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Data integration is a process in which heterogeneous data is retrieved and combined as an incorporated form and structure. Data integration allows different data types (such as data sets, documents and tables) to be merged by users, organizations and applications, for use as personal or business processes and/or functions.
Data integration primarily supports the analytical processing of large data sets by aligning, combining and presenting each data set from organizational departments and external remote sources to fulfill integrator objectives.
Data integration is generally implemented in data warehouses (DW) through specialized software that hosts large data repositories from internal and external resources. Data is extracted, amalgamated and presented as a unified form. For example, a user’s complete data set may include extracted and combined data from marketing, sales and operations, which is combined to form a complete report.
An example of data integration in a smaller paradigm is spreadsheet integration in a Microsoft Word document.