Data integration is the process that enables users combine heterogeneous data from multiple sources in the structure and format for the final applications. It collects information spread across the organization that can be used for various purposes. Essentially, data integration is performed in a data warehouse with the aid of a specific tool. The data integration tool enables business users extract, transform, and load (ETL) these data sets to unify information in a database.
In retail ecosystems, handling data spread across different tools, departments, systems, databases including ERP, CRM, POS, etc. is a pain for the majority of businesses. Most of the organizations have to deal with unconsolidated technologies and with legacy systems in it, combining information is hard to row to hoe. Data integration solutions bring retailers an opportunity to handle data and leverage it for making important business decisions.
Retail companies greatly benefit from an integrated and holistic vision of their customers, sales, and operations. Let us take a look at the benefits that data integration solutions offer and how they help users build retail intelligence they need to provide delightful customer experiences.
Having a strategy for data integration in place, companies can handle data silos and enjoy a unified source of information. By creating a unique source of truth, companies can unify myriad interactions with clients into consolidate customer intelligence with the help of data integration tools.
By having a unique source of truth, retail organizations can gain a good understanding of the customer demographics, which helps them beat the competition.
Data integration solutions help retail companies transform the way they do business with their partner ecosystems. Here are some ways organizations can leverage data integration to gain a competitive edge.
Optimized Resources: With the help of a data integration solution, companies can have a single and accessible database that enables them easily access data. Being an automated solution, companies do not have to leverage a lot of resources, thus reducing a lot of time and effort required. Many self-service integration tools enable all business users integrate data, allowing technical teams focus on more important tasks.
Standardization: What happens during data integration solutions is that they allow putting all their data in one place but also homogenizing these data and have it in a unified format that makes it ready for anyone in the organization to leverage it. Since their ability to use data gains surge, it becomes easier for companies to make decisions.
Use Historical Data: It’s a challenge for companies to get historical data from source systems, but with data integration solutions, organizations can ingest all the data into a data lake from where it can be accessed, stored, or anlayzed for many analytics and intelligence purposes.
The final objective of companies’ data strategies must be able to make it accessible to each of the user in the company. By doing so, organizations empower even their non-technical users to integrate data and generate insights to drive value to customers. Features like pre-built application connectors, shared templates, monitoring dashboard, etc. empower users as they allow them integrate data without seeking the support of IT.
Retail organizations can leverage data integration solutions to successfully navigate through the disruptions and use data to transform the way they interact with their customers and conduct business operations.