Insights / The Symbiotic Relationship of Data Integration and Data Quality

The Symbiotic Relationship of Data Integration and Data Quality


27 October 2023

In the vast landscape of data-driven decision-making, there exists a profound but often overlooked relationship - the connection between data integration and data quality. Many organizations rush into the enticing world of dashboards and analytics, eager to glean insights from their data. However, they often fail to recognize that this journey begins with the essential preliminary work of data integration and data quality.

The Dashboard Dilemma

Picture this: an organization, armed with a mountain of data, races to build dazzling dashboards. They visualize their data, hoping to uncover valuable insights. But there's a catch - the data quality is far from ideal. Inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and missing values plague their datasets. The result? Beautiful dashboards displaying inaccurate or unreliable information.

The Data Integration-Data Quality Nexus

Data integration and data quality are inseparable companions on the path to data enlightenment. Data integration involves the art of collecting, harmonizing, and delivering data from disparate sources. However, without data quality, this integration is akin to assembling a jigsaw puzzle with missing and mismatched pieces.

The Triad: Business Knowledge, IT Expertise, and the Bridge

To navigate this intricate terrain, organizations need a triad of skills:

  1. Business Knowledge: Understanding the nuances of your industry and organization is vital. It enables you to interpret data in context, ensuring that the insights align with business goals.
  2. IT Expertise: Technology is the backbone of data integration. A proficient IT team can orchestrate the seamless flow of data from source to destination.
  3. The Bridge: To make business knowledge and IT expertise work harmoniously, you need a bridge - someone who understands both worlds. This bridge is the key to translating business needs into technical solutions and vice versa.

Practical Experience with Data Quality Issues

Let's look at a practical example to illustrate the crucial role of data quality. In my own experience with a parcel delivery company, reusing tracking numbers became a significant problem in our data lake. The data indicated that some orders were delivered 3 years after delivery, and others were delivered 2 months before they were even ordered. This, of course, didn't make sense, so we conducted a thorough investigation.

We went back to our data provider and identified the problem. We devised a solution and implemented a correction. Then, we closely monitored the data to ensure that such issues could not recur.


Before embarking on the quest for insights and dashboards, organizations must recognize that data integration and data quality are the unsung heroes. They set the stage for reliable, accurate, and valuable data. To harness their power, the triumvirate of business knowledge, IT expertise, and the bridge is the key to unlocking the full potential of data.