4 Reasons Why You Need Data Democratization for Future Innovation

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Data is the source material that spurs our interactions and opportunities, fuels our business, drives our understanding of the world, engages our minds, and sets the course for our future. Data democratization is how we ensure equity, justice, transparency, and opportunity for all in this data-driven world. Data democratization adds value to our institutions. Data democratization may get messy, but it is vital to a healthy, vibrant world. 

Learn more about four big drivers behind data democratization to power your business. 

1. Data Democratization is Equitable 

As data becomes fundamental to society’s functioning, individuals need access to data collected about themselves and their communities. Access to this data enables citizens to make better, more informed decisions about their life and future. Data democratization spurs enhanced access, trust, and accountability. 

It’s similarly beneficial that citizens have access to public sector data and the tools to analyze, report on, and even deconstruct this data. Enabling citizen data scientists should be a policy goal of governments, as it ensures a more informed citizenry and improves services.

2. Data Democratization is Valuable 

Data is a core differentiator among companies and a key source of value. Data democratization breaks down silos—enabling faster response, lower costs, and increased innovation. It also leads to superior customer service

Studies reveal four valuable benefits of data democratization for businesses: 

  1. Better, faster decisions
  2. Improved efficiency
  3. Superior customer satisfaction
  4. Larger profits

A great example of data democratization is green energy company Vestas, a global leader in manufacturing wind turbines. Vestas data scientist Sven Jesper Knudsen notes that “Turbines provide a lot of data, and we analyze that data, adapt to changing needs, and work to create a best-in-class wind energy solution that provides the lowest energy cost.”

Vestas’ systems originally prohibited full, fast access to its data across people and departments. According to Knudsen, “We democratized data across Vestas, and the benefit was immediate. We now see use cases in new areas: forecasting of contractual losses for prioritizing and planning service resources, social analytics for understanding market influences, and resource management analytics to plan and forecast technology resources.”

3. Data Democratization is Innovative

Data democratization is driving transformative change in even the largest, most established companies. For example, Koch Industries has leveraged data democratization to become more innovative.

Koch Industries is one of the largest privately held companies in the world, with annual revenues exceeding $100 billion. The company’s 120,000 employees are spread across a collage of well-established brands, including Georgia-Pacific and Molex. Products include fertilizers, glass, biofuels, and more. To grow the product pipeline of its portfolio companies and react faster to changing market conditions, Koch Industries undertook a company-spanning data democratization effort. 

As Dennis Claussen, director of business transformation at Koch Global Services, remarked, “we can democratize development so companies can be autonomous yet create pipelines and leverage tooling to allow everyone to go faster together.” 

4. Data Democratization is Inevitable 

According to NASDAQ, zettabytes of data creation will soon be the norm. A zettabyte is 270 bytes, an almost unfathomable number to any human. Our smartphones, sensors, and computing devices continue to generate exponential growth in data. Cloud computing and AI will be required to effectively examine, analyze, manipulate, and extract value from all this data. 

Are You Drowning in Data?

If governments, organizations, and people do not have access to data—if there is a lack of transparency and trust—then harmful policies can result. Opportunities will be missed. Drowning in data is still drowning. Data democratization ensures the benefits of data creation, distribution, use, consumption, and reporting are available to all. 

A few benefits of data democratization include:

  • Faster, better decisions 
  • New product innovation 
  • Individual and group empowerment
  • Opportunities to reduce costs
  • New forms of learning and content

Harnessing the value from all data generated will make for better policies, companies, products, and even better lives. But this can only happen with data democratization. Data democratization leads to greater trust, personal empowerment, better teams, and human advancement. 

Next, learn about democratizing analytics and data science.