/ The Power (and Peril) of Data Integration

You’ve integrated your data into a single view. That’s step #1. Now implement a data management process that delivers the right data to the right people.

The imperative for enterprises to “deliver the right data to the right people at the right time” may be cliché, but it’s no less true. Technology long ago enabled enterprises to collect and analyze data, which lived in departmental containers to serve the business needs of individual departments. For the last few years, the name of the game has been integration; bringing data together from different sources into a single view. This need has been driven by the variety of data available, and the need to share that data in real time across the organization.

“Every person in the company should be the most informed person in the company,” says Keith Moore, the CEO of CoverHound. The insurance price comparison site relies on Domo to aggregate and generate hundreds of reports pulled from multiple sources, in real time, each day. This cross-functional accessibility to data lets CoverHound be more predictive and responsive, regardless of the data source or type.

In fact, the most innovative solutions empower organizations to pull data from on-premise databases, cloud-based databases and applications, Google Analytics, CRM, Excel, XML, and many other file types.

Of course, the more data sources you have (and for most organizations, the number is growing all the time) the harder it is it determine what’s most important. Business leaders should focus on the most relevant data as it pertains to achieving specific objectives.  

Is there a downside to all that data?

As organizations of all stripes and sizes depend on and work with data, they’re seeing a corresponding increase in data literacy and an emergence of citizen data scientists. In fact, Gartner predicts there will be more citizen data scientists than formally trained data scientists by 2020.

Access to data that helps drive better business decisions is undeniably a good thing, but the potential exists for overwhelming individuals with data that is not relevant to their specific jobs or business goals. This could cause them to make a bad decision based on too much data, or tune out altogether.

Thus, data and data analytics must be put into context, customized for individual lines of business and, yes, available at the right time. When establishing data governance policies and permissions, CIOs should consider the audience. What do they need? When and why do they need it? When the right content is provided to the right person at the right time, the next step (a data-driven business action) should be obvious.  

The most useful technology solutions enable individual users, even non-technical ones, to work with LOB leaders to customize their own data dashboards. That has made all the difference at Univision, the leading content and telecommunications company targeted toward Hispanics in the U.S.

“We had a lot of data but not a lot of opportunity to understand the data,” said John Kelly, Executive Vice President of Digital and New Sales. Kelly explained that the company’s sales team needed specific information – a granular view of demographic data and performance by platform – so it could drive programmatic advertising sales.

Using Domo, a cloud-based system for connecting systems, data and people, Univision improved its yield and grew revenue by double digits.

Universal access to integrated, relevant data is the secret sauce to making smarter, faster business decisions. But data management systems require resources to provide users with the right data at the right time.

To learn how Domo enables organizations to integrate data from hundreds of sources, and customize it according to individual needs, click here.