What is the difference between a decision and an informed decision? Success! A broken clock is right twice a day but a working one is usually right.
What does success look like? It is a combination of creating efficiency, finding new revenue sources, expanding existing ones or limiting risk.
In a previous company, it was a regular part of my job to provide custom database result sets for the sales and customer relationship managers. These were time sensitive to their job and usually took a few hours for each one to be crafted, run and verified. This occurred at least once per week and was common practice in our company across all of the client specific teams.
This story ought to perk the interest of management! Let me distill what I just wrote - I spent half of a day multiple times per week not doing my job which was actually to develop software. That is DAY(S) of time spent not doing what my primary job was and a slow response time to customer facing team members!
Creating a company-wide, data-driven culture is a big step towards translating mere decisions into successful ones. A big part of that is Data Democratization. Case in point, Data Democratization would have largely solved that story that I mentioned above. But what is Data Democratization?
The elevator pitch for Data Democratization is that all employees, both technical and non-technical, should have equal access to the company's data and have the tools available to allow them to consume that data. This in turn removes the bottleneck of IT.
Imagine, if those sales and marketing managers could request the data themselves without needing to be technical or rely on a technical peer. That changes the story from days of wasted developer costs and slow customer request response times to no wasted developer time and rapid response times. You are simultaneously saving money and improving customer experience!
It doesn't stop there! Each team within the company has it's own unique needs and if those teams were able to rely on self-service analytics, they could be making informed [data-driven] decisions quickly thereby expediating business success.
There are challenges to creating this utopia of data access and they come in the form of:
Cost - Data Democratization requires investment in technology, company wide analysis of data assets and processes as well as teams evaluating how data integrates into their roles
Accuracy - Trust of the data is crucial due to the garbage in, garbage out principle. Therefore a dive into Data Governance will need to be done to ensure data accuracy and establish trust.
Misuse - Training employees on how to use and access the data is typical way to mitigate this risk
Security - Ensuring that employees have access to only the information they need to do their jobs better and not data that would pose a privacy risk is critical
The tools used to provide self-serve analytics are:
Data Warehouse such as Databricks, Snowflake or BigQuery
ELT tools to provide on-demand data transformations
Data Visualization tools such as Power BI, Tableau, Looker to provide the data in a digestible way to users
In the end, it is a complex task to plan and implement company-wide data democratization as no two companies are identical. The benefits when done correctly are potentially huge. It is highly recommended that companies consult with experts to guide you and provide implementation ensuring the success of the investment.
TMH Solutions bring Enterprise Grade Expertise coupled with Boutique Firm Service to our customers' data and software development solutions.
Would you like to know more about how we can help shrink your bottom line and potentially boost revenue? Mike Conway would love to have that conversation with you.
1 (289) 430-0419