Data Democratization: Revolutionizing decision-making process
Advantages of Data Democratization
- Empowerment: Gone are the days when a few IT departments were considered custodians of data. By making data accessible to the masses, we are empowering people to be part of the decision-making process by leveraging their diverse experience and skill to gain business insights. Data in its unprocessed raw form is useless unless you have the right kind of expertise to understand the nitty gritty of the underlying subject and how it connects to the broader scheme of things in which it operates.
- The boom of the Big data and Cloud Storage: with the advent of Big data and using the cloud as a platform to store, access and analyze data, the prodigious world of data will need all the help it can get. Meaning there are vast amounts of information that can readily be made available and hence obviating the need to work in data silos.
- A plethora of Data Visualization tools: With the availability of self-servicing BI tools such as Tableau, power BI, QlikView getting quick insight from data has been reduced to a mere drag and drop approach rather than hiring a coder with a technical acumen to write obscure code. More and more people with a nontechnical background have embraced the tools mentioned above, and hence, it is prudent that we make data available to connect the dots and stitch the intricate fabric together to create meaningful information.
Disadvantages of Data Democratization
- Room for “Misuse”: One of the reasons firms are wary of advocating data democratization is the misuse of data either intentionally or unintentionally. Meaning by not exercising strict data governance, there is room for data to be misconstrued and this can have grieve repercussions if the data is percolated to the upper echelon of the decision-making hierarchy of the organization without scrutinizing the insights.
- Security Risk: Data, which is sensitive and is reserved for only a few eyes, cannot be disseminated to the public for obvious reasons. If proper care is not exercised and necessary protocol to mask the data is not in place, then democratization of data can pose a considerable threat. There is a thin line between what can be made accessible and what needs to be made accessible, and one needs to tread carefully.
- The veracity of data: Companies are in favor of “one single source of truth.” When data is accessed from one single repository, the credibility of the data is far less likely to be questioned than when it obtained from several different sources. With data democratization, everyone can paint and portray their version of the truth, thereby leading to biases.
- Duplication of Effort: One of the cons of data democratization is the duplication of effort as getting visibility can be an arduous task and can incur a high cost as well.
By: Suchindranath Hegde