Bring The Outside In: Why Integrating External Data Sources Should Be Your Next Data integration Project

We recently had Ted Friedman, VP Distinguished Analyst, from featured analyst firm Gartner speak about what companies can do to extend their internal data integration strategies to included integrating external data sources.  If the next generation of your DI projects includes inter-enterprise data sources, you’re in good company. He mentioned 28% of the time, data integration tools are being used for inter-enterprise integration.  That is almost the same rate and Master Data Management (MDM) and Data Services use cases.  Ted is also predicted the inter-enterprise use case will continue to grow as more integration projects will include data outside the firewall.

B2B Solves Data Integration ChallengesSource: TechValidate. TVID: 891-2B7-7B6

Informatica Customers Use of B2B

Within the Informatica family, many of our customers are adding B2B to their data integration strategy to enable inter-enterprise data exchange.  Upwards of 67% of B2B customers are using it to integrate external data sources to their data warehouse to extend and expand the availability of data for analytics.  To give you one more Gartner factoid they recently predicted “By 2017, over two-thirds of all new integration flows will extend outside the enterprise firewall.” Predicts 2013: Application Integration, Benoit Lheureux, Massimo Pezzini, Jess Thompson, Ross Altman, Daniel Sholler, W. Roy Shulte, Paolo Malinverno, Eric Knipp, (Nov.2012)

Hopefully, I’ve dazzled you with statistics to underline my point and let you know what your competition is likely doing.  But why is this use case growing at such a steady rate and why should you  should consider looking outside your firewall for your next DI project?

The answer is :  Innovation is driven by data and that data largely resides outside your firewall

As we discuss next generation DI projects with our customers, one theme is dominant.  The data they really want to analyze is not in their data warehouse, at least not yet.  They see the abundance of sensor, location or behavioral and social data they want to access.  They see linking that to real-time data related to human actions or in-flight business processes.  They see being able to predict outcomes more precisely using all these sources or recommending actions to avoid unwanted outcomes, delays or simple inconveniences that cost them money or customers.  They see new services they can offer elevate their customer experience, making the competition irrelevant because they simply do it better, have better data, and have it faster.  Imagine you’re going on a trip to Bora Bora and you post it on Facebook™ or upload it to TripIt™.  Then, imagine your healthcare provider has integrated with those external systems (with your permission, of course) and is now aware of your plans.  They can send you advice on what foods to avoid given your medical profile or tell you want vaccinations you need and maybe even schedule an appointment for you.  Granted it’s a little big brother and you’d have to opt-in and data privacy, ownership and security all need to be address.  Yea, get it.  But, I don’t know, it sounds kind of cool.  I certainly could use some better life management tools!

The data exists today to do this drive this level of innovation.  Ask yourself what you could do if you extended your DI outside your four walls?  The absence of boundaries becomes compelling.

To get more insight on this topic from an official expert, please click here to view a replay of the webinar we had with Ted Friedman, VP Distinguished Analyst, from Gartner.

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