/ How CIOs Can Turn Their Dark Data Light with Data Integration

How CIOs Can Turn Their Dark Data Light with Data Integration

The modern day CIO now has access to an abundance of data compared to 10 years ago, predominantly due to the adoption of third-party solutions that churn data day in day out for organizations.

 

 

Most enterprises are now faced with the challenge of managing these data streams, but they are being burdened with big data complexity and limited visibility on how their data is being transformed and manipulated to serve the purpose of their business.

Although taking control of data is a natural step for the industry to take, it is leading to a department-specific approach to data management — a process the CIO should have authority over when it comes to data governance and security. Now department leads can update their own spreadsheets based on data from third-party solutions, such as Marketo or SalesForce — resulting in a loss in control, governance, and decision making agility. Even desktop-enabled BI tools like Tableau take that data offline from the cloud.

It is these challenges that are shifting the role of the CIO from “gatekeeper” to “integration lead” — with the purpose of uncovering, democratizing, and allowing decisions to be made from the “dark data” residing across different departments as a form of shadow analytics.

 

 

Taking back control of data

Data should be democratized, yet what CIOs are learning is that there is a process to getting there. It is paramount that data interpretation is consistent across the whole business. The minute dark data is shared independently, for example in the form of an offline excel spreadsheet, the chances of consistency or “one source of truth” dramatically fall.

A lack of data control is also problematic in terms of vetted or governed data. When business data passes through many hands across all levels of an organization and is “saved on the drive”, the moment it is accessed or shared the data can be easily manipulated or edited with no paper trail as to why or when it was updated, for instance when producing marketing reports or sales figures.

 

 

When organizations receive requests from their customers to share data, this also becomes an issue. Without being hosted in one central location, data that is shared externally can take time to extrapolate and can often be outdated, and it can be difficult to combine data sources across fragmented environments in a seamless and unified way.

 

Providing data visibility

Lack of visibility in data that resides across the business leads to inefficiency and often missed opportunities. Without a cohesive overview of how data can inform inter-department decision making, opportunities are only usually uncovered when reported on at the end of the month.

A progressive enterprise should have instant access to overall data health, in order to write data back to source systems when updated in a governed way. This process allows teams to leverage data science and machine learning to identify anomalies and outliers in the system — easing pressure on employees to monitor and spot trends 24/7.

 

 

Streamlining data access fights the battle against delayed decision making. Missed opportunity, or worse, damage limitation, can result in significant loss and risk for enterprises. The lack of automation puts menial tasks back in the hands of users, drastically slowing down the ability to remain agile to the market. Consolidation and ease of access to data promotes a new working culture, using live data to host ad hoc meetings or export data reports at any time.

 

 

Driving a data-driven culture

Shadow IT is a result of no transparent or integrated data across the enterprise. This stems from multiple data reports being created across different departments, such as marketing spend reports. Although a quick fix for one department, it provides no consistency or cohesion in how departments are informing each other, for example realigning marketing spend when there is a sudden change in strategy for the month.

Integrating data into platforms like Domo breaks the barrier to entry when requesting the latest results to make an informed decision. Data is relayed in a way that is intuitive to interpret, driving curiosity and creativity in data analytics rather than it being kept to certain skill sets or job titles.

In order to maximize an efficient and accurate use of data across the enterprise, data governance plays a huge role. Domo’s integrated cloud solution allows IT leads to certify data sets so that users know what data has been approved by the company or individual departments. A step further, Domo’s platform allows IT leads to set certain levels of unlimited personalized data permissions. Administrators can create entitlement policies that govern access to specific data in a dataset for individuals and groups.

It is this level of granularity in the back-end that enables the freedom of use by the workforce. All levels of the business have instant access to the data they need, providing agility to everyday decision making, and confidence in knowing the data is accurate, appropriate and consistent for use internally and for when shared externally. Find out more about data governance and control here.

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