/ How Data Integration and People Can Boost Data Agility

Ask people who lead modern organizations what data agility means to them and you’re likely to get a variety of answers.  
 
While one might equate data agility to the amount of access everyone in the company has to data, another is just as apt to think of it in terms of a base plate—a foundational element you can build from in a quest to create new competitive advantages. 
 
But while there are differences of opinion on the exact definition of data agility, there’s no question that it enables businesses to respond to change more easily, and with speed and confidence. 
 
A key part of the equation, of course, is data and analytics. But it’s not the only crucial piece. To facilitate the development of a modern organization, business leaders also need to consider the starting point, what challenges they may face along the way, and what kind of domino effect such an initiative may have on the business. 
 
So, where do I begin? 
 
Those who have gone through the process typically say that connecting data sources is a good place to start, as it gives you a solid-yet-flexible foundation from which to build from.  
 
Having such a platform is important because it becomes your single source of truth, which gives you the ability to respond to situations in a matter of minutes or hours, as opposed to days, weeks, or even months. 
 
Data integration also is what forces organizations to bring information in that they’ve never used before. This leads to some level of data exploration, with in turn breeds data literacy and innovation. 
 
How do I integrate data sources? 
 
Instead of asking that question, ask yourself questions like, “What are we trying to achieve here? What’s the end goal? What question(s) are we trying to answer?” 
 
In other words, ruthlessly prioritize. Figure out what data you need in order to find the answers to your business questions. Then focus on bringing that data together.  
 
A solution like Domo makes it easy to integrate data from any source, no matter how much there is. And its live cache layer enables lightning-fast queries, which is ideal for today’s organizations who increasingly need to make adjustments in real time. 
 
What challenges should I expect to encounter? 
 
If your organization or company is one that has operated the same way or used the same procedures for a long time, then getting to the point of embracing that there are new data points you can capture to inform decisions is likely to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. 
 
The good thing about being in that position, though, is it can force you to sharpen your arguments and to really know the business. 
 
Another potential obstacle has nothing to do with technology such as business intelligence tools, but with the makeup of your organization.  
 
Before you embark down the road to transformation, ask yourself if you’ve got the right people in place, if you’ve got the right amount, if they have the right skills, and if they are willing to adapt to change and identify opportunities. 
 
If the answer to all of those questions is “yes,” then chances are you’ll be well-equipped to drive forward. 
 
How will data agility impact my organization?  
 
One characteristic of a modern organization is the ability for everyone in the organization, no matter their role, to get a full view of the ecosystem, quickly.  
 
Being data-agile also allows you to have a proactive approach to business—even in crisis—and to react to new demands without hesitation.

As one customer recently put it to us, “(Data agility) enabled us to have some really critical conversations with our customers (in the last year) and deliver insights that yielded innovative solutions.” 
 
What’s more, because data agility typically translates to departments moving beyond working from different systems and speaking different languages, lines of communication can really open up.  
 
When there’s clarity across the board over what’s happening—even as it relates to trends in market conditions in various parts of the world—different regions and teams end up talking to each other, and that higher level of collaboration makes for efficient decision making. 
 
To learn how Domo helps businesses integrate data sources and become more data-agile, click here.

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