Cloud data integration is the process of gathering data from disparate sources (including on-premise or cloud servers, applications, or other sources) and centralizing it in a single location. The goal of data integration is to create easily accessible, unified data stores for employees, customers, or partners to easily and transparently access. This enables people to make faster, more informed decisions that are backed by data.
Multiple tools can be used for data integration in both public or private cloud platforms or providers (e.g., an OpenStack data center or AWS). Depending on the tool used for integration as well as business needs, the integration process will look different. However, most processes involve a form or combination of batch processing, APIs, ELT or ETL pipelines, and real-time event streaming.
Additional benefits of cloud data integration include:
Flexibility and scalability
With data centralized in a single location, users have more opportunities to improve processes as well as identify opportunities to add more value to the business and customers. Additionally, the right solution will automatically scale with ease, enabling businesses to identify data patterns and trends and make decisions.
Cloud data integration enables organizations to ensure IT systems or applications using the same data remain consistent. Even as changes or updates are made, data remains synchronized in both locations, providing users with a single source of truth for business data.
Rather than wasting time on manual data migration or integration, data integration platforms automate the process, saving teams valuable time. Additionally, the platform can standardize how data is treated during the migration process, ensuring data stays accessible and error-free.
Eliminate redundant data
It’s all too easy for organizations to replicate data, making it difficult for users to have accurate data for making decisions. Data integration tools, as well as a strong data migration strategy, identify and remove redundant data in cloud locations. This results in lower storage costs (both physical and digital) as well as cloud computing.
Removes data silos
Arguably, the biggest benefit of cloud integration is the elimination of data silos. With data residing in multiple locations both in and outside of the business and in multiple formats, it becomes more challenging for organizations to use data in a meaningful way. Cloud integration tools eliminate these challenges by making data more accessible in a single location (such as a data lake or data warehouse).
Improves operational efficiency
In addition to eliminating data silos, cloud integration centralizes your business applications, tools, and platforms. This creates a single, unified aggregate data store that eliminates the number of redundant services that are driving up costs and slowing down efficiency.
Provides better data security
Centralizing your business data enhances the security of your company data. Most cloud integration platforms include robust security measures such as cloud-based backups, multi-factor authentication, role-based user permissions, and encryption to safeguard your data. Additionally, you may not have to monitor security threats entirely on your own as the vendor may share monitoring responsibilities.
Increases competitive edge
As your organization is growing, you need to ensure data is readily accessible for everyone as this maintains collaboration and productivity. Cloud data integration centralizes this data and enables teams across departments to leverage high-value data. This eliminates collaborative barriers and enables your team to make meaningful business decisions, increasing your competitive advantage.
Boosts business agility
Data is constantly changing, which means your business must be prepared to handle those changes. High-quality cloud integration platforms automatically handle changes in data and alert you in real time. Whether the data structure, infrastructure, or semantics changes, cloud integration minimizes the impact and lowers the chance of disruption.
Reduces business costs
Centralizing data lets you control how much you’re spending on the cloud as well as data handling. As your data and application portfolio grow, you can make necessary adjustments to cloud data storage, only paying for what you need. This ensures you’re putting your resources to the most effective use.
The right data integration platform coupled with a strong data migration strategy ensures your organization can realize the benefits mentioned above and more. Without a key strategy in place, you may be missing out on all the advantages provided by cloud data integration.
Cloud data integration use cases
Because the approach plays a critical role in creating seamless connectivity between data sources, businesses rely heavily on the technology. Below are just some of the use cases of cloud data integration within businesses.
Migrating on-premise information to the cloud
Cloud-to-cloud data integration
Implementing and/or executing a multi-cloud strategy
Syncing data across multiple systems
Facilitating capabilities for machine learning
Streamlining real-time operations and applications identified with data insights
Finding and resolving discrepancies
Predicting business outcomes
Establish a comprehensive picture of your customer base
The use cases for cloud data integration are nearly limitless. Depending on your specific business needs and goals, you can easily use integration tools to meet them.
How to choose the right cloud data integration platform
To help your organization realize all these benefits, you need to utilize the right tool. With so many tools available, it can be difficult to know which is best for your specific data needs. Keep the following factors in mind when evaluating data integration tools:
Data storage: Regardless of how much data your organization currently has, you’ll want a data integration tool with a large amount of storage. This ensures the solution can scale as you grow and minimizes the chance of disruption.
Cost: You’ll want to find a platform that balances top-tier integration tools with cost. Look for data platforms that provide the capabilities you need without driving up costs. Remember to consider storage costs as well.
Maintenance: Platforms break down and require fixing—it’s unavoidable. However, you want to ensure the solution can be back up and running quickly and doesn’t require exhaustive maintenance. Additionally, ensure the platform doesn’t require extensive technical skills to maintain. Your in-house IT team should be able to resolve problems on their own.
Security: Because the entirety of your business data will be stored on this platform, you’ll want to ensure it can properly defend against cybersecurity threats. Look for platforms that are equipped with security measures such as multi-factor authentication, data encryption capabilities, role-based access control, and real-time security alerts.
Integration capabilities: The sole purpose of a cloud data integration tool is to seamlessly connect to and centralize all your disparate data. The platform you choose should have integration capabilities such as pre-built connectors to accomplish this. If not, make sure it offers the ability to build your own data connectors.
One final consideration: remember your business goals when evaluating platforms. Are you looking to increase data visibility? Improve decision-making? Streamline processes? Create a data-driven culture? Regardless of your goals, ensure the data platform you’re considering can meet them.
For example, if your goal is to democratize data so users of all technical skills can gather, analyze, and report on data, you’ll want a cloud data integration platform that provides these capabilities. If you’re looking to lower costs around data storage, look for a platform with varying storage offered at varying prices.
Cloud data integration with Domo
Domo’s data integration capabilities enable you to quickly connect all your cloud, on-premise, and proprietary systems with ease. Our platform features over 1,000 pre-built connectors that seamlessly connect to your existing and new data sources. This eliminates the need for time-consuming, manual, and costly engineering projects that delay decisions and slow down operations.
With Domo, you can pull Excel spreadsheets, flat files, files attached to emails, and more into the single, cloud-based platform. Even sensitive or client-focused data can be uploaded into the platform via Domo Workbench, an application that encrypts and protects confidential information.
Once data has been uploaded into Domo, users can create detailed data reports and share them across the industry within minutes. Real-time data alerts keep you aware of any data changes, improving decision making and decreasing the chance of errors. Additionally, real-time KPI dashboards provide users with end-to-end visibility of business metrics via dynamic, easy-to-use data visualizations.
No matter how disparate your data, Domo enables you to connect to it all, any way you like. Discover the hundreds of ways we connect to your data by trying Domo today.
Cloud data integration FAQs
Have additional questions about cloud data integration or how to choose the best cloud data integration platform? We’re here with answers.
What is an example of a cloud data integration?
When organizations are migrating data from an on-premise data center or application to either the cloud or another data center, cloud data integration tools may be used.
What features are included in a cloud data integration platform?
Features will vary depending on the platform. Some of the features included on Domo’s integration platform include:
Data visualization tools
Email attachment import
CSV SFTP connectors
What is the process of cloud integration?
Cloud integration processes will vary depending on the specific platform you’re using. However, most involve connecting to a data source via pre-built or custom-built connectors and migrating or copying data to a new location such as a data lake or data warehouse.
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