What is a Data Silo?
Data silos are groups of data that are managed by a single person, or department, that are hard to access for others within an organization. Data silos are often created unintentionally. Different departments use different types of software to process and manage their data.
As every department is working with its own systems, barriers are created for data transfers. This may cause delays, inefficiencies, and frustrations.
Why do Data Silos Need to be Broken Down?
In truth, data silos often get in the way of managing sales operations effectively and thus preventing growth. If different departments cannot access the data they actually need to optimally do their job, productivity will decrease.
Usually, workarounds are used to circumvent the problem of data silos. For example, various datasets might come together in excel sheets, or multiple solutions get integrated with each other in order to share data. However, maintaining these workarounds is expensive and very inflexible.
Customers get affected by data silos as well. For example, let’s take a look at customer service. If a customer question comes in about an order, a customer service team member needs to be able to reach order information as quickly as possible. Usually, however, this means reaching out to another team member, causing unnecessary delays.
On the customer side, this only leads to frustration. They expect quick and seamless service. Companies that do offer great customer service often win from companies that don’t.
Next to customer frustrations, data silos can also create issues for employees. No one likes to work in a place where they feel that they are not in control. You do not want your employees to feel frustrated because they feel like they cannot do their job optimally.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the bigger picture. Data silos do not only affect customers and employees. Data silos are a hazard for your business as a whole. Without having a unified view of your operational data, it is impossible to track performance. And without this, it is impossible to make improvements. As your operations become more complex, it is crucial to have good insight into your data.
Breaking Down Data Silos
The first step in breaking down data silos is exploring what data silos exist. What systems are used, and what type of data is stored? By mapping all silos, it will become clear what is needed to unify them.
When the datatypes are clear, it is important to look for a solution that unifies data for the entire company. In (e)Commerce, this includes Sales, Warehouses, Customer Service, Fulfillment, and Marketing.
Within this new solution, new workflows need to be implemented, to make sure data end up in the right places. This is also a great time to explore how processes can be optimized, and how employees can work with the system in the most efficient way.
Lastly, your teams need to learn how to work with the new platform. They need to be brought up to speed with new data policies.
Then, when the system is up and running, your operations can be reviewed from time to time. It will be much easier to get a holistic view and to make adjustments if needed.
- A unified platform will boost productivity, ensure customer service and keep employees happy
- Spending less on maintenance costs
- Breaking down data silos will help your company to keep on improving digital operations
- In the end, this will lead to more efficiency and higher revenues
Need help Breaking down Operational Data Silos?
Marello is a Digital Operations Platform for B2C and B2B commerce. It offers a flexible solution that allows you to sell on any channel while unifying your back-office operations. With Marello, (e)commerce businesses gain a powerful set of features including comprehensive Order Management, Inventory Management, Product Management, and more.
Quit spending time on unnecessary manual operations and keeping track of your operations in spreadsheets. Enable a true omnichannel experience with lower operational risk, lower operating costs, and increased revenues in a powerful unified solution.