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October 8, 2010

Data Integration in Social Networks: Is It Real?

Filed under: Data Integration, Data Quality — Tags: , — Katherine Vasilega @ 8:07 am

Social networking is growing rapidly. The large number of social networks has resulted in vast—but diverse—information about individuals. In order to put this data to commercial use, we need a smart solution to integrate all information available among different social networks. This is quite a challenging task for any data integration software, and let me explain why.

First, there are no restrictions on the amount of data which a user can publish in social networks. In addition, this massive amount of data is not necessarily structured. Therefore, data integration amongst social networks may become a headache.

Second, there are plenty of privacy and security concerns in social networks. Forged identity is extremely difficult to track and its prevention is kind of impossible. There are no means for proper monitoring of unauthorized access to data in social networks. Anyone can create a profile for Bill Gates, Barack Obama, or Charlie Chaplin. Misrepresentation of information in social network may lead to incorrect data mapping, which creates obstacles to developing a consistent, single view of data.

Data integration in social networks is now generating a lot of interest and is definitely a future trend of the data integration development. However, the potentially high commercial value attached to the development of social networks is really hard to be utilized in full. There are still too many privacy and consistency issues related to data integration in social networking. At the moment, they slow down the development process of a comprehensive data integration solution.

Though some attempts are taken to integrate data from social networks, these solutions can not yet be applied to commercial use.