Businesses that derive value from data will always have an edge over the competition. To leverage the value of data, firms need to embrace digital transformation by adopting new technologies. This alone can help them offer connected customer experiences.

Integration is a prime aspect of digital transformation. It helps businesses connect various data sources, applications, and devices to have flawless connectivity between the various components of a business ecosystem. Therefore, firms aiming at offering a connected world should be aware of the upcoming data integration trends.

In this post, we have enlisted the top data integration trends that businesses can expect this year and beyond. Let’s look at each of them in detail!

Top 5 Data Integration Trends to Follow in 2021

1. Connected Applications

Every business strives for an integrated customer experience, causing them to come up with multi-channel strategies. Data integration allows enterprises to consistently offer a high-quality service while personalizing offers for each customer. This is a key aspect of enhancing the modern-day customer experience. 

By incorporating a multi-channel approach, you can gain crucial insights into all stages of the customer journey. Thus, you can leverage all touchpoints and improve customer loyalty. In fact, connected customer experience can help businesses gain crucial insights about customer awareness, feeding critical business decisions. Hence a multi-channel system with connected applications will boost the sales cycle, resulting in the enterprise’s success. 

This form of integration allows IT teams to provide a consistent and connected experience to customers, making them a significant segment of the business ecosystem. Numerous applications must be integrated to offer a highly connected experience to consumers. Companies can resort to technologies like self-service integration to provide a connected customer experience, thus accelerating sales and revenue. 

For instance, ‘tag a friend’ contests on social platforms can improve an enterprise’s outreach campaigns, enabling them to engage customers with their products and services.

Here’s how KopariBeauty did on Instagram when their community reached 100K followers:

data integration processSuch contests help businesses engage their users better while running automated workflows to sync data in the background.

For instance, in the above example, it can be very well said that KopariBeauty wants its users to engage and “win” goodies. However, there is surely an automated workflow running in the background that will sync and integrate user data.

2. More Data Types to Empower Firms

Data integration allows businesses to leverage information that may be hidden or isn’t apparent. Utilizing more data types you can get to the bottom of answering tough customer questions and improving your business for the better.

One of the most significant trends in analytics is its ability to stream and act around real-time data. It’s a powerhouse for businesses willing to improve customer satisfaction and deliver better offers to consumers. 

Big data is one such revolutionary technology that drives important aspects like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It’s being applied to analyze business events and their prospects. All data types have some sort of structure attached to them. Many software developers are looking for relational databases to accommodate all types of data in any form or structure.

There are various ways to understand how collecting several data types helps in integration and other business processes. Here’s a list of a few. 

  • Integrates with business intelligence to analyze data and aid in better decision-making with the help of visual reports.
  • Leverages future growth opportunities, allowing organizations to thrive amidst stiff competition. 
  • Provides companies with the opportunity to serve their customers with better products and services.

3. Rise of Hybrid Integration Platforms

Since the evolution of information technology, data has always been a key asset for startups and enterprises. However, a multifold increase in big data has resulted in decentralized data management. In recent times, businesses are juggling multiple initiatives related to digital transformation and traditional methods using legacy integration solutions. These fail to provide the required adaptiveness to connect multiple endpoints hosted in cloud solutions.

Hence, hybrid integration platforms (HIP) have grown significantly. These solutions can seamlessly collaborate with existing infrastructure and boost cloud ecosystems. 

This illustration by Sam Solutions clearly explains the functionality of hybrid integration platforms.

hybrid data integration

In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2022, almost 65 percent of organizations will incorporate HIPs in their business infrastructures. 

Take a look at some of the benefits of a hybrid integration platform.

  • Leverages enterprises to integrate any product or software with any other system.
  • Provides businesses with the adaptability to cope with any industry or market change.
  • Reduces the usage of hardware and eliminates redundant and outdated systems, thus minimizing costs and risks.

4. Metadata Management

Metadata management allows businesses to make well-informed decisions. It is deemed as one of the crucial aspects of a successful digital strategy. As data volumes and diversity grow, metadata management becomes all the more important in deriving business values from large data sources. This triggers innovation and improves collaboration in enterprises, leading to better products and offerings.

Here are some of the benefits of metadata management.

  • It helps businesses find data, use and preserve it for important decisions. Metadata management also allows business owners to gauge the data sources, allowing them to turn data sets into valuable enterprise assets. 
  • Allows businesses to leverage metadata in the process of understanding, compiling, and sorting data for various uses. 
  • Enterprises also use metadata to trace back any issues that relate to the quality of the data. It enhances internal communication, decision-making, and internal planning. 

Automation and self-service can only benefit companies when high-quality and trustworthy data are readily available along with a shared understanding of metadata. You must establish a strategy using metadata management to ease the decision-making process of heading in a particular direction. 

5. Real-time Integrations

The advent of technologies with a focus on data has led to the emergence of analytics-driven organizations. The rise of e-commerce hosting platforms like Magento, Bigcommerce, and Shopify along with social media marketing and AI integrations have changed the way users interact with websites and businesses. The one thing that prevails is the dependency on data. 

The transition to cloud technologies has urged business owners to rely on real-time business intelligence and updates. Traditional methods like ‘extract, transform, and load’ (ETL) and point-to-point integration fail to handle the complexities of cloud technologies. These methods transfer all of the compiled data to a centralized physical location. Hence, the need for real-time integration becomes all the more important for SMB owners and large enterprises.

For instance, the Google Cloud Data Fusion offers a points-and-clicks interface that offers code-free deployment of ETL and cloud ELT data pipelines. Check out this process template below for more insights:

complex data integration process

Besides native integration with Google Cloud, it offers an additional 150 pre-configured connectors and transformations at no extra cost. 

SMBs and large enterprises benefit from real-time data synchronization among various systems and channels. 

  • Real-time integration allows organizations to efficiently share KPIs and reports with fellow employees.
  • It leverages companies to perform a quantitative and qualitative analysis of newly launched campaigns and recently developed products.
  • There’s provision for responding to red flags and conversion opportunities with speed and agility.

This also paves way for the rise of no-code integration platforms that helps businesses sync two or more apps and set up automated workflows.

For instance, if you are running an eCommerce business on Shopify, you will need to set up payment gateways as well as handle invoices, orders, and such transactions on a regular basis. Instead of doing it all manually, you can simply integrate Shopify with your choice of payment gateway and set up automated workflows to process daily transactions. Here are a few ideas to start with:

Sharing data between two cloud apps can not just save time but also bring more agility to how your business grows.

Final Thoughts

The reason data integration is regarded so important for businesses is because of the dependency of current organizations on analytics tools. They provide enterprises with key insights on effective and actionable business intelligence. The process allows business owners to systematically consolidate data from a variety of source systems and turn them into meaningful and useful information.

We recommend incorporating the above-mentioned five data integration trends in your business ecosystem to fetch better results and simplify complex tasks.

This is a Guest Post by Lucy Manole. Lucy is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking, and traveling.


Pritha Bose is a Senior Content Marketer with over 9 years of experience in B2B content marketing. She has an eye-for-detail; writes on branding, social media marketing, consumer psychology, and marketing automation for B2B and B2C brands.

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