Data Democratization Boosts Your Decision-making Power

By CIOReview | Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Data has culminated into a fuel powering the engine of more efficient operations and supporting better decision making within an organization. To build a competitive advantage, businesses everywhere view information as a critical factor. The ideology holds true with the fact that without full visibility into your business, it is nearly impossible to know what’s making your business succeed or fail. This ongoing quest for cognition has been calling for a tremendous amount of investment and innovation in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics arena.

It is imperative for the users to adopt new analytics tools and prevent this investment from going in vain. According to Gartner survey, 70 percent of potential BI users have failed to adopt CIO-sponsored analytics tools and 71 percent firms increased their analytics budgets this year. As most organizations thrive for better access to data and the right tools to serve their clients, they should know that BI no longer rests exclusively in the hands (and minds) of IT. The promise of easy access to data is achievable. Subjecting to its significance, organizations now seek to decentralize decision-making and increase responsiveness; empowering more workers by offering meaningful data at their fingertips—essentially democratizing the data. All end users, from salespeople to marketers, have access to a plethora of data and tools that affect their daily decision-making. Salespeople can establish targeted campaign requirements by having access to real-time data. Executives need for digestible and easy-to-interpret data can be fulfilled by making business decisions over a period of time, even when they're occupied elsewhere.

Don't have cloud BI tools yet?

There is no need to rush into and decide implementing cloud BI tools like Wave Analytics, throughout your organization. You may consider a proof-of-concept trial, where you implement the tool to a particular segment of your company or department to prove its worth. Data democratization requires readily available tools with flexible capabilities. Cloud BI tools allow you to conduct proofs-of-concept with your own data and just a few plug-and-play BI tools. For predictive capabilities, you may consider buying an application and if looking for an extract, transform, load tool for data migration, you need to plug it into your existing CRM. Third-party apps and tools will allow you to empower your teams with self-service BI tools now—counting from data enrichment to report creation and data visualization.

To some organizations, data democratization may seem like a tall order, but then the changes are dynamic and result yielding. Before you start off with how your organization will democratize data, take a brief note of the following criteria that should not be missed:

1. How data-driven decisions will become the norm for end users and their processes - There should be ample data across your organization to make consumption easy and automatic. How BI tools can revamp mobile, embedded analytics, rich visualizations, and data-driven workflow integration for your company? Think about it.

2. How end users will be able to directly influence how data is presented and consumed - They'll adopt the tools if it is easy for them. If they couldn’t, you've wasted your investment and struggle extends to a certain period of time.

3. How to present information in such a way that the volume of data is immaterial - Only the most germane information is served up at a given juncture in the workflow, even so after capturing every meaningful customer touch-point; relevant structured or unstructured attribute; or new data source like the Internet of Things.

4. How your business will be enabled with self-service data preparation, data enrichment, and data integration capabilities - Here, make optimum utilization of the user learning curve. Look at the user profile and understand what they want out of their data, later develop a training program for them to improve BI tool adoption.

BI and analytics solutions put up huge potential for delivering measurable and bottom-line improvements to the enterprises. The technology investment patterns for these indicate that it will soon become a high priority for top-performing organizations in foreseeable future. By moving on with democratized data, organizations can pass on the power of analytics into the hands of routine users and dramatically raise the value level of information (as an asset) that is readily waiting to be exploited.

IT and the business need to run hand in hand. Their capabilities can make business to anticipate for surrounding data governance and security, by the involvement of the strategic goals and need for data visibility in IT. The road ahead towards the data democratization for the various organizations can be disruptive and tumultuous. But, in terms of business outcomes like revenue growth, efficiency, and customer retention, this would be worth the investment.