Access and Feeds

Data Democratization: Transforming the Workplace with Data Accessibility

By Dick Weisinger

Data is the “new oil”. It’s the “the currency of business, it’s the lifeblood of growth, innovation and profitability.” Data is “the center of today’s businesses”. “Data drives all aspects of an organization, where the more a company can leverage, the more a business can innovate and flourish.” The importance of data is recognized and talked about everywhere.

The problem has been getting as many members of an organization involved in understanding and knowing how to use the data that the organization has. A survey by analyst firm NewVantage Partners found that only 24 percent of enterprises had a culture that successfully integrated the use of data into it.

A key to forging a culture that values data is the ‘democratization’ of data throughout the organization. Everyone in the organization should be enabled to work with data, understand why it matters, be able to communicate data concepts, and be able to make informed decisions based on data.

Three ideas that can help organizations get their employees more fully engaged with data are the following:

Data Roles and permissions – Opening up access to data is great, but staff members should still be restricted to only the data that may be relevant to their position. Staff members, based on their roles, should be given access to data and data tools relevant to their role in the business. While this sounds like a restriction, strong and well-defined policies around data access removes any reluctance that data owners may have with publishing their data.

Data Automation – Automating the collection of data, the sharing, the cleaning, the reformatting and deduplication frees up time for users to focus on the meaning of the data itself rather than on the process for prepping the data.

Data Tools – Users should be provided with access to data and analytics tools that can help them visualize, understand, and collaborate on the data. The tools should be available across different teams in the organization to encourage collaboration and sharing.

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