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It’s Time to Democratize Your Data

By David Cunningham

Just as oil re-invented the global economy in the 20th century, data is the most valuable resource of the 21st century–and today’s most competitive organizations are investing accordingly. Since 2019, companies have increased their investment in data infrastructure by nearly 50%. Whether it’s a product manager identifying a pain point or marketers utilizing data to better customize customer journeys, empowering users to leverage data to make dynamic, data-driven decisions should be a priority.


Yet, a recent study found that 81% of businesses blamed poor data literacy for missing their business goals. If we all can agree data literacy provides organizations with an indispensable advantage, why are so many companies data illiterate? 


The answer is simple: to all but the most technically-experienced teams, making sense of data alone can be overwhelming–let alone discovering it in a silo or deciphering it through lengthy ETL processes. Evolving data compliance laws such as the GDPR and the CCPA further complicate matters by underscoring how data literacy isn’t just a financial or cultural imperative, but a legal one.


Modern brands need modern data solutions that make all data accessible and easily understood, enabling users to get answers to complex questions–all on their own. Now more than ever, it’s time to democratize your data.


Read on to learn more about the perils of poor data literacy and how a democratized data strategy can help you get the most out of your data.


How data illiteracy hinders your growth

Data democratization is an ongoing process that enables everyone in an organization–regardless of technical knowledge–to feel comfortable working with data and confident talking about it.


This process won’t happen overnight, and brands accustomed to legacy technology systems may be in for a culture shock. However, an inability to adapt to the times could cost your organization in the long run. Here are a few perils of undemocratized data:


  • Bottlenecks: Under traditional data management systems, analysts and engineering teams are the gatekeepers of company data, and any employee wishing to glean insight from data must go through them. However, if data teams become inundated with too many requests or their bandwidth is suddenly reduced, bottlenecks could be a frequent problem. As long as a bottleneck exists, teams aren’t getting the most out of your data analytics.


  • Missed opportunities: You may not realize it, but antiquated data management systems could be decimating your bottom line. Say a product manager wants to learn why customers are suddenly abandoning their carts on the checkout page. However, instead of retrieving the information themselves, they must request an analyst to produce and deliver it for them. While the product manager waits for this data to be pulled, customers could choose to hold off on the purchase or–even worse–leave your site to buy from a competitor instead.


  • Compliance risks: Data compliance violations are no slap on the wrist. Just last year, the EU fined GDPR violators over 1.2 billion euros. Transparent data security practices are one of the best ways to ensure compliance. However, this is easier said than done if only a small handful of your team is data-literate, or potentially sensitive data is stored or accessed inappropriately.


  • Poor data ingestion strategy: A recent Anaconda study found that data scientists spend 45% of their time simply loading and cleansing data. For organizations that depend on data to glean actionable insights, burdening analysts and data science teams with data requests can seriously hamper ROI.


  • Reliance on data duplication: Data duplication may seem like an easy fix for circumventing complex ETL processes across multiple systems, but organizations should consider one of the hidden costs of redundant data: inaccuracies. Data Axle found that 93% of consumers receive inaccurate marketing correspondence; of those consumers, 90% found it annoying. Unless your organization’s data strategy involves wasting resources and driving away customers, duplicate your data with caution.

Data democratization is a proven winner

A recent Experian study found that 99% of businesses that implemented data democratization initiatives saw increased ROI. Let’s break down that statistic even further:


  • 49% reported better decision-making: Not only are data-driven decisions more accurate, but they improve transparency and provide clear feedback for market research and business decisions.


  • 47% reported improved operational efficiency: Poor systems integrations can be a serious drain. Cleo reported that 57% of companies lost over $500,000 annually to poor integrations, and 4% lost over $1 million annually. Data democratization allows organizations to unify their systems under a single banner, eliminating poor integration costs.


  • 45% reported greater employee data confidence: Giving your teams the efficacy to glean their data-driven insights on their own not only empowers them but equates to fewer bottlenecks and less strain on data teams.


  • 40% reported easier regulation compliance: Ensuring your organization is GDPR compliant requires all hands on deck–not just data teams. Data democratization ensures all employees can easily ascertain where data came from and how it’s stored.


  • 37% reported deeper customer insight: Data-informed customer journeys are an integral tool for today’s most competitive marketers. Data democratization ensures your marketing team can properly leverage its data.


For organizations seeking to stand above the competition with even faster, more dynamic insights, Scuba Analytics can make data democratization–and data analytics–easier than ever. 


Empower your brand with Scuba Analytics

Scuba’s privacy-by-design analytics platform enables users to quickly explore, discover insights, segment, and enrich data–all without having to modify data models or knowing how to code. Scuba can help brands leverage their data in the following ways:


  • Intuitive visualizations: Users can explore easy-to-understand visualizations and seamlessly generate queries in one unified platform.


  • Customizable segments: Cut through the white noise by creating new definitions or segments based on criteria that matter to you. As users continue to explore and discover, users can continuously refine criteria for even more granular insights.


  • Complex data sets made simple: Role-based access controls for data governance allow administrators to control user groups to provide simplified views of complex data sets.


  • Seamless ingestion: Scuba enables seamless data ingestion from Segment, mParticle, and Kafka/Confluent.

Want to learn more about how Scuba can elevate your data democratization efforts? Request a demo today or talk to a Scuba expert.

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