Why does your organisation need to democratise data?

Published on
12/12/2019 01:51 PM

Today, we know that data is a hugely important tool for business. However, this is often restricted to the remit of company executives and data specialists. Having said that, some organisations are beginning to explore the potential of data when it's at the fingertips of every employee.

Enter data democratisation. This approach allows anyone within an organisation to have access to its data at any time. Why? Because empowering employees with data and educating them to understand it can help them make better business decisions. Not only will you have a wider net of employees solving data problems, but in the midst of the data skills gap, you won't be spreading your data scientists thin. Thus, if executed well, your organisation will be able to enjoy a competitive edge over those that haven't democratised.

Putting it into practice

Education is an obvious necessity for successful democratisation – data is not all that easy for the average person to understand. Firstly, you must walk your employees through why your organisation uses data to make decisions. People will quicker grasp the 'how' if they understand the 'why'. Of course, there is also the obvious fact that some employees may not understand the data once it's in their laps.

Fortunately, there are myriad solutions available today that make data easier to comprehend. Examples of this include data virtualisation, cloud storage, and self-service business intelligence platforms. Each of these can help those who lack a tech background interpret the data.

However, an obvious concern surrounding enterprise-wide access is security. It's a natural hesitation; the more people with access to the data, the more risk is introduced. Sure, that probably is the case, but again, there are solutions available for risk mitigation. In particular, database management system security features can encrypt the data to quash the risks associated.

You may also wish to explore master data management (MDM) to ensure your data is of the best quality possible. If it's not, then your users will lack confidence in using it for analysis. MDM can help you keep on top of your data maintenance and therefore, its quality.

Overall, nobody is going to blame you for having data democratisation hesitations. However, with solutions available to quash your concerns, and with the potential it promises to deliver, businesses should not delay. With data being the crux of all business decisions for the foreseeable future, there's no time like the present to democratise.

If you'd like to find out more about data management, why not check out this Tech Chat on the modern data experience?

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