At the most basic level, connecting cross-system data requires (1) access to the data (2) a mapping of required fields and objects and (3) transformations to get data into the required format. From this foundation, you can create workflows, automate processes and manage your data to your heart’s content. But without it, you’re stuck. And for many organizations “stuck” is the status quo. Integration projects stall out on the IT backlog and data lakes, intended to streamline access for all, quickly turn into data swamps.
How can xOps (x = Sales, Marketing, Revenue) pros get unstuck faster?
Let’s break it down step-by-step.
Step 1: Getting access to data
Unlocking data isn’t as hard as it used to be, thanks primarily to APIs. If the systems where your data resides have user-friendly APIs and the system admins are comfortable giving you API credentials — integration vendors have made this step “easy,” but those are BIG ifs. Otherwise, you might find yourself doing the dreaded export/import shuffle.
The traditional approach: Onboard an integration vendor and use a pre-built connector, effectively a wrapper around the provider API, to establish connectivity. Manage API downtime and complex connectivity requirements via custom code.
The Syncari way: Unlike traditional connectors, Syncari Synapses understand end system schemas, provide deep integration for specific operations like merge and soft-delete, and manage the impact of schema changes across every connected Synapse. Goodbye breaking changes!
Step 2: Mapping the data models
No two systems describe your customers the same way. So, even though a customer’s first name is consistently “Pamela,” that data might be described as “first_name” or “fname” or “forename” depending on which system you’re working with. Getting your systems talking to one another requires a mapping of these data definitions.
The traditional approach: Every time you create an integration, you’ll need to explore each system’s data model and visually or using code map the fields you want to move from one system to another. When new fields emerge, you’ll need to reconfigure every impacted workflow. And if you’re connecting more than one system in a workflow, well, good luck.
The Syncari way: Syncari normalizes data across every connected system to a unified data model. Every system connected to Syncari then automatically speaks the language of this unified data model, which enables data interoperability everywhere. When schemas change, Syncari automatically distributes these updates across every workflow.
Product spotlight: Connect data 10x faster with FastMapper
To help our customers achieve data interoperability across their entire tech stack faster, we recently released FastMapper. FastMapper, accessible from Sync Studio, provides a birds eye view of the available fields for every system connected to Syncari. From this view, users can quickly create, explore and update field mappings from source to unified data model to destination, and control sync direction, all in one place.
Our customers are loving it! With every field accessible from one place, customers are creating initial pipelines at 10x faster, and once you have these pipelines established, you can have everything you need to improve data quality, automate workflows and distribute insights everywhere.
Step 3: Transform the data
The “last mile” in data delivery is transformation. Simply put, this means getting the data into a format that is readable by the end system. For example, if product name is stored as text in one system and as a SKU in another, an intermediary would need to transform that data from plain text to the associated SKU while it’s in transit to avoid correct data being unintentionally rejected.
The traditional approach: Field by field, ensure the data types for your source data are the same as the data types for your destination data.
The Syncari way: Syncari automatically manages transformations for our users. Once the pipelines have been published (a process that takes mere minutes using our no-code Synapses and FastMapper), your connectivity foundation is good to go!
Closing thoughts: Take a data-first approach
Most of the best practice out there today on the topic of integration has an inherent flaw. If you think about your integration project as something narrowly defined between two or three systems, you’re automatically putting boundaries on the value you’ll be capable of extracting from that data. Does that data need to be accessible to a broader group? That shouldn’t require another integration project. Syncari was designed to help you break out of this flawed pattern of thinking.
The unique Syncari capabilities described above are only possible because we built our platform to be application agnostic and to put data first. We’ve productized the error-prone areas of most integration projects (e.g. cross-system data normalization, schema management, transactional resiliency) so you focus on what matters most to your business: putting your data to use in creating differentiated customer experiences.
Curious to learn more? Request a demo.