Skip to main content
Dismiss
IP.com applications will be updated on Sunday, February 5, from 10am-1pm ET. You may experience brief service interruptions during that time.
Innovation

A Look at the Future of Data Integration

While the potential of AI and its impact on real-world endeavors like process automation and business analytics is already being realized, one important piece of the puzzle can be overlooked: data integration. Data integration is central to the advancement of these AI-driven applications and their promise to solve problems and make humans more efficient.

At its core, AI and associated machine learning are built on the ability of these programs to recognize patterns in data sets. Until now, the usefulness of these data sets has largely rested on their size. Better data integration ensures that they also have dimension in addition to their size and can be “acted on” by AI programming in increasingly complex and effective ways. But if data is siloed and cannot communicate with AI programs, or is able to transfer data but not in a form that is interpretable by the AI platform, that data is effectively wasted.

High Value Data at the Enterprise Level

Data integration and its ability to fuel future business dimensions are of particular interest to large enterprises constantly unloading and offloading new organizations and processes. As data-reliant AI becomes the focal point of business intelligence (BI), rich customer experiences, and smooth supply chain operations, these automated and human-centric workflows will become more of a focal point of business value. The value of acquisitions will hinge on a company’s ability to assimilate data. As such, it will become increasingly key to make data input sources interoperable with processing and output capacity.

The usefulness of this data has implications for engineers to managers to C-suite executives. For maximum utility, this data must be leveraged in the form of visualized dashboards that can powerfully but succinctly represent actionable information. But effective visualization starts from the database up and will require a holistic data integration approach to yield responsive output. These will need to expand on current extract, transform, and load processes (ETL) to make formats more dynamic and easy to access across an organization. Currently, ETLs are often exclusively the domain of IT specialists in most enterprises.

To receive full value from data, real-time streaming interfaces are emerging. These provide up-to-the-minute statuses on internal operations and external activities in the form of simple metrics. Newer tools in this domain rest on AI tools that can not only identify whether data is present but assist in helping predict when data is not appearing as it should. Future iterations of these dashboards will incorporate real-time database search, allowing for natural language queries to supply data insights within scaled-up cloud computing. These could even perform basic interrelated calculations by combining data seamlessly and dynamically in real-time.

Integrating Unconventional Data Sources

Data from alternative sources represents another data integration challenge of the future. Structured and unstructured data from four billion websites, social sites, satellite images, and transactional data all represent an untapped data source to be harnessed by evolving data integration techniques.

Among them is the integration of unstructured data distilled into structured via standardized metrics. Images from phones, drones, satellites, and security cameras all represent a trove of information. But putting it to use will require continued advancements in AI tools like natural language processing, machine learning, and computer vision. These will not only have to identify the disparate visual elements in images but then process those into formats more readily used by humans and machines. This is the process of transforming unstructured data into structured data. It will unlock opportunities to look at BI and consumer behavior in new and useful ways.

[gravityforms id="35" title="false" ajax="true"]
<script type="text/javascript">var gform;gform||(document.addEventListener("gform_main_scripts_loaded",function(){gform.scriptsLoaded=!0}),window.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",function(){gform.domLoaded=!0}),gform={domLoaded:!1,scriptsLoaded:!1,initializeOnLoaded:function(o){gform.domLoaded&&gform.scriptsLoaded?o():!gform.domLoaded&&gform.scriptsLoaded?window.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",o):document.addEventListener("gform_main_scripts_loaded",o)},hooks:{action:{},filter:{}},addAction:function(o,n,r,t){gform.addHook("action",o,n,r,t)},addFilter:function(o,n,r,t){gform.addHook("filter",o,n,r,t)},doAction:function(o){gform.doHook("action",o,arguments)},applyFilters:function(o){return gform.doHook("filter",o,arguments)},removeAction:function(o,n){gform.removeHook("action",o,n)},removeFilter:function(o,n,r){gform.removeHook("filter",o,n,r)},addHook:function(o,n,r,t,i){null==gform.hooks[o][n]&&(gform.hooks[o][n]=[]);var e=gform.hooks[o][n];null==i&&(i=n+"_"+e.length),gform.hooks[o][n].push({tag:i,callable:r,priority:t=null==t?10:t})},doHook:function(n,o,r){var t;if(r=Array.prototype.slice.call(r,1),null!=gform.hooks[n][o]&&((o=gform.hooks[n][o]).sort(function(o,n){return o.priority-n.priority}),o.forEach(function(o){"function"!=typeof(t=o.callable)&&(t=window[t]),"action"==n?t.apply(null,r):r[0]=t.apply(null,r)})),"filter"==n)return r[0]},removeHook:function(o,n,t,i){var r;null!=gform.hooks[o][n]&&(r=(r=gform.hooks[o][n]).filter(function(o,n,r){return!!(null!=i&&i!=o.tag||null!=t&&t!=o.priority)}),gform.hooks[o][n]=r)}});</script> <div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper gravity-theme' id='gform_wrapper_35' ><div id='gf_35' class='gform_anchor' tabindex='-1'></div> <div class='gform_heading'> <span class='gform_description'></span> </div><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' target='gform_ajax_frame_35' id='gform_35' action='/blog/a-look-at-the-future-of-data-integration/#gf_35' > <div class='gform_body gform-body'><div id='gform_fields_35' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><div id="field_35_1" class="gfield gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below hidden_label gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_35_1"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_35_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_text">(Required)</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_35_1' type='text' value='' class='large' placeholder='Email Address' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></div><div id="field_35_3" class="gfield gsection field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_35_3"><h3 class="gsection_title"></h3></div><div id="field_35_2" class="gfield gfield--width-full gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_35_2"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_2' id='input_35_2' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='' /></div></div><div id="field_35_4" class="gfield gform_validation_container field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_35_4"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_35_4' >Email</label><div class='ginput_container'><input name='input_4' id='input_35_4' type='text' value='' /></div><div class='gfield_description' id='gfield_description_35_4'>This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.</div></div></div></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_35' class='gform_button button gform-button--width-full' value='Subscribe' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_35"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_35"]=true; ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_35"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_35"]=true; jQuery("#gform_35").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_ajax' value='form_id=35&amp;title=&amp;description=1&amp;tabindex=0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_35' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='35' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_35' value='WyJbXSIsImE1MjY5YjVkNzQ1NzViOTRhOWI5NzU4MzBhMWRjYjNhIl0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_35' id='gform_target_page_number_35' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_35' id='gform_source_page_number_35' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='' /> </div> </form> </div> <iframe style='display:none;width:0px;height:0px;' src='about:blank' name='gform_ajax_frame_35' id='gform_ajax_frame_35' title='This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.'></iframe> <script type="text/javascript"> gform.initializeOnLoaded( function() {gformInitSpinner( 35, 'https://ip.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery('#gform_ajax_frame_35').on('load',function(){var contents = jQuery(this).contents().find('*').html();var is_postback = contents.indexOf('GF_AJAX_POSTBACK') >= 0;if(!is_postback){return;}var form_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_wrapper_35');var is_confirmation = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_confirmation_wrapper_35').length > 0;var is_redirect = contents.indexOf('gformRedirect(){') >= 0;var is_form = form_content.length > 0 && ! is_redirect && ! is_confirmation;var mt = parseInt(jQuery('html').css('margin-top'), 10) + parseInt(jQuery('body').css('margin-top'), 10) + 100;if(is_form){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_35').html(form_content.html());if(form_content.hasClass('gform_validation_error')){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_35').addClass('gform_validation_error');} else {jQuery('#gform_wrapper_35').removeClass('gform_validation_error');}setTimeout( function() { /* delay the scroll by 50 milliseconds to fix a bug in chrome */ jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gform_wrapper_35').offset().top - mt); }, 50 );if(window['gformInitDatepicker']) {gformInitDatepicker();}if(window['gformInitPriceFields']) {gformInitPriceFields();}var current_page = jQuery('#gform_source_page_number_35').val();gformInitSpinner( 35, 'https://ip.com/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg' );jQuery(document).trigger('gform_page_loaded', [35, current_page]);window['gf_submitting_35'] = false;}else if(!is_redirect){var confirmation_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('.GF_AJAX_POSTBACK').html();if(!confirmation_content){confirmation_content = contents;}setTimeout(function(){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_35').replaceWith(confirmation_content);jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gf_35').offset().top - mt);jQuery(document).trigger('gform_confirmation_loaded', [35]);window['gf_submitting_35'] = false;wp.a11y.speak(jQuery('#gform_confirmation_message_35').text());}, 50);}else{jQuery('#gform_35').append(contents);if(window['gformRedirect']) {gformRedirect();}}jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [35, current_page]);} );} ); </script>