Many corporates have already invested heavily in centralizing data across the company, engineering resources. They have created one place that can be used by all, is updated by all and refer to it as their ‘single source of truth’. And this is the point where it gets tricky. How is data maintained, enriched, and most of all used?
This is when a red flag goes up, because the obvious is often overlooked. This ‘access to data’, which google even uses as a synonym for data democratization, needs to be managed well to succeed in steering the ship with a centralized data structure in place. Data democratization is not mere data access. When mismanaged, you will find the business years from now struggling and dealing with correcting and adjusting to turn the ship around.
Data democratization is not mere data access
It seems inherent to the casus: by introducing a new way of working, maybe new systems, integrations or technologies to work with, new procedures to adhere to, you need to motivate and empower employees to do so. They need to understand the data and be able to work with the data in a compliant way. They need to be able to solve the challenges they encounter on a day-to-day. Even companies that might be data-driven and who even might have a centralized approach from the start, need to cross the chasm of employee experts and non-experts.
Democratization means carried by the employees
With data democratization it is the same. The employee needs to be given the right tools and the right culture where everyone can feel comfortable to ask data related questions and be part of the solution. In Formula 1 this concept has a strong presence: there are no silos, everyone is part of the solution and feels empowered and capable operating as part of the team. 'Data democratization' embodies this empowerment of employees, an organizational-wide mindset that plays an important role in a companies data centralization process. For some employees this means education on how to work with the data to feel comfortable with it.
Once in place, it will require ongoing investment, but the payoff for the company as a whole is certainly worth the investment. So in order to get to data centralization, we’d advise to invest in data democratization, and thus invest in the empowerment of your people.
Download the Schwarz use case
During the joint webinar with Schwarz Group, Stefan Peetz and Thomas Gutmann gave insights how the Schwarz Group was able to successfully centralize its system landscape while sustainably improving business partner data quality