TDWI Identifies Barriers to Successful Operational Data Integration

Loraine Lawson

A recent TDWI report found that operational data integration projects encounter a number of barriers to success, including poor data quality, a lack of time and problems identifying a clear ROI.


The report, written by TDWI Research Senior Manager Philip Russom, is part of TDWI's best practices series and focuses primarily on operational data integration, although some of the research also pertained to analytical data integration.


As I shared last week, operational data integration is integration work done for consolidating, collating, migrating, upgrading or synchronizing operational databases. It's a fast growing area of integration, according to TDWI-in fact, it's growing so fast, organizations are struggling to keep up with the staffing demands.


Back in 2004, when Forrester researched data integration usage, a whopping 81 percent were analytical with a mere 19 percent operational. Over the years, those numbers have slipped closer together, until last December, when TDWI found that 49 percent of data integration usage was classified as operational and 51 percent was analytical.


But here's the clincher: Both types of data integration projects are growing. It's just that operational data integration is growing faster than analytical, according to the TDWI's report.


Companies also cited ineffective sponsorship and a lack of cross-functional collaboration between business and IT hindering operational data integration projects. Another common problem: inadequate staffing. TDWI found that nearly half of operational data integration projects are staffed by only one or two full-time employees, which may explain why companies sometimes scavenge people from analytical data integration projects.


The report found that some companies are addressing this staffing shortage by forming integration competency centers.


The report also examines several aspects of operational data integration, including what organizations see as the primary benefits of and best practices in operational data integration. You'll also find a discussion of the technology requirements and vendor tools.


If you'd rather not read the report, you can also check out Philip Russom's Webinar presentation on the report's findings, which ran today, but is available for on-demand viewing.

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