Browse Definitions:
Definition

data democratization

Contributor(s): Frederic-Charles Petit

Data democratization is the ability for information in a digital format to be accessible to the average end user. The goal of data democratization is to allow non-specialists to be able to gather and analyze data without requiring outside help.

When ownership for data is distributed among independent business functions, a sea change in corporate culture may be required before data democratization can become a reality. In some companies, managers may limit employee access to data because they are afraid that non-technical employees won't have the necessary skills to interpret data and apply it correctly. In such a corporate culture, internal data governance policies may be established to only grant access to executives, data scientists and information technology (IT) staff.

Even when an organization wants to embrace democratization, however, there can be impediments to making data freely available. Data may be stored in silos, making it difficult for employees in different departments to access data and view it in a consistent manner. Another problem that prevents the average end user from taking advantage of an organization’s data is that even small data sets may have inconsistencies that have to be cleaned up and files may need to be transformed from one format to another before the data can be used.

Advances in virtualization is making data democratization much easier at the technical level, however, and negating the need for ad hoc, highly labor-intensive processes. Data virtualization software, for example, allows an application to retrieve and manipulate data without requiring technical details about the data, such as how it is formatted or where it is physically located.

Data federation software also facilitates democratization by aggregating data from disparate sources in a virtual database so it can be used for business intelligence (BI) or other analysis. The virtual database created by data federation software doesn't contain the data itself. Instead, it simply contains metadata about the actual data and its location.

Cloud storage has proved especially effective for breaking down data silos by creating a central location for data to be stored. Database management system (DBMS) security features can mask or encrypt data to lower the risks associated with data democratization and self-service BI applications can provide non-technical end users with data visualization tools that make data analysis easier to understand. For example, online survey tools with data visualization and reporting capabilities have made it easier for marketing teams to gather and analyze consumer data and share actionable information in real time

As online tools make data democratization easier to achieve, proponents of the concept believe it will narrow the playing field between big brands and smaller businesses. This in turn, is expected to create new business models, open doors to new business opportunities and transform the way all businesses make data-driven decisions

 

This was last updated in February 2017

Continue Reading About data democratization

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

How important is data democratization in your organization's culture?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close