data democratization business data operations

In this digital age, the growth and success of businesses depend on the utilization of data. According to a 2020 report by Experian, 98% of organizations say that having high quality data is extremely important in achieving their company objectives. While data is a valuable asset, historically it has been controlled by in-house IT teams. 

Data becomes less useful if only a select number of people can access it. Because of this, most companies and business analysts have experienced roadblocks which prevented the entire company from becoming data-driven. Fortunately, this is changing thanks to the emergence of technologies that have led to data democratization.

So, what should you know about data democratization and what can it do for your business data operations? Let’s find out. 

What is data democratization?

Data democratization is the action in which an organization makes data accessible and understandable to all stakeholders, irrespective of their technical knowledge. A company that implements data democratization ensures that everyone in the organization has an opportunity to work with the data comfortably and make data-informed decisions.

The primary purpose of data democratization is to divide data ownership among the company’s business departments, and ensure that there are no gatekeepers. Because of this, non-technical users can collect and evaluate the data independently, without relying on other teams.

What can data democratization do for your business data operations?

Once you implement data democratization in your business, here are some of the ways it can boost your business’s data operations.

Self-service analytics

Data democratization lowers barriers between users and data because employees can leverage self-service analytics to access data on-demand. Providing data through self-service means that everyone in the company can retrieve data and make better business decisions which promotes productivity, operational excellence, and organizational development.

Team members can use the data to uncover insights even if they're not IT experts. Empowering staff using data gives them a sense of purpose and leverages their skills. For instance, if you are developing marketing campaigns, the marketing team can access data about the current trends and customer patterns independently, and use it to target customers. 

Data-driven decision making

Data is an important asset for business decision-making today. Teams in different departments can make data-driven decisions if they have access to the information. Instead of relying on the IT team, data democratization brings in more transparency because employees can explain why certain decisions have been made. 

On the other hand, for private and public organizations, this form of data openness is a catalyst for improving services to the consumers and citizens. This is because data democratization increases transparency and trust.  

For this to work effectively, you’ll need to have effective data governance practices which contribute to better data analytics and business decision-making. Since everyone has access to the data, a strong governance strategy prevents data errors and the misuse of personal or sensitive data in the company. 

Better customer service

Statistics show that 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether they’ll work with a company. Data democratization gives the businesses resources to deliver a seamless customer experience. For instance, business departments like sales and customer support can access accurate customer data and use it to improve the experience. 

When data is readily available, teams can work on the weak areas. Teams like customer service need data to identify the recurring challenges that customers experience and solve them much faster. They can easily work on a plan, without relying on other teams for the data.

With data, you’ll have less errors and you can deliver exceptional service without fail. In case there are new customer trends and shifts, you can use the data to gain a competitive advantage. 

Beneficial to partnerships

Creating and sharing data is essential for business partnerships with your suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders. A lot of businesses today work in partnership ecosystems — they need data to communicate the progress of the company and areas that need more work to drive success.

Thanks to data democratization businesses can share this data, deliver value to their shareholders which can open up new revenue streams. For instance, if you need more funding, you can use the available data on company growth to woo new investors. You need the data to boost your operations. 

Operational efficiency

According to data by Experian, 87% of business leaders say data insights are essential in the management of operational efficiency in a digital environment. Each team and department in your company has unique needs and timelines. Therefore, if you have an inefficient data distribution model that requires employees to request data and approvals from the IT department, your business will suffer. 

It becomes challenging when your company has multiple data sources and owners. The different teams will have to slow down their operations as they wait for data insights. However, you can avoid all this by implementing data democratization that gives every department the opportunity to access and use the data according to their goals. 

For instance, marketing departments need data to analyze the success of their campaigns. On the other hand, sales teams need data to close more deals while product development uses this information to improve on the product. Your business data operations will be more efficient when each team has data access.

Final thoughts

For your business data operations to be successful, you need a free flow of data across the organization. Data democratization should be implemented whether you are running a startup or a multinational. However, it needs to be a continuous process to ensure that everyone can access data when they need it.

As you implement data democratization, it's also important to equip your employees with skills on how to use the data in their different departments. This ensures that both data experts and non-technical staff have the right knowledge. It's also an opportunity to eliminate bottlenecks as the business world continues to shift to big data. 

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    About the author 

    Ben Herzberg

    Ben is an experienced tech leader and book author with a background in endpoint security, analytics, and application & data security. Ben filled roles such as the CTO of Cynet, and Director of Threat Research at Imperva. Ben is the Chief Scientist for Satori, the DataSecOps platform.

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