Data Integration and Data Migration

by Katherine VasilegaOctober 26, 2010

Data integration implies combining data from different sources and providing users with a unified view of this data. Data Migration, in its turn, is transferring data between storage types, databases, or computer systems. Data migration is the permanent move of data from the source to the target. Data integration is the periodic movement of data from, for example, a CRM system to a data warehouse. Data integration is a wider notion and it can include data migration.

There are differences in approaching data integration and data migration, however, more important that there are common issues, two of which I will describe further.

Business involvement

Since data is utilized by a business, it greatly influences business decisions. That is why any project that requires changing the data eventually needs business involvement.

Understanding the data

Many projects fail because of incorrect assumptions and gaps in knowledge that only become obvious when a project is already running. It is crucial that the source data is clearly understood prior to data integration or migration.

These two approaches are connected in many ways. To understand the data, you need to have a business experience in it. To have business involved, you have to be able to deliver technical information in such a way that it becomes intelligible to non-technical users.

The genuine problems with data, such as duplicate records, missing fields and records, incorrect values, often come out only in the process of data migration or data integration. That is why it is so important to involve business users and make them understand the data before performing data migration or data integration. The proper approach will save you time, cost, and effort on both data migration and data integration.