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How Remote Work Has Changed the Way We Collaborate Around Data

Publication date: 3 May 2021

While some companies quickly adapted to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, others embraced it slowly and reluctantly. Moving forward, many businesses are likely to allow remote work as it proved very beneficial for both employers and employees.

Besides affecting where people work from, remote work has also significantly impacted data collaboration as well as collaboration in general. From replacing regular meetings with short video calls to embracing instant messaging as the new normal, here is everything that changed.

Shorter Meetings

According to a Microsoft report, remote work has revolutionized meetings. And we don’t mean that as “having less meetings”. Surprisingly, the number of meetings within companies with a work-from-home or hybrid work model has increased, and approximately seven out of ten employees have experienced at least some increase in meetings since the beginning of 2020.

Since employees are unable to catch up during a break or by the water cooler, they added in virtual meetings. Truth be told, virtual meetings are nothing new, as the concept has been around for over a decade. However, the length of virtual meetings, on average, was reduced to 30 minutes or less.

This is partly due to the fact that “data-backed” materials and information are usually shared beforehand via email. Even just sharing it minutes before a virtual call will suffice, as that might still impact the way a meeting is held and how long it lasts.

Spike In Instant Messaging

The data from Microsoft also shows a dramatic 72 percent increase in instant messages (IMs) sent during the WFH period, with the most significant increase spanning from 10 AM to 5 PM. So, texting during work hours? It’s now totally normal.

Apart from email, the increase in “Messenger” messages was particularly noticed among managers, who sent 115 percent more IMs during March 2020. This data shows that, due to the inability to connect in person, managers switched to a new method of effectively managing their teams from home – a method that is quicker and easier than email in most cases.

In the context of data collaboration, most employees nowadays prefer to or are getting used to asking quick questions about specific pieces of data in a short message or email rather than writing an entire report about “all” data or having a meeting about it.

Faster Collaboration

Many companies feared that work from home would negatively impact collaboration. However, after investing in tools such as Zoom, Slack, or Comet, the flow of information across a team remained flawless and team collaboration didn’t suffer at all. It’s faster, simpler, and quite frankly, easier to track all communication that goes in and out of the office.

In the “old” days, it seemed easy enough. Need anything? Simply walk down the hallway to the next office and ask about it. It only takes a minute or two. Oddly enough, the more remote we have become, the faster communication is becoming. With team collaboration tools growing at a rampant pace, it is as easy as ever to one-click-call and -message any member of a team.

Speaking of collaboration…

Worldwide Adoption of BI Tools

Before the “corona era”, companies would rarely question the way they collaborated around data. Normally, data scientists would gather intel, analyze it, create infographics, and present their summaries in a visually attractive way. However, there is one catch with data science teams. They are prone to becoming packs of lone-wolf modelers even when working from the same office. The switch to remote work made it even easier to fall into this trap. In addition, in-person collaboration became impossible with remote work, making data collaboration more challenging than before.

Luckily, the existence of BI tools allowed companies to overcome this issue, as well. After investing in BI tools; employees, teams, and even whole departments were able to share, edit, merge, and comment on various reports in real-time. Talk about data collaboration going a step further…

Of course, the power of BI tools goes beyond that. The right BI software is there to streamline ultra-demanding corporate performance tasks such as forecasting and analysis. On the other end, collaboration and insights across departments are supposed to become quick and easy. Powerful BI tools provide the speed and scale needed to tackle petabytes of business intelligence in interactive speed to make data management and complex reporting much easier, simpler, and faster.

Dealing with data is very complex, and many companies struggle to take full advantage of their data treasure. In some cases, handling data is more complex and costly than the benefits gained from the information. If your company still hasn’t made the switch to standardizing their data endeavours, TRUECHART is here to help. TRUECHART fundamentally changes business analysis and the way business intelligence is accessed, managed, modeled, and analyzed – powered by IBCS®. Let’s chat.

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