Democratizing data involves making it available to personnel throughout an organization and providing them with the tools and training needed to query and analyze that data. In this post, I discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of data democratization and provide some general guidance for democratizing data.

Benefits of Data Democratization

Distributing data and business intelligence throughout an organization delivers the following benefits:

Potential Drawbacks of Data Democratization

Nearly every organization that democratizes its data properly reports that the benefits of doing so far outweigh any potential drawbacks. However, organizations do need to address the following concerns:

Drivers of Democratization

Traditionally, the IT department has owned the data and was in charge of extracting meaning from it and presenting the information to executives and managers. The development of various technologies, tools, and techniques is driving the movement toward greater democratization of data:

Democratizing Data in Your Organization

Democratizing data is not a simple matter of providing everyone in the organization unfettered access to all of the organization’s data, especially if the organization stores sensitive data. To democratize data safely and effectively, consider the following guidelines:

If your organization currently places the power of its data in the hands of a few, I hope this article encourages you to strongly consider the possibility of democratizing your organization’s data. By placing the power of data and analytics in the hands of the many, you’re likely to be surprised by the resulting increase in innovation and agility. Your organization will be much better equipped to adapt in a competitive landscape that’s constantly changing.