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Analysts: Don't Hesitate to Share Your Data

Don’t be afraid to democratize your data!

Here at Periscope Data, we believe that data is best when it’s democratized and everyone has the power to make informed decisions. That's why we've released Data Discovery, our drag-and-drop visual interface for data exploration.

We also know the challenges associated with democratizing data. One of the largest questions analysts face is how much data can be democratized safely. For non-analysts, the answer seems obvious: share everything! But analysts, like wizards, know hidden truths. Ours are that data is messy. Our work requires domain knowledge as well as technical expertise. Every dataset we work with has hidden gotchas, unstated assumptions or messy fields that you can only know about from experience in the field. This is doubly true for SalesForce data.

That means when we share data there is a lot of preparation that goes into doing it well. Data needs to be cleansed, ETL processes have to be designed and datamarts need to be made to ensure that any analysis done with the data is accurate and up-to-date.

But despite the challenges inherent to the process of data democratization, it’s worth the cost. Let's look at a few reasons why.

Your Own Analyses Will Become Easier

In order to bring data to your organization in a way that is simple to use and provides accurate results, you’ll need to model your data well and address all those hidden gotchas only you know about. Instead of dealing with data decisions in your where statement, you’ll address them in your ETL processes and datamart creation. If a user wants to sum dollars, or count current subscribers, they need a properly curated datamart, and as an analyst only you can create that.

Luckily, the benefits of doing this properly once will help you as much as your users! As a result of putting in the initial work, you’ll be able to do more, faster. Your complex analyses will become simple, and you're far less likely to haver to adjust results down the line. As much as it’s worth it for your organization, you’ll quickly learn that it’s worth it for you as well. 

You Can’t Discover Every Insight Alone

In any organization, there is simply more data available than the data team can analyze effectively. Across product, marketing, customer success, finance and the various other places data gets generated, every data team is time constrained.

Even more critical, you don't have the domain knowledge in every part of the business to find the aha moment that can be so powerful. Giving others the ability to explore data will allow your organization to combine the knowledge of each individual with the hard numbers. For example, you may be able to provide metrics about various marketing campaigns, but without the greater context of who those campaigns are targeting, what funnel stage they're operating at and even how time-consuming they are to set up you may not be able to evaluate them as contextually as a domain expert with data discovery at their fingertips.

By unlocking data for your business users, you’ll be helping others help you — and helping to prove the value of data to your organization. Data democratization is often the fastest way to be a more effective analyst! 

Data Driven Decisions Will Happen Organically — with Compounding Results

Once your business users have the ability to answer their own complex questions as easily as they browse the web, you’ll see data-driven decisions occur organically, and both you and your company will thrive as a result.

Every time a marketer gains a small edge in a campaign or a product manager makes a decision based on an insight from CX data they wouldn’t have seen, your company gains a small edge it would have otherwise missed. Over time, the compounding effects of slightly better decisions lead to massive returns. It’s not a single brilliant analysis that changes the path of a company — it's the multiplicative effect of many decisions being made slightly better over a long period of time.

When you give everyone the ability to make better decisions, you set your company up to take a far more successful trajectory. Set your data free.

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Sean Cook
Sean has chased the best tech from San Diego to NYC to SF working in GIS, data science and marketing. You can find him alternatively creating dazzling new analyses and driving content strategy at Periscope Data.