Data integration is not data warehousing, says Claudia Imhoff in a post that discusses data quality, master data management and operational data stores. According to Imhoff:
None of these is a data warehouse project. They should stand on their own two feet as independent initiatives that just happen to make data warehouse construction and BI in general much easier to implement.
So what is data integration? Short answer: It's the process of assessing, monitoring and improving data integrity to help optimize the flow of information throughout the organization. For the long answer, download this paper from SAS, which started out as a tech highlight column in sascom magazine. From the paper:
Data integration can be seen as the convergence of multiple technologies and the emergence of some new ones. Broadly speaking, data integration brings together technologies that are typically needed for the operational side of the business with technologies that are needed for the BI/decision support side of the business. Data integration deals with incorporating all
types of organizational data into a unified whole.
Sound interesting? Want to read about data integration in practice? Start here.