Tableau Software Inc.

12/05/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/05/2020 10:03

The case for data communities: Why it takes a village to sustain a data-driven business

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in Forbes.

Data is inseparable from the future of work as more organizations embrace data to make decisions, track progress against goals and innovate their products and offerings. But to generate data insights that are truly valuable, people need to become fluent in data-to understand the data they see and participate in conversations where data is the lingua franca. Just as a professional who takes a job abroad needs to immerse herself in the native tongue, businesses who value data literacy need ways to immerse their people in the language of data.

'The best way to learn Spanish is to go to Spain for three weeks,' said Stephanie Richardson, vice president of Tableau Community. 'It is similar when you're learning the language of data. In a data community, beginners can work alongside people who know data and know how to analyze it. You're going to have people around you that are excited. You're going to see the language being used at its best. You're going to see the potential.'

Data communities-networks of engaged data users within an organization-represent a way for businesses to create conditions where people can immerse themselves in the language of data, encouraging data literacy and fueling excitement around data and analytics.

The best data communities provide access to data and support its use with training sessions and technical assistance, but they also build enthusiasm through programs like internal competitions, user group meetings and lunch-and-learns. Community brings people together from across the organization to share learnings, ideas and successes. These exchanges build confidence and camaraderie, lifting morale and creating them around a shared mission for improving the business with data.

Those who have already invested in data communities are reaping the benefits, even during a global pandemic. People have the data training they need to act quickly in crisis and know where to go when they have questions about data sources or visualizations, speeding up communications cycles. If building a new data community seems daunting during this time, there are small steps you can take to set a foundation for larger initiatives in the future.