Data silos are data sets that are accessible only to one part of the company, isolated from the rest of the organization. Here’s why Data Silos are a problem, and how to avoid them
The data are now an indispensable asset for companies from all sectors. They enable better decisions to be made and thus gain an advantage over the competition. Conversely, companies that ignore data analysis risk being quickly overtaken by their rivals.
Unfortunately, the data cannot not always be considered reliable sources. This problem can be caused by various phenomena, in particular by data silos or Data Silos.
What is a data silo?
A data silo is a set of raw data to which a department of a company has access, but not the rest of the organization.
It generates a lack of transparency and efficiency with potentially disastrous consequences in the long run.
What are the causes of data silos?
Data silos may appear for several reasons. One of the main causes is the growth of the company.
Indeed, when an organization becomes too large, it’s becoming difficult to get the data flowing between departments. As the number of departments, offices, and employees increases, communication becomes more complex.
Likewise, when growth is too fastIf you change the structure of the company, the structure of the company is changed and the data flow between the different steps of the hierarchy becomes tedious. There is also competition among employees, and some teams will voluntarily refuse to transfer their data to prevent others from benefiting from it .
The other major cause of data silos is directly related to technology-related. If companies do not have the necessary technologies and applications to transfer information, it becomes difficult to circulate data.
In addition, some teams may be better trained in the use of data transfer technologies than others. The latter will therefore be able to have difficulty accessing the same information.
What are the problems with data silos?
Data silos pose multiple problems. First, they create a less collaborative environment within the company.
Each team works independently, and is satisfied with access to its own data. This divides the organization, theTeams cannot collaborate on projectsand it is therefore impossible to share a common vision.
By the way, data silos tend to slow down the business. Each team has to wait until they realize they need data that they don’t have access to, then search for the location of that data within the company, get access to that data manually, and finally analyze it for their own needs. Not only is this process a considerable waste of time, but it is so slow that the data may be obsolete by the time a team finally accesses it.
Data silos also represent a waste of storage space. If each employee who needs the same data stores it in his or her own department’s file, the information will be stored with unnecessary redundancy.
This results in unnecessary costs. It would therefore be more advantageous to make all data available to the various departments from a centralized platform accessible to all employees within the company.
Finally, data silos can compromise data accuracy. As mentioned earlier, data stored in silos can become obsolete over time. It then becomes erroneous and therefore unusable.
Besides.., each team can have access to its own version of the same data. Analyses will therefore be based on information that is no longer true, and may lead to wrong decisions being taken.
How to fight against data silos?
There are several solutions to combat the formation of Data Silos. First of all, it is possible to choose a new platform in order to unify Data Management.
Rather than letting each team use a different software, it is preferable that all departments use the same platform. By consolidating all the data in this way, it will be easier to share it between departments.
For information that changes frequently, the Cloud is a relevant solution especially for moderate data volumes. Data can be stored in a single cloud archive rather than in multiple silos. Backups ensure data integration between all members and departments of the company. This is why more and more companies are turning to Cloud backup or archiving solutions.
Many organizations are also turning to Data Warehouses: directories that hold all the data collected by the operating systems of a single company. These systems are optimized for data access and analysis, and allow you to enjoy a 360-degree view.
In addition, it is appropriate for develop a culture of collaboration within your company. It is not to be excluded to create a department specially dedicated to strengthening solidarity between the different teams. This cohesion can be developed through events, or the implementation of some form of regulation.
Finally, do not hesitate to take the time to sort through the data. Although the task is tedious, eliminating obsolete and isolated data accumulated over the years is necessary for the implementation of a reliable and efficient data management system.
There are several solutions to overcome data silos. Companies with the necessary expertise can use SQL or Python scripts to write code for data extraction and transfer. There are also ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools available on site or cloud-based to automate the process .