What Are the Best Enterprise Data Integration Tools?

Enterprise data integration tools are the key to harnessing and leveraging your organization’s data. These tools extract, link, and synchronize the information that would otherwise be trapped within disparate applications.

McKinsey’s analysts believe that the new competitive business edge lies in properly utilizing the data generated in internal and external applications. That’s because the business environment is shifting. Market research reports and consumer insights become dated and obsolete before they can be acted on.

The data generated by customer interactions with applications, channels, and platforms are now taking center stage. This data can be used for customer analytics, strategic decisions, operational forecasting, and risk management. It’s always precise, timely, and centered around your organization’s customer base and goals.

It’s particularly useful for aligning your entire organization’s activities together for more effective marketing, sales, and revenue generation.

Related: Why Data Integration Tools for Salesforce Is a Good Idea

Aligning Marketing and Sales With Enterprise Data Integration Tools

Application data provides several disparate views on your market, prospects, and customer behavior. Accessing, unifying, and utilizing this data does two things:

·         It provides a seamless view of targets as they move from application to application

·         It facilitates unified internal operations, particularly between marketing and sales

The insights gathered can be used by everyone, from marketing to sales and finance teams. Here are a few ways to take advantage of it.

Identify Your Ideal Prospects and the Optimal Way of Reaching Them

How much would you pay for curated high-quality lead data? What if it told you exactly how to target them, what channels to employ, what messages to use, and how much they were likely to spend?

You can now generate this intelligence through enterprise data integration tools. You get precise intel on your audience across the entire buyer’s journey. See how they behave, respond to messages, and what it takes to convert them.

Precise Reporting for Critical Decision Making

Socioeconomic instability, turmoil, and flux have rendered long-term forecasts and customer research obsolete. As a result, critical decision-making must be based on accurate, current information and near-real-time visibility.

You need the ability to see everything that’s happening, drill down anywhere you want to, and generate proprietary market research on-demand.

Defend and Adjust Marketing Budgets

Once you link tools together, you can see how one activity – let’s say in marketing – affected activities in other means, such as sales or customer service. This reveals exactly what was responsible for generating revenue, bringing in customers with a higher lifetime value, or any other KPI you want to track.

Use this information to adjust your spending and defend marketing budgets confidently.

Eliminate Spreadsheets for Real-Time Assessments

Still, making advanced plans based on spreadsheets and reports? Static reports are helpful for recordkeeping and historical evaluations. However, business today requires quick responsive action. And that depends on having real-time, end-to-end visibility.

Related: 7 Benefits of Salesforce and Marketo Integration (and How to Do It)

How to Facilitate an Enterprise Data Integration

There are only three ways to facilitate an app-to-app data connection:

  • Stick to a few pre-built native connections
  • Build out your own data architecture
  • Or use a data integrator built to connect what you want

The first option is acceptable for limited use as long as you can get by with limited tech capabilities. However, these don’t accommodate heavy data volume, cater only to a few features, and won’t help you build an entire connected ecosystem.

McKinsey sometimes recommends that organizations build out their own data architecture to fully integrate, organize, and make use of their data assets. This entails engineering architecture, designing and testing data analytics models, investing in DataOps, training employees to perform data services, and more. Is that feasible for your company? If not, let’s look at using enterprise-grade data integrators.

Leveraging Information with Enterprise Data Integration Tools

Data integrations clearly aren’t the easiest things for organizations to pull off. Facilitating your own will likely involve building out data architecture, investing in programmers, and dedicating ongoing resources to integration management.

This process is further complicated by the exponentially increasing volume of generated data. Any integration solution you go with has to work at scale.

The only real option – aside from limiting yourself to a restricted set of app-to-app connections – is to use a robust data integrator that already facilitates the integrations you want to make.

Enterprise data integration tools are the most accessible, cost-effective, and reliable way to handle internally and externally generated data.

The best option will deliver four core things: automatic application connection, multiple connections with a bi-directional data flow, automated data hygiene, and data analysis.

Automatic Integration

Always look for a maintenance-free integrator that doesn’t require any technical expertise or setup work. This takes two things:

  • Completely codeless operation
  • Pre-mapped data paths between applications

Do the people on your marketing or sales teams have programming backgrounds? If you want to incorporate data integration into everyday workflows, you can’t pick an overly technical tool.

Your data integrator must be accessible to every team member and as easy to use as any other business app. This generally means a drag-and-drop UI, along with preset data mapping.

Multiple Connections with a Bi-Directional Data Flow

The best enterprise data integration tools facilitate bi-directional connections between multiple applications at one time.

Bi-directional data flow means that information can flow both ways between applications. Some solutions will only push data from one application to others, limiting the use you can get out of them.

A multi-pronged connection links more than two apps together. This is what converts an application stack into a single fluid data ecosystem. And it’s something you can’t get when using individual native app-to-app connections.

Automated Hygiene

Data is messy. It’s messy when generated and even messier after it gets transported. Data needs to be treated with near-continual hygiene processes for it to be intelligible, usable, and accurate.

Continuously cleaning, organizing, and verifying data turns data utilization into a significant cost center. Any data also represents a massive liability due to the potential to strategize or operate based on erroneous information. And then there’s the opportunity cost of working without accurate insights and wasting time on administrative tasks.

Gartner once put the organizational cost of poor data quality at $12.9 million. The toll on your organization may be lower, but you can always opt to avoid this by using an enterprise data integration tool that features automatic real-time data hygiene.

Real-Time Analysis

Take things a step further with a solution that analyzes the integration and delivers new insights based on the unified data flow.

For example, if you are linking marketing and sales applications, the integrator should deliver insights based on the gestalt results of those activities. This will provide cohesive intelligence on your entire span of operations.

A Smart Enterprise-Ready Data Integrator

Enterprise data integration tools offer an accessible way for organizations to utilize their data. But not all have the same capabilities, and not all are suitable for hands-off use.

Some application connectors require effective management. Users may need to do some setup coding, map out data paths, scrutinize data for errors, and do ongoing data hygiene. If you don’t want to devote time and labor to this, your organization needs a maintenance-free codeless integrator.

Vertify is an intelligent data integrator capable of processing and analyzing large volumes of information. It automatically connects applications, then transports, cleans, organizes, and evaluates the data.

It’s the most accessible and efficient way to access and utilize high volumes of data. Ready to leverage yours? Request a demonstration of Vertify today.

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Author: Wayne Lopez | CPO | Vertify