of enterprises are prioritizing it from now on. (NowVertical, 2022)

73% of enterprises indicate they are using traditional ETL approach to integrating their data. (TDWI Research, 2021)

Break Down Your Silos

Integrating large volumes of data from varied sources has incredible potential to yield meaningful insights. However, most organizations struggle with curating the right structure for the blending of the information to take place.

Data-centric integration capabilities strive to eliminate operational silos. Once silos have been addressed, the information is available to focus on a given problem. This is often addressed by business intelligence (BI) and analytics tools.

Data-centric integration is the solution you need to bring data together to break down data silos

On one hand …

Data has massive potential to bring insight to an organization when combined and analyzed in creative ways.

On the other hand …

It is difficult to bring data together from different sources to generate insights without time distortion.

How can these two ideas be reconciled?

Answer: Info-Tech’s Data Integration Onion Framework summarizes an organization’s data environment at a conceptual level and is used to design a common data-centric environment.

Understand the common challenges of integration to avoid the pains

There are three types of challenges that organizations face when integrating data.

  1. Disconnect from the business

    • Poor understanding of the integration problem and requirements leads to the construction of integrations that are ineffective for providing insights. 50% of project rework is attributable to problems with requirements. (Source: Info-Tech Research Group)
  2. Lack of strategy

    • Integrating data without understanding the long-term plan results in spaghettification. 36% of IT leaders have no data integration strategy. (Source: IDG survey 2020) Diagram of messily connected services.
  3. Data complexity

    • Data architects and other data professionals are expected to be able to connect data using existing interface to provide at any volume and in any format – all without affecting system performance. 77% of the IT leaders agreed that they had faced internal data quality concerns in their organization. (Source: KPMG)

These challenges lead to organizations building a data architecture and integration environment that is interdependent. (Source: Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision Diagnostic, N=602)

Build a Data Integration Strategy preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

MEMBER RATING

10.0/10
Overall Impact

$10,724
Average $ Saved

30
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 8 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Collect integration requirements
  • Call 1: Learn about the concepts of data integration and the common integration use cases.
  • Call 2: Understand what drives the business to need improved data integration, and how to collect integration requirements.

Guided Implementation 2: Analyze integration requirements
  • Call 1: Determine the technical requirements for the integration solution.
  • Call 2: Learn about and understand the differences between trends in data integration, as well as how they can benefit your organization.
  • Call 3: Determine your ideal integration pattern.

Guided Implementation 3: Design the data-centric integration solution
  • Call 1: Start with a PoC to validate your integration design.
  • Call 2: Learn about the source to target mapping tool, and how to create your own.
  • Call 3: Learn about integration metadata and what metadata to capture.

Authors

Nikitha Patel

Rajesh Parab

Contributors

  • Wayne Regier, Director of Data Management, Husky Injection Molding
  • Jason Bloomberg, President, Intellyx
  • Hamdan Ahmad, Principal Consultant, Slalom Consulting
  • Sanjay Pande, Co-Founder and Instructor, Learn Data Vault
  • David Ormsby, Senior Manager, Liberty Utilities
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