Data Democratization – Not Only about Data | Tech Mahindra

Data Democratization – Not Only about Data

Never before in the history of humankind, did we see such profoundness for numbers, graphs, stats, statistical curves that we have seen in the past few months of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are constantly being hit with numbers and terms like infection rates, number of cases and, forlornly, the mortality rates have become part of the daily conversation now.

Also, never before did “data literacy” was assumed of such a high significance. Regardless of whether you happen to be a Data Analyst or a Data Scientist you would want to analyze the data, draw inferences and distinguish between what seems good & what may be of concern. It could either be for your research or just to keep yourself in step with the current situation.

Once again, the debate on the need for “data democratization” is alight. At the risk of offending the naysayers, we believe this is the ideal time to “liberate” the organizational data. We are experiencing something that most of the human beings have not experienced in their lifetime. Any information, any solution we can get our hand on, is worth a try.

So, why not data democratization?

We all know data is the lifeblood of modern organizations; every modern business is inundated with data from the very first touchpoint to the last one. Businesses use data to enhance their performance, and some to create solutions, which are of benefit in times of crisis like the one we are in now.

We all understand the value of data, the way it empowers organizations and the endless possibilities it presents us with. This is the time to utilize and uncover these opportunities, for organizationsand for humanity in a wider scale. While it will be a huge test for modern businesses who have been claiming to be “data-driven” all this while, it will help them evolve as a business & align them more effectively for the post-COVID-19 era.

As per a recent study, businesses around the world are spending ~$40 billion annually on services and technology for data analytics, which is increasing by 12% every year. The tenets of a data-driven organization go way beyond the organizations’ data lakes, the data quality, and the data scientists.

According to the Big Data and AI Executive Survey 2019, 72% of total 64 C-level executives survey participants agreed that they still have to forge a data culture within their organization. And surprising as it may sound, there are huge discrepancies in the definition of “data-driven organization”. While some consider the use of advanced technologies as being data-driven, some others consider working on data analytics tools & technologies. Irrespective of the diverse definitions of being ‘data-driven’, data democratization is a critical step towards enabling any organization to be recognized as a data-driven organization.

“Empowering people with analytics — that’s where the real value creation occurs.” — McKinsey Analytics

Break the Knowledge & People Silos

With the modern-day technology & tools, we have been able to overcome the barrier of data silos. However, the knowledge & people silos still remainan impedance on the path to data-driven cultures. Especially under the prevailing COVID-19circumstances, conquering the challenge of people silos proves all the more critical.

Collaboration & project management tools like Microsoft Teams, GitHub, Zoom do facilitate virtual collaboration and knowledge management but to a limited extent. These tools are constrained by their capabilities to store, record, or document solutions discussed between two remote individuals. This is where the CLOUD ecosystems play a stellar role in today’s environment.

The Role of Cloud & Community

COVID-19 pandemic has thrust us all into an uncharted territory. The organizations that already had agile processes and were using SaaS-based data tools now have an edge over the others. However, the real star is Cloud-native applications, especially when it comes to flexibility, speed, and accessibility.

Almost every organizations went from one office in the city to hundreds overnight with all the remote employees. In such times, the cloud-based data analytics tools allow for company-wide collaboration. In addition, since the cloud solutions are fully managed, the company does not have to worry about maintenance costs, frequent upgrades, or even the hardware complexities.

The legacy or on-premises solutions are not built to handle remote data work, especially with every employee having access to different machines and environments. Not to mention the challenges of getting resolutions to software issues, installs, maintenance.

This is the ideal time for organizations to democratize their data using cloud and build a community around it to be agile, move fast, work fully online, and remain collaborative.

This is crucial for fostering a ‘DATA’ culture within the organization, allowing for data sharing, collaborationand analysis, with strict adherence to data security policies,to stay ahead of the curve when the pandemic crisis de-escalates.

Humanity, as a community is rather agile and with the able support of the technology and advancements of today Data democratization has yielded insights for future-proofing. The democratization of data and the proliferation of knowledge and intelligence have been the most important enabler for humanity to navigate through a historic crisis.

About the Author
Rajesh Chandiramani
CEO Designate, Comviva, Tech Mahindra

In a career spanning 30 years, Rajesh has led large and diverse global programs and initiatives across various organizations. As part of the senior management team, Rajesh has been part of Tech Mahindra’s transformation journey where he has contributed significantly to the company's strategy and exponential business growth.More

In a career spanning 30 years, Rajesh has led large and diverse global programs and initiatives across various organizations. As part of the senior management team, Rajesh has been part of Tech Mahindra’s transformation journey where he has contributed significantly to the company's strategy and exponential business growth. Rajesh holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Electronics and Telecommunications) and a master’s degree in Marketing Management from the University of Mumbai. He has also been part of the Management Development Program from Harvard Business School (HBS) and from Ross Business School, Michigan University. He currently heads Communications, Media and Entertainment (CME) at Tech Mahindra for UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Japan, and India. Prior to this role, Rajesh was heading Digital Business globally for the cloud, data and analytics, artificial intelligence (ai), cybersecurity and blockchain businesses within Tech Mahindra.