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How Data Integration Services play a key role in Business Operations

Phil Watt director at Elait Australia shares his thoughts on Data Integration to optimize business operations.
Phil Watt
Phil Watt
3 minute read
Verwin How Data Integration Services play a key role in Business Operations Image

Most data experts agree that 80% of analytics effort is in integrating data. Often this is indicated by pairing two Data Engineers with every Data Scientist. Even with this being the case, from data scientists to finance analysts and everyone in between, if you’re producing analysis and charts, the chances are you spend a lot of time crashing data together.

Why do organisations spend so much time and money integrating data?

What do we mean by ‘integrated data’?

Figure 1 - Integrated Data

Integrated data is data that has been taken from different sources and combined in a consistent way. Integrated data can enrich your analysis. For example, it can help you predict if your customers will like that brilliant new product or service you’re working on. If you work in a big company you probably have a data warehouse that contains integrated data, like the one shown in the image above.

Where is it used in the enterprise? And why invest?

Let’s look at the chart in Figure 2 below

Figure 2 - The Value of Integrated Data

OK – there is a lot here to describe, so let’s break it down, layer by layer.
The chart is organised around different groups in an enterprise. You can think of a typical organisation being made up of individuals, teams, branches and departments which all roll up to the whole enterprise – shown in Figure 3:

Figure 3 - Groups in a Typical Enterprise

As the size and scope of these groups grow, they need more context about the world around them to make decisions – or more integrated data.

Figure 4 - Amount of Integrated Data Used by Groups in the Enterprise

Individuals need to understand their own performance, while enterprises need a broad, overall view as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 5 - Individual Control of Integrated Data by Groups in the Enterprise

The control an individual has over the integrated data they work with diminishes as you move through the groups. Enterprise integrated data is tightly controlled, but an individual can easily work with their own data in Excel, Tableau or Power BI.

Figure 6 - Governance Overhead as Control Diminishes and Integrated Data Consumption Grows

This diminishing control has an inverse relationship to the amount of governance you need. Australian Privacy Principles, GDPR, HIPAA, and so-on means that everyone needs to understand their data obligations.

Figure 7 - Capital Investment for Integrated Data

Figure 7 shows how the increase in governance & need for integrated data correlates to increased capital investment needed as more data is integrated. But the good news is that the cost per user falls rapidly as more people use integrated data, as illustrated in Figure 8, below.

Figure 8 - Cost Per User Falls with Larger Groups

Better insights and better outcomes with integrated data

And this should translate into better insights, and better outcomes. The better you get at integrating data from different parts of the business, the more insight you can give to more people – and maybe make a big dent in that 80% we talked about at the beginning.

Phil Watt
Phil Watt
Phil Watt is a Director for Elait Australia, specialising in data engineering and data governance solution services.
Career Management
Learn how to manage workplace issues and get tips on developing your professional life