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No SQL? No problem

Emily Cleland Data quality

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, the data an organization collects is expected to deliver insight and value back to the business. Therefore, there is an increased focus on the accuracy and reliability of data collected, while there is also the apparent need for business users to have direct access to their data. We are seeing organizations express their commitment to making data-driven decisions, and this is only possible when business users are directly able to understand and leverage data to make these decisions. Despite this growing need, a common problem presents itself when IT is the keeper of an organization’s data, and business users have to wait for insight from the IT that they can understand. Let’s take a deeper look into the benefit of granting business users direct access to the data and how your organization can achieve this goal.

It is safe to say that if IT is solely responsible for your data management, it can cause limitations for business users. First off, let’s say you learn you have a meeting with your senior management team that is suddenly rescheduled to tomorrow! In this meeting you are planning to present marketing’s impact on customer retention. Clearly, this is something for which you would need data to back up your reasoning and you had requested assistance from IT to get the information. However, now there is no guarantee you will get this much needed data before your big meeting. If your IT department is the only team responsible for managing your data, you probably run into these kinds of issues often. In fact, according to our 2017 global data management benchmark report, we found less than a quarter of organizations say their data requests are resolved in a few hours. The most common response was that it takes a few days for IT to complete business requests. And it’s not their fault. More likely than not, they are stretched extremely thin, not only having to assist business users with their requests, but also managing the overall technology of their business. By having the ability to directly access your data as a business user, it becomes a win win for both you and your IT department.

The caveat here is that you, as a business user, need to understand the data you are looking at. Often these requests you send through IT can require hours of SQL coding to query the database and return a readable report. The solution then becomes to invest in a tool (made with business users in mind) that will ingest your organization’s data, and present you with readable information that can help you immediately turn insight into action. A tool like Experian Pandora is a way to achieve direct access to your data with just the click of a button. By investing in a tool like this, you are granted the ability to profile, analyze, and discover relationships within your database as business needs present themselves. This way, you won’t be waiting on an IT bottleneck to get the insight you are looking for. Now the same tasks you would normally request from IT (because they required lengthy SQL coding) can be completed in a matter of seconds rather than days.

What does this mean for you? It means that you are able to access direct insight from your database, without depending on IT to be the middleman. It means you can now make actionable decisions based on data you trust with the click of a button. It means your data is now fit for purpose.

In order to keep up with the growing need for business users to have direct access to their data, many organizations are adopting a self-service business model.

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