What Is Data Democratization?

Data democratization makes data more available to everyone in an organization for technical and non-technical users alike. It involves providing universal access to authorized data consumers so they can leverage data for business purposes. By rethinking how you distribute and consume data, you can save time, uncover more insights and make better decisions.

Data democratization fuels innovation across your organization

Data democratization fuels innovation across your organization

In fact, 42% of CDOs in a recent survey say they have prioritized investment in capabilities that will enable effective data sharing, democratization and use. These strategies should help empower data-led business resiliency and promote better control, trust and a unified understanding of their data.1To get a deeper appreciation of what’s driving this investment, let’s look at a real-world example.

Let’s say a marketing manager wants to get a status report on a marketing campaign. To get access to this data, they must wait for IT to deliver the information. As a result, their ability to make data-driven decisions or changes in their marketing strategy are at the mercy of IT’s workload. This is not ideal for driving innovation or maintaining a competitive edge.

Data democratization eliminates the siloed, outdated process of having to create a separate ticket for every data request. It enables shared data ownership and responsibility throughout the organization. It empowers people to identify new opportunities, create revenue streams and increase growth. Data democratization is essential for companies that want to embrace a data-driven culture and improve agility.

What IT Challenges Does Data Democratization Address?

Organizations that democratize their data can address IT challenges such as:

  • Information access: Data democratization safely unlocks access to information stored in a data warehouse or data lake; data that was previously only accessible by IT. With modern data sharing strategies, even non-technical business users like marketing analysts can request access to the data they need. Business users can search for the data through an intuitive interface and request access from the data owners or producers.
  • Resource limitations: Data democratization relieves pressure on IT resources. Instead of having to fulfill data and reporting requests across the organization, they can focus their time on more strategic projects.
  • Distributed data access: With the proliferation of data comes different formats and new data sources. This makes it challenging to get insights from the data assets in both on-premises and cloud sources. Modern data sharing strategies help connect these data sources. The result is all the data can be accessed from a single interface.

What Are the Core Benefits of Data Democratization?

There are many benefits to data democratization, including the ability to:

  • Support a modern workforce: You must ensure your employees can be effective while working remotely. Broader, easier data access enables users to get the information they need. This leads to faster decision making based on trustworthy data.
  • Increase data literacy and understanding: Make data a second language throughout your organization. This increases efficiency and productivity across your enterprise. It can also promote a collaborative culture that fosters innovation.
  • Empower employees: Giving your teams access to information provides an opportunity for every employee to influence and drive business growth. For example, data scientists can spend more time on developing and training their models versus finding and accessing the right data. This also enables faster time to market for the product management team.
  • Speed up decision-making: Being able to make data-driven decisions is a must in today’s digital economy. Giving your teams the power to use data to make decisions will help accelerate initiatives. It will also provide a competitive edge over businesses stuck in the past.
  • Enhance customer experiences: Ninety-five percent of B2C and B2B executives believe their customers are changing faster than they can change their businesses.2 These evolving demands mean you must provide excellence at every step of the customer experience. Employees with access to key information are better positioned to meet customer expectations and changing needs.

How Do I Get Started With a Data Democratization Strategy?

Giving your teams (“data consumers”) the ability to access data whenever needed calls for a common data marketplace. This is where you can quickly find, understand, trust and access data.

Here is a five-step data democratization strategy that promotes data sharing and enables a data-driven enterprise.

  1. Enable self-service data access with a data marketplace: The first step in the data democratization journey is implementing the necessary infrastructure for enterprise-wide data sharing. This includes integration with the enterprise cataloging solution to see the list of available data assets. It also includes the ability to publish the required data to a consumer’s preferred location. With the increase of non-technical data consumers, it’s essential for CDOs to provide a simple and efficient way to access data.
  2. Install an adaptive data governance model: With such broad access, it’s important to create a data governance model. This will help define roles, responsibilities and processes required to manage and use data effectively. This includes:
    • Creating role-based access control for different levels of data access
    • Defining who are the data owners authorized to approve data requests
    • Assigning approved administrators who will add new or relevant data assets
  3. Data consumers' requirements tend to change based on business need. Data and policy requirements may also differ for different lines of businesses. That’s why you must have a governance model that is adaptive and can accommodate change.

  4. Identify the most valuable and cost-effective data assets: Data sharing can be costly if the associated risks haven't been vetted. That’s why you should conduct a cost benefit analysis. This will help determine which data assets can be shared, and which cannot. Data sharing also comes with a cost based on how and where the users have the requested data. Marketplace administrators and data owners must consider this while creating data collections. Data owners and producers should also keep data collections up to date to improve the available inventory.
  5. Gain operational insights and optimize: A data marketplace has usage details that can help optimize marketplace operations. For example, data insights about what type of data is frequently requested can help data owners create data collections that will suit their data consumers. Or location insights about where the data is intended to be used can help CDOs focus their efforts and budgets towards that specific technology.
  6. Drive customer experience with contextual assistance: A good customer experience is pivotal to adopting any new technology. As part of a data democratization strategy, data stakeholders must be aware of their roles and responsibilities. This includes understanding the capabilities of the technology. Training and support documentation should be provided so users can use the tools effectively. Data marketplaces can also include contextual assistance at various levels for real-time help.

This five-step process can help you create a data democratization strategy. It will also empower your teams to make data-driven decisions.

How Informatica Can Help Deliver Data Democratization at Scale

Informatica Cloud Data Marketplace, a service of our AI-powered Intelligent Data Management Cloud™ (IDMC), is a one-stop shop for virtually every data stakeholder. This cloud-native, enterprise-scale governed data marketplace helps data owners organize data into categories. It also allows data consumers to browse and shop for the desired data.

Because Informatica Cloud Data Marketplace is a service of Informatica IDMC, consumers’ requests for data can be assessed and provisioned using the capabilities of IDMC. This enables low-code, no-code delivery of data to consumers. This lowers the cost and time required to convert trusted data into data-fueled insights.

The Informatica Cloud Data Marketplace helps data owners and operations teams track requests for data. It also ensures that the data is available in the format, location and access method most convenient for use. Its benefits include the ability to:

  • Drive value with quick access to diverse data assets
  • Make informed decisions on the right data to use
  • Provide data consumers with a choice of delivery options
  • Operationalize AI
  • Fuel your business with data intelligence

Next Steps

Learn more about data democratization with the below resources: