Data-driven businesses like yours require up-to-the-second actionable insights to stay ahead of the curve. According to recent industry reports, businesses that can make timely decisions based on real-time data have been shown to outperform their competitors by 20%. Real-time data integration processes and transfers data to a centralized location as quickly as possible, enabling you to make informed decisions and address organizational challenges immediately, rather than in a few hours or days.  

Five things you need to know about real-time business intelligence and data integration:

  • Business intelligence provides insights about your company, helping you solve challenges and make smarter decisions.  
  • Data integration is the process of extracting data from various sources and transferring it to a centralized repository, allowing you to view all your data in one place. 
  • Real-time data integration makes business intelligence more successful by processing and transferring data as soon as it's available, which can improve business processes and business decisions.
  • With real-time data integration, you can get insights about your company on business intelligence (BI) platforms immediately
  • Extract, Load, Transform (ELT) is one of the most popular real-time data integration methods.  

In this article, we will explore the benefits of real-time business intelligence and data integration and how they can empower your business to thrive in today's fast-paced environment.

Table of Contents

What Are the Benefits of Real-Time Data Integration?

Real-time data integration allows you to process and transfer big data to a centralized location in the quickest possible time. Depending on the circumstances, methods like ETL can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to fully integrate data, while real-time techniques like ELT can integrate data immediately or almost immediately. 

Why Is Real-Time Data Important in Business Intelligence?

When you integrate data in real-time, you can generate the latest insights about your business and make smarter decisions in a much more timely manner. You can solve problems based on the most recently available data rather than information that's hours or even days old. That can improve the customer experience, help you save money in your business, and give you a competitive advantage.

Get Up-to-Date Insights With Business Intelligence and Data Integration

In business, things can happen at a moment's notice, especially during the current economic climate. For example, a sudden stock market crash might impact your organization, or a competitor might announce it's going out of business. As a result, you need to respond quickly to the latest developments in your industry to successfully continue operations. 

Real-time data integration lets you adapt to risks and threats that might jeopardize your business by processing data and transferring it to a centralized location in the fastest possible time. You can then push data through BI tools like Tableau and Microsoft Power BI to identify patterns and trends in that data and get the latest insights. 

Say it's Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. You want to track sales in real time through a BI tool and see which items sell the most units throughout the day. If some products don't sell as well as you hoped, you can lower their price. In this scenario, real-time data integration can extract data from a transactional or sales database and move that data to a centralized location immediately (or almost immediately), allowing you to identify trends and patterns in your latest sales data in a BI tool of your choice. 

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Infographic from about the reasons data integration is important for data analytics

Learn About Customer Behavior 

Real-time data integration allows you to view customer behavioral trends as they happen. By moving data from disparate sources into a centralized repository in real time and then analyzing that data in BI tools, you learn how customers interact with your company and find out how they think and act. The great thing about real-time data integration is that you always have access to the latest customer data rather than relying on historical data from several hours, days, or even months ago. 

By tracking customer behavior through business intelligence and data integration, you can find out the following:

  • What customers are saying about your company and its products on social media right now 
  • How customers are interacting with your website and other online properties at this precise moment
  • Which customers are likely to make a purchase based on their current behavior
  • Whether customers are likely to churn and leave your sales funnel 

Analyzing the most recent customer behavior in BI tools can help you improve customer satisfaction and engage with your target audience. For example, you can learn where a customer is in your marketing funnel and send them personalized emails to move them further along that funnel. Alternatively, if a customer abandons your checkout, you can send a text or email reminding them to complete their purchase. 

React to Market Trends

Only having access to historical data makes it difficult to react to changing market trends, such as stock market fluctuations, changing consumer behaviors, new legislation and regulations, new technologies, and geopolitical factors. That's why real-time data integration is critical. It pulls all the data from the systems in your organization as quickly as possible so you can view that data in a single location and analyze market conditions that might impact your business. 

Say several customers cancel a subscription to a service your company provides, and customer service staff enter this cancelation information in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Real-time data integration will extract and transfer this data to a centralized location so you can compare it with data in other systems and identify the root cause of those cancellations, which might be inflation, competitors reducing their prices, or another market trend. 

Gain a Competitive Advantage

Real-time data integration provides a competitive edge in your industry because you can identify trends and patterns in your data in as little as a few seconds. While your rivals might rely on non-real-time data integration methods like ETL, you can access and compare the latest data for business intelligence in a much quicker amount of time. 

Say you and a competitor launch a similar product on the same day. With a real-time data integration solution, you can pull data from CRM systems, transactional databases, relational databases, and other technologies into a central repository and run all that data through business intelligence tools really quickly. Your rival might not be able to generate sales insights or gauge consumer reactions to their product for several days because they don't have the capabilities to integrate data like you can. 

Save Money in Your Organization

Real-time data integration allows you to collect, process, and transfer financial data sets and run them through BI data analytics tools quicker than traditional data integration methods. By analyzing your most recent financial records, you can identify ways to save money in your company and make better decisions, which is particularly important in the current economic landscape. 

Say your company purchases raw materials from a supplier to manufacture goods in your supply chain. BI real-time analytics tools will provide insights about these costs from different sources so you negotiate an existing contract with your supplier or find a cheaper provider to work with. Although regular data integration methods will still let you generate insights from BI platforms, your financial data might be out-of-date by the time it's processed and transferred to a central repository. This isn't a problem with business intelligence and data integration.

What's the Best Real-Time Data Integration Method for Business Intelligence?

Perhaps the most popular real-time data integration technique for business intelligence is ELT, which involves extracting data from disparate source systems in your business, loading it to a central repository like a data lake, and transforming that data within the repository. Because transformations take place after the loading phase, ELT can provide real-time (or near-real-time) data analysis in BI tools, helping you identify the latest patterns and trends for decision-making from a unified view.

ELT differs from ETL, which extracts data and transforms it into the correct format for analysis before loading that data into a data warehouse or other repository. Traditional ETL (batch ETL) can take longer than ELT to process and transfer data, meaning the latter is the better choice if you require real-time business intelligence. You can use streaming ETL for real-time data integration, but this integration method can be extremely complex.  

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Infographic from showing the ELT process

How Can Optimize Business Intelligence and Data Integration

Real-time data integration offers multiple benefits, allowing you to generate up-to-date insights, learn about customer behavior, react to market trends, gain a competitive advantage, and improve profitability in your organization. Unlike traditional data integration, you always have access to the most recent data that flows through your business, improving performance and productivity. helps with business intelligence and data integration in several ways. Firstly, the no-code data pipeline platform performs the industry's fastest ELT data replication and can unify your data every 60 seconds, allowing you to create a single source of truth for business intelligence reporting. Thanks to's no-code data connectors, you don't need any programming or data engineering skills to extract data, load it to a centralized location, and carry out transformations. Set up an ELT trial meeting now!

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Another way can help with business intelligence and data integration is by performing Change Data Capture (CDC), which identifies changes made to the data in systems immediately. Combining ELT with CDC means any changes to a data source instantly show up in the central repository. In other words, you always have access to the most recent data for business intelligence. 

As well as ELT, CDC, ETL, and Reverse ETL, the data integration platform lets you instantly write and read REST APIs with its secure and self-hosted REST API code automation, which can improve your data products. The platform also improves data quality with the latest data observability monitoring and alerts. 

You can take advantage of’s 14-day trial now and start moving data in real-time for business intelligence. Or, you can schedule an intro call with an expert who will provide solutions to common data integration problems your business might be facing.