IT Leaders: Time to Study Up on Real-Time Data Integration

Loraine Lawson
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Top Ten Best Practices for Data Integration

Use these guidelines to help you achieve more modern, high-value and diverse uses of DI tools and techniques.

Companies are starting to really explore the business use for real-time data integration. The most recent TDWI study (2011) on data integration found IT leaders rated real-time fourth in a list of possible reasons for replacing an existing data integration platform.

 

Over the next two years (three at the time of the report), 56 percent of the 323 surveyed say they plan to use real-time data integration in three years. Since only 16 percent were doing so at the time of the survey, that's a huge shift.

 

There are certainly strategic, business-based reasons to invest in real-time data integration. First, thanks to compliance issues and a push for data-driven business decisions, more companies are using business intelligence tools and doing analytics. At some point, real-time data becomes an issue, as business users demand accurate data.

 


Second, customers are expecting better service and a more personalized experience across the various channels - online, in-store and on mobile apps. For instance, I often check apps and online prices while in a store, shopping, to see if something's on sale or if the listed price matches my needs. Likewise, I often check online to see if something's available in a store near me - and at what price - before I commit to paying a shipping fee online.

 

Third, real-time is becoming more of an issue for data warehousing, operational business intelligence (BI) and Big Data, because it's sometimes fed by continuously streaming the data. In a recent study, Unisphere Research asked 300 IT professionals about their data integration practice. The results? IT pros said 50 percent of the data their company relies upon to make decisions is more than a day old and sometimes up to a week old.

 

But right now, the information isn't always reliable. A 2011 report found that only three percent of companies said they provide an excellent cross-channel customer experience. This can lead to frustration, lost sales and even lost customers and nasty reviews - good reasons for investigating how real-time data integration could resolve the online/in-store disconnect for retailers and shoppers.

 

If you'd like to learn more about real-time data integration, there are two free webinars tomorrow you should check out.

 

First, at 9 a.m. PT or 12 p.m. ET tomorrow (May 16), TDWI will explore the infrastructure requirements for real-time data integration. Philip Russom, who is always excellent, will be the speaker. This event is part of the organization's Information Builders Webinar Series. While you're on the site, check out the other upcoming events. The line-up is impressive.

 

A second free event, "From Batch To Blazing - Moving Data In Today's Real-time Business," will start just an hour after the TDWI's webinar, at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT). The president of Unisphere Research, Thomas Wilson, will discuss the company's 2012 data integration study, which showed companies are relying on old data to their detriment. There also will be a discussion of the benefits of real-time data integration and the major obstacles to achieving it. This event is sponsored by Attunity, which sells change data capture technology (often used for real-time data integration) and other data management tools. This event will be archived for on-demand viewing, if you can't make that time.



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