These days, digital transformation is at the core of keeping a business competitive. Without a well-defined roadmap for keeping pace with customer expectations and the new digital economy, even those with the longest and most impressive histories can fall behind. Relying on the old formula of people, processes and technology alone doesn’t work. Organizations must now embrace the fourth pillar of digital transformation—data.
Most businesses collect plenty of data. The real struggle is in knowing how to turn that data into an asset that improves the way you do business and keeps you competitive. Integrating all the siloed data across your organization is the first step to getting the most value out of it long-term, but what are the immediate, tangible benefits you’ll have to show for investing in a data integration strategy?
Here are the 3 most powerful ways that data integration can boost your digital transformation efforts by driving a more data-driven and innovative culture across the organization:
- Data integration rounds out your perspective by filling in the missing connections.
When data from multiple facets of the business is combined, you get more accurate answers to the questions you’re asking.
If you work in marketing, you could pull customer information across various databases spanning the business to understand the customer journey from start to finish. You can integrate every real-world interaction the customer has had with you into your customer journey model, putting yourself in their shoes to identify areas of opportunity.
In healthcare, it’s essential to have the most up-to-date, accurate and multi-faceted steam of patient data available on demand for quick decision-making. Data integration is a powerful tool for any business because it reduces the guesswork involved in day-to-day decision-making by offering up reliable information on which to base those decisions.
- Data integration encourages more sharing and more consistent interaction with the data.Integration allows all employees to pull from the same pool of data so they’re all on the same page, yet it allows for a variety of unique insights depending on the goals and questions of the people working with the data.
When a good idea or new innovation arises, that same data source can be offered to other groups in the business to verify hypotheses and recreate successes. With greater data collaboration across teams, the organization can move with greater consensus on decisions and future planning. Plus, with more employees interacting with, sharing and using data, the data is more likely to stay fresh and updated.
- Data integration allows you to answer questions you previously could not, finding hidden links between different data sources to encourage innovation.
With data from a wide variance of teams across the business available in one location, employees can do more overarching analysis to discover hidden gaps and opportunities for both short-term and long-term improvements in business processes. For example, data integration may enable a finance professional to discover that a gap in the supply chain is resulting in missed targets.
These are just 3 of the most important benefits that a data integration strategy offers—there are many more possible. Once your internal data is centrally organized, you can begin augmenting it with external data to discover even more surprising insights.
More importantly, without data integration, your business will experience the pitfalls of siloed data. Collaboration among employees and relationships between different groups in the business will be stifled, and data will become stagnant because its value isn't recognized. Data integration allows your business to begin exploring the possibilities that are latent within your data, creating a data-driven organization that bases its decisions on sound information rather than gut instinct or blind guesses.
Not sure where to begin with data integration? Onebridge can help you identify your data sources and create an integration strategy that works for your unique business needs—contact us now to talk it through.