How to Democratize Data Across your Organization

Data Analytics

Being a data-driven organization in today’s marketplace provides the opportunity for those organizations to better understand their customers, market, and competitors. In a world where big data and analytics reigns supreme to stay ahead of the pack, democratization of data across an organization is equally as important.

In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review showed that 97% of industry leaders surveyed said democratizing access to data and analytics across the organization is important to business success.

Gone are the days where one or two data analysts share their findings with others. Instead, it is essential to permit all employees to access data about the business so that they can make informed decisions and respond quickly to what’s happening in the marketplace.

In essence, a data-driven organization is only viable if the entire organization is built with data and analytics at the heart of it. Here’s how to democratize data across your organization to truly uncover and understand what it means to be data-driven.

Keep Data Analytics Simple

Not everyone in an organization will be a veteran data analyst from day one. The key is in simple processes and simple user-facing tools, which will let business users focus on their work and not on the complexities behind the execution. Google Cloud Platform is an example of a cloud data platform that manages business intelligence processes behind-the-scenes that empower users to focus on their tasks in their organization. They automated the backend of their technology stack and helped pioneer the concept of “serverless” analytics, which enables users to utilize analytics even if they are novices at the concepts. 

Training and education are major factors in how to democratize data across your organization. With data democratization revolving around the idea of self-service analytics, every team member must be trained up with the tools, concepts, and processes involved in order to participate. 

Simply sharing access to self-service analytics tools doesn’t mean that people will actually utilize them. Instead, organizations need to take the time to showcase the advantages of what data analytics can do for team members. 

Baby Steps

Democratizing data across an organization comes in waves. Introducing new technologies all at once can be overwhelming, especially if those in the organization aren’t used to data and analytics being at the forefront. It can be harmful and overwhelming to introduce everything overnight.

Instead, take a strategic approach. Allow for users to gradually introduce data into their existing processes while ensuring that data accessibility is free-flowing. Roles are important, as organizations can filter the data and visualizations shared with each individual to their specific environment. 

Overall, the steps taken to democratize data across your organization are all about being transparent. There will always be a need to restrict access to those who can see sensitive data. Besides that, every person in the organization should have an understanding of how the business they’re working in is doing to enable them to make smarter and data-driven decisions.

A Unified Approach to Data

Another key step in how to democratize data across your organization comes with providing data that is “true.” This means that when different entities use their tools or dashboards, they all see the same thing, even if it’s from a different perspective. Data management is key to providing accurate and relative information to all.

Quality of data can make or break a company’s data analytics, especially when it comes to democratizing data. For instance, if numbers don’t seem to match up when the marketing department is viewing data about campaign spending, and the finance team is reviewing budget goals, it can create major disruptions and even undermine organizational alignment. Therefore, it is important to have a unified data source where every person in the organization sees the same thing. 

This approach also helps team members to realize the value of data and to empower them to be their best.

How to Democratize Data Across your Organization

As with many concepts revolving around data and analytics, each organization is different regarding its business objectives. Yet for those organizations seeking ways of democratizing data across their organization, there are a number of considerations that can affect the outcome.

Understanding how data plays into each person’s role within the organization comes from the top executives. If data isn’t at the center of an organization’s culture, it can be difficult to get people on board with new tools and processes. However, taking a strategic approach to introducing simple tools and training can encourage users to actually use those tools in their day-to-day.

And it doesn’t have to be all at once. Instead, allow people to gradually incorporate data into their existing business processes. It won’t be as overwhelming as if it’s thrown at them all at once.

Last, data governance and quality are key. Ensuring that data is unified and not siloed has a major impact on how people are able to utilize the data analytics and BI tools presented to them. Accurate and reliable data goes a long way in empowering people to make informed decisions.

As mentioned previously, Google Cloud Platform pioneers ways to provide all users – business and technical – get access to real-time insights. Democratizing data across your organization can seem like a daunting task, especially when you have to change the culture within to be more data-driven. 

Pandera, a Google Cloud Premier Partner, is an expert in helping organizations strategize and execute their data-driven goals. That also means we excel in how to democratize data across your organization. 

Powered by the capabilities of modern BI tools such as Looker, Pandera works closely with business leaders to take advantage of the benefits of data analytics. 

Learn how your organization can foster a data-driven culture and gain a competitive advantage by contacting us!

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