In order to reap positive returns on your decision-making, you need to access data that is digestible and accurate in real time. After all, your sales people need real time data about customers before their client meetings, marketers need real time data to create targeted campaigns, and your executives need easily digestible data in order to make business decisions in real time—especially when they are on the go.

The trend is known as data democratization – giving access to data to everyone that needs it, for whatever they need it, in the form they need it. Its overall impact can be increased revenue growth, customer retention, and efficiency. When done right it can serve as a key differentiator for your company.

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Data democratization might seem like a significant change for your company, so as you plan how to democratize your data, consider the following:

  1. How your data-driven decisions will become SOP for end users and their processes. Data needs to be abundant throughout your company that consumption is automatic and simple. Think specifically about how these tools can revamp embedded analytics, mobile views of data, data-driven workflow integration, and rich visualizations for your organization.
  2. How your end users will be able to influence the way data is presented and consumed. If it is easier for them, your end users will adopt the tools. Otherwise, it is just a waste of your time and money.
  3. How to present your information so that the volume of data becomes immaterial. Only the most relevant of information is distributed in the workflow process, despite capturing structured or unstructured attributes, meaningful customer data, or new data sources.
  4. How your company will be given self-service data preparation, data integration, and data enrichment. Take note of the significance of the user learning curve. Democratization and BI tool adoption is improved when you consider user profiles, what they want from their data, and develop training specific to those cases.

Overcoming challenges

The promise of easily accessible data is one that every organization can appreciate, but many experience challenges such as access to the right tools. According to a recent study, 70 percent of companies fail to use the proper analytics tools for a data democratization effort. Not surprisingly, 71 percent wish to increase their analytics budget in order to adopt better tools.

The goal is simple. Advanced analytics has made it easier for sales teams to obtain better business intelligence. Democratizing data gives increased transparency, leaving staff members more proactive.

If you are not prepared to implement new BI tools in your organization, try implementing a proof-of-concept trial to a segment of your company or to a single department. Give yourself the chance to prove how valuable democratization is at aiding faster decision-making.

Data democratization requires flexible tools and readily available capabilities. You are no longer forced to take on massive requirements gatherings before you undertake an analytics project. Instead, you use BI tools to conduct proofs-of-concept with your own data with a handful of plug-and-play BI tools.

If, for example, you want predictive capabilities to encourage faster decision-making, buy an app. If you want a tool to extract, transform, or load for data migration, plug it right into your existing CRM. Whether you want data enrichment, data visualization or report creation, third party apps now empower you and your team with self-service BI tools.

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