The most common challenges of data sharing

Any enterprise looking to leverage the knowledge of its competitors is investigating the new data economy. But it’s not as simple as diving into the data pool and pulling out the most relevant information to your company. There are inherent challenges of data sharing that must be overcome before you can see a real return on your investment.


Data sharing problems

When you think about data sharing problems in general, you probably automatically jump to challenges involving the legalities of sharing practices, or perhaps the ethical issues that it raises.

However, on a company level most enterprises identify more general problems with their data sharing tactics. In a 2018 report from Springer Nature, respondents who participate in data sharing cite five key challenges that hamper their ability to derive adequate insights in a timely manner:

  • Organizing data in a presentable and useful way (46%)
  • Unsure about copyright and licensing (37%)
  • Not knowing which repository to use (33%)
  • Lack of time to deposit data (26%)
  • Costs of sharing data (19%)


Barriers to data sharing

For enterprises that have little or no experience with the data economy, they may have a number of perceived barriers to data sharing that do not come to fruition once the process begins.

These may include the fear of their own data being misrepresented or misused, policies that may limit their access to broader data streams, and an approval process that is overly long or not well defined.

However, in most cases these perceived barriers to entry don’t rear their ugly heads. Instead, the barriers to data sharing that do tend to appear include factors such as:

  • Data not appearing in electronic form
  • Limited resources, rendering the data sharing initiative worthless
  • Lack of knowledge about where the data actually lives
  • Concerns about privacy and confidentiality


Data sharing challenges and solutions

So how can these organizations turn data sharing challenges into solutions? There are a number of tactics to resolving such barriers to entry, from outlining formal agreements (that define the scope of use, confidentiality agreements, and MOUs), to deploying technical IT solutions for security and a free flow of the data, to training employees on where and how to access the data.

The most crucial element in overcoming these data sharing challenges is collaboration. That is, ongoing communication between the parties (individuals or enterprises) while being diplomatic about each party’s wants and needs, and employing a liaison if necessary.

There are certainly many challenges of data sharing, especially when conducted in a manner that isn’t governed by secure software. That’s why a platform like Data Republic is able to support enterprises as they dive into the data economy – all within a comprehensive framework that manages legal, governance and licensing workflows.

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