The business users are restless. They're looking to you for a solution that's long overdue. It's tempting to rush and buy technology to solve your problems, but resist the urge until you have determined what you need to do. Then figure out how.

People usually oversimplify data integration by assuming it involves only extract, transform and load (ETL) tools. Though critical, an ETL tool is just one piece of a complex puzzle. The data integration framework (DIF) encompasses two categories of processes. The first category is the process to determine your data requirements and solution. The second is the process used to physically gather the data from its sources and transform it into information that businesspeople can use to analyze and make decisions.

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