Data integration is the practice of consolidating data from separate sources into a single dataset with the ultimate goal of providing users consistent access and delivery of data in one unified location.
It is common for there to be a disconnect between data management and the practical application of data usage. It is the role of data integration to bridge that gap. For instance, it is common for data to exist in separate databases which are each focused on specific qualities including type of customer, product, location, etc. Individually, these separate data types may not be particularly useful, but they can be quite powerful when integrated onto one platform.
Data integration platforms make use of a comprehensive data sets by extracting important business insights from a company’s historic and current data. This action provides executives and managers an in-depth understanding of current operations, as well as the opportunities and risks the company may face in the marketplace. Because of this, data integration can have a direct positive impact on company decisions and marketing plans.
*Data integration is a challenging task and the job is typically best handled by an experienced team and a data integration tool.
Business uses for data integration
Often marketing teams are asked to manage budgets and spending through Procurement systems that track and manage department budget, provide reporting and authorize billing for a department’s spend. This often gets complicated when the company also has an ecommerce portal set up to allow their end users (local store manager, franchisees or salespeople) to purchase their own marketing and promo materials online. In order to solve this need, data integration allows a company to connect their Procurement system (Ariba, Birchstreet, Coupa are all popular systems) with an ecommerce platform. This helps you to continue to manage your budgets while still allowing more autonomy for the end user to purchase customized, targeted marketing materials.
Sales and marketing are very often driven by a CRM system that is intended to direct, manage and track every action of a company’s marketing strategy. Platforms like Salesforce and Hubspot are used to trigger each event of a campaign; from an introductory email, to a direct mail campaign, catalog delivery or receipt of a promo item. But the end-to-end loop of CRM falls apart when the physical marketing pieces (print, mail, promo) aren’t part of the chain. With a web-to-print portals, you are able to connect to CRM so that the site receives the order, handles the processing and distribution and then sends back a notice to the CRM that the piece was shipped, closing the loop and allowing the CRM to continue a campaign.
Benefits of data integration with web-to-print portals:
- One singular portal for users to execute purchasing/access a catalog of supplies
- Seamless integrated login
- Purchase order management within the existing Purchasing system
- Increased visibility on spend within own system
- End to end workflow from purchase through invoicing
- Brand management, versioning of collateral and print management while your own procurement system controls budgets, spend and costing
Prisma’s proprietary web-to-print portal, dokshop, is a resourceful tool for companies of all sizes. With extensive data integration capabilities and customization options, we streamline your marketing supply chain and get your message to market quickly. To learn more about data integrations and dokshop please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.