Data Silos: How to Break a Bad Habit

Posted by RocketDocs Content Writer | May 03, 2018

In the spirit of Jack Handey, let’s start today’s blog with some deep thoughts. Why is there something rather than nothing? Who am “I”? Or, if you drop soap on the floor, is the floor clean or the soap dirty?

That brings me to a question I recently pondered. If content is managed but kept segregated from similar content, can you consider that an organized system?

The essence of organization

The purpose of organization is to know the exact location of something so there is efficiency. Unfortunately, the more individuals involved, the more complicated the most basic arrangement can become. For example, if IT is tasked with data collection, but they cannot consolidate that data, analytics cannot do their job as well. Then, that delays the report that goes to marketing. And the sales team sits, twiddling their thumbs.

This is a huge problem.

If information is kept segregated, data cannot be as easily accessed or analyzed, there is limited collaboration, and project goals may become lost. Matthew Draper discusses these points in his blog, Four Starting Points in Breaking Down Company Silo Walls. He also mentions that 55% of companies still have their information in data silos. Fifty-five percent!

That leads me to think, “Why are so many companies still using this practice?” because if you search “data silo pros,” you will hardly find anything. Most business leaders know and acknowledge that data silos are damaging, but their companies keep using them despite the benefits they would have if their company gave them up. From this, I can only conclude that data silos are simply bad habits.

Are businesses addicted to data silos?

Okay, maybe “addicted” is a strong word, but I don’t think it’s too far off the mark, because what do data silos do? They create an unhealthy work environment and waste money (and time). To phrase it another way, data silos yield significant negative consequences in exchange for convenience. Luckily, there’s good news—you and your company can quit cold turkey.

The transition may be challenging at first. Employees may still have the urge to save to their desktop or the department folder on the shared drive, but stay the course. Encourage company-wide practices that use a single source of truth, which will enable content sharing so new eyes can provide a fresh perspective on your company’s goals.

That, my friends, is how you break your data silo habit and create an organized business.

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