Data integration is seen as a must-have by many businesses. Why? Because data is key to business success. It pays to make sure that everyone in your business can access the data they need, whenever they need it. That’s what data integration does.
If you don’t integrate, you can’t make the most of your data. Integrated data gives you a complete view of your customers and your business and allows you to make good decisions. It saves you time, aids collaboration and helps you work more effectively with clients.
What exactly is data integration?
Data integration can be done in a very small, limited way, or on a much larger scale. It simply means sharing data collected in one system with another system.
That could mean:
- Integrating the system you use to send emails with your CRM, helping you keep track of leads more effectively.
- Integrating productivity tools such as G-Suite with other systems, so you can communicate better and run your business more smoothly.
- Integrating your CRM with your ERP, usually using a data integration tool such as Rapidi. This allows you to share key data between these two major business systems, helping teams work together better.
It’s this last integration, the CRM-ERP integration, that is particularly valuable for many businesses. It’s also one of the most common integrations. Many ERPs come with a built-in CRM, but large numbers of businesses prefer to use Salesforce or another CRM. This makes integration crucial.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to do, especially since there are a lot of tools you can use to make a CRM-ERP integration easy (see infographic).
Benefits of data integration
Data integration’s specific benefits depend partly on what you would be doing without integration and what systems you choose to integrate. But, in general, data integration will help you:
1:- Save time compared to manual data sharing
If you choose not to integrate, you’ll almost certainly end up sharing data between different systems some other way. Maybe you use spreadsheets, or perhaps you end up sharing data through phone calls and emails. However you do it, it’s bound to be happening.
And when it does, it takes your staff’s focus away from their core jobs. It’s difficult to commit to business growth when key people are spending time on admin tasks that should be outside their remit.
2. Eliminate data mistakes
It’s inevitable that when you share data manually, mistakes will happen. Human error is real. Data integration means that mistakes don’t happen and your data is always accurate and real-time.
3. Help teams work together better
When different parts of your business access different data, it’s easy for mistrust to creep in. Using different data also means that different people will have different perspectives. When everyone is working from the same data, they tend to pull in the same direction.
4. Improve forecasting
Data integration means accurate, trustworthy data. That’s vital to business decision making. It means you can spot trends and make predictions knowing you’re doing it using the best possible information.
Data is the powerhouse of modern businesses. Access to accurate data allows you to grow with solid foundations. Successful, sustainable businesses integrate their data.