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November 24, 2010

Customer Data Integration: Tips and Tricks

Filed under: Data Integration — Katherine Vasilega @ 8:02 am

Customer data integration is one of the most challenging tasks in the integration field. As you know, customer data can be very complex. For example, there can be a dozen fields to represent information about the customer in the source system and they can all have a different structure.

Here are the most common customer data integration issues and tips on how to solve them.

1. Explain the need for customer data integration to your employees.
Explain them, that no matter how good the current data warehouse/ CRM system is, it is not complete enough to provide the relevant information. Make sure that every person is ready to collaborate.

2. Formulate more than one business problem that customer data integration can solve. Your CDI efforts should be positioned as an ongoing program that can fit various business needs.

3. Set the functional requirements. Don’t rush to make a list of vendors and their solutions. You have to decide what functionality you need first. Data management requires a great focus on functional requirements. Until you have your list of features in hand, you won’t be able to pick up the data integration solution.

4. Hire the qualified IT personnel to help you with customer data integration. Many companies are so accustomed to buying out of the box applications that they don’t think it is necessary to have an in-house IT specialist. Once again, customer data application is a complicated task and you are sure to need that specialist on your team.

Customer data integration ensures that all relevant departments in the company have constant access to the most current and complete view of customer information. Properly conducted, CDI is the mot valuable tool of decision-making.

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