The DataHero Blog

Don’t Fear Data Empowerment

July 2nd, 2013

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Today, we are on the cusp of an era of data empowerment.

As individuals, we have access to more data than ever before – on our laptops, in our cloud storage drives, and in online services like Salesforce and MailChimp.   But until now, the tools to work with that data and the skills needed to ask questions of that data have remained in the hands of a select few.

Why should someone with access to data not be able to ask questions of it just because they lack a particular technical skill?

If I have sales reports on my laptop, why shouldn’t I be able to ask what our sales by region by quarter are, without having to track down the “BI guy”?  If I have donor information for our non-profit, why shouldn’t I be able to visualize and analyze it without hiring an expensive consultant?  Why shouldn’t everyone who has spreadsheets and reports and uses online services be able to work with and understand the data that matters to them?

As with every major technological disruption, the incumbent forces would have you believe that the result would be Armageddon!

Legacy vendors are rushing to publish articles with ominous titles like “The Disaster of Dueling Excel Reports” that urge you to resist empowering your employees through fear mongering and outdated stereotypes:

  • The Business Analyst is in too much of a rush
  • The Director of Sales doesn’t know how to use Excel
  • The CMO has tunnel vision

The underlying message, of course, is that you can’t trust anyone outside of the chosen few.  They’re not smart enough.  They’re not careful enough.  They’ll screw it up!

At DataHero, we believe differently.

We believe that instead of fearing the mistakes that someone might make, we should empower them with tools that take the guesswork out of data analysis.

We believe that the fact that someone can’t write SQL or build a pivot table doesn’t make their questions any less important or their perspective any less valuable.

We also know that it also doesn’t mean that they won’t try to answer those questions on their own. Whether they understand the tools or not.

Imagine what might happen if we empowered our teams instead of fearing the mistakes that they might make:

Empowered Users

At DataHero, we believe in data empowerment.

Sign up for free and experience data liberation today

(Oh, and if you’re worried that we shouldn’t empower users for fear of ending up with different versions of data, there’s an easy solution to that.)

Do you believe in data empowerment? Tell us your stories in the comments below!

By Chris Neumann

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