Buyer's Handbook: Navigate the data integration product buying process Article 1 of 5

Data integration tools help manage mass amounts of data

We are living in the era of big data, with organizations rushing to keep up with data influx, processing and churning with increasing velocity. To realize any meaningful business value from this data, organizations must integrate and translate it into business insights. To simplify this process, these companies are turning to commercial data integration platforms.

The functionality of packaged platforms has evolved beyond just extract, transform and load. Organizations that had previously shied away from data integration products because of the cost and complexity now realize the benefits of this advanced technology. Today's data integration tools not only enhance user productivity, but also provide capabilities for application integration, cloud-based integration, real-time integration, data virtualization, data cleansing and data profiling. This software can handle on-premises and cloud data, as well as structured and semi-structured information, such as system logs, text and other forms of big data.

Whether your organization wants to integrate data from several sources to enable business intelligence and analytics applications or it needs to migrate, consolidate or convert data from one application to another, software exists to simplify the process. In many cases, there are specialized data integration tools that augment general-purpose tools to cleanse or enrich data. Selecting a data integration platform isn't about buying the tool with the most features, but rather the tool or tools that best meet your list of requirements, budget and skills by making a list of must-have, should-have and nice-to-have features.

Finally, to help you navigate through the technology selection process, this buyer's guide compares the leading data integration products on the market so you can match the features of these tools to your specific needs. 

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