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Best Practices in Data Integration

May, 2023

The MyMeter team takes pride in delivering the best-in-class user experience for a full-service utility customer portal. 

This means we think carefully through that user experience and pay close attention to how our software development and integration decisions impact users. 

For example, we choose to offer a native mobile app, versus many of our competitors who simply render a desktop browser on mobile.  Surveys consistently show users prefer a native mobile experience more than 2 to 1 over using a mobile device web browser. 

Another area where we find our attention to detail puts us above and beyond our competitors is in data integration. 

If one is not familiar with the details of utility portal user experience, there is a temptation to expect that the user portal should get all of its information in real-time from API or Web Service calls to a customer information system (CIS.) 

While this is best for some cases, it creates an inferior user experience in others.  When designing for the best possible UX, it is important to know when batch updates are superior and when real-time updates are superior. 

The table below illustrates examples of full-service portal operations and what kind of data interface is best in which situation, and why:

When thinking through the data integration for a customer portal, it is important to match the integration method to the specific user operation so as to maximize customer satisfaction and system performance.  

A foremost consideration is performance – making sure customer never wait for data refresh if it is avoidable. 

At MyMeter, we are all providing about the best user experience so your customers come to use and trust their utility portal as much – or more – as making a phone call to a CSR.  Ultimately, this leads to the happiest customers and the best outcome for call center loading.