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Building a customer data integration business case: Project specifications

Building a customer data integration business case requires some basic knowledge of the project's scope and specifications. Our CDI expert discusses general expectations for CDI implementation times and costs.

I am in the process of building a business case for a customer data integration (CDI) implementation and need to get an idea of the likely project duration and costs (especially within the public sector).

I know this is a very broad question, but what are typical implementation times and costs for a CDI project and what are the primary timeline and cost drivers? [e.g. number of data sources, data quality, architectural type (e.g. registry vs. transaction hub) and product selection.]

You're right, it's a broad question—and one that usually takes an in-depth assessment to answer with any degree of accuracy. But it's also pertinent to building your customer data integration business case. Here are some good rules of thumb:

For a customer data integration project your expectation should be to implement in 3-month intervals, starting with a requirements gathering activity that focuses on the systems you want to "on board" onto your hub. The three-month timeframe typically entails technical use cases, functional requirements, data acceptance criteria, etc., and focuses on interacting with the development teams that support applications that will be integrated onto the CDI hub. Make sure that your CDI roadmap covers one source system at a time, and recognizes the effort around data quality and correction activities necessary to enable your hub to interact with those sources.

In terms of the cost of a customer data integration project, it's directly proportional to the quality of the data on your source systems as well as the number of sources you'll be linking to your hub, as well as the functional and performance requirements that inform the actual solution you select. We also find that a company's incumbent data management skills increase the likelihood of CDI success, so don't be afraid to invest in your data governance and management infrastructure while you're planning your CDI solution.

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