Data silos are slowing companies down. You may have a ton of information available, but are your decision makers using the right data? Can they even access it? Extracting insight from large data sets can be difficult – especially when that data is spread out across your entire organization.
Many times, huge data sets that could be really useful to another department are kept under lock and key by IT or the business unit. There is a general consensus that companies need to get more data driven, but the issue of data hoarding is still really common. Hoarding results from several practices, including organizational habits, culture and silo’d IT structures. The result: data silos that slow your business’ ability to make timely and well-informed decisions.
Now put yourself in an analyst’s shoes. When a Business Analyst is trying to run an analytics initiative, he or she often runs into organizational or technical barriers that create delays. This forces them to make short-cuts or even bypass data analysis entirely to come to a conclusion. If your company wants to increase the speed and accuracy of its decision making, data silos need to fall.
When true data scientists run into data restrictions, they know that their decision does not reflect the full scope of reality. Even the information they do have could be outdated or inaccurate. In fact, just 15% of users in companies with data silos are happy with their data access. And according to Aberdeen, “data silos damage users’ faith in their own analysis”. Now, that’s a scary thought.
This year, The Aberdeen Group discovered that the top Big Data performers have taken action to break down silos and promote the sharing of information across their organization (according to their 2015 Business Analytics survey).
In fact, Aberdeen’s ‘best-in-class’ organizations are 55% more likely to have an open exchange of internal data. These ‘best-in-class’ organizations have had consistent year-over-year improvement in organic revenue, operating profit, and searchable/discoverable data.
With 79% of the survey respondents saying that they need to make decisions faster than ever before, it is even more important to knock down the walls of information ownership. When data silos fall, these quicker decisions can be made more accurately, with more confidence, and will have taken into account all of the data your company has.
So next time your company faces a time sensitive decision, make sure that the decision makers have access to the data they need. When decisions are made based on incomplete data sets, key details and trends can be overlooked.
One way to break down data silos is to take a serious look into your data. Try to determine which data you’re using, who’s accessing that data, and for what purpose. Managing shared data requires constantly checking on data usage and offloading “cold data” to improve data warehouse performance and reduce costs.
Something else to consider is that different platforms are better for different things. And you must keep data mobile across these platforms to avoid creating new data silos. Once you establish a free-flowing exchange of data across your organization, you can now make those quicker, more accurate decisions that move the needle and boost your bottom line.