Insight and analysis on the data center space from industry thought leaders.

Breaking Down Data Silos in Your Organization

Data silos create disjointed customer views that result in sub-par data analytics, which worsens the customer experience.

Industry Perspectives

November 17, 2018

4 Min Read
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Jonathan Lacefield is Senior Director at DataStax.

Today’s organizations can finally use advanced technologies to unlock the true value of all of their data. This enables them to make better decisions, serve up better customer experiences, accelerate innovation, and respond to crises faster—even preventing them from occurring in the first place.

Even so, many organizations are unable to do this because their systems are too isolated from each other. Getting the most value out of your data starts with shattering data silos, or isolated “islands” of data that the majority of folks in your organization aren’t aware even exist.

Created by the increasing use of multiple systems to store and analyze data, data silos are have become all too common in today’s organizations. Data silos create disjointed customer views that result in sub-par data analytics, which worsens the customer experience.  

Without the ability to access and analyze all of your data in a fluid manner, it becomes very difficult to deliver exemplary customer experiences and uncover what your customers truly want.

Getting rid of data silos isn’t as hard as a lot of organizations think—in fact, there are many ways for organizations to break down data silos to make the most of their data. Here are the five best ways to break them down:

Make it a Top Priority

Data silos won’t get rid of themselves. If you want to eliminate data silos at your organization, make it a top priority. Develop a comprehensive plan as to how exactly you’ll get rid of them and make sure all involved employees are aware of your intentions. If necessary, put together a cross-functional team to oversee the consolidation process to ensure smoother sailing and quicker results.

Encourage Communication and Collaboration

Many data silos are created due to a lack of communication between teams in different departments. A marketing team, for example, might maintain a repository of content in a random Google Drive folder while sales might have a ton of assets stashed on Dropbox. Both groups might be unaware of where the other is storing their files.

Get rid of data silos by encouraging your employees to communicate with one another regularly. It’s also important to embrace a company culture that celebrates collaboration. You’ll get better results, and the increased chatter will reduce the chances data silos go unnoticed.

Simplify and Consolidate Tech Infrastructure

The number of technologies requires by modern organizations to capture revenue these days is staggering. Many major organizations use more than five databases at once, with countless applications spread across them, forming an endless tangle of data silos.

There’s an easy fix: Simplify and consolidate your tech infrastructure as much as you can. As a result, you don’t have to rely on several different databases to store, process and analyze all of your data—helping you avoid data silos.

Avoid Costly Vendor Lock-in

By 2020, 75 percent of organizations managing their data in a public cloud will be subject to vendor lock-in—making it costly and time-consuming to migrate data from one platform to another. Break down data silos—or avoid them in the first place—by using platforms that give you the ability to transfer this data easily.

Develop New Processes and Procedures for Storing Data

If your employees aren’t sure where to store data or what systems to use, can you really blame them for storing files in various locations and inadvertently creating data silos? Make sure your employees understand, very explicitly, how they are supposed to handle data and which platforms are approved. That way, you’ll reduce the chances data silos are created—while reducing or eliminating shadow IT.

Data silos are common in businesses across all industries. The good news is that if your organization has data silos, all hope is not lost.

By developing a plan on how to store data, encouraging employees to communicate with each other frequently and using the right tools, you can avoid data silos—making it that much easier to tap into the full power of your data.

Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Informa.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating.

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