One of the biggest problems facing organizations of all kinds – in both the public and private sector – is finding and gathering the data

It’s true, now more than ever, that data is everywhere. And it’s also true that data is powerful. Innovations in data analytics have given rise to all sorts of amazing things, from smart public parking plans to a better understanding of why certain projects fail and how others succeed. But one of the biggest problems facing organizations of all kinds – in both the public and private sector – is finding and gathering the data in the first place.

Chances are, the data you need to start creating models, running analytics and making positive changes in your organization already exists, but chances are too that it’s scattered all over the place: financial information lives in accounting, demographics with HR or marketing, and there’s probably a database full of all sorts of good information scarily sitting on one of the director’s hard drives. And even if you know the data is there, chances are sources aren’t in conversation, or “talking to each other,” and therefore can’t be used for anything useful.

We call these information silos, and they should be avoided at all costs. While there may be concerns about the security and safety of all this data – as there should be – inter-organizational working groups should and can be created to figure out how to share data. Why should department heads agree to share their important data? Because sharing can lead to some truly beautiful things.

We recently helped a large governmental organization smash up their information silos by giving them a secure, convenient way to share data across the various levels and sections of their organization. This not only led to huge cost savings across the board, but it also enabled them to pull different datasets into conversation with each other, creating substantial increases in the efficiency of service delivery. And it was all because they had a way to share.

So grab your sledgehammers, get a-swinging, and see what turns up when the silos in your organization come tumbling down and data flows freely toward innovation.

Visit our big data page to read similar success stories or request a WWT workshop to help jumpstart your organization’s journey to breaking down silos.