Data Will Talk to You Only if you are Willing to Listen
We are living in the information age spurred by the digital revolution that has made its presence felt in almost all sectors ranging from healthcare to finance, shopping, education, and entertainment. Data is the fuel for the digital economy, and it is important for businesses to rigorously drive more value from the data they collect from customers as well as from across their operational landscape. But not all enterprises are very well positioned to leverage value from their data assets. A recent study of some of America’s largest business houses showed that only 31% of the organizations were data-driven. This low number does not mean that a good portion of companies is not investing in data science. While they do invest, they are missing out on a crucial element – data democratization.
The hidden potential of enterprise data and the ability of modern data analytic platforms to interpret and realize valuable insights at ease means that it is time for businesses to think about letting everyone in the organization learn to use the vast data that exists in their system.
Traditionally, data scientists and engineers in the IT team of the company were the sole owners of data, and other departments had to knock at their doors every time they needed insights for their own individual departmental functions. With data democratization, this custodial power of the IT team will be abolished, and the business’s digital information will be available for all employees even if they are non-technical users.
Data democratization is a game-changer for businesses that aim to fully adapt to the digital age. When done right, it will lay a foundation for companies to bolster their performance across various facets like sales, marketing, operations, logistics, etc. to name a few. While scenarios of improvement may depend on the type of business and the sector that a business operates, data democratization brings in a slew of benefits that are applicable for all industries. Let us explore them in detail.
Uncover More from Business
Data democratization results in more self-awareness amongst different departments within a business. This helps organizations in creating strategies to track progress within different teams and identify what is lacking. In other words, data democratization helps in creating a more solid Objective and Key Results (OKR) system for different departments. Every department and its employees can access data dashboards with intuitive visualization to see how their operations are progressing and impacting their OKR’s in real-time. This enables them to better mitigate challenges, create superior solutions, and above all improve agility.
In a traditional business environment, decision-making is a formal process that is controlled mostly by the top stakeholders of an organization who have access to the data insights of the entire organization and is aided by a team of interpreters or data analysts, or scientists who have the skills to aggregate, organize, crunch and derive insights that aid the leaders in making decisions. But, for a modern organization, overarching decisions are not a gullible solution in the long run. Smaller teams or departments need to be empowered to make their own decisions on matters pertaining to their operations. For this, they require seamless access to organizational data. Data democratization can bring in the desired levels of seamlessness to help decentralize decision-making. In the process, it also reduces overheads for the C-Suite as they only need to monitor the outcomes of decisions from other teams rather than having to get their hands involved in all the decision-making.
Faster Information Access
By laying emphasis on data democratization, organizations can train and equip all business users to analyze and interpret organization data with the necessary tools and visualization dashboards. Through privileged access policies, users can directly access insights without having to wait for approvals or permissions from the IT or Data Analytics team. By eliminating this bottleneck, information access becomes faster and leads to more agile and faster decision-making capabilities for individuals. Everyone has access to a single source of truth as far as organizational data storage is concerned. Using effective governance strategies, it becomes possible to delegate access in multiple configurations to help supply the right data to the most deserving people.
Improve Accountability and Performance
With decision-making being decentralized as a direct outcome of data democratization, an organization has a more solid and responsible workforce. Employees who now have undisrupted and fast access to the insights, work more diligently and with greater accountability for their decisions. Also, faster decision-making across different job levels enables better incorporation of feedback for improvement. For example, a marketing manager can access information such as the number of clicks or conversions generated for an online campaign and use the insights to make improvements on content or design for the next one. Whereas the Head of Marketing or the CMO can access ROI insights to tentatively plan for budgets for various modes of campaigns like online or physical events or customer visits.
Data democratization will be a torchbearer of enabling a data-driven culture within an organization and this is a fundamental building block for the firm’s digital transformation ambitions. To begin with, companies need to identify what information or data they need to store, pick a storage option such as cloud storage that makes it easier for everyone to access it anytime from anywhere, and on-board tools and platforms that help everyone in the organization to make sense of the data at their disposal. It will be a phased transition, but the results are a worthy achievement that an organization cannot afford to miss.