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Without a data-literate team, your company doesn't have a chance of becoming data-driven. "Speaking data" is one of the biggest skills in the coming years as more technical skills (think SQL or R programming) become embedded in the tools themselves, demonstrating what we've always known — that tools will only take you so far. Your real resource is people.
So, utilize those people to their fullest. A few questions, though. Whose responsibility is it to ensure teams learn to speak data? And once that happens, how do you shift safely to universal access to your data? Let's look at how the data literacy problem and the question of governance are linked, and the one solution that rules them all.
For the most part, your team must be willing and able to learn how to approach the question of data in a new way. This could include taking ownership of data, working with IT instead of expecting IT to work for them, and learning the visualization skills necessary for accurate insights.
But the company must make this skill accessible and, more importantly, scalable. It doesn't do any good for an employee to learn to speak data and then have no data access. Maintaining that infamous data red tape is one way to discourage any employee from true data literacy.
So, you unlock your data from behind the IT wall, and what happens? People change it. They make mistakes. You find loopholes in your networked printer, and someone hacks it to fill in rows of sensitive information.
Therefore, you keep your data under lock and key because that's what responsible businesses do. And you watch as other companies, using the real-time insight from data, speed past you in revenue, growth, and innovation.
In a world where there are only two good options — lock up data for safekeeping or unlock it for continuous insight — it seems impossible to manage. Sure, you can "do" governance, but locking down a realistic strategy is a nightmare with so many moving parts.
We're telling you right now that you can't keep your data locked up. Your teams need it, and without it, you won't find insight and value from your data, only information. But you can't just open the gates either; you need a structured middle ground designed to make governance automatic at all levels based on your business's information and its data needs.
Deploying a governance strategy is dicey when it's enterprise data. So many sources. So many tools. So many logins. So much risk.
Instead, you need an enterprise-wide governance strategy so that each member of the team can acquire data and take ownership, exercising data literacy without risking the fundamental quality and integrity of your organization data.
So how is this possible? A unified Data Fabric provides three unique benefits.
Data Fabric isn't just a virtualization tool. It allows each enterprise to adjust the specificity of permissions at each level across the board — no more loopholes and no more forgotten back entrances. Your control happens infrastructure wide.
For small companies with relatively recent data stores, this isn't such a big deal. For enterprises with data stretching back decades, across a massive network of legacy tools and new overlays, this is game-changing.
Organizations using a Data Fabric manage a single set of controls no matter what integration. These controls are granular, happening across a department level, and adjustable down to a single cell of information.
Once you've chosen your controls, they become embedded at the data layer no matter how complex. No one gets around, and nothing is left to chance. Now, you have full control over even the most complex data while unlocking as much as you can for your departments to use.
These controls become part of the fabric itself, making a Data Fabric solution a security-first option. It's the only way your governance becomes an integral part of the data itself — no amount of movement erases the integrity and protection of the original data.
Because the fabric doesn't rely on exchanging copies to work, the streamlined network of original data is always available. There are no copies to control or track. There's nothing to get lost or misappropriated into one of the thousands of individual programs installed with (or without) IT knowledge.
Data literacy and data governance are simply two sides to the process of becoming data-driven. Data literacy is a bottom-up approach, in which the business facilitates, but the individual takes the initiative. Data governance is the top-down strategy, how the company encourages individual initiatives to become data literate.
A Data Fabric displaces the need for constant upgrades, changes, and alterations to your data governance strategy. It allows you to unlock data for your teams to use, allowing teams to collaborate in finding answers and insights and your IT to build new APIs for bigger, more ambitious data-driven projects.
The Modern Data Company's Data Fabric is a turnkey solution designed to deliver governance at the granular level, allowing you to set automatic controls that release your data. Data literacy is just on the horizon, and a Data Fabric makes it accessible. Unlock your data to make your team's data literacy a reality.