The Magic of Democratizing Data Analytics: 3 Steps to Get Started

In today’s world, businesses are rapidly adopting data driven decision making processes. With insight driven companies growing 8 times faster than their peers, they don’t have a choice.

The gauntlet has effectively been thrown down. Either provide access to relevant data for your business, or join the growing graveyard of dinosaur companies, unable or unwilling to adapt to the modern digital economy.

The logos of Uber, Netflix, and Airbnb.

No industry is safe from this digital disruption.  Players like Uber, AirBnB, and Netflix have transformed markets which were previously deemed alien to the tech sector with a completely technology-centric approach. And with tech giants like Amazon eyeing healthcare and Facebook considering getting into the financial services game, this is just the beginning.

What do all these companies have in common? They’re predicated on providing instant access to business data.

By making data available throughout their organization, these companies have a real pulse on usage, expected or unexpected, that’s happening in near real-time. In turn, these companies are able to more agilely plan for the future, observe what’s going on inside and outside their business, react instantly when something changes, and reallocate resources on the fly as necessary. That’s the very definition of lean and mean.

The First Step: Know Thyself

To compete and win, knowing yourself is the first step. It’s imperative businesses know what’s going on inside their organization at all times. 

The quote know thyself from socrates.

More importantly, businesses need this knowledge to be driven by data - like key performance indicators (KPIs) or objectives and key results (OKRs) - that is available to the many, instead of relying on the gut feeling of the few.

Answering questions about which areas of the business are performing well may be easy at a macro level. But can we dig deeper? Are there blind spots in the business? Is there a leak today in some part of the business, or even more challenging, is there a chance something could become leak in near future if left unplugged?

The Second Step: Knowledge is Power

It’s not enough for businesses to examine themselves through a data lense. They must go further and make this information easily available at the most granular level to everyone in their organization.

Ten people working around a table. Each with phones or computers.

It’s extremely powerful when hundreds or thousands of eyes can interact with data at every juncture. As innately curious creatures, we humans can’t help but ask questions, which inevitably inspire more questions. The more deeply people can dig into the data to answer these questions, the more likely they are to unearth an “unexpected” opportunity - whether that’s a shift in customer preference or new market segment - and make the right decision to capitalize on it. The key is eradicating barriers to accessing information. 

Step Three: Turn On the ML Magic

This, unfortunately, is where most companies stop. Even humans can only ask so many questions! And they won’t always know the right ones to ask.

Recent advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence technology have made it possible for analytics systems to automatically ask thousands of questions, analyze the data, and pull  out information without a human having to ask a single question.

This is the true magic of data democratization. It’s a perfect symbiotic relationship. Humans proactively look at data to find out what’s expected or not, the system observes the above and automatically asks additional questions to find unexpected information, which in turn causes humans to dig deeper.

More powerful ways of thinking leading into better AI systems, which then lead into more powerful cognitive technologies.

Talk about a virtuous cycle!

We at ThoughtSpot have a singular mission: helping every business unlock the value of data by making it available to all and promote a culture of data literacy. We’ve purposefully built a platform that lets companies tackle all three of these steps. With search-driven cloud analytics, any human can use simple language to ask questions of data and instantly get answers. SpotIQ, our AI engine, takes this further, asking its own questions and returning insights in seconds.

If you’re ready to be a part of the digital revolution, we’re ready to help. Let us show you today.