Businesses work with large amounts of data, which can be difficult to understand. Analyzing that data creates important business intelligence that gives leaders key insights into how their businesses perform. Change data capture (CDC) resolves long-standing problems that stop companies from turning raw data into refined business intelligence. Here is a deeper look at how change data capture works and how businesses use it to manage operations. 

Table of Contents

  1. What is Change Data Capture?
  2. Why Change Data Capture is Important
  3. ETL and CDC
  4. Maximize CDC Results with Integrate.io

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What Is Change Data Capture?

Change Data Capture (CDC) is a method of collecting data from a database in real-time based on changes that are made to that database. It starts with a copy of the database. Then, a program watches for changes to that database and records them into the copy. This makes an exact copy of the database without having to interrupt its use in other business functions. 

Why Change Data Capture Is Important

Companies use databases to record data for later use in other business operations. For example, customer contact information is kept in a secure database so that the company can use it to reach customers as needed. Some business functions, such as automated customer payment systems, use the database continuously. If the database is inaccessible to the system for any length of time, the system stops working entirely. 

For businesses to use these databases, they need to analyze the data that is in them. However, most methods of analyzing databases make it inaccessible to other programs during the analysis. Businesses need a way of accessing the database without interrupting operations. The easiest way to do this is to make a copy of the database, but that copy would quickly fall out of sync with the original. 

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CDC Prevents Interruptions

Change data capture (CDC) is important because it allows business systems to make a copy of the database and update it continuously without interrupting operations. Once the original copy is made, the program looks for change requests sent to the database. When changes go to the database, they are copied to the backup as well. Once updated, the backup database copy can be used for complex analytical processes instead of using the original database. 

CDC Makes Complex Analytics Possible

Running complex analytical programs on a database means it won’t be accessible to other programs as long as the analysis is running. Some analyses can take a very long time, depending on the size of the database and the complexity of the analysis. 

Companies cannot suspend operations to run analyses. CDC makes an up-to-date backup of the original database that has no other function than to be available for data analysis. Companies can run complex analyses that take as long as they want without stopping operations in other departments. 

CDC Makes Data Migrations Possible

In a similar way, CDC also makes data migrations possible. Most companies are embracing cloud services that require uploading data to the cloud. This process would, again, stop databases from being available. 

Using CDC, it is possible to upload a database to the cloud without causing interruptions. The data is copied and updated automatically as changes are made to the database. Companies can then switch to the cloud database once the process is finished. 

ETL and CDC

ETL is an acronym for Extract, Transform, and Load. It is the process used by software systems to create data visualizations from databases, like reports and graphs. When used in conjunction with CDC, companies create effective business tools like forecasting reports or inventory counts based on current information. 

CDC’s ability to replicate data without interrupting operations makes it a good choice for ETL systems. All the extractions are made from the CDC database rather than the main database. In cleverly designed systems, this process can be done automatically so that digital charts and graphs can be updated when changes occur without the need for human interference. In a way, they become real-time representations of data. 

Maximize CDC Results with Integrate.io

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Creating real-time charts or any other type of visualization with CDC is easier with a good ETL system. Integrate.io can help visualize change data capture results.

Integrate.io is an ETL system that integrates with CDC systems to collect data and build high-quality visualizations. Contact Integrate.io to schedule a demo and learn more about how it can help your business see operations in a new way.