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Customer Information Management

What is Data Integration?

Data integration is the process of combining information from multiple sources to provide a more complete view of information. This typically involves the merger of many different data types, from structured information like transactional data or web history to unstructured content within documents customer service call histories. Data Integration creates a unified view that can help inform critical business processes in the future.

In a commercial situation, the overall goal of data integration is to connect and combine business information that, when initially collected, may have been placed into separate silos managed by unique stakeholders. Generally, these silos are overseen by business units that have little regular interaction with each other, causing a lack of shared insight that can result in missed opportunities for the company as a whole. Data integration helps to unite them these siloes, empowering the company to take a holistic approach to serving each customer, asset or initiative.

Data integration may take place in a physical or virtual data warehouse, utilizing software that hosts large repositories of data from internal and external resources. One approach is to use an extract, transform and load method (ETL) to extract the necessary data given the integration objective, amalgamate the relevant information and then present it as a unified  set of content for analysis.  

For example, a business may need to extract unique data from the marketing, sales and operations departments to compile an extensive profile of the company’s relationship with a specific customer. From there, that data can help inform future interactions with the customer based upon how successful past outreach has been, as well as information about the subject’s observed habits and preferences.

Data integration is also essential to a growing business . During an acquisition or merger, for instance, information from the two companies’ operations departments can be merged in efforts to help unify both teams. In a similar vein, businesses can help compare sales data that is owned by different branch offices to evaluate where the company is succeeding from a singular view, making decisions about closure or expansion, for example, easier to weigh.

The scale of which data integration takes place runs the gamut . It can be as extensive as a major project comparing two merging businesses, or as specific as a spreadsheet integration that delivers a single customer view. Any of these assets will benefit the business by bridging data sets that, on their own, would otherwise provide an incomplete view. This gives the overall business the tools they need to make the most informed decisions in achieving their set goals. 

How it benefits you: 

Data integration allows you to combine pieces of data that on their own may appear useless or anecdotal, but provide actionable insights once paired with similar contextual information. This can help you make the better informed decisions by taking into account the many different business units and stakeholders involved.

What Pitney Bowes offers: 

Pitney Bowes data integration software provides the features you need to connect to data from multiple sources either directly or through integration with your existing data access technologies. This includes providing a single platform for a variety of integration needs, fully integrated data quality and location intelligence capabilities and a distributed architecture that allows systems to scale to meet any data challenge.