What is data democratization?

Data democratization refers to making a company’s data widely accessible to the greatest number of people, if not to all.

This freedom of access offers a great number of opportunities to create value from their data for the company; it provides each employee, at their level, to use all accessible and compatible resources within their needs in order to produce value locally.

Balancing rights and duties in a data democracy

Just like the government system, a democracy must have rules. These rights only work if regulations,processes and roles are defined.

Hence, this democratic approach to data presents an interesting challenge to balance: on one hand you must ensure that the right to use data can truly be exercised, and on the other you must counterbalance this right with a certain number of duties.

Data democratization: data citizens rights

This right that grants employees to use an organization’s data for their own activities is only tangible from the moment that they have the information to identify and localize the data they may need. It is thus essential for enterprises to deploy a system that allows them to:

  • Reference managed data within the company
  • Know the meaning and context of their data
  • Judge the sensitivity of their data and the limits of their usage
  • Know where to find data and how to access it
  • Have information on the quality and reliability of their data
  • Identify any other employee interested in or working directly with their data
  • Know who to contact for any information, question or comment on their data

This list can be completed or adapted to particular situations, contexts, etc., but remains nevertheless essential.

Data democratization: data citizens duties

In return for the rights mentioned above, employees must also be made aware of the responsibilities that they must assume when they wish to make use of their data. The main responsibilities that a company has the right to request could be to:


  • Conform strictly to the regulations linked to data usage, particularly relating to the sensitivity of information, to various regulations or even ethics.
  • Contribute to the continuous improvement of data knowledge.
  • Share all data produced.
  • Assist any employee on a known dataset.

Constructing a data democracy

The main element in implementing a democratic culture rests upon the understanding that data is a high-value and collective asset for an enterprise.

Too often, data is still considered as a local asset and not a global one. In an enterprise where data is democratized, it will no longer be possible to refer to the notion of “Data Owner” in the same way since the owner of data is the company itself.

This democratization must be supported and simplified by providing tools that enable everyone to find the necessary information. That is the main objective of a data catalog, which must, even more so than its basic function (referencing data and associated metadata), offer simplicity of use in order to navigate through an ocean of information.

A data catalog focuses on knowledge, regulations, the knowledge of interlocutors associated with the company’s data, and becomes a central metadata management platform, a unique and universal reference point for all employees.

Democratize data with Zeenea Data Catalog

Begin your data democratization journey with Zeenea Data Catalog!

Allow all employees to understand, explore and contribute to their enterprise’s data via an easy-to-use platform.

Organizations rely on Zeenea to respond to the challenge of setting up agile data governance: promote the use of data internally while limiting risks.

Learn more about Data Democratization

[Infographic] What is a Data Democracy?

Contrarily as the name suggests, Data Democracy is not a governance model.

A Data Democracy refers to a corporate culture, an open model where liberty goes hand in hand with responsibility. Its main objective is to make a company’s data widely accessible to the greatest number of people, if not to all. In practice, any employee is able to pull data values at any level.

Data Culture: 5 steps for your enterprise to acculturate to data

”Data culture” is a relatively new concept that is becoming increasingly important to put in place, especially for organizations developing their digital and data management strategies. Just like organizational or corporate culture, data culture refers to a workplace environment where decisions are made through emphatic and empirical data proof. In other words, executives make decisions based on data evidence, and not just on instinct.

Data culture gives organizations more power to organize, operate, predict, and create value with their data.

How does Data Democracy strengthen Agile Data Governance?

Our goal was to present a pragmatic approach on the attributes of such data governance, one that is capable of rising to the challenges of this new age of information: We advocate for it to be bottom-up, non-invasive, automated and iterative. In a word, agile. This asset is enhanced by digital services and new uses that disrupt our daily lives and weaken more traditional businesses.

In this second edition, we decided to tackle the organization of this new, agile data governance, and its scaling process using this same mindset.


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