With the rapidly changing pace of innovative technology, companies must be able to pivot quickly or perish. The ability to adapt to change is critical to a company’s success. A key factor in the ability to pivot is access to real-time information to facilitate data-driven decisions. Traditionally, that data has existed across multiple systems with no simple method for bringing it all together meaningfully. 

The rise of the low-code/no-code movement has brought about a set of tools that allow non-technical users to perform complex data integrations with minimal IT involvement. These users, known as citizen integrators, are changing the way companies perform data integrations to foster a more responsive business environment.

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Table of Contents

  1. What is a Citizen Integrator? 
  2. Data Integration Before the Citizen Integrator
  3. The Value of the Citizen Integrator to the Business
  4. How to Empower Business Domain Experts
  5. How Xplenty Helps the Citizen Integrator

What is a Citizen Integrator?

Integrators are any business users who need to connect applications to data with minimal IT support. They are usually not developers and don’t have any programming knowledge. However, their strong domain knowledge for their line of business makes them the ideal people to perform data integration. The characteristics of these individuals are:

  • Someone with in-depth expertise related to a business process
  • Understands the needs of the users
  • Understands the data requirements
  • An individual who is somewhat technically savvy

Imagine for example a marketing manager who is planning a marketing campaign. They know what data they need and how that data will help with decision-making. However, the data exists across multiple systems, for example, a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Providing the marketing manager the tools necessary to integrate the data in a way they see fit can help drive quicker decisions on their marketing campaign.

Data Integration Before the Citizen Integrator

Traditionally, application development and data integration have been IT tasks. However, with IT teams spending up to 60% of their time supporting current systems and users, there is little time for new projects.

As a result, IT is often a bottleneck to integration projects as it forces departments to wait for resources to become available. To address this problem, tools such as Xplenty empower business users to perform application and data integrations without IT involvement.  

The Value of the Citizen Integrator to the Business

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According to a report by the Project Management Institute, 92% of executives see business agility as critical to business success. Forty-one percent of executives surveyed said revenue improved by 50% since adopting an agile framework. 

The driving force behind business agility is the ability to adapt quickly to change. Companies need rapid access to critical information needed to make data-driven decisions. Citizen integrators are instrumental in building integrations that support an agile culture. 

More Effective Data and Application Integrations

Unfortunately, in many companies, there is often a disconnect between what a business wants and the solution that is ultimately delivered. Users experience frustration and the solution does not meet their needs. 

Domain experts are closer to the user and clearly understand what they need and expect. Empowering citizen integrators to perform data integrations helps ensure a solution that more accurately reflects that perspective. 

Boosts Productivity

Empowering domain experts to build custom integrations helps them develop streamlined workflows to support their business. As a result, their solutions boost productivity by making it easier for users to perform complex tasks.

Speeds Up Service Delivery Time

Changing market forces require companies to react at a moment’s notice to remain competitive. Citizen integrators are often the “first responders” in this changing environment. They need tools to adapt rapidly to business challenges. Companies that embrace integrators can more quickly respond to these changes.

How to Empower Business Domain Experts

Empowering domain experts in an IT-driven environment can present challenges. In many companies, IT sees the no-code/low-code movement as a threat. Cultivating an environment that supports domain experts requires companies to adopt a fresh approach to data integration projects.

Cultural Shift

The low-code/no-code movement is blurring the lines between IT and the business. As a result, integrators face challenges in being accepted by IT professionals. Lack of IT involvement reinforces organizational barriers that inhibit progress. Companies need to cultivate a new cultural environment that embraces domain experts and supports the development of the solutions they need.

Provide Access to the Appropriate Tools

Tools such as Xplenty make it easy for domain experts to integrate applications and data they need to make data-driven decisions. 

Increase Training on Advanced Analytics

As mentioned, citizen integrators are business domain experts. They may lack advanced knowledge of data analytics techniques. While advanced knowledge of data analytics is not a necessity, it is extremely beneficial. With additional training, domain experts have the skills necessary to perform more complex integrations that ultimately provide more value to the business. 

How Xplenty Helps the Citizen Integrator

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Data integration and building data pipelines are a breeze with Xplenty’s no-code and low-code tools. Whether you are a data analyst, manager, or business user, you can create simple to advanced integrations regardless of technical experience. 

A Complete Toolkit

Xplenty comes with everything you need to build complex ETL or ELT data pipelines right out of the box. Our intuitive point-and-click interface lets you create everything from simple replication pipelines to complex data extraction and transformation tasks. 

Integrate More Than 100 Data Sources

Whether you store data in-house or in the cloud, Xplenty comes with data connectors to integrate with a variety of applications, databases, files, and data warehouses.

Scalable and Elastic Infrastructure

Whether you are processing a few records or billions, the ability to quickly and easily scale is critical to business response time. Scaling your data processing up or down is as simple as moving a slider. 

Citizen integrators are fundamental to business agility. Their expertise gives them unique knowledge that allows them to quickly and easily identify information needed to build critical data integrations. As a result, these individuals help support rapid decision making, boost productivity and remove barriers between departments. To see how Xplenty can empower your citizen integrators, schedule an introductory call with us today and learn about our seven-day demo.