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Data democratization is a principle that suggests data should be available to everyone in a given organization or system, not just key specialists or leaders. The principle of data democratization has allowed for various changes in enterprise IT, among them, the idea of self-service and service architectures that allow larger numbers of users to access data sets.
The idea of data democratization is illustrated in new self-serve technologies such as self-serve business intelligence tools. In the past, many of these were restricted, and only permitted access by executives or analysts. Over time, companies figured out that by allowing greater numbers of people to access the data, they could allow for more robust data analysis and more diverse workflows, which could provide value to the business. Although data democratization may require some challenges in terms of identity and access management design changes, it can be valuable in terms of breaking data out of proprietary silos and making sure that it can flow around an enterprise environment.
In many ways, data democratization is much like the process by which the common person started reading the Bible in the age of literacy. Prior to that point, the biblical text had only been accessible by priests and people in high positions. Opening up literacy to the common public resulted in vast societal change. However, perhaps a better correlation is the breaking down of traditional business hierarchies in the past few decades. In today's business world, there is much more of an emphasis on equality and creative alternatives to hierarchy then there was just 50 or 60 years ago. This has also fed the idea that digital data should be more accessible in a business environment. The process of data democratization will tell analysts and historians a lot about this point in history when it is analyzed in the future.