Data democratisation refers to providing all employees within an organisation access to data without any hindrance. This means anyone in the organisation, including those with limited technical knowledge, should be able to access digital data from the information system without anyone’s assistance. Data democratisation is seen as a way for data to flow freely among employees allowing them to access the insights provided by data analytics. In a Good Cloud and Harvard Business Review Poll, 97 per cent of the respondents noted that access to data and analytics throughout the entire organisation is essential for its success. However, the poll revealed that only 60 per cent of individuals believed their companies offered equal access. This article will consider the benefits manufacturing companies, in particular, can gain from data democratisation.
Why is Data Democratisation Important?
Traditionally, data analysts and IT departments exclusively had access to all data. This resulted in employees having to increasingly depend on these two departments, slowing down a company’s overall operations to the high number of things that need to be addressed through them. Hence, gradually companies started to share data with more employees.
Today, employees at all levels are bound to make a call in certain situations on their own, one way or another. To ensure they take such decisions smartly, providing access to data will ensure that such decisions are made promptly. Alternatively, data democratisation can be seen as a way for the upper management to reliably allow individuals in the lower management to start making more decisions where possible by providing them with the required data. Sharing the data and distributing more responsibility among employees in that sense can make the manufacturing factory more efficient as any anomaly or risks can be instantly addressed by the respective personnel present near the system. In essence, data democratisation aims to make data accessible to anyone in the company at any time.
Benefits of Data Democratisation
Companies with unlocked data democratisation are said to have a competitive edge in the industry. Here are three reasons why:
Traditionally, the best an employee can do is highlight a concern to the higher management and wait till it is addressed. This prolongs issues from being solved, leading certain employees to work until that issue is addressed. With data democratisation, however, each employee will feel empowered. Not only does this ensure a manufacturing company’s trust in all employees, but it fosters a sense of responsibility in each person. The great thing about data democratisation is that it only provides employees with the relevant information it needs. Hence, depending on whether a person is part of the supply chain or the manufacturing factory itself, details exclusion to those roles are easily accessible.
Where no gatekeeper restricts access, others have fewer opportunities to be innovative. With the right data quality and appropriate data governance programs in place, there is ample space for innovation. Since almost anyone can access the bulk of data that is being generated, individuals from various departments have the freedom to think and innovate. In a world where manufacturing is vastly automated, one thing that the digital world cannot take over is innovation. Hence, by fostering an environment that encourages employees to tap into their creative energy when addressing problems, with access to the right data, a practice plan can be generated.
Improves Customer Experience
The advantages of data democratisation are not limited to employees. It also significantly helps customers when it comes to receiving their orders on time. Data democratisation, from the customer’s point of view, does not mean they will have access to all the data in a manufacturing company. Instead, data democratisation simply means customers can access all the information regarding their orders. This includes being able to track and trace their items wherever they are. Being notified of sudden changes and delays and being consistently updated on its progress are all done by data democratisation. Being told in advance when it will arrive, notifying the customer it has been handed over, and other vital messages are bound to keep customers happy.
Key Concerns of Data Democratisation
While data democratisation has its many benefits, it also comes with certain concerns. For instance, when everyone in a company has access to all data in an organisation, there is a higher probability of data leaking. This could particularly be a stressful situation where the company is a large organisation leaving space for unfaithful employees to share sensitive information with others. The only way to tackle this is by incorporating appropriate security and privacy measures to protect data. Regulations and policies on data security and use, which is a mode of data governance, need to be implemented so that the system helps managers identify if their organisation’s sensitive information is at risk.
What is Holding a Company Back From Practicing Data Democratisation?
While many of the concerns about data democratisation have gradually vanished, one concern that continues to hold some power is security. The common perception is that if data is made available to a larger group of people, it may sacrifice data integrity. Some also feared that different people would interpret the data in different ways. The only way to tackle such fears is by considering what solution a manufacturer wants to adopt in their factories. In the heart of data democratisation, departments and employees need to be integrated into one platform and be given access to data. Hence, manufacturing execution systems and enterprise resource planning solutions are great choices for organisations hoping to embrace this concept. Based on which solution works for each company, carrying out ample research on the vendor is vital. Concerns like security, for instance, can only be addressed by considering the solution’s robust interface, something only the vendor can engineer. Hence, considering the vendor’s reputation in the global market and their potential to become a long-term partner are considerations that must be carefully made.
Additionally, to tackle issues with data integrity, it is the data-driven organisation’s responsibility to ensure that proper training is provided so that employees use data correctly when making decisions.
Cerexio MES: Unlock Data Democratisation
Cerexio MES is an all-in-one solution suite for manufacturing companies finding it hard to move away from data silos. A great tool to transform your factory into a smart one, Cerexio helps your data democratise seamlessly and offers all your employees access to relevant information with no delay. It takes additional security protocols to ensure sensitive information is not at risk, encrypting every piece of information and ensuring only authorised personnel use it. It is embedded with industry 4.0 technology, including AI, ML, IoT, digital twin and predictive and prescriptive analytics. This makes the data processed all the more valuable as every person on the plant floor will know of anomalies and can gain insightful reports on the progress of its manufacturing operations, guaranteeing any practices that generate waste is addressed quickly. The detailed reports generated can also act as a source of innovation, driving employees to be creative and encouraging them to develop new strategies.
Connect with us to learn how Cerexio can handle enormous amounts of big data processing.
Data Democratisation for a More Integrated Production Floor
Data democratisation is crucial if you want your manufacturing company to be data-driven. While data government protocols should be in place, limiting data access to only one department will create bottlenecks. This means if a person finds important data, they must go to the department with access to data to get permission to use it. In the long run, taking into account the fast-paced nature of the manufacturing industry, massive delays could significantly hinder the company’s operations. Hence, enlarging the pool that has access to data, training employees on ethical practices and investing in a trustworthy vendor that can eliminate security concerns of data democratisation can lead to optimising manufacturing processes.
This article is prepared by Cerexio, a leading technology vendor that offers specialised solutions in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Sector. The company is headquartered in Singapore and has offices even in Australia. Cerexio consists of a team of experts that have years of experience and holds detailed knowledge on a range of subject matters centric to the latest technologies offered in manufacturing and warehouse operations, as well as in predictive maintenance, digital twin, PLC & instrumentation setup, enterprise integrator, data analytics and total investment system.