4 steps to eliminating data silos

Person taking a set of steps upwards

Does your organisation suffer from data silos? Have you noticed the impact this is having on your organisation and are you keen to stop this? If so, hopefully these tips will help to give you some ideas and options on how to break down data silos and to get your organisation working more effectively.

Recently, we shared an article taking a look at four reasons why data silos are dangerous to ignore. This covered what a data silo is and why they can be harmful. Here we will aim to offer different ways to tackle the challenges that data silos create. Let’s explore what steps we can take to eliminate data silos for good:

1. Encourage a data sharing culture within the organisation

Try to instil a culture of data sharing by showing how useful it is when it happens and what issues can and are arising from data silos. If you can help your staff to understand the benefits that they and your organisation will get from sharing data more easily, they will be more willing to support and encourage processes, systems and activities that enable this to happen.

The Data Maturity Framework from Data Orchard contains metrics to help organisations understand how developed their data culture is and what is holding them back from having a mature culture around data. The framework also includes a free assessment tool that gives an assessment of data culture from answering some simple questions.

2. Make data discoverable so that all can access it easily

Make it easy to discover data that everyone can use and access with ease. This can mean setting up a centrally-provided data management system and getting everybody to work together to ensure that it is the one and only repository for all the organisation’s data. Many legacy management systems take away control from teams and data owners, so platforms that emphasise discovery whilst keeping data federated are preferable.

It may take some time, effort, money and coordination to get this set up well, however, in the long term it will eliminate data silos and offer better opportunities for leveraging the organisation’s data more effectively.

Using a data management tool like Registers.app can allow your data to be accessed by your teams easily, without needing them to give up control.

3. Increase and improve data literacy across the organisation

Help your staff to understand the importance and impact that good data can have on their work, processes and for the business as a whole. Offer training and tools that make it easy to work with clean data and that encourage easy collaboration with others.

The Data Skills Framework published by the Open Data Institute sets out which people in an organisation will benefit most from data skills. Many major businesses use the framework to identify gaps in their current training programmes that are holding them back from realising the full potential of their data.

4. Offer transparency

People tend to appreciate when they know what’s happening and when they can see what’s what. Make it easy for people to access data, to see what’s happening with the data, and to see who’s doing what with the data. Don’t withhold parts of the data or data analysis from staff. Let them have a view of all of the data so that they can leverage it, make use of it and appreciate all that it can offer – even if for sensitive data that view is only that it exists, or the simplest information about its content.

If you’re shifting from one data management system or decide to set up to another, keep everyone in the loop and make sure that the process of moving to the new system is transparent. Let those who will be using it feel like they’re an important part of the process.

Those are our 4 steps to eliminating data silos from your organisation. We hope that you’ve found these useful and interesting and that they give you some ideas to get started with. If not, or if you’d like to explore more options, do get in touch with us to discuss your specific situation and needs. We’d be delighted to hear from you and you can get in contact with us at Register Dynamics now!