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Not getting the most from your data? You may have an integration problem​​

Effective data integration is key to ensuring the right data is in the right place when you need it.

Do you have a data integration problem?

Not getting the most from your data? You may have an integration problem.

Whether you’re expanding your ecommerce offering, planning a marketing campaign or just trying to keep legacy applications running in a changing landscape – effective data integration is key to ensuring the right data is in the right place when you need it.

Few businesses are unaffected by the events of 2020. While some have simply adapted working practices or taken special temporary measures, others have embarked on full scale pivots and repositioned their proposition entirely.

One thing’s for certain: the pandemic has revealed those digitally savvy businesses against those bound by outdated legacy systems and ways of working. So while the former have adapted with the most ease – by working remotely where feasible, moving services online and diversifying into related areas – the latter has struggled, failing to adapt and find opportunities in the ‘new normal’.

Key to this is data. Or to be precise, the methods through which data is gathered, accessed, analysed and distributed. In other words, how data is integrated and made useful to a business.

At this point you may be thinking: sure, I know my data is of good quality and in good shape. I know the CRM the sales dept uses, how to access our ERP system and where to find our marketing and customer data.

Which is a good start, but only a start.

The importance of data-driven integration

To get maximum value from your data, a data-focused approach to integration is essential. Each and every part of your business – whether that’s applications, websites, mobile platforms, external partners and organisations – needs access to accurate, up to date and/or real-time data that can be understood and processed into actionable insight and brought together for analysis. Those organisations agile enough to deliver this data with speed will perform best.

It’s all very well having beautifully organised data sitting in a CRM system, but your business can only derive maximum value from that data if it’s available when and where it’s needed throughout the business (and externally).

So, if you’re adopting a microservices strategy to support your expanding ecommerce offering, integrating with a new API for a social media campaign or processing big data for analytics, how you integrate that data is essential. You need more than an application, you need an integration strategy.

Integration spaghetti – and the dangers it poses

Integration spaghetti is the mess created when different systems and departments are connected to lots of separate software. It occurs when new software and processes are added piecemeal as a business expands and grows over time.

At best, integration spaghetti is frustrating and inefficient. It slows down processes and causes headaches. At worst, it prevents essential communication that leads to malfunctioning business practices.

Helping businesses sort through their integration spaghetti to build a maintainable, governed suite of integrations that can adapt to the changing needs of the business is just one way Comma helps its clients.

How to know if you need data integration services

Your business may not be suffering from integration spaghetti, but that doesn’t mean inefficient integration isn’t holding it back. If any of the following statements sound familiar, it’s likely you need to take a data-focussed approach to integration that will enable you to bring your data strategies together.

  • You’re spending a lot of time copying data between systems.
  • You have multiple data sources, and it’s taking too long to move data between systems.
  • You’re investing in data quality, but still finding inconsistencies between systems.
  • Your data is so distributed that finding what you need, when you need, is becoming impossible.
  • You have an integration platform already in place but it’s badly designed, hard to maintain, or expensive to change

At Comma, we’ve created a pragmatic, service-led solution to data integration. We’re able to advise on the best approach for your business, deliver new integration processes, and support you on your data integration journey, measuring your project’s success and suggesting improvements along the way.

Whatever stage your business is at, integration needs to be a key part of your data strategy. To speak to one of our data integration advisors email hello@comma-group.com or visit our contact us page .

*In the meantime, read more about our integration services.