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    Data integration is the process of combining data from various sources into a single, unified view. It’s both a technical and business process and is used to efficiently manage data and make it available to those who need it. With a data integration solution, data silos can be eliminated, and data can be brought together that would otherwise go unused and its insights lost. The integration of data allows analytical tools to produce practical business intelligence insights. It is part of the data management process and continues to increase in use as big data integration and data-sharing needs grow.

    Data integration techniques

    A data integration system will involve a network of data sources, a master server, and clients accessing data from the master server. A good data integration solution will provide data from trusted sources in a timely manner to support analytical business processes. The information delivered has been cleaned and transformed into valuable information. Data integration can be done through a variety of techniques:

    • Extract,Transform, Load (ETL): Data is extracted from the source, transformed, and loaded into a data warehouse.
    • Change Data Capture: Data changes within a database are identified in real-time and applied to a data warehouse.
    • Data Replication: Data in one database is replicated into another to keep information synchronized.
    • Streaming Data Integration: Different streams of data are continuously integrated and fed into analytics systems and data stores.

    Data integration benefits and solutions

    This process is useful for two companies merging systems or for consolidating applications within one company to provide a singular view of the company’s data assets. It can be used to build a data warehouse for performing analysis based on the data within the warehouse.

    Data integration reduces errors as manually inputting and updating data no longer has to be done. While employing a data integration solution will take time upfront, the time saved on preparing and analyzing data is worth the investment. Also, everyone can securely access this data via self-service for individual or shared projects.

    Popular data integration solutions include:

    • TIBCO Cloud Integration
    • Matillion
    • SSIS from Microsoft
    • Oracle GoldenGate
    • Astera Centerprise