Integrations and Partnerships: The Challenge of Data Integration

The Enterprise IT Program is focusing in 2017 on integrations and partnerships. You can read about our plan for the year in this blog. As new resources for integrations and partnerships become available, they will be published on the Enterprise IT Program webpage. For our second focus of the year, we turn our attention to the challenge of data integration as a requirement of next generation enterprise IT.

Next generation enterprise IT is characterized by an expanding set of services, systems, and sourcing strategies as institutions move away from monolithic ERP solutions in an effort to increase agility and scalability and meet stakeholder demands for new functionality and services. The resulting environment is likely to be a complex mix of applications and architectures that results in the necessity of making many disparate and critical systems communicate with each other.

Concurrent with this trend of disaggregating enterprise systems, institutional leaders are increasingly demanding reliable data to facilitate decision making about everything from student success initiatives to facilities management, amplifying the need for data to flow across enterprise applications. Enterprise systems contain a wealth of information about all aspects of institutional business and across all institutional missions, but the data are increasingly found in disparate systems. Without data integration, institutional leaders will not have the kind of complex information required for decision making.

Effective data integration requires careful planning, a clear vision of how the work benefits the institution, and an effective data governance practice.

The Enterprise IT Program has compiled resources that can help. A new webpage devoted to Integrating Data and Systems provides access to a set of relevant materials, including research studies, working group papers, benchmarking information, and recent articles from thought leaders within the EDUCAUSE community. Because it's important to understand the impact of these efforts beyond the IT unit, you will find links to resources from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) as well as the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). The new resources also include case studies that describe the efforts of three IT leaders to integrate systems and data in support of institutional goals. These case studies emphasize the important and positive impact data integration can have on the institution.

We hope you find these new resources helpful. Send us your questions and your suggestions by contacting enterpriseIT@educause.edu.

If you have a story to tell about your own institution's work in the area of integrations and partnerships, or if you have suggestions or questions about the Enterprise IT Program, please contact Betsy Tippens Reinitz at breinitz@educause.edu.


Betsy Tippens Reinitz is the director of the enterprise IT program for EDUCAUSE.

© 2017 Betsy Tippens Reinitz. This EDUCAUSE Review blog is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0.