Data Accessibility: How to Unlock Real Value in Your Data
Marketing Content Specialist at Sigma Computing
What separates successful and innovative businesses from ones that are lagging behind? Data—how a business uses data will have the largest impact on its success and ability to stay competitive. Leading businesses all over the world are leveraging their data to gain an edge in their industries. They are able to do this by adopting business intelligence software and discovering weaknesses in their business through the data. Ultimately making data-driven decisions that drive the business forward and making data accessible to everyone who needs it.
In this article, we will cover why having data accessibility is crucial for business success.
What is Data Accessibility?
When we’re talking about data accessibility, we’re referring to simplifying the ability to leverage data within databases. With powerful software, we can enable anyone in any industry to use their data to gain insights and make data-driven decisions. Data shouldn’t just be available, but it should be usable even for people who aren’t comfortable or experienced with using it.
The key ingredient for making data-driven decisions is a self-service BI tool. With their ease of use and cloud-based analytics, self-service BI tools empower everyday people to answer their own questions. With this improved data accessibility, users don’t need to have knowledge of SQL and can leverage automatically generated visualizations, and drag-and-drop features to create dashboards.
Examples of Current Data Accessibility Issues
While making data more accessible to employees is essential, there are still many issues that companies must understand. Data can be sensitive so making sure the right people have access to the right data is critical. Security is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to data accessibility. Let’s go over some other data accessibility challenges.
Poorly structured data
Poorly structured data suffers from limited usage. Because data with a predefined structure is limited to its intended purpose, it does not have great flexibility or usability. Structured data has limited storage options and is generally placed in data warehouses. Any changes that need to be made require you to update all of the structured data which can be very time-consuming and costly.
Lack of technical knowledge
Many businesses have data accessibility issues because they don’t have enough people who are technical and have experience with data modeling languages such as SQL. This can be a problem when trying to shift towards becoming a more data-driven company. Understanding how data works and how you can use it to better your work isn’t always so clear-cut. It can take some research or self-training to really understand how to use data effectively. It’s recommended that businesses invest in a self-service BI solution that has low to no code requirements, friendly user interfaces, and drag and drop features.
Lack of Resources
For organizations to have great data accessibility across their departments, it requires resources, technical expertise, and maintenance. Ensuring everyone has access to the data they need will be a constant challenge if businesses aren’t dedicating enough resources to training and development teams.
Data silos can be a big problem for companies because each department will have its own methods of working with data. Making it difficult for teams to collaborate and access the information they need from the data. This can slow decision-making and slow down multiple processes within an organization. Transferring knowledge between employees can also be very difficult if you have data silos which can be costly for businesses.
How to Improve Data Accessibility
Create a data governance program
Having a strong data governance strategy is critical for any organization working with high volumes of data. Data governance can help ensure data accuracy, consistency, and security, which improves overall data quality. It’s important for an organization to have one single source of truth for all business entities — providing consistency in decision making and enhanced data security since the data will be in one location, the cloud data warehouse.
Utilize a self-service business intelligence tool
One of the best ways to improve data accessibility is to use a self-service BI tool. Self-service BI tools let everyday business users ask questions about their data and answer those questions effortlessly without any prior technical knowledge of a data modeling language or the help of a data team. Business users and decision-makers can make data-driven decisions to help drive the business forward.
Embedded dashboards enable your business to add visualizations, improve user interface, and add interactive visual components to your public website design. With embedded dashboards, you can tailor content for each user ensuring everything is relevant for them in their dashboards. Reduce time spent on workflows and increase discovery time by adding visualizations directly into internal and external applications.
Promote data literacy
Organizations that support employee engagement with data have higher data literacy rates. With a more data-educated workforce, data accessibility becomes more widespread. Teams and departments will be able to look at metrics and make tough decisions together because they all understand the same data they share. Being able to work with, explore, analyze, and argue with data is a great way to increase data literacy and accessibility.
Leverage the cloud
Cloud data warehouses are built for scale, speed, security, and simplicity. Leveraging the cloud is crucial in today’s competitive landscape. Cloud storage is also less expensive and easier to manage than traditional on-premise storage options. CDWs allow for greater data accessibility by everyone in an organization while maintaining data integrity and security. Having one single source of truth makes it very easy to integrate multiple tools into a CDW.
The Future of Data Accessibility
As organizations continue to work remotely and virtually, data accessibility will only become more valuable to users. With data accessibility businesses can continue to grow and employees will have more information at their fingertips helping them drive better decisions. Data is powerful because it lets you see everything and can help you overcome challenges quickly and easily across all business functions. Data is already being used to create new products and services that will likely have a huge impact on every industry in the coming years.
With the power and affordability of cloud computing, data is more accessible than before. Businesses of all sizes can now be competitive thanks to data accessibility. Non-technical users will have and already have the ability to utilize data to effectively perform their jobs. Organizations will have more centralized data in the cloud which will result in better data security and governance.
Utilize Sigma to Level Up Your Data Accessibility
Sigma is a full self-service data analytics solution built for the cloud and designed to leverage the power and flexibility of CDWs (cloud data warehouses). Gain access to live data and start making data-driven decisions without any SQL or the help of a data team.
With Sigma, business professionals and data teams are empowered to quickly explore, analyze, visualize, and collaborate, leveraging all of their CDW data while maintaining data governance.
The familiar spreadsheet UI and drag & drop features enable users to quickly and easily access their data.