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What is the Democratization of Data?

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When your business is loan portfolio sales, it helps to have accurate information. What if some of the information that you needed to effectively do your job was locked away or otherwise beyond your reach? This is a common complaint among many professionals, and a new and novel solution is called the democratization of data.

What is the Democratization of Data?

Wouldn't it be nice if your company decided to put together a new loan portfolio and its team of professionals didn't have to ask for access to certain data? If you've ever requested information from another department and had someone ask you "why" you needed that data, you probably understand that this can be both frustrating and time-consuming.

For much of the last five decades, data has been "owned" by IT departments and then farmed out to either analysts or executives to drive business decisions. Data democratization takes that information and puts it in the hands of the average user so that faster decisions can be made by more parties within an organization.

Just How Much Data is Available?

Putting data in a few hands may have worked at one time, but now there is so much data available that just a few people are unable to process it with any efficiency. In fact, the old ways of handling data are creating bottlenecks at the gateways, which creates delays in important business decisions. If your company hopes to capitalize on certain opportunities in its market, those chances could quickly be lost due to delays.

How much data are we talking about? According to figures compiled by Waterford Technologies, there are currently 2.7 Zettabytes of data in existence today, and the volume of the world's business data doubles every 1.2 years. If you are searching online for information, approximately 571 new websites are created every minute. By 2020, the volume of online business transactions will grow to 450 billion per day.

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What Your Company Can Accomplish With All of This Data

Now that you can access more data without those cumbersome bottlenecks, the idea is that you will be able to work more efficiently and find more business opportunities for your company. This will not only give your team key business insights that you may not have had in the past, but it will also deliver a competitive advantage over companies that aren't embracing data democratization just yet. Employees who have greater access to data feel more empowered and are more likely to take a greater degree of ownership in their reports and subsequent decision-making.

The How's of Data Democratization

Accessing the equivalent of 2.7 trillion gigabytes of data sounds like a tall order. There's a good chance that your organization won't need to access every piece of data ever created. This is a good thing because it will make your job easier. Even without the burden of total world domination, you might still run into a few roadblocks that make data democratization a challenge.

Instead of being stored in one central location, data often exists in what are called "silos." Different sets of data are locked away for certain users to access. When a company decides to embrace the democratization of data, those silos must be broken down so that anyone can access the data when they have a need, without having to ask or fill out a special form.

Fortunately, modern technology is becoming a driver in the shifting tide towards data democratization. Cloud storage services are one of the best ways to break down data silos by creating a central storage point for all of an organization's data. Data virtualization software can retrieve data from any source and gives the user tools for data manipulation. Data federation software employs metadata to compile data from a variety of sources into a single database.

The democratization of data may sound like a data free for all, but this isn't the case. A company that is interested in selling mortgages obviously needs to protect client data. To this end, strong data governance must remain in place to make sure that each piece of data is properly managed and maintained. The wider availability of data throughout the organization, however, will ensure that decision-making is more nimble, which will have a positive impact on the company's bottom line results.