Data silos are a significant challenge for many businesses. You might have time tracking software in one system, payroll in another, invoices in another, production numbers in another, and so on. It can get pretty messy pretty fast with that many different systems in play.

In some ways, cloud computing has made this even worse. There are lots of different cloud vendors to meet the needs of companies in any of these areas. Some will say they can do it all, while others specialize in one specific area. But even among those who say they can do it all, can they really?

When companies are evaluating systems and tools, it’s important to really think about how things go together. If you’re evaluating time tracking software, will it integrate with your payroll software for hourly employees? If it doesn’t, how much time will it take you to manually transfer data between two systems?

While there may not be one single system that fits everything you need, it’s important to realize if you’re headed down the path of multiple data silos. If you don’t want to head down that path, then expect to invest a little more money in a tool that can help prevent those frustrations.

With small businesses, there’s typically a price point issue with some of the higher-level systems as well. You might not need the full functionality of that tool, and it’s not exactly in your budget. But there isn’t a mid-range tool that has what you need within budget, so you end up with a handful of different tools.

In just about every software tool out there, there’s some way to get data in or data out. That’s often where we come in. While we’re a software development company, we’re also a systems integration company. We can help companies pull the data from different systems into one place so it becomes actionable data. We can also help them evaluate new data systems they might be adding to the mix.

If you find yourself dreading the routine of maintaining, downloading, and importing to keep data in sync, there’s a better way. That could mean a more comprehensive system that does multiple things in one place or a custom data integration so that different systems share data automatically.

Data is powerful for companies, but you can’t unlock that power if your data exists in silos. You need the ability to view your data across systems, which is why data integration matters.

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