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September 23, 2009

Centralized View of Data: Combining Reports vs. Data Integration

Filed under: Data Integration — Tags: , — Olga Belokurskaya @ 9:19 am

Providing centralized view of related data originating from different systems is one of major benefits of data integration. More and more enterprises implement data integration initiatives to govern their data more productively. Thus they spend time on analyzing the market of data integration tools in search of solutions that would fit their peculiar needs, and so on.

Well the importance of having centralized view of data is obvious, but there are several approaches of getting the data centralized.

According to David Jennaway, CRM and data integration expert, two main approaches are

- Using reporting mechanisms, and combining reports to analyze data from different sources, but leaving the data in the sources systems.
- Copying data from different systems into one system, providing this system with all the needed data.

Each approach has its advantages.

Reporting option is easier and cheaper for implementing, and designing a report is much simpler than creating a robust process to copy data. Moreover, the reported data is not likely to be backdated, as it comes directly from the data source, thus avoiding the latency which most data duplication processes have within them.

Copying data into one system brings flexibility for having needed data gathered in one system eases searching and displaying required items. It is also possible to edit and make changes to the data outside the systems it originates from, though it will require well-established data synchronization processes.

While reporting may seem a simpler approach in the start, data integration turns much more beneficial, easing working with enterprise data, that may come from multiple sources from multiple departments (no argue, in this case analyzing multiple reports may be quite time consuming).

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