Working Toward the CDI Hub

Arthur Cole

A article this week details troubles an Australian insurance company was having melding the disparate database systems of a number of acquisitions over the past few years. This problem is not uncommon, and the software industry has responded with a number of tools designed to make the process easier.


There are extract-transform-load (ETL) tools, data query and aggregation systems, and various technologies designed to address enterprise information integration (EII) and data quality.


It turns out, though, that these tools are rarely enough for what some call the holy grail of data integration: a fully reliable customer data integration (CDI) platform. That's why many firms are turning to the CDI hub when faced with chronic integration issues. Simply put, the hub is a central repository for all customer data acquired from multiple sources. It sounds simple, but it isn't. It requires a major commitment of time and resources, plus an understanding that to be effective, the hub needs to support many types of data and data movement processes. It also needs a comprehensive approach to data lifecycle management, and to provide access across platforms and organization heirarchies.


A number of vendors have come forward with their own versions of CDI hubs, but the consensus is that no single provider is capable of offering the comprehensive, multi-environment solution that some organizations require.


Sound like a pain? You bet. And we haven't even begun to scratch the surface. But then again, nothing worthwhile is ever easy, is it?

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