Data is the key to success for all parts of a business these days. Data analysis is no longer limited to a particular data-focused team, but rather done by anyone looking to gain insight into how well their team is performing, determining business value, efficiencies, and inefficiencies, and so much more.

But in order to be a truly data-centric organization, that means those other departments need to be able to access the data that exists within their company. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible as data access continues to be a major issue for many organizations.  

According to CData, a leading provider of data connectivity solutions, there are a number of reasons why this barrier to data exists, including data volume, complex data landscapes, inconsistent data models, disparate data storage solutions, and dark data. 

Data-driven organizations have experienced explosive data growth as they embrace modern SaaS and cloud-based technologies across their business. The increasing adoption of business applications leads to more data being generated, collected, and leveraged by more employees throughout the business. As companies moved out of the office and started working from home, they had to convert manual processes and on-premises technology solutions to remote-friendly, digital workflows. Combine that with the recent popularity of low-code tools that allow anyone in a business to create an application, and you can see how there’s been an unprecedented amount of data being produced by organizations. 

That massive data ecosystem becomes complex and unruly, explains CData. Structured data, such as customer data stored in a CRM or spreadsheet, and unstructured data, such as social media comments or audio files, are being created and stored, some on-premises and some in the cloud. This leads to organizations needing to create a hybrid data ecosystem that encompasses all of those different environments and storage mechanisms. The challenge lies in when different teams need to collaborate or share data using different models, since the same data may look very different to different teams and applications.

Those teams might also have different data storage solutions. Data gets formatted and organized differently when it comes from different owners with their own data transformation requirements. According to CData, when data isn’t organized based on business function or usage, it’s difficult to query data from different sources and find the right data. To compensate, a lot of time is spent doing manual adjustments on data, which can also lead to inconsistencies. 

The final challenge is dark data, which is data acquired through business processes that aren’t intended to be used for analysis to drive decision making. This data can include log files, previous employee records, customer call records, and more. Many companies store dark data for compliance and legal purposes but, according to CData, oftentimes organizations aren’t aware of the sheer volume of dark data being collected. Storing dark data is costly and brings very little value to the organization. 

So how are companies supposed to overcome all of these challenges in order to manage the massive amounts of data they collect and democratize access to the vital data they need? The key is to put a solution in place that connects all of these data sources and allows for easy access for lines of business throughout the organization.

CData’s solutions have helped thousands of companies address these data silo issues and enable data democratization across their organization. For example, a top international recruitment firm leveraged CData Sync, a no-code data integration software solution, to improve their data pipeline and gain greater visibility into the customer journey. 

The firm was using Salesforce to manage client relationships, but parts of the customer journey were still siloed across a variety of services. CData Sync worked to integrate the customer data across multiple applications and maintain replications of that data within their preferred analytics platform. As a result, the sales and marketing teams were able to gain a 360-view of their entire Salesforce ecosystems and build more comprehensive reports. 

From this example, it’s clear that democratizing data to be used by multiple parties throughout an organization is the key to being able to utilize that data to make decisions that will ultimately drive business success.

Content provided by SD Times and CData.