You may have already heard of data silos and have a working knowledge of what they are. It is an important concept to know and to consider how it may be impacting your organization. Over time and with growth, more data, more departments equals more opportunities for data silos.
Here is a brief overview of what data silos are, how they happen, why they are bad for your organization, and what you can do about it.
What is a Data Silo?
A data silo is a centralized system that stores all the data from one company’s business operations. More simply, it is a collection of data created and stored by one group of people that is not accessible by others. These commonly occur when there are many departments and a lack of a smooth process for collecting and storing important data.
What Happens During the Formation of a Data Silo
When data starts to accumulate, people and departments within an organization are storing information in their own system. This is usually done with no intention for this data to be shared outside of that department or that person. When this happens, you have what is known as a data silo.
Why Data Silos Are Bad for an Organization
A data silo means that the information and insights from different departments are not shared across company lines. This can lead to a lack of accurate decision-making, as well as missed opportunities to improve customer service or operational efficiency. For example, in order to have an understanding of lead generated and closed, there may be some data in the marketing department as well as the same department. Being able to see both provides a full picture, but only seeing some of the data could cause challenges in understanding where, say, new customers are coming from.
Essentially, data silos are bad because they make it difficult to share information with other departments and partners. When the decision-makers don’t have access to the data they need, it can be a challenge to see the full picture. This leads to decisions and directives made without accurate knowledge.
Data silos also make it difficult for employees to access the information they need, which can lead to mistakes or inefficiencies.
What You Can Do About Your Data Silos
First and foremost, you’ll want to identify where your data silos are. Once you know what the problem areas are, it’s time to set up a plan of action. Some solutions may be as simple as shifting the organization chart around so employees have easier access to information they need or changing some processes of where data is stored so information is accessible to everyone.
Data dashboards are another excellent solution. What to learn more?
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