Organizations at the forefront of their field leverage speed and agility to maintain their competitive edge. The key factor driving this agility is collaboration, which can only be achieved by providing every department with access to the data they need to perform their jobs more efficiently. According to Gartner, digital optimization blurs the classic ownership and activity boundaries within and beyond IT. The role of the citizen integrator helps remove the barriers to accessing data and expand the capacity of the IT department. So exactly what is a citizen integrator? Here, we’ll answer this question and discuss the many benefits of the role.

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Table of Contents

  1. What Is a Citizen Integrator?
  2. The Benefits of a Citizen Integrator
  3. Tools Citizen Integrators Use

What Is a Citizen Integrator?

Often, organizations have data spread across multiple systems. Bringing this information together to gain insights into business operations can be a tedious task. With IT resources already stretched beyond capacity and a backlog of requests, integration projects get pushed to the back burner. 

In search of speed and agility, many companies are using business users to move integration projects forward. These individuals are known as citizen integrators. They are non-technical users who use specialized tools to build software and data integrations. They feature an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that empowers anyone without technical knowledge to take on these projects with ease.

Characteristics of a Citizen Integrator

Citizen integrators can come from anywhere in the organization. They are experts in their department’s workflow and data. Thus they are the most capable individuals to take on this role. Common users are:

  • Marketing Specialist: A marketing specialist may want to integrate the marketing platform with a CRM.
  • Customer Support Manager - The support manager can use non-technical tools to integrate the helpdesk ticketing system with a sales system.
  • Finance Manager - A finance manager might want to integrate information from several systems to create a dashboard. 

Xplenty’s tool is useful for any domain expert to build integrations. It requires no coding experience and is intuitive enough for anyone to learn.

The Benefits of a Citizen Integrator

Without a citizen integrator, departments could wait for weeks or months for IT resources to become available. Handing integration tasks off to the business means companies can respond quickly to market changes.

Improved Quality of Service

One of the common reasons IT projects fail is because of a lack of understanding of the requirements. Citizen integrators are domain experts. They are intricately familiar with the workflows and the data they need. Ultimately, this improves the quality of delivered projects.

Boosts Productivity

Citizen integrators help boost productivity. When a department lacks the information they need, it becomes a bottleneck in their workflow. Domain experts can quickly build the integration needed to improve the workflow and boost productivity. 

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Democratization of Data

Data is often siloed within the realm of IT. Using citizen integrators gives domain experts access to this information. With this approach, companies expand data access capabilities across the organization and help remove the friction typically associated with integration projects. According to Gartner, the applications of the future will be founded on democratized, self-service integration. 

Reduces Burden on IT

Departments within a company could be left waiting for weeks or months waiting for IT resources to become available. Giving the business access to their data can shrink the backlog of projects and free IT to focus on more strategic projects.

Improved Employee Engagement

According to the latest Gallup report, 51 percent of employees are disengaged in the workplace. That’s an astounding figure. One that doesn't bode well for companies looking to leverage collaboration in their digital transformation efforts. No-code tools can help employees feel connected to their work. Giving them access to information and the tools they need, helps them feel empowered to accomplish their job. 

Xplenty’s ETL platform transforms data integration projects. The tool helps companies embrace digital transformation to improve operations.

Tools Citizen Integrators Use

Forrester predicts that the no-code development platform market will grow from $3.8 billion in 2017 to $21.2 billion by 2022. This is a strong indicator that more companies are embracing this approach to development. 

Citizen integrators use non-code tools to build integrations. One of the most critical components to this process is Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) to build a data pipeline. No-code tools use an intuitive user interface that features a drag-n-drop interface for building applications. 

Pre-Built Connectors

Most no-code tools feature pre-built connectors. These connectors are already programmed with the code needed to integrate various systems. Citizen integrators can essentially “string together” these connectors to build a pipeline.

Workflow Automation

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The traditional ETL approach required someone to write scripts to automate the process. No-code tools feature a built-in job scheduler. The tool runs the jobs automatically based on the criteria the user sets.

Xplenty features hundreds of integrations to make quick work of building data pipelines and speeding delivery of projects.

The key to business agility is the rapid development of integrations and collaboration throughout the enterprise. Empowering domain experts to build integrations without relying on IT means companies can access near real-time data to respond quickly to market changes.

Xplenty is a no-code/low-code tool that allows non-technical users to build data pipelines. It comes with pre-built connectors to several popular systems. Get in touch with our team to see how Xplenty can help streamline your data integration projects.