By Audrey Tregaskes, Strategic Solutions Executive
Who in your organization interacts directly with your customers on a daily basis? Is it the CEO? No, not typically. Is it the CFO? Again, probably not. It’s the business end users that have a large responsibility to ensure that your clients are happy and finding value with your company’s offering. These end users are your sales reps, contact center employees, the marketing team, etc. They are there to help clients tackle their business challenges, troubleshoot their issues, and promote your company in order to increase revenue, market share, and customer satisfaction.
MicroStrategy discovered that just “14% of enterprises today are making data and analytics broadly accessible to employees, with only 52% of front-line employees having access.”
Now stop and think about that for a second.
Half of the employees in 86% of the world’s companies do not have access to the data they need to make decisions that affect their bottom line.
Why this problem exists can be a myriad of reasons, the top of which being that there is an infinite amount of data that comes from an abundance of disparate data sources. Bringing this data together is complex and takes a certain skillset that only a handful of folks in an organization can accomplish, and these people are also working through a long queue of requests for data that takes time to generate. Add in needing to meet risk, compliance, and governance regulations and well… you get the picture.
The answer to this problem lies in data democratization – it is not an easy journey, but companies have to start taking the first step now or they could quickly be at a competitive disadvantage in the market because they weren’t able to stay innovative (remember Blockbuster?). In simple terms, data democratization is providing access to data to everyone without the need for IT or data expert involvement empowering them to make data driven decisions.
The start of this journey needs three things to be truly successful:
- Top-line support that trickles all the way to those frontline workers.
- A happy marriage between IT and the business.
- A business problem to solve and track through KPIs.
The next part of the journey is setting up the foundation so that your data can be unlocked, barrier free, and your business end-users can quickly start making strategic decisions to keep your clients happy, costs down, and revenue up. This foundation involves several things, some of which are standing up a data management process, migrating your data, and enabling a self-service analytics platform for your end-users.
Like I said, this journey is not easy, and it doesn’t end with setting up the foundation. Companies will go through cultural change and need to ensure there is a consumption and adoption lifecycle of the foundation.
I’m going to leave you with this last statistic, hoping that it motivates you right now to schedule a meeting to either start your data democratization journey or continue on the one you have already started: According to Richard Joyce, Forrester senior analyst, “just a 10% increase in data accessibility will result in more than $65 million additional net income for a typical Fortune 1000 company.”