Don't Fall Into Data Silos

May 01, 2020

Automated analytics, arificial intelligence, chatbots. Throughout the years, data-based applications has advanced rapidly in order to accommodate modern digitalised businesses. Since the emergence of big data has shone a spotlight on the importance in data-driven conclusions, every business decision has to be backed up by some form of data. With belief-rooted conclusions, now, mostly obsolete, data has become a modern commodity to organisations.

Interestingly, unlike Earth’s more finite resources, raw data is rather easy to pool together. The only problem is: most people don’t get to see or interact with the data. And, the reason for this is the titular Data Silo.

What are Data Silos?

As its name suggests, Data Silo is a group of segmented data that is inaccessible to a majority of the organisation who owns it. The data in question can be raw or processed data that has only been made accessible to a business unit, supplier, etc. Thus, creating a ‘Silo’ or disconnect between those who are privy to the data and those who are not.

As mentioned before, Data Silo is not a unique problem. In fact, in a survey conducted by DZone, only a mere 2% of respondents considered their businesses to be completely effective at data sharing. When asked for the reasons for this, respondents cited data silos as the root of the issue. To be specific, 42% attributed this to using different systems within the same company, 38% faulted a lack of standardised data formatting and 37% highlighted a lack of coordinated data strategy.

Data Silo and Problems

Evidently, Data Silos proven to be problematic for businesses as it blocks certain individuals from accessing and analysing certain data that could be combined with other datasets to form a more complete view or insight that the individual is trying to attain. This leads to inaccurate readings of data and poor understanding of the company’s standing.

Furthermore, with the unshared data being unused and underutilised by staff members, it is more likely to get lost or deleted by accident. Thus, causing a larger disconnect between datasets. The inability to connect two datasets also results in a less holistic view that can spell lost opportunities and poor decisions for the company as a whole.

Preventing Data Silos

There is no quick fix to data silos. This is because as the data grows, the silos tend to grow as well. The key to preventing these silos is through automation and drawing relations between datasets.

In the past, these features may not have been available to most smaller businesses. However, with the aforementioned advancements in data science, more applications and databases have been built to prevent data silos from ever occurring. This is why it is critical that every business has an all-for-one database that all individuals can access and update so as to prevent data from being inaccessible to individuals within the company.

With VAL’s FREE plan, data silos will be a thing of the past. If you think you want to learn more, feel free to contact us at @ThinkVAL on twitter or facebook and remember to check out our new plans for VAL which will be launching soon.

Sources:

Alooma. (2018. 20 December.) What are Data Silos?
Harvard Business Review. (2016. 5 December.) Breaking Down Data Silos.
Dzone. (2018. 16 August) Data Silos Are the Greatest Stumbling Block to an Effective Use of Firms’ Data
Infoworks. (2018.) Data Silos: Will 2019 Be The Year Organizations Finally Break Them Down?

About the author

Nicole is a freelance designer and writer that has written articles for different sectors.