Most Companies Want Data-Driven Results, But They’re Holding Employees Back

We’ve all heard the accepted adage that employees are a company’s greatest asset. And it’s true. The right people can make all the difference—your company cannot grow, innovate, or support customers without them.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just getting good people. Hiring top talent is the right first step, but success comes from people empowerment. And when it comes to giving employees the tools and data to do their job, most companies have gotten it wrong.

Data and Business Success Meld in the Modern Era

We live in an increasingly digital, data-driven world. No matter where you look—whether it’s our personal lives or our professions—data helps people make better decisions about everything from product purchases to business strategy. And while data-driven decision making remains a top priority for companies, 84% of companies fail to give employees access to company analytics1. Moving forward, the companies that invest in data collaboration will outpace laggards.


of companies fail to give employees access to company analytics1

By 2020, organizations that offer users access to a curated catalog of internal and external data will derive twice as much business value from analytics investments as those that do not.

The most innovative companies have a strong backbone of data. Every click, transaction, and customer touchpoint provides insights. But if that data isn’t accessible, it’s not going to help employees make smarter decisions. Why stifle your most powerful competitive advantage?

Data Access is the Key to Helping Your Employees Reach Full Potential

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “my company has invested in a BI solution and employees have access to several dashboards that help them track key metrics.” While this is usually the case, dashboards aren’t cutting it. Most reporting dashboards spur more questions than they answer.

BI tools are still the arena of the analyst. Line managers are able to look at visualizations in a dashboard, they even have a limited ability to investigate the data underneath it, but a ‘what if?’ thought almost always requires a loop back to an analyst or a developer.

David A. Teich


Dashboards lead business experts to request ad-hoc reports from the data team and then wait days—or even weeks—for answers. That’s too long. Which is why 63% of business people reported access to company data in the required timeframe was a leading obstacle to data insights.2

If you want your company to empower employees to maximize their domain expertise, let them explore data directly. Leveraging both your employee’s talents and the full wealth of business data opens up the ability for employees to make data-informed decisions. Rather than keeping data locked up in an analytics dashboard—or try and decipher data modeled by someone else—self-service data puts actionable data in your users’ hands, while freeing up your data scientists to work on more in-depth, data-specific tasks.

So, If data access is so essential to helping companies realize their objectives, why have so many failed to act? Short answer: Analytics and BI solutions have let them down. The good news is that this is finally changing.

Source: Researchscape 2018

Self-Service Analytics is No Longer a Myth

“Self-service analytics” has been around for a while. The problem is that to date it’s been a buzzword, not a solution. While many tools claim to deliver data access to business experts, they rarely do without the use of complex SQL or hand-holding from the data team. What’s worse is that the data they do have access to is weeks or months old—making analysis obsolete before it has even started. That’s not good enough.

For self-service analytics to actually have an impact, you need to provide direct access to the business teams that can turn insights into action. That’s where Sigma comes in. Sigma’s cloud flexibility and intuitive spreadsheet interface gives business experts the freedom to analyze cloud data in real time without limits by providing the full power of SQL—all without writing a single line of code.

We’ve been standing in between our business teams and the data, now we’re removing that with the Sigma visual layer… everything we do now has long-lasting value.

Aash Anand Wheeler

Data Analytics, Lime 

Employees are your greatest asset—so stop holding them back and start thinking differently about your approach to analytics; position your company to take advantage of the new BI landscape. Learn how Sigma’s intuitive spreadsheet interface for your cloud data warehouse can change the way your company approaches data by signing up for a free trial today.

What’s your data strategy for 2019 and beyond? Read the 2019 Cloud BI and Analytics Predictions to see if your strategy is in line with the top industry trends.


  1. Global State of Analytics Report, Forbes 2018
  2. Computing Curiosity Gap Study, Researchscape 2018

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