Stuck in Silos: How to Improve Your Line of Sight with Data


We create lots of data every day.

Every minute, we search Google 3.8 million times, watch 79 years worth of video, and send nearly half a million tweets, according to InternetLiveStats and Youtube.

Add on top of that more work-specific tasks such as logging information in a CRM or testing a new product, and you can see how companies are overwhelmed by data.

One of the biggest issues with all of the data we generate is that it usually gets siloed. 

What Is A Data Silo?

A data silo is isolated information from a system or department. While a specific system or department knows its data well, that information often can’t be easily accessed by other systems or departments, if at all.

With the amount of data we create on a daily basis, 51 percent of data scientists reported in a CrowdFlower report that they spend most of their time collecting, labeling, cleaning, and organizing data. Not surprisingly, “access to quality data” was cited as the main roadblock to success.  

Once this data is filtered and collated, however, business can reap huge benefits across both vertical and horizontal industry markets.

What Happens When Silos Come Down?

Using the healthcare vertical market as an example, obliterating data silos could lead to improved patient outcomes. Right now, men and women retiring from the military as veterans cannot have their entire patient records shared between federal and state systems, and no connection exists between those systems. “Without timely and quality research, innovations to healthcare and disease management stall, which in turn, directly impede improving quality patient care,” writes Claudine Beron, a vice chairperson at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. She notes that more than a dozen entities have been working for the past decade to reduce this gap between systems so that retired military personnel can receive quality care.  

Another example, this time in a horizontal market, is marketing. In a Forbes article, Snowflake CMO Denise Persson argues that marketing teams operate in data silos because they deploy different strategies for marketing channels such as social media, email, and ads. She says the result is that “a fragmented picture of the customer delivers an inconsistent customer experience before they even engage a brand.” Persson goes on to say that a customer may like a brand’s Instagram posts, but may not visit the website that often. As a result, she says marketers have an opportunity to investigate cross-channel activities to reveal a more complete portrait of the customer, and therefore, better reach the customer to drive more revenue.

With all of the data we create on a daily basis, breaking down data silos has the potential to generate more revenue, deliver better experiences to customers or end users, and can help companies stay ahead of competitors by improving line of sight. Avoid the overwhelming amount of data your organization produces by checking out our TADA platform to see a 360-degree view of your business today.  

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