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Data Integration Benefits That Can Help Your Business Grow

Data Integration Benefits That Can Help Your Business Grow

Data integration is the process of transforming raw data into actionable data. You can read about all benefits it has for businesses here.

Regardless of the complexity of your business, anyone can take advantage of the benefits of data integration and use it to their benefit. Below, we explain how to create a truly unified, and engaging customer experience. But before we get into the specifics, let’s go back to the basics.

What is data integration?

In a business context, data integration describes the process of collecting and combining data from different sources and creating one unified view of the customer.

Let’s use a busy, global fast-food chain as an example. A fast-food chain could have thousands of stores across the world collecting data every second. Each store is a network. And through data integration, the information from all these networks can be processed and compiled in a master server. This primary server is easily accessible and used by decision-makers.

The alternative to automated data integration is the manual process of sorting data from all these disparate networks. This process is incredibly time-consuming and for many businesses, probably impossible.

The relationship between data integration and CRM

An organisation’s CRM system has a key role to play in the process of data integration.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems manage the interactions every customer has with a business. This allows businesses to keep track of unique customer relationships and provide a better service.

When businesses do not integrate their CRM systems across the organisation and instead use multiple different systems, there may be issues. Multiple data systems impact your ability to properly integrate data sources.

In a recent Forrester report – The State of CRM – 57% of executives admitted that they struggle to provide a good customer experience because they lack a completely integrated CRM. The report also showed businesses that use a unified CRM are 14% more likely to provide good CX.

Half of all employees surveyed stated that they found it hard to share information with teams who did not use the same CRM.

5 enterprise benefits of data integration

Customers are more demanding than ever. To keep up, businesses need to find a way of meeting their needs. Data integration is a great way of doing that, and here is why:

1. Replace data silos with an open company culture

The process of data integration leads to a reduction in data silos as information from across the organisation is combined. This process has huge benefits for all organisations as it leads to a more collaborative company culture.

2. Get better insights from integrated data

When data undergoes the ETL process (Extract, Transform, Load) it goes from being raw data into strategic datasets. These datasets can then be used to inform great company insights.

This integrated data is utilised by human decision-makers or by artificial intelligence to create automated recommendations.

3. Receive high-quality data

A key component of the data integration process is the cleaning of the data. Raw data is often impossible to use, especially by humans. It’s disorganised and nonsensical.

Integrating data into a CRM system improves your processes and can be used to manage the customer experience.

4. Make more sales

The bottom line for any business when it comes to digital transformation is that it must lead to increased profits. Integrating data into one system can lead to bigger profit margins in several different ways.

A key benefit is that data integration makes customer service more helpful and also much quicker. This is a key component when it comes to driving sales.

5. Provide a better employee experience (EX)

With unified data, employees have access to a complete 360 view of the customer. This means they are armed with better tools to do their job. It helps them perform better and be more fulfilled.

As studies have shown, an exceptional customer experience starts with an exceptional employee experience.

The benefits of data integration on customer experience (CX)

Data integration has a massive effect on customer experience. Businesses that have a unified view of their customer will find it much easier to provide their customers with unique and consistent customer journeys and therefore improve their overall CX.

Data integration is also a vital stage on the road to achieving a Single Source of Truth. Businesses should think of data integration (ETL, data mapping, data cleansing) as the process which leads to the state of being that is a Single Source of Truth.

Indeed, 90% of employees surveyed in the Forrester report indicated that they believed they would find value in having a single source of information.

Find out how businesses plan to use data integration to achieve an exceptional CX, download the Forrester: The State of CRM report.

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