Integrate the Data

By Jake Freivald  |  Posted 2010-03-12 Print this article Print

Task No. 2: Integrate the data

To make data more valuable, make more data available. By that I don't mean you should seek a "single version of the truth" through long and costly data warehouse projects. After all, people only care about their version of the truth, not the varying "single" versions stored in three or four "enterprise" data warehouses.

Instead, look for business priorities that would benefit from small-scale, real-time integration, and use best practices in interface design to implement them.

Task No. 3: Cross-reference the data

As you get better at identifying projects that will have a significant impact, you'll see the need for the same kinds of information over and over again (for example, patient or medical equipment information for healthcare and part or logistics information for manufacturers). By identifying systems of record with accurate and up-to-date information in them (the so-called "master data") and consistently referring to them in integration projects, you can increase efficiency, decrease programming time and improve quality in nearly every process in your organization.

This process, called master data management (MDM), is relatively advanced and shows up under other names such as customer data integration (CDI) as well. These three topics can be combined, with others, under the umbrella term enterprise information management (EIM).

Jake Freivald is the Vice President of Data Strategies for Information Builders (and iWay Software, an Information Builders company). Jake joined Information Builders in 1999 as a product manager where he supported cross-platform product development and deployment. During his career, Jake has held several managerial positions with Andersen Consulting and Prudential Life Insurance Company of America. He also served in the United States Marine Corps as a Signals Intelligence Officer at First Radio Battalion. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He can be reached at

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