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/blog Overcoming Data Silos to Realize the True Potential of One Source of Truth

by MeredithChristie

After several acquisitions, a leading e-tailer expanded its portfolio of brands and wants to unite the data collected across the enterprise. The entire portfolio is represented on the eCommerce site, however, things look very different on the backend. The data is stuck in silos at various divisions in the companies they’ve acquired. 

The e-tailer wants to ensure a unified brand experience for the customer and optimize analytics for data-driven, responsive business decisions by key stakeholders. But how?

Data Silos IllustrationIt’s a common scenario. Organizations like the e-tailer must find innovative ways to retain and delight customers—all while identifying operational efficiencies to reduce expenses and stay viable.  Mergers and acquisitions often bring different databases, technologies, and analytical reporting solutions. And considering today’s unpredictable and unprecedented economic climate, organizations are digitally transforming – in an accelerated timeline – rapidly adopting cloud technologies to better manage infrastructure costs and make data more readily available. Data silos, however, often represent a significant barrier when businesses try to harness their data.

In this case, the e-tailer wanted to attract, convert, and retain customers with a personalized buying experience. To do this, they needed to consolidate data from disparate sources sitting in various parts of an organization – from supply chain to marketing to sales. Consolidated data enabled the e-tailer to fully understand the customer, in the present moment, in order to provide the right messaging at the right time, thus developing loyalty and extending the lifetime value of the customer.

A Solution for Disparate Sources, Targets, and Types
Often, the data resides in different on-premise systems and cloud-based data warehouses like Snowflake, AWS, and Azure. Data sources can include:

  • Structured data from SQL, Oracle, and SAP.
  • Unstructured data, in ever-increasing volume from SaaS applications such as Shopify, Magento, Google Analytics, social media, and email marketing.

All of these disparate sources, types, and targets result in that data being siloed – only accessed and harnessed by the team that “owns” that particular system. In many cases, other teams aren’t even aware of the data, let alone its value. data silos requires many considerations. How compatible are the systems and destinations when consolidating data for analysis? Are the data types themselves compatible? Additionally, what is the processing impact – will it slow analytics, and thus business decisions?

There are, however, modern data integration solutions that address these challenges: data integration that leverages Change Data Capture (CDC) replication technology. As its name implies, CDC captures changes and moves only that changed data from one system to another. CDC solutions:

  • Simplify and optimize data integration from on-premise transactional systems with cloud-based systems for continuous real-time data streaming – even in complex use cases or those with extremely high transaction volumes.
  • Enable analysts to pull reports at any time versus waiting for “downtime” to run batch processes, eliminating barriers to extracting real-time data for business insights. In today’s fast-paced, 24×7 business environment, downtimes just aren’t available.
  • Allow for less resource consumption. As a low latency solution, systems aren’t overloaded as data changes are moved to destinations.

CDC replication empowers organizations to achieve one source of truth, efficiently gaining insights from many sources, targets, and departments to help drive growth, innovation, and market resilience.

A Real-World Data Replication Use Case
Consider this real-world use case: a leading global commerce provider needed help creating a hybrid solution that allowed data integration from various databases so multiple teams could readily act on the best data available to them.

The organization turned to HVR, an industry-leading data replication provider, to synchronize, validate, and replicate data from siloed Oracle and SAP sources into Snowflake’s cloud-based data warehouse four times daily. With HVR’s real-time CDC replication solution, the commerce provider was able to house consolidated data from multiple cloud-based and on-prem systems. HVR syncs that data, ensuring that both users and customers are working with accurate, up-to-date information.

Real-time CDC replication provides significantly faster processing times for end-of-month analytical reporting for finance and sales. It also feeds vital information – formerly trapped in silos – to other business functions seamlessly. Consolidated data is used to provide real-time forecasting and analytics for functions like parcel delivery, inventory volumes, and staffing needs.

With one source of truth, the commerce provider can make more informed decisions across the enterprise and remain agile in an unpredictable business environment.

Drive Value from Your Data
By leveraging data replication with CDC, businesses don’t have to be held hostage to the limitations of siloed data. High volumes of data can be moved to and from a variety of sources and targets for real-time reporting and analytics. With this combined data, businesses realize their true potential for today, and for the future.

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