How can data democratisation deliver better business outcomes?

Written by Paul Scholey, Vice President of International Sales, Sisense

The true act of democratising data analytics – to seamlessly deliver insights from data into the hands of all – is well within reach. There have been incredible advancements in automation and AI (artificial intelligence) that have generated real-life examples of what people are capable of when they have the power of data in their own hands.

According to Deloitte, 44% of UK executives say AI is helping them to widen their lead or leapfrog ahead of their competitors by automating tasks and driving better business decisions into the future. Even more, recent reports indicate that 70% of businesses will be using AI, and the majority (95%) of customer interactions will use some form of AI-related functionality by 2030.


Data and healthcare innovation

Imagine a more intelligent healthcare industry where doctors become data scientists, patient treatment is personalised, caregivers truly care, and patients are more than satisfied with their care. With analytics, this new era of health care is well within reach, with some innovative industry players already taking the lead.

As an example, GeriMedica, a multi-disciplinary electronic medical record (EMR) company in The Netherlands that services the elderly care market, rolled out analytics not only to aid the billing and finance departments, but to help its practitioners improve the quality of care.

The staggering volume of data that the healthcare industry creates presents a huge opportunity for analytics to find patterns and actionable insights, which can improve the lives of patients. As datasets grow and analytical questions become more challenging, healthcare teams will increasingly rely on the analytics embedded within their EMR systems and other software.

However, just serving up insights won’t be enough. As analytics become more mainstream, users will want the power to dig into data themselves, perform ad hoc analyses, and design their own dashboards. With the right tools and training, even frontline users like doctors and nurses can be empowered to become builders, creating their own dashboards to answer the questions that matter most to them.


The UK innovators getting it right

If democratising data analytics provides so many benefits as demonstrated in the healthcare industry, then why aren’t other companies and industries following suit? The answer is simple. Doing so requires a fundamental evolution in how analytics is approached in the first place.

Look at the UK’s pioneering recipe-box company Gousto, for example. This company is providing households with convenient and easy-to-cook recipes to the tune of eight-million meals monthly, while reducing food waste. Independent builders merchant Huws Gray is a one-stop-shop for its customers, providing everything from below-ground drainage products to roofing materials.

And Disciple, an industry leader in SaaS solutions for the creator economy, is helping its digital creators build unique and targeted app-based communities around their content outside of mainstream social media channels. Each of these companies provides a product and/or service made possible by powerful analytics made invisible to the everyday person.

This is what’s possible when data analytics is democratised. These achievements didn’t come to light because of specialist reporting teams in IT or self-service BI tools delivered to business users. No, they came to fruition because everyday people have insights at their fingertips, enabling them to make smarter decisions.


How can we truly democratise data?

Most companies today ask their knowledge workers to make data-driven decisions by first learning additional tools. These tools come in the form of standalone dashboards and self-service analytics apps, which despite improving on the days of submitting data requests to IT, still require training, upskilling, and sometimes enrolling in certification courses. Not only is this often ineffective, but it also takes too much time; time that knowledge workers don’t have to begin with.

To truly democratise data analytics, knowledge workers must be empowered to make data-driven decisions without learning an entirely new discipline. The ideal scenario would be to have actionable insights extracted from data and then infused into workers’ existing workflows, apps, and devices, providing a natural flow to their decision making.

Like other technologies, when analytics and insights from data are placed into the hands of all, everyone benefits. In fact, people have already begun using analytics in creative new ways like inventing entirely new products and services.


About the Author:


Paul Scholey, Vice President of International Sales, Sisense

As Vice President of International Sales, Paul Scholey is responsible for growing the Sisense business in EMEA and APAC. He brings over 25 years of experience in the software industry, having previously worked in and led teams in consulting, pre-sales, and sales. Paul has a track record of growing early stage and midsize software companies, with specialisation in building sales teams focused on accountability and value-based selling. Most recently, he was SVP of International at BlueJeans by Verizon. Prior to that, Paul held a variety of leadership positions at Oracle, Teradata, Pentaho and Business Objects.


About Sisense:

Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organisations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking through the barriers of analytics adoption by going beyond the dashboard with Sisense Fusion – the highly customisable, AI-driven analytics cloud platform, that infuses intelligence at the right place and the right time, every time. More than 2,000 global companies rely on Sisense to innovate, disrupt markets and drive meaningful change in the world. Ranked as the No. 1 Business Intelligence company in terms of customer success, Sisense has also been named one of the Forbes’ Cloud 100, The World’s Best Cloud Companies, six years in a row. Visit us at and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.


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