Not every employee in an organization has the same skill sets, nor even the same access to data, as a data analyst would. This results in data being viewed and analyzed far in the background, beyond many employees’ access. It is obscured and siloed away from employees who may misinterpret or not “understand” it. Critical data that is essentially the lifeblood of a business’s success is segmented and made available only to decision makers or certified professionals. The rest of the workforce goes about their day in the dark or with a minimal understanding of how their own roles impact the business and its data insights. This is no way to utilize your company’s data. The solution? Data Democratization.
What is Data Democratization?
Data democratization, simply stated, is a methodology that says everyone can benefit from access to an organization’s data. This by no means suggests that every employee is capable of understanding, computing, or executing complex analytical tasks. It does, however, suggest that every employee will be able to contemplate the conclusions that are drawn from these data sources.
It is important to note that this data accessibility is not given at the expense of any data governance and security. Every employee can be given specific levels of access to this data with the goal of giving everyone a well-rounded view of the necessary data, whether it be high-level or granular. The level of access would be appropriate to their position within the organization.
Data democratization is indeed a culture. It removes the veil of complexity and presents data in a view that is usable and understandable for the non-IT employee. Typically a company would employ Data Scientists to take their data and tell the story that needs to be told to the decision makers. With data democratization, every employee has the potential to tell their version of the story based on their roles within the company. The result is a culture that embraces ownership and accountability in work-related tasks.
Why is Data Democratization important?
Data Democratization removes bottlenecks and single-points of failure within a company by streamlining the consumption of useful data. The resulting output in the organization is a data-driven environment where employees from all corners of the company can work together on business-critical information or data. This results in improved productivity, and furthermore, it allows employees to feel trusted and empowered. It can also give the organization a unique competitive edge in the marketplace.
Team members, through a data democratized culture, can freely contribute, share, and socialize on data assets. This allows for an increase in efficiency in many areas of a business, including production, marketing, and even customer experience. The more employees that know or understand the story that the data is telling, the better the results will be in delivering an effective business strategy.
Businesses that lack a culture of data democratization frequently have siloed data and departments where decisions are made without a complete story. When clean data is made accessible, decisions are not only better informed, but the insights generated complete a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
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How does Data Democratization help during challenging times?
The pandemic changed the playing field for most, if not all, businesses around the world. It is also fair to say that, before the pandemic, data was a significant resource to companies and the need for it was continually growing. The pandemic has exacerbated this need to a point where businesses cannot afford to have their employees navigate their jobs without some level of access to data, even more so considering the increase in remote working.. Data is no longer a want; it is a necessity to survive, to compete, and to thrive in the world today. In these mentally and physically challenging times especially, businesses need employees who are empowered to understand the benefit of their quality work, become uplifted, and are encouraged by positive results. They also need to know when their efforts are failing so they can adapt and make changes.
Allowing every employee access to data increases their functionality. Sure, employees will have various levels of abilities and interest in the data and how it is used. However, just having the access itself allows each employee to become a ‘node’ within the company’s operating system with unlimited potential for insights and knowledge. Every employee will have the opportunity and potential to be informed and knowledgeable team members that can contribute to data-informed decisions in a company.
Data democratization is not something to be lightly considered within an organization; it is a necessity. Not allowing the free-flow of data to all corners of your business, including its employees, is simply creating bottlenecks that can hinder both financial and other gains. Every piece of data is key to telling a story. Having that free-flow of data within your organization allows each and every one of your employees to tell those stories or insights so that your business can thrive under any external conditions.
- Remote Work Essential in the Post-Pandemic Era - February 9, 2021
- The Rise of Self-Service and Automatic Systems amid the COVID-19 Crisis - January 26, 2021
- Data Cataloging Helps Businesses Work More Efficiently - January 12, 2021