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Webinar — Data democratization

November 07, 2023

Navigate data democratization strategies with Arrow

Data democratization

Arrow has teamed up with Vation Ventures to deliver a series of quick videos covering “What’s Next in Tech.” In our first five webinars this year, we broke down the trends impacting security and compliance, FinTech, storage, generative AI and the IT talent shortage.

In this webinar, Michael Hill, senior research analyst at Vation, joins us to dive into navigating and adopting a new technology principle — data democratization. Let's explore deeper into this new principle below.

What is data democratization?

Data democratization is a term that only recently entered the tech nomenclature, yet it is making significant waves within the all business communities. 

Data democratization is not so much a technology as it is a technology-based principle of empowering workforces by making data accessible and actionable across the breadth of an organization. Data democratization is made possible via a technology-supported process that draws on a comprehensive toolset aimed at enabling business intelligence (BI) for all, regardless of one’s level of technological expertise.

Market perspective

There are numerous drivers behind the recent push for data democratization:

1. The business landscape is evolving — quickly. 76% of respondents to a recent Alteryx-sponsored survey [1] conducted by IDC say they see the business landscape changing faster in the next 12-18 months than ever before.

2. Data itself is becoming more and more complex. Another IDC survey recently revealed that managing data complexity is the top data-specific challenge for 45% of organizations [2] when it comes to their data analytics activities.

3. Businesses are significantly increasing spend on data analytics technology. In fact, 73% of respondents to the previously referenced Alteryx/IDC survey [1] believe that analytics spend will outpace their other software investments over the next 12-18 months.

Key challenges

But let’s go back to those data-specific challenges. In addition to managing data complexity, knowing data quality scores (38%), finding and accessing external data (32%) and improving individual analytic skills (31%) merited significant response rates in the IDC survey. [2]

And what about non-data-specific challenges? 39% reported that time spent in data preparation is a key pain point for them when it comes to performing data analytics activities, while 32% highlighted the complexity of data analytics tools and 30% indicated concern over their understanding of advanced analytics. [2]

Tools for data democratization

Fortunately for those surveyed, and many others, there are a plethora of technology tools readily available that can help clear the way for data democratization. These run the gamut from data warehouses, data marts and data lakes; to ELT, ETL and Reverse ETL applications; to data catalogs, data visualization software and self-service data analytics tools.

Data warehouses, data marts & data lakes

Let’s start at the source. Where should an organization’s data be collected?

The predominant repository types currently include:

1. Data warehouses, which serve as central repositories for integrated data drawn from separate locations that has been prepped for use.

2. Data marts, which are data warehouses within data warehouses, in that the data they contain is highly processed for the purpose of making it relevant to certain business teams.

3. Data lakes, which are large, untamed holding tanks of largely unprocessed data, where information is plentiful but discovering it is no mean feat — hence the need for data warehouses.

ETL, ELT & reverse ETL

Properly extracting, transforming, and loading data are crucial steps on the road to data democratization and there’s not one uniform way of undertaking them.

The first of these data integration methods is ETL (extract, transform, load), which extracts raw data from third-party sources, transforms that data on a secondary processing server, and then loads it into a target database.

The second is ELT (extract, load, transform), which stands in contrast to ETL in that it does not require data transformation prior to loading. Instead, it loads raw data directly into a cloud data warehouse and executes data transformation within.

The last of these is Reverse ETL, which is essentially the opposite of ETL and ELT, in that it is a process of extracting data from a data warehouse, transforming it inside the warehouse to meet the data formatting needs of whatever third-party system it is going to, and then loading that data into the designated third-party system.

Data catalog, data visualization & self-service analytics

Once the data is readied for use, the real fun — or democratization — begins. Data catalogs, data visualization software and, finally, self-service analytics are the ultimate enablers of data democratization. These classify data, representing it graphically and making possible the kind of hands-on interaction that can result in deep data exploration, report creation and insight visualization.

How the technology channel can help

Choosing and executing on an effective data democratization campaign does not have to be difficult. Here are four ways a distributor like Arrow can support data democratization and BI for your business:

  1. Bring clients up to speed on established and emerging data analytics technologies
  2. Enable data democratization through the delivery of appropriate solutions and services
  3. Encourage inclusive, cross-organization, technology-supported data democratization
  4. Educate channel partners on available solutions and deliver holistic solution strategies aimed at making BI for all a reality

Arrow can help you assess your data analytics tech stack. Our talented technology experts will connect you with the right vendors and guide you towards solutions and services that will help you optimize data democratization strategies for your customers. Get started with Arrow today.

To watch more of the Arrow and Vation Ventures' "What's next in tech" webinar series click here.



[1] IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Alteryx, 4 Ways to Unlock Transformative Business Outcomes from Analytics Investments, doc #US49458122, August 2022

[2] IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Alteryx, Data and Analytics in a Digital-First World, doc #US48688922, January 2022


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