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HR GLOSSARY

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HR Glossary | What is the Democratization of Data?

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What is the democratization of data?

The democratization of data is providing direct access to data and analytics to support workforce decisions—not just to HR staff members, but to other leaders, people managers and even employees themselves. It’s the recognition that data is power and that, placed in the right hands, it can help organizations make better, more informed, and more data-driven decisions.

Technology is a critical aid in data democratization

The promise of “big data”—large amounts of data now accessible through technological advancements—has largely gone unclaimed by many organizations. Many lament the situation with “data, data everywhere, but not an insight to be seen.”

Before people can glean insights from the data, they first need access. Data democratization means sharing the data and assuring that those with access know what it means and how to use it strategically.

People, including organizational leaders, need to know how to use data effectively to generate relevant insights.

Training is a must-have for all organizational leaders

Years ago, HR roles attracted many people without an affinity, or interest in, “the numbers.” Today, HR and many other organizational functions need data to make decisions, whether or not they have an affinity for charts and statistics. Anyone in the organization who will use data to make decisions needs training, resources and support to help them use that data most effectively and accurately.

As data becomes more widely available in an increasingly hybrid work world, security issues become a priority.

Security in a hybrid world

Even when most employees with access to data were located in the same physical setting, security concerns were critical. As the world has become increasingly more remote, employees work from various settings, and a wide range of transactions occur in the digital environment, security is more important than ever.

Fortunately, while the need for security has historically been a barrier to data democratization, today’s leaders are finding a balance between access and data protection.

Using people analytics solutions that offer a single source of data, along with customizable role-based permissions, companies can make sure the right data is getting to the right people, while understanding and controlling access to sensitive information.

About the author: Linda Pophal

Linda Pophal, MA, PCM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the founder and owner of Strategic Communications, LLC, and a marketing and communication strategist with expertise in HR and employee relations. With a background as a business journalist, her writing has appeared in the HR Daily Advisor, Human Resource Executive, and SHRM. She is a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.

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