By Kathy Powers
Everything in life can be related to nature. Even with so many perceived contracts, numbers and data can be related to nature, and in some ways are it’s foundation. When I feel lost in today’s sea of data, I look for inspiration in nature to bring understanding. That is where I find the confluence.
A confluence is a junction of two rivers, a simple concept. But a confluence is more memorable when the two joining rivers present water of distinctly different composition creating some of nature’s most beautiful imagery. There are places where black water mixes with almost milky water, turquoise with brown. Where they merge, a distinct line is drawn and as the river commences it’s flow (now joined) the two streams begin to ebb and curl, to blend and swirl in beautiful patterns. Until finally, far downstream, the water is mixed. And, if coming to the river’s edge at that point, you never would have known they were once so disparate and incompatible.
That is data integration from a natural perspective. Today we have so many options to reach consumers and so many messages going out the door. All of our resulting data are like water of different composition and it may seem impossible to imagine them coming together in one place – never mind coming together in harmony. But it can. Your data can be brought together and merged into a river of data that gives tremendous insight.
Beyond the Analogy
Data integration is the practice of bringing your disparate data together in one place. You can then use that data to gain deeper performance insight and plan more strategically based on the bigger picture. It may seem impossible, but I assure you, it’s not. While there are firms who specialize in manual data integration, here at Frakture, we focus on data automation – that is the automatic integration of your data on a regular basis.
Why would you want integration?
You have reports on your revenue. You can see your insights in Facebook. What’s the big deal? Just that, maybe. The BIG deal. Right now, your staff is working tirelessly to go into all of your different systems to pull data, run reports and push out messages. If you could shave off a chunk of the menial tasks they are currently doing, just imagine what they could be focusing on next. You could be the next innovator on the newest platform because your team actually had time to find it and to use it. Your team could be working up the most effective cross-channel campaign in your space and actually implementing the grand vision rather than hacking away at the grand vision because of lack of staff resources.
Even more important than time savings, however, is the ability to look at all of your data in one place and gain important insights into your past and current performance. You can then develop a strategic approach to communicating with your audience. Depending on what breadth of data you integrate, you can drill down in an infinite number of ways to find the information critical to answering your organization’s burning questions about who your people are and how you can motivate and influence them.
Just imagine, a river of data from all of your sources blended so that you can use and make sense of it when you need it. My thought of the day.
Original River Photo Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/protectpeel