Digital activities generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. As consumers and businesses alike become more reliant on modern technology, information becomes more complex and diverse. Even small companies have terabytes of data at their disposal, generated by enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) software, social media, and other online activities. In short, it’s a staggering number of ones and zeros that no human mind will ever comprehend.
One of the biggest challenges facing modern businesses in big cities like Chicago is translating data -- coming from servers, smart-grid connected devices, and everything in between -- into actionable insights that improve the effectiveness of their marketing strategies, customer service, and operational efficiency.
Those that fail to tap into this incredibly valuable digital commodity are inevitably destined to fade into obscurity as more innovative companies lead the way. Unless, of course, they know how to use data to drive business decision-making.
What Is Data Integration?
The enterprise technology environment typically consists of multiple applications and systems that serve various corporate needs. From internet-connected smart devices to CRM systems, every piece of modern technology generates data. Coming from a wide range of sources, raw data is practically impossible to make sense of, hence the growing need for data-integration solutions.
Data integration is all about bringing data together from all the systems a business relies on for its day-to-day operations to ensure that it has quick and easy access to the information it needs to drive strategic decision-making. Data integration becomes a major challenge when replacing dated, yet mission-critical systems, such as ERP or CRM. If your new system doesn’t work well with your existing infrastructure and with the data you already have at your disposal, then your digital transformation will never succeed.
How Do IT Providers Handle Integration?
Data integration systems work by connecting application programming interfaces (APIs) and organizing information from multiple systems to present information in a way that humans understand and act upon. Even more importantly, integration eliminates the risk of human error by giving you immediate access to the right data.
For example, in the healthcare sector, organizations need a way to receive transactional information in real-time and through batch operations, both to serve their patients better and to conform to their compliance obligations. This data comes from various sources, such as insurance claims, patient health information, and other systems.
In a sector where delays or incorrect information can mean the difference between life and death, it’s imperative that employees have access to the right information in real-time. Check out MXOtech’s healthcare data integration case study for more details.
Business Benefits of Data Integration
Companies across all industry verticals can also use data integration to track insights into customer activities to provide better service and improve decision-making. Sometimes organizations don’t even realize they have access to the necessary information because it’s spread across multiple databases.
For example, health insurance companies use a system called Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) to measure quality of patient care. They provide this information to customers to help them pick the best plan. A custom web app could be built to safely integrate electronic medical records (EMRs) with an insurer’s database to improve HEDIS data collection and ultimately customer experiences.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, data integration is about having access to information that improves your bottom line. It just needs to be standardized and centralized so you and other decision makers can make sense of it.
Getting Started With Data Integration
Although data integrations are often overwhelming for internal teams, there is an emerging trend of outsourced providers who specialize in this field. Hiring the right company for the job results in improved productivity, higher data quality, more consistent information, and better access to performance-driven statistics.
MXOtech helps organizations in and around Chicago improve operational efficiency and make smarter decisions through data integration and other technology solutions that drive growth without the disruption. Call us today to find out more.