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Data Aggregation is an information and data gathering process, either undertaken manually or automated using specialised software. All manner of business data, including information found on the web, is able to be searched, gathered and collated into a single-data repository for the purpose of analysing and reporting. Generally, data in different systems or formats isn’t particularly useful, but when the data is aggregated together as a whole, it can provide information that is useful for the end user or application. Data Aggregation forms part of business intelligence or data integration and is a valuable aspect of any organisation’s ability to perform efficiently.
Ineffective Data Aggregation is a major component in limited query performance and plays a massive role in the current challenge for organisations to be able to report in a timely and accurate manner. Meeting compliance regulations, analysing sales and marketing information, monitoring competitor pricing or offerings and meeting financial reporting deadlines are some of the areas most affected by ineffective or limited Data Aggregation.
Finding a solution that addresses all the issues involved is essential for effective Data Aggregation. Any solution which is implemented should support a dynamic business environment and easily integration with existing systems. If you’re lucky, your data probably resides in SQL databases where it’s readily accessible. However, it’s likely that most of your data isn’t stored like this and is more often found in small databases, on PCs (in spreadsheets) or in some other form. When considering any solution designed to better aggregate data from your current systems, it should include the following considerations:
Dated applications generally don’t have easy access methods to stored data, even if the data is structured. These historic applications were simply not designed with open architecture in mind and, unfortunately, modification of what could be decades old coding represents a considerable amount of time, effort, cost and risk, with no guarantee of success. Additionally, sourcing resources who are familiar with this historic code and who may be able to modify can be difficult.
If you’ve recently completed an Enterprise Service Bus Project, you are no doubt enjoying the benefits gained by integrating disparate systems. However, in most projects, there is a trail of orphaned systems either due to budget constraints, unforeseen difficulties with integration, or possibly just being out of scope.