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Time to ditch the silo mentality and embrace data democratization

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Time to ditch the silo mentality and embrace data democratization

Time to ditch the silo mentality and embrace data democratization

If you've been dealing with siloed workplace processes after COVID, you may have felt a slowdown in your innovation. Here's how to use data to get out of the rut.

3 min
Lauren Daniels

Lauren Daniels


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Time to ditch the silo mentality and embrace data democratization

Being able to make well-informed decisions allows large food and beverage CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies to be more dynamic and respond to changes in the market faster. These industries are however facing significant challenges in democratizing data across their organizations.

This is an old problem

Firstly, many CPG companies have historically been reliant on a small number of core brands, which have typically been managed by centralized teams. As a result, data has been siloed within these teams, rather than being shared more widely across the organization. This has made it difficult for other teams, such as those in charge of new product development or local market teams, to access the data they need to make informed decisions. This is one of the biggest challenges that companies are trying to overcome when initially considering bringing data platforms into their organizational work. The need for useful data that is accessible and understandable to all departments has become overwhelming -- but not all data is created equally (more on this, later).

There is no ‘I’ in Team

Let’s say it like it is: Oftentimes, there is a lack of data literacy among many established food and beverage organizations. Paired with traditional silo culture, this can cause friction among different business units and functions that ultimately makes it difficult to effectively share data and get buy-in from different business units. Without understanding the value of data and how it can be used to drive decision-making, many employees within CPG companies may be hesitant to make use of it in their work, especially when Big Data can seem just that — big.

The problem is bigger than most organizations realize

These challenges can have a significant impact on decision-making and new product development within CPG companies. Without access to the data they need, employees in these areas may struggle to make informed decisions, which can slow down the development of new products and make it more difficult to successfully bring them to market. Time to market is a critical factor when companies are competing against each other in markets that are close to saturation. The only way for companies to counteract market saturation is to focus on niche markets, product specialization, or differentiation.

In addition, a lack of data democratization can lead to missed opportunities, as teams may not be aware of trends or consumer insights that could be valuable for new product development.

Can the problems be addressed?

To address these challenges, CPG companies need to take a strategic, data-driven approach to data management that includes the following steps:

  • Build the necessary processes and infrastructure necessary to invest in (and sustain!) data as a primary innovation resources.
  • Encourage a culture of data literacy across the organization, with a focus on educating employees on the value of data and how it can be used to drive decision-making. At the end of the day, AI and data aren’t the goals… they’re the enablers. Solutions, like data, that can help employees go home early on a Friday after a job well done is a win for the organization.
  • Explore data-driven decision-making methodologies, such as advanced analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, to make sense of the data and extract insights that can inform new product development and other key decisions (if this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry — we can help!).

By taking a strategic approach to data management, companies can overcome these challenges and improve decision-making and new product development. It's important for companies to take a holistic approach and make sure that the data democratization effort is supported by all the key business functions and is not just limited to IT or data teams.

Want to learn more about how to bring data into your organization, and make it work for you? Talk to us.


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