IT Leaders Shouldn’t have Exclusive Data Access. How Citizen Data Analysts Can Help

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Enterprise data growth is overwhelming IT departments and delaying the average company’s IT projects by three months to a year. IT ticket wait times are putting employees in limbo and preventing access to vital datasets, making it difficult to benefit from next-generation data analytics.

Although IT has the responsibility of supporting the technology infrastructure of an organization, they lack the resources needed to help entire enterprises extract copious amounts of enterprise data across various data sources. 

However, not all hope is lost. When nontechnical users have the means to access vital information more efficiently and independently, it can ease the pressure of IT and unlock valuable insights across entire enterprises. 

Data volumes are projected to grow tenfold by 2025. Nearly all departments in an organization can leverage data to make sound decisions. In fact, the average company uses five internal applications to support their decision-making. And as organizations transition to hybrid work models and move more data to the cloud, technical teams have far too much on their plates with 97 percent of data teams currently at or over capacity.

By empowering citizen data analysts to take ownership of their own data needs, enterprises can unlock the full potential of data analytics without the red tape of IT. 

Democratizing datasets 

Nontechnical employees don’t need to be experts on configuring multi-server systems.  

This concept is similar to low-code/no-code tools, which enable citizen developers to create their own digital solutions with minimal IT intervention. Democratized datasets allow business users to access and analyze their data real-time, enabling informed and agile decision making. 

Likewise, data connectivity and integration technology tools put data into the hands of business users on their own terms resulting in endless opportunities when this occurs. 

Developing citizen developers 

Opening opportunities for citizen analysts removes stress from those in IT and can unlock newfound business values. More than two-thirds of organizations say data analytics helps them make better strategic decisions. Below are three considerations to empower and support citizen analysts across an enterprise:

  1. Assign IT to determine access permissions

Data governance is still of the utmost importance when it comes to self-service data models. Every department has their own set of needs and largely only requires access to the data most relevant to their role. IT should focus on setting up the right controls and user permissions to open up data access to lines of business without compromising security while empowering citizen users.

  1. Manage universal connectivity by working with partners

Workplace apps have skyrocketed in popularity and the number of public APIs are continuing to grow by the thousands annually. Not only is data created in more places today, it has to connect with more systems than ever before. To ensure cross-departmental collaboration is efficient, partner with data connectivity software solutions to boost the workflow and connections between legacy systems and cloud platforms.

  1. Utilize real-time analytics

Stale or expired data has little to no value, so by the time enterprise data lands in the right hands by way of IT, the information is often obsolete. Use real-time data platforms that give users access to data directly from the source or storage location to analytics platforms – without replicating entire datasets. Real-time connectivity allows business teams to build reports leveraging live data from an ever-expanding catalog of new applications for flexible, up-to-date reporting and business processes.

Data has the power to transform your business. But waiting on overburdened IT teams to access data results leaves organizations without a clear picture of what is happening within their enterprise. With the right tools, citizen data analysts can lift the burden of data off the shoulders of IT and open the door to new insights and innovations across the enterprise. 

About the Author

Jerod Johnson is a senior technology evangelist at CData Software educating the tech industry on best practices to solve their data challenges through the use of real-time data connectivity solutions that help connect, integrate, and automate enterprise data. Jerod has a background in software development and support, along with extensive knowledge of the data industry and its trends, especially in data warehousing, integration, and analytics. He holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science and mathematics education from North Carolina State University.

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