In this article, Adrian Mitchell outlines the disadvantages of working in data silos and helps you improve your team’s collaboration. 

Data and insight teams arguably have the most important job in any organization. Team members who collect, organize, and make sense of data offer valuable insights for the rest of an organization. Data is the ‘why’ behind business decisions and goal setting.

The nature of data analytics is to work independently because of the focus required in working with numbers. This leaves many data analysts in silos that keep them removed from the rest of a team. Many data analysts would argue that they need a silo to stay in the zone and get work done – but collaboration is crucial.

Collaboration Breeds Innovation

We all have different backgrounds, education, and life experience. Five people could look at a project and each see something slightly different – and that’s a good thing! When teams work together to brainstorm and come up with the best ideas, organizations thrive. Someone else may see something you don’t and vice versa.

When you consider different perspectives, you have a broader range of solutions for a problem. Even if someone doesn’t know anything about data analytics, they may be able to provide insight into the desired solution. Collaboration can help inform how data and insight teams look at data.

Tips for Breaking Out of a Data Silo

Be purposeful. You can’t expect to break out of a data silo because you have good intentions. Minutes turn into hours that turn into days. When you’re hard at work, it can be difficult to break away from the grind. Prioritize collaboration by scheduling time for it on your calendar.

Think big. Collaborate in big groups and small groups. There are benefits to each type of collaboration. Large groups are great for creating a unified vision of what collaboration should look like in your organization. Everyone has an equal voice. While it can feel overwhelming to have so many voices at once, large groups offer the opportunity to identify threads of commonality.

Think small. It’s equally important to collaborate in groups of two or three. You can dig a little deeper into data when you have fewer voices and more engagement. Communication may also be more effective.

Plan icebreakers. We’ve all been to meetings that felt forced. Everyone is checking their watch because they have so much to do, and collaboration just isn’t at the top of the list. An icebreaker question or activity can help set the tone for the rest of the meeting.

Ready to break down communication data silos and integrate collaboration into your team efforts? We can help you get started today. Get in touch!