28 Sep 2021

Siloed data: everything you need to know

Siloed data is a real issue when it comes to operational efficiency. Clients often come to us seeking an integrated approach to risk management, yet they don’t see that data silos might be a big part of the problem that needs solving.


So how can your business solve the issue of data across multiple systems and share it in a way that’s safe and secure?


What is siloed data?

Put simply, siloed data occurs when data is kept in different places – the data may be the same or similar, and used for different purposes. It may become difficult for other groups in the same organisation to access. Siloed data can manifest itself in a variety of ways among clients who have a complicated IT estate. Data resides in various systems both internally and externally, which leads to inconsistencies in data where silos overlap.

Why is it such a big issue?

  1. Risk of data breaches

It’s an issue when data needs to move between systems (particularly from customer to partner) and it can’t be done in a safe and controlled way.

For example, clients have manual processes where people extract data from a system and email to colleagues, which is great when it works but it requires a lot of human effort to keep data secure. If an email is hacked or that data ends up in the wrong place – that can spell disaster.

Additionally, because data is locked away and not trusted when it is surfaced, management can’t make good decisions, so the enterprise can’t capitalise on opportunities when they need to.

  1. Silos threaten the integrity of data

When the same information is stored on multiple databases, inconsistences can occur between department records. As different departments update or edit data, it’s not reflected across the other systems – which leads to critical data becoming out of synch.

This can be particularly problematic when it comes to medical data, as patient records might be updated on one system but not the other, which slows down the treatment process.

This can also cause problems with customer experience – as the customer records are corrupted and there is no single view of the customer – so the company doesn’t understand the customer profile or journey.

  1. Collaboration is tricky

To create a collaborative working environment, departments need to find a way to share their data with ease. If access to a set of data is limited to one department, it can take hours or days for another to gain access to it. This slows down the workflow and hinders collaboration, which is a powerful way for businesses to gain new insights from their colleagues.

Integrella’s view: How to unlock your data

There are three initiatives we advise our clients to take to address the issue of siloed data:

  1. Adopt an enterprise view of your data

Look at your data across all your systems, across your business partners and customers. Speak to all departments to find out who needs access to the data and what level of access. Then build your ideal data architecture.,. That’s the base for everything else that follows. From this, you can ensure that data manifests itself within the IT estatein a way that makes sense for all parties.

  1. Take an API or microservice based approach

System APIs can be used to unlock data from core systems of record within your organisation.  This can be done in several ways to suit your organisation. To do this, it is important that specific standards are adopted – which we can advise on. Find out more here.

  1. Start small – be willing to make mistakes

Pick some data that’s most valuable to you as a business, or the one you want to start sharing first. Then, build the technology to enable access to that data. From here, you can broaden the set of technologies you use to open more and more data as you get more confident.

How we can help you

Getting secure, reliable access to data is often the hardest part of digital transformation. It involves taking the data trapped in your existing systems and serving it up to developers and partners in a user friendly, reliable, scalable way.

Our methodology has been tried and tested over time by our consultants working with customers across different industries, such as financial services. Read about our integration work with a major investment bank here. Check out our video on siloed data here.

Integrella can help you realise the potential in what you already have – and set you on the right digital track. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to find out more.