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Remote Teams Need Better Data Access Than Ever

April 22, 2020

Staying agile in a new era of remote work means everyone needs to be able to make data-driven decisions, anywhere.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Recent global events have catalyzed an unprecedented movement towards remote work across industries and at every level of the enterprise. As many organizations have opted to offer remote work opportunities to their previously office-based employees, the nature of how work gets done is changing at breakneck speed.

It’s more crucial than ever for companies to stay agile in today’s volatile market. But managing change within teams today on top of figuring out how to continue to thrive as a business tomorrow is a tall order, especially if your company hasn’t adopted solutions for remote work that can be accessed outside of the office.

This Tweet thread from Box CEO Aaron Levie and Strategyzer’s Alex Osterwalder hilariously highlights the transitional and trying challenges companies are currently experiencing.

Remote Teams Tweet thread Aaron Levie Alex Osterwalder

Staying Data-Driven in the Era of Remote Work

As work conditions shifted across the globe overnight, the emerging challenges faced (or perhaps, finally acknowledged) by businesses are wide-ranging. One of the major hurdles for organizations is enabling, improving, or even launching a data-driven culture.

Enterprise businesses that have been aggregating and managing data with on-site software now need to find solutions that make it possible for remote teams to continue to leverage data to make impactful decisions on a daily basis.

Organizations that rely on data stored in the cloud may run up against different data silos as inter-team communication is challenged as a result of remote work.

Under rapidly changing circumstances, great data can provide a solid backbone for informing strategies that are both robust and flexible enough to weather new conditions.

Read more: 5 Ways to Cultivate Data-Driven Culture at Your Company

Conversational AI Facilitates Remote Database Access for All

A key player in the future of data accessibility is purpose-built conversational AI that can facilitate seamless, self-serve database interactions and allow remote teams to take advantage of data to drive better business decisions, regardless of where they are working from.

Conversational AI can essentially serve as a concierge for a database, seamlessly connecting workers to the central source of truth: their business data.

A key player in the future of data accessibility is purpose-built conversational AI that can facilitate seamless, self-serve database interactions.

Here at Chata, we build AutoQL, a conversational AI solution that allows users to input natural language (NL) queries and easily find what they are looking for in their data within seconds. This enables users who have no experience accessing databases through code or who lack training in complex BI tools to get the answers they need in no time.

By empowering all employees to access and leverage data to uncover insights, influence ongoing strategy, and overcome roadblocks, today’s businesses can stay on top of emerging trends and take action on changes as soon as they arise.

Read more: 7 Reasons Data-Driven Businesses Need Conversational AI

Data on Demand Increases Productivity

One of the major challenges faced by remote teams is the amount of effort required to track down information from colleagues.

While it’s difficult enough for team members working from home to manage a lack of social connection they would otherwise experience at the office, a parallel issue is being unable to simply walk down the hall or lean over a coworker’s desk to ask for information on an informal basis.

By implementing self-serve data access options, remote workers can get the data they need even faster than they could by tapping a colleague on the shoulder. They can simply find what they’re looking for independently.

Remote Teams Conference Call

Another challenge of remote work is that the expectation that team members continuously communicate and respond to messages immediately infringes on productivity. While remote teams need to keep in touch with one another to maintain the advantages of collaboration, we also know that too many interruptions over email or through messaging platforms ultimately harms productivity.

Even within the office, endless last-minute data requests and reporting needs can negatively impact the overall productivity of the individuals who are unable to take

When data is available on demand, workers don’t have to rely on one another to get answers or request reports. Instead, they can find what they need immediately and continue to move through their workflow. The employee who would’ve previously been on the receiving end of such data requests is free to continue concentrating on the tasks they’ve set out to do.

With fewer interruptions and less back-and-forth, employees are more productive and empowered to engage in the deep work that’s necessary for completing high-value tasks.

Intuitive Solutions Eliminate Onboarding

Leaving the office means many newly remote team members are asked to learn at least one new software systems (such as digital project management tools, video conferencing apps, or internal messaging solutions). These same team members are simultaneously learning how to navigate a new kind of workday, one that might include family members at home or an uncomfortable and distracting home “office” space.

Because the learning curve is already so steep during times of transition, it’s crucial to lean on solutions that are not only powerful, but as easy as possible to adopt and implement.

With a solution that’s as intuitive to use as striking up a conversation with a colleague, there’s no need to become a data scientist overnight.

With an intuitive conversational AI solution for accessing data, the onboarding work has already been done––by the AI. The system is fundamentally designed for the way humans already interact with each other, through conversation.

As digital transformation takes place, employees are required to upskill and take on proficiencies in new tools that they didn’t have to deal with before.

But, with a solution that’s as intuitive to use as striking up a conversation with a colleague, there’s no need to become a data scientist overnight, learn how to write database query language, create detailed spreadsheets, or manage unfamiliar BI software.

Instead, every remote team member is free to focus their energy on accessing and analyzing the data at hand to complete important projects and contribute to high-impact initiatives that drive the business forward.

Leverage Remote Teams to Keep Business Thriving

Major change always creates friction, and friction can lead to major innovation. Introducing new solutions that help employees gain empowerment in their roles and support the future direction of the company can change how remote teams feel about these uncertain times and help the organization maintain momentum as the world shifts.

By taking action now, organizations can initiate lasting digital transformation initiatives that not only help the business survive the current circumstances but also form the foundation for a thriving company as time goes on.

Introducing new solutions conveys the all-important “We can get through this thing together” attitude that will keep remote teams motivated to overcome obstacles and do better business.

Why leave it there?

Learn more about AutoQL for supporting your data-driven remote teams

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