Data integration trends to look out for in 2021

March 22, 2021

10 min read.

Data integration is the process of combining data from different sources into a single, unified view.

The reason data integration is so important for businesses is because analytics tools allow you to produce effective, actionable business intelligence. The process allows your business to systematically consolidate data from a variety of source systems and turn them into meaningful and useful information.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to data integration, there are typically a few common elements across the board. Your business is more likely to succeed and thrive when you use data to make decisions. Continue reading to learn more about the data integration process and components and trends to look out for in 2021


Employees and businesses work with data every day. Automated data integration is strategically important to productivity and business intelligence. Automation is using technology or software to complete recurring tasks instead of having a person do them. It’s especially useful when dealing with big data and automation can help you complete a long list of tasks such as data discovery, data preparation, data replication, and data warehouse maintenance. There are many reasons to automate processes such as getting your feet wet with digital transformation, gaining more clarity, streamline processes, and standardize operations across the board.

Automation related to data integration will help save your business time and streamline certain processes. Manual data entry and lookups will slow your team down immensely. It makes it easier to collect data and integrate that data into other aspects of the business. Computers complete all the complicated tasks that might take humans much longer to do and automation speeds up the process of performing analytics. In addition to speed, greater efficiency is another benefit of using automation in data integration. You can also use the data you collect and wish to analyze to help your business grow. For example, it may be helpful to make decisions about how to drive revenue and increase profits.

You may be wondering how to get started with data integration for your business and feel a bit lost. You might be curious about how to decide which processes to automate and when to add automation to your strategy. Your first step is to set clear goals and objectives for what you want to achieve, since you may be working with several different departments. You want to ensure you’re facilitating cooperation between teams as the process moves along. You’ll also want to come up with metrics for measuring the success and impact of the new automated processes. You can learn from your mistakes when implementing future projects. Another step to take is to find and select reliable and well-supported automation tools that will help you reach your goals.

Cloud usage

The cloud refers to servers that are accessed over the Internet and the software and databases that run on those servers. Cloud storage and usage is an on-demand organization system of data storage that is available to many users over the Internet. The cloud has become an essential part of modern technology and how we do business. There are several benefits of cloud services, which include cloud data management, cloud computing, and other cloud-based technologies. It’s becoming more and more popular these days, and for good reason. 

One reason for their rise in popularity is due to the way people and businesses are now working, especially with the onset of the pandemic. It made everyone realize that this may be the new way of the world for the foreseeable future and people have to figure out a way to stay connected and get the work done quickly. There is more demand and a need for remote work to be performed and for employees to be able to work from any location necessary. Cloud systems are a good way of allowing people to access information remotely. Your employees can use the cloud to share files and access what information they need to do their jobs without having to physically be together. It makes all that your business does and how your employees interact more efficiently. You can draft a document in one location and have someone review and edit it no matter where they are in a matter of minutes.

Cloud data integration is the practice of integrating data used by disparate systems, between or within public or private clouds, or between cloud-based and on-premise systems. Using the cloud is better for data integration as well. It improves efficiency, internal communications, and scalability. It’s the most appropriate solution to support your business growth. You need data stores that can be easily accessed and that are transparent and available to all users. The benefits of cloud data integration include synchronizing data, automating workflows, eliminating redundant data, and enhancing flexibility and scalability. It’s a very low maintenance solution that’s also easy to monitor.

Utilizing more types of data

It’s important to collect the right type of data for specific needs. You need to understand the purpose of what you’re collecting and for what reason. For instance, each type of data will tell your business something a little different. Take the time to determine what questions you want to be answered and find the data that will ensure your questions are answered appropriately. Data integration allows you to leverage information that may otherwise be hidden or not apparent. When you utilize more types of data you can get to the bottom of answering the tough questions and improving your business for the better.

One of the most significant trends in analytics is the ability to stream and act around real time data. It happens about as fast as a human can review it and take it all in. It’s a powerhouse for businesses that wish to improve customer satisfaction and deliver better offers to consumers at the right times and in the right locations. Big data is another important one because it drives other things like machine learning. You can use it to understand why things happen and to predict what might happen in the future. All data also has some sort of structure attached to it. Many software developers are looking for ways for relational databases to accommodate all types of data in any form or structure.

There are several ways that collecting different types of data is helpful for integration and business processes. It adds value by saving time and money but it’s also useful for much larger concepts and processes based on what types of data you’re collecting. It helps with business intelligence to analyze data and make better decisions and can generate visual reports as well. It helps aid better decision-making for future growth and to help the organization thrive. By organizing and analyzing your data you’ll also be able to provide better service to your customers. Understand your goals and what you want to achieve so you can select what type of data you need to collect and review to help your company find success. 

Machine learning for customer experience

You must enhance your customer experience if you want to outshine the competition. If you don’t work on enhancing the customer experience and journey then you risk losing loyal customers. If you’re looking for ways to ensure satisfied customers then you may want to turn to machine learning. Machine learning is a computer algorithm that improves automatically through experience. You can quickly improve a process by analyzing the data and using what you learned to make it better. Machine learning relies on computers accessing data that they can learn and use for themselves.

Machine learning can help improve the customer experience overall in several ways. It allows brands to effectively improve the customer journey by anticipating customer behavior and providing relevant content. For instance, you can make suggestions to your customers about what else they might enjoy shopping for or looking at while on your e-commerce website. You can improve customer satisfaction by using machine learning to offer a more personalized customer journey. You need customer data and insights if you’re going to make improvements to how you operate and what you offer. You can also use historical data to predict future outcomes and behaviors. Machine learning offers faster and more efficient customer service and support.

Interested in this approach? There are ways and tips for how you can get started with machine learning. Figure out what questions you want to answer and in which departments it makes sense to implement machine learning first. Then foster small experiments to see what works. Hire the right team of data scientists and figure out what type of software you’re going to use. Endorse data science and ML platforms to help you sort through big dumps of data you’re working with. Don’t always try to solve the whole problem at once. Instead, solve bits of the problem, get more data and then build from there. Machine learning enables continuous improvement and betters customer personalization.

Meta management

You must define metadata correctly and first before you can properly manage it. Metadata management is the use of metadata in the most effective way for the business and helps your business to make well-informed decisions. It has slowly become one of the most important practices for a successful digital initiative strategy. As data volumes and diversity grow, metadata management is even more critical to deriving business value from the enormous amounts of data. An example of a searchable key attribute may be a customer ID or a member name. Metadata management drives business value, improves innovation and collaboration, and helps mitigate risk. 

There are several benefits of metadata management and reasons why it’s important. For instance, it helps your business find data, use data, preserve data, and know where the data came from. Metadata management is also important because it allows you to leverage metadata in the understanding, aggregating, grouping, and sorting data for use. You can also use metadata to trace back any issues as it relates to the quality of the data. It makes all you do at your business easier such as internal communications, decision-making, and planning new applications. It helps you decide what type of data to produce and consume and ensures that data turns into a valuable enterprise asset.

There are a few useful tips to help you get started with metadata management. It can be as easy or complex as you make it. For starters, you must establish a strategy so you know what you want to achieve and where you’re headed. Determine how you’ll use it in relation to running your business and making decisions. Data governance and data analysis are deemed as the most important use cases for metadata management solutions. Create metadata standards for how the process will work and how to measure it. Finally, figure out a way to effectively establish and maintain your collection of data. Automation and self-service can only work well when high-quality and trustworthy data is readily available with a shared understanding of metadata.


You now have a better understanding of what data integration is and the trends to look out for in 2021. There are several moving parts and you must understand each one in detail to ensure you get the results you desire. When automation, cloud usage, utilization of types of data, machine learning, and metadata management are understood then you can reach your goals and make better decisions when it comes to how you operate your business and growing your business.

Put this information to use at your organization and use these tips to help you excel and succeed in this area. You’ll soon be outsmarting your competitors and feeling confident about the business decisions that will allow you to move forward in a positive direction. Take your time and do it right so you can gain all the benefits that come from using and analyzing your data in the right ways. The need for data and picking it apart has never been greater. There is a growing complexity of data so you must know how to best collect and analyze it for optimal outcomes.

// Intercom