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How are data silos formed, and why should you eliminate them?

This article looks at what data silos are, how they are formed, how they can be eliminated and why your organization should take them very seriously.

Anybody working in an organization that collects and utilizes information needs to be aware of the problems that data silos can cause.

This article looks at what data silos are, how they are formed, how they can be eliminated and why your organization should take them very seriously. 

What Is a Data Silo?

A data silo is a collection of information that is only partially accessible. It is collected by one department of an organization and stored – but is unable to be used by other departments or collaborators. Some data silos may even be completely inaccessible or be composed of useless and duplicated information. 

How Are They Formed?

Most medium to large organizations are made up of several departments. Human resources, finance, admin and sales teams all collect data and all make use of the data that they collect. So far, so good. Unfortunately, the departmental system is what often causes data silos to be formed as they store data for their own use. 

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Corporate culture is competitive as well as collaborative. This means that historically, departments were willing to store their data privately so they could achieve goals over their rivals. This made the creation of data silos all but inevitable. The data deluge means that more and more data is being collected every day. At this feverish pace, silos could become a vast headache for any company. 

How to Eliminate Them

There are plenty of ways to identify and eliminate data silos. Click through to learn more about how call center analytics services have been helping call center operators to identify their inaccessible data silos. 

The most important thing a company can do to eliminate data silos is to change the way people think about the data they collect. Try and stamp out competitive corporate culture that promotes the selfish hoarding of information.

Equally important to the elimination of data silos is the restructuring of company-wide storage. Traditionally, data was stored on-site on various servers. This is unworkable today. Cloud storage allows for access to be granted to all departments in an organization. This makes data clarity far easier to achieve. 

Why So Serious?

One of the most frustrating things about data silos is the way in which they lead to duplicates being formed. Because departments are unable to access the data of their peers, they have no way of knowing when they are collecting from a dataset that has already been stored in another data silo. This can seriously damage the efficiency of an organization, which will need to conduct time consuming and expensive information audits in order to eliminate silos. Storage is not cheap. Companies awash with duplicate data end up spending far more on cloud storage and on-site servers. 

Data silos also damage an organization’s ability to correctly conduct market research and analyze feedback. The HR department of a call center, for instance, might struggle to understand employee performance if customer feedback data is in a data silo controlled by the customer service department. 

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