A Missed Opportunity and A Significant Risk
In this increasingly data-driven world, companies that are able to turn their data assets into results, revenue and growth are the ones getting ahead.
However, most companies have no idea what data they have and where it is.
A recent study of US IT and IT security professionals found that 62% of respondents are most concerned by not knowing where their organisations’ confidential or sensitive data is located.
And, even if they do know where it is, it’s unlikely they know its quality and whether it’s suitable for analysis.
This is not just a missed opportunity to discover valuable insights, but also a significant risk to their business.
Without visibility of their data and where it is located, they have no idea about their data’s sovereignty, security, or who has access to it. Making data governance extremely difficult.
The First Step - Cataloguing Data
Regardless of the organisation’s goal, before any assessment or analysis can take place, their data must be catalogued.
This is a crucial first step. If done poorly, it will invalidate any information the organisation tries to derive from their data.
The process of cataloguing the data must follow established best practices and all the components that relate to the data type and its structure.
Metadata is then added to allow this vast data catalog to be easily searchable, and allow intelligent and semantic searches to be performed, and data relationships established.
Cataloging an entire organisation’s data, particularly as new data is constantly being created, is an immense task. So, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms can be used to rapidly process and sort the data.
Once set up, this data catalog provides a platform to accelerate the productivity of the company’s technical workforce, allowing them to focus on analysis and discovering valuable insights.
For business users, they now have the ability to have critical questions answered and the right information at their fingertips to confidently make crucial decisions.
Mindfull, one of New Zealand’s leading business solution providers, has seen first hand the impact of companies not managing their data. So, they’ve partnered with Informatica to bring their powerful Enterprise Data Catalog (EDC) solution to the New Zealand market.
Informatica, the world’s No.1 provider of data management solutions, developed EDC to solve the problems of data sovereignty, governance and data quality.
EDC uses a machine-learning-based data discovery engine to collect and collate data assets across an organisation. This creates a powerful platform for companies to analyse, understand, and act on their data.
Mindfull’s experienced consultants work with the business to implement and support the deployment of this powerful product and ensure the organisation can maximise the value of their data.
This allows the company to answer three critical questions.
Where is all my data located in the business?
Companies have an incredible amount of data spread across their organisation. Created by different people and departments, this data is stored in a myriad of ways.
However, there is no way to source data easily and efficiently when it is required. The data may not be available to everyone who needs it, or they may not even be aware the data exists.
Mindfull uses EDC in businesses like this to discover and collate data across the whole organisation. This searchable catalog provides a wealth of information on all the company’s data assets, including what the data is, where it’s located, how secure it is, and its provenance – where the data is from.
Knowing the data’s location allows the data catalog to be used as an inventory in order to better manage and govern the data, create data architecture, and facilitate data integration and synchronisation.
Ultimately, EDC provides a single organisation-wide view the company’s data.
This visibility gives management the oversight to know what data they have and the ability to make sure it is stored safely and securely.
Who accesses my data?
Knowing what data you have and where it is located is only part of the story. Who has access to the data is incredibly important for compliance and mitigating the business’s risk.
While it is critical the wrong people don’t have access to certain data, it’s also essential the people who need it can access the data relevant to them.
EDC tracks and records who has access and who accesses each data asset, allowing companies to maintain the security and safety of their data.
This allows for the creation of policy-based controls, improvements to the data’s structure and, where required, increasing security for particular data.
What’s the quality of my data?
The final part of the puzzle for an organisation is knowing the quality of their data.
Without this information, a company doesn’t know the usability of their data and whether they can rely on it to make business decisions.
Mindfull sets up EDC’s central source of information about data quality, so their clients can use the right data for their analysis and trust the relationships, connections and insights they discover.
It doesn’t matter whether the data is structured or unstructured or what source the big data is coming from, EDC is able to catalog and correlate it all together.
With its powerful semantic search that’s as simple as typing a query into Google, users can then easily find the right data and information they need.
The Power of AI and Machine Learning
What really sets EDC apart from other solutions for Mindfull’s clients are its powerful artificial intelligence engine and machine learning algorithms.
This starts with metadata management and suggesting metadata that may be missing. It can also recommend data assets and pathways based on how previous users have interacted with the data catalog.
Time-consuming tasks like data-mapping and tracking data lineage are completed quickly without the need for human intervention.
Sensitive data can be flagged and user access to this data monitored.
Anomalies are also automatically identified and can be remediated by EDC based on data governance and policy rules set up to manage data quality.
Combining all of this together makes managing and governing their company’s data a breeze for Mindfull’s clients.
In short, data governance usually involves creating a process to manage the development of policies concerning how data is captured, used, stored, accessed, and repurposed.
This is is important for two reasons. Firstly, for the business to comply with regulations, data security and privacy.
Secondly, it allows technical standards to be created for data and management solutions like EDC.
Data governance is driven by people but it is most effective when supported by a comprehensive data catalog.
Using EDC, Mindfull’s clients are able to truly govern the data they have, easily collaborate with key stakeholders inside the business, and view quality metrics and other useful reports.
This vastly reduces the organisation’s risk.
Overall, EDC allows Mindfull to help their clients maximise the value of their data.
Their clients know what data they have, where its located and how to easily find it. Access is monitored and tracked for security and safe storage and importantly, they know the quality of their data.
EDC is a powerful enterprise-level tool that scales to incorporate large amounts of data while still able to perform quickly with large numbers of users and applications accessing it at once.
It gives organisations the ability to transform the way they use data in their business – minimising risks and discovering opportunities. Not only enabling them to compete in a world run by data but providing a long-term platform for success.
Want to get start on your own Data Journey? Read our top tips to getting started with your Data.
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This piece of content is made possible with support from Informatica.