Data Integration Slogans Fit for a Coffee Mug

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Top 10 Best Practices for Data Integration

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

During my years of writing on this blog, I've tried to say and show in many ways the real value of integration to organizations. At roughly 500 words a day - often more - I've tried to preach the good word of clean data, governance and "big picture" thinking when it comes to information management.


This week I learned I've been working WAY too hard. I could've done it in a mere 140 words a week.


Talend, an open source data management (now with BPM) vendor, asked me to be its guest judge for its monthly Twitter contest. Participants were asked to respond to the question, "What's the #1 thing you wish your company understood about integration?"


The contest - and the iPad prize - drew 65 tweets. There were some awesome entries. I'm not just saying that - I really think some of the contestants should open up a CafePress store, because there were several that would make great coffee mugs. In fact, there were so many good entries, I wanted to share them here with my readers. The contest was cut and dried - there was only one winner, no seconds and no categories. But if there had been categories, here's how I would've judged them:


Funniest: "A-to-B & B-to-A is easy, but when you have alphabet soup like A-B-C-D-E-F, I need a pay raise," by @craigkelker, a systems integration consultant based in Indiana.


Bitterest Response: "Moving enterprise systems back to the same mainframe is an integration joke, not strategy." @Gmatala, an open source & integration specialist at UC Berkeley.


Most "True, That": "good data quality is crucial for data migrations and integration," @Nicola_Askham, a data management consultant.


Best Preachin' It: "Dont c data integration as a tool but a process 2 transform data into info & intell 2 xlr8 bizness," @VincentTeyssier, a BI and data warehousing architect who also blogs.


Most Politically Tricky: "Dear boss: it's not immoral to integrate two systems having the same orientation!" @gmatala


Best Attempt to Exploit Social Connections: "We should view integration, not as an afterthought, but as core functionality." @Edhammerbeck, a business analyst/programmer who hears this stuff all the time because he's married to me.


Best Entry from an Expert: "how important data quality is to an integration effort!" @Dqchronicle, who is consultant William Sharp, a data quality blogger.


Most Also Good for Vendors to Know: "Drawing a cloud in PPT w lines jutting outward doesn't constitute integration architecture," @craigkelker


Best Plea from Consultant: "that they would understand the meaning of the word integration," @estrenuo, a company founded by Sander Robijns, @srobijns, a senior data warehouse/BI consultant and Dutch expatriate.


Most Likely to Need a New Job: "I wish (the rest of) my company realized that there are integration tools written this century eg @Talend," @thomasehardt, who is "some guy living in Tennessee," apparently with a really aggressive baby.


Like I said - a lot of good entries. But ultimately, I had to pick, and what drew my attention was one that spoke simply, yet powerfully, to the strategic value of integration:

Without data integration you dont have a company, you just have departments.

Congratulations to @shiningp, aka Ramses Garcia, who, judging from his twitter feed, obviously works in data management and apparently really loves "Toy Story." Enjoy your iPad!