Today, the growth of an organization depends on how efficiently it uses data. The pandemic made organizations realize the importance of data, but more importantly, the value of insight-ready data and business intelligence with real-time analytics. Data integration is vital to an organization. It is merely a simple process of integrating relevant data from various sources into a single, coherent dashboard.
Data integration is often considered a herculean task backed by the myth that it would not help organizations make timely decisions. However, the adoption of a strategic plan for the integration process can simplify the task and provide organizations with incremental gains and eventually result in better yielding ROIs.
Deploying the right data integration plan
Having the right plan in place will always help any organization to integrate Big Data easily and to get the right information at the right time. An integration process can be compared to a fitness regime which can extend up to 30, 60 or 90 days as per the data produced and requirements of the companies.
This new ‘data fitness’ approach included breaking down larger data integration initiatives into smaller development cycles. A similar initiative in a fitness regime is where a full-body workout is broken down into smaller intense workouts. Many companies can benefit from this method as breaking down the data integration process will not be as overwhelming and there is a structure to follow. However, every organization should determine the right plan and pace to suit their business needs.
When an organization receives data, it is common for the data to be sieved through many different data sources. Information from these varied sources is needed for analytical or operational purposes. However, bringing them together can be a difficult task for data engineers. Companies should opt for the best fitness plan that helps them reduce effort and time analyzing the data. The fitness plan can be deployed in a step-by-step method.
The First 30 days
Every organization needs to evaluate its problems and understand what is driving its need for a data integration project. The next step is to address the challenges. This is similar to defining one’s goals that can be attained from working out and thus, deciding which areas to focus on during the workout. Companies need to evaluate their current challenges and how data can be better handled more effectively.
Take Vancouver International Airport (YVR), for example, which aims to improve intertwined sub-processes throughout the airport, enabling staff to substantially reduce connection times for passengers in transit. Setting a clear goal allowed YVR’s data analytics teams to decide which data was important and used these insights to optimize their gate assignment systems and improve situational awareness of cargo loading, ensuring that passengers and cargo took the most efficient route to their destinations while keeping ground staff alert to any potential bottlenecks and delays.
In 60 days
Define the project’s reach and trim any excess issues that could be causing delays, added costs, or dissatisfied stakeholders. Set practical deadlines to achieve attainable targets that ensure that the project is on track and all stakeholders remain engaged in the journey. Prioritize every step such as defining and cleaning initial data points before starting the testing and reconciliation phase.
90 Days and Beyond
Now, the data product needs to be developed by incorporating the data that was found and cleaned earlier. Keep a versatile code when writing as this will make it easier to add more data points in the future. Evaluate the benefits of the data integration project and emphasize how it will meet your business needs. The final step is delivering business value.
By completing this plan, companies will have a fresh, new perspective on data integration as well as the ability to integrate robust, inter-connected data pipelines seamlessly. Other positive outcomes include breaking down data silos, easily synchronizing data from multiple sources, and providing staff with the information that they need to make educated decisions. The implementation is easy with the right training and guidance. The bottom line is all about a company’s goals and adopting the right plan to meet these goals.
By Varun Babbar, Managing Director, Qlik India