How can organisations empower the entire workforce through data?

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This March marks the fourth Data Education Month, and we are all for celebrating. In particular, it got us thinking about the importance of data democratisation and how organisations can use it to empower their workforce.

As a refresher, data democratisation refers to providing company data to non-technical personnel to enable self-service of information. Historically, data has been the responsibility of dedicated IT and data teams, but as organisations have grown to recognise the value that can be reaped from their information, eliminating IT gatekeepers and empowering non-technical employees makes the most logical sense. In turn, different departments can make more informed, data-driven decisions with the information at their disposal.

For example, in-house recruiters can use data to better streamline their recruitment processes. This includes identifying which recruitment methods work best, as well as speeding up evaluation of candidate batches. For HR and recruitment teams, it makes much more sense to have that data at their fingertips, rather than having to go through IT.

Things to consider

Naturally, there are some concerns that may arise with data democratisation. Firstly, there is the fear of having too many cooks in the kitchen. Should company data simply become a free for all? If not, what is the criteria for who gets access to what?

Unfortunately, there is no universal answer, nor a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, organisations must consider their company size and sensitivity of the data when outlining the parameters to make data accessible.

It's highly important, however, to ensure that the data you distribute is verified and accurate. Otherwise, your employees will lack the confidence to draw any conclusions from it. Hence, you need master data management (MDM). Based on a combination of people, processes, and technology, MDM ensures the cleansing and transformation of your data is always up to scratch.

Furthermore, it's important to deliver the information in a way that your teams can understand, and more importantly, can't misconstrue. Data virtualisation can assist in this endeavour by retrieving data without the need for highly technical intervention. In particular, it disregards any mismatching formats and inconsistencies to allow the user to use straight away. Thus, employees can take advantage of quick, easy decision-making.

The overall impact of data democratisation is great. Not only does it drive a more efficient workforce, but it can give your organisation a competitive edge over others.

Do you need to be rethinking how you store your data? Find out in this piece by Peter Ruffley, Founder of Zizo.