Gaining true value from data means making it easy for anyone to create compelling data experiences. No-code solutions are central to this data democratisation, allowing everyone to build data visualisations, apps, and stories without requiring specialist skills. Our [Opendatasoft] blog explains how the world is accelerating towards a no-code, data-driven future.
We live in an increasingly digital world, both in terms of the technology we use and the data we consume in our working and private lives. That makes it essential for everyone to be able to both access and use data and technology without needing to be an expert with in-depth programming skills. On the digital side, this need to make it easy for anyone to create programs without having to be a developer has led to the rise of low-code and no-code solutions. The same techniques can be applied when it comes to data – enabling employees and citizens to build compelling data experiences and launch new data services without having to learn in-depth programming or analytics skills.
What are no-code and low-code solutions?
No-code and low-code solutions allow anyone to create programs, from web-based enterprise solutions to mobile apps, by using drag-and-drop graphical interfaces and pull-down menus, without needing to write a single line of code. As the names suggest, low-code applications require some basic coding that can be learned quite quickly, while no-code apps don’t need any coding at all.
Gartner estimates that the global market for low-code and no-code solutions hit $13.8 billion in 2021, an increase of 22.6% from the year before. This massive growth is down to four key factors:
- Businesses are looking to digitise their processes to become more agile and efficient. However, there is a global shortage of trained developers, making it difficult for companies to employ enough programmers to digitise everything quickly enough.
- By empowering employees with no-code solutions, they can build tailored applications that make their jobs easier and more efficient. After all, they are best placed to understand what goes into their daily working lives and how digitisation can help improve their experience. That means the applications they create are more likely to be adopted and deliver real ROI.
- No-code applications are faster and cheaper to produce as they are typically smaller and don’t require heavy involvement of the IT team or software developers. This helps with creating more agile, digital-led organizations that can meet the challenges of a fast-moving world.
- There are a growing range of low-code and no-code platforms now available, and an increasing number of vendors have incorporated specific features into their solutions to meet the needs of citizen developers.
No-code solutions and data democratisation
Data democratisation aims to make it easy for anyone to access and use data to build compelling data experiences. This could be for their own use (such as a monitoring dashboard around specific information), for sharing internally (for example a visualisation of a dataset that can be used by others in the organization or wider ecosystem) or externally, such as a map or data story that is made available to citizens in the case of local government. As can be seen, data democratization and no-code solutions both support the same key objective – empowering everyone with the data and technology they need in their daily lives, without requiring specialist skills.
However, currently, the data stack is the domain of experts. Connecting to data sources (even common ones such as Google Drive or SharePoint) requires IT support. At the sharing and visualisation layer, while the majority of existing business intelligence solutions are extremely powerful, accessing the right functions requires comprehensive training. The result is that they can only be operated by trained data analysts – if an internal user wants a data visualisation or dashboard for example they have to brief the analyst and wait for the results. This clearly adds time to the process and introduces the risk that the results won’t quite match the brief.
For data democratisation to deliver effectively the tools that support it have to be intuitive, easy to use, and no-code based. Only then will true democratisation be possible, inside and outside the organisation. To help underpin data democratisation, Opendatasoft provides the ODS Studio. This tool is designed to enable any user to create charts and indicators quickly and intuitively, then organize them simply on a web page without needing to write code, and finally easily share them with colleagues, customers, citizens, and other stakeholders.
About the author
Anne-Claire Bellec is VP of Marketing at Opendatasoft. This company was designed to give people access to business-ready data when they need it. Organisations of every size — from new startups to public companies — use the Opendatasoft data sharing solution to access, reuse, and share data that grows business. By making innovative and intuitive data sharing solutions, Opendatasoft empowers people to collaborate around data.
This article was originally published by Opendatasoft. Access the original here.