data democratization for businesses

Why Is Data Democratization Important for Business Success?

June 17, 2024 5 minute read
Data democratization uses self-service, intuitive tools to help grant all sides of an organization control to access and activate their data.
data democratization for businesses

For many organizations, customer data has always been gatekept by a select few technical individuals. However, these insights are critical to the work of the greater organization. Without self-serve, direct access to data, marketers and business users typically need to go through IT or a third-party vendor to get what they’re looking for. Completing these requests takes time, slowing business agility and hurting revenue. Businesses must be more agile than ever and organizations are looking for intuitive, self-service tools that can deliver the information they need, when they need it.   

Open data means access for all, not a select few

Pulling the customer data you need shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth. When data is not universally accessible across a business, it limits the speed of innovation and leaves the direction of the business at the mercy of data analysts who have competing priorities. That means marketers may not be able to see the impact of certain campaigns until it’s too late to react or adjust. 

Waiting for other teams to relay information rather than pulling reports themselves means that business users and data analysts get stuck in a back-and-forth loop of questions that require deeper context and analysis. This hurts business productivity by taking time away from the high-value tasks that both of these departments should be focusing on. For busy executives that also want to understand the impact of their initiatives succinctly without having to dig through multiple reports and presentations from dozens of teams, data tools with visual, intuitive dashboards provide a high-level snapshot of the impact of these efforts. 

Rather than playing telephone with how your data is communicated across the organization, every team and department within the company should be operating off the same data set, helping avoid discrepancies and misaligned priorities. When teams trust their data, it builds greater confidence in the team and ensures that things like data governance, privacy, and compliance are prioritized. These guard posts for data governance are particularly important given data privacy legislations like CCPA and GDPR, which aim to protect consumers’ personal information. Businesses can drive a culture of data democratization with a customer data platform (CDP).  

Empower data-driven outcomes with self-service tools 

Modern marketing is more focused on tying efforts to revenue and customer outcomes. With these increased responsibilities comes the need to give marketers greater control over how they act on customer insights. A CDP gives marketers a direct line of sight into customer profiles, so they can more accurately segment and target customers with relevant content and messaging. 

Marketers are experts in speaking the language of the customer and a CDP needs to deliver customer intelligence in the same way. Turning data into meaningful, data-driven campaigns requires a streamlined user interface and the ability to pull ad-hoc reports as needed. Features like cohort analysis tools are also valuable for allowing marketing teams to zoom in on different customer segments and understand the ROI and impact of different campaigns over time. 

By cutting out the middle and putting those responsible for campaign creation front and center, marketers can act on self-service insights faster and use them to identify new trends and hidden opportunities that might’ve been missed. In the process of diving deep into their own campaign results, marketing departments can often discover unexpected insights or gaps in their current strategy, creating an environment where employees are more data-curious and proactively seek out alternative ways to propel innovation. 

What is the impact of data democratization?

Improving access to data benefits organizations by helping them operate smarter and faster. Organizations can be more agile and more informed with how they approach customer interactions across the entire customer lifecycle. 

For example, brands like Arcelik have seen the benefits of using a customer data platform for their call centers and customer success representatives. Without visibility into a customer’s relationship with a brand, these reps often need to have customers repeat information about themselves, leading to a frustrating and inefficient interaction on both sides. However, by using the customer insights from Acquia CDP to provide more context for inquiries, Arcelik representatives could provide more effective service and resolve issues faster.  

Data democratization and giving marketers the power of machine learning models also improve business agility and foster long-term customer loyalty. Luxury brand MCM Worldwide adopted a customer data platform with the intention of helping store directors and social media managers improve how they engage with customers. But once they dove into the machine learning capabilities available at their fingertips, MCM knew their agencies and partners, merchandising teams, and paid media teams would benefit from the actionable insights afforded and granted broader access to the CDP. Even executives access the data dashboards on a regular basis. As a result of empowering their teams with more data, MCM is able to better segment audiences, improve personalization, and continue to optimize the customer experience.  

Taking a data-first approach helps guide organizations to invest their time and resources into initiatives that will reap the highest value, whether that’s more easily identifying engaged customers, accelerating timelines, or discovering critical insights. Businesses are sitting on a treasure chest of data and having a data platform that can be used by everyone who needs it is the key to unlocking a wealth of knowledge.

Discover how creating a culture of data democratization can bring value to your whole organization in our e-book: Data Democratization: Giving Employees and Customers What They Want


This article was originally published in 2021 and has been updated to remain current.

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