The modern enterprise environment is a data-centric world. Organizations are always increasing the amount of data they have to collect, store, and analyze to inform critical business decisions and gauge their enterprise performance. As data becomes increasingly important, so do the tools necessary to discover, track, and manage information.

On December 3, 2020, Microsoft launched Azure Purview, a new data governance solution to solve the inherent problems with multiple data sources and subsets.

Azure Purview is currently in Public Review and is not available in a Canadian region yet. However it is free until the end of February.

Let’s look at what the new tool does and how it can help your business make better use of its data.

What is Azure Purview?

Azure Purview is a unified data governance tool that automates data discovery, classification, cataloguing, tracking, and mapping to give users a holistic view and understanding of their entire data estate. It pulls data from all the various Azure repositories and third-party data stores, including on-prem SQL servers, SaaS applications, and cloud storage such as Amazon’s S3 cloud service.

Azure Purview, which naturally runs on the Azure infrastructure, is built on Apache Atlas — an open-source platform for data governance. And to meet safety standards, Purview is designed with data security compliance in mind. It can even scan and classify sensitive information without running any risks.

Purview is not to be confused with Azure Synapse Analytics. On November 4, 2019, Microsoft announced a rebrand of the Azure SQL Data Warehouse service. The new service is now available to the general public. It combines data warehousing and Big Data analytics to unlock limitless data-driven business intelligence.

What does Azure Purview do?

Purview serves three primary purposes. First, it maps data from multiple sources. Second, it categorizes and labels data depending on the pre-defined classification rules. Finally, Purview generates usable data insights in the form of reports and classification results.

Data map

Purview creates a unified data map by precisely scanning all data sources across your entire data estate. It also shows data lineage — where the data is sourced and how it transforms at the asset and column level on supported data sources. Azure Purview easily integrates with all third-party data systems using Apache Atlas APIs.

Data catalogue

Purview’s second function presents the discovered data so the right users can understand whatever information is available and where each set is stored. You can search for and tag data sets containing specific technical or business terms. And with the 105 pre-defined classification rules, which you can also customize, there is virtually no limit to how far you can narrow down your data catalogue. On top of that, the system automatically determines the data’s sensitivity level by examining columns for certain keywords.

Data insight

The resulting data catalogue gives you insights into the location, movement, and transformation of data within a multi-faceted or hybrid data environment.

Azure Purview as a data management solution

Purview bridges the gap between scattered data sources and centralized data management. By discovering, mapping, and categorizing data, Purview gives you a bird’s-eye view of all your enterprise data facilities. Additionally, it provides useful information about data distribution across different domains, data movement, and the locations of sensitive high-value information.

Azure Purview brings into focus the need to have a centralized data governance system and actually delivers on virtually consolidating data sources onto a single pane of glass. It’s not entirely possible to have just one data repository in the real world due to the complexities of dealing with variable data sets, formats, sources, and sensitivity levels. Purview is a much-needed and welcome data management solution for organizations using multi-cloud infrastructures, SaaS applications, on-prem data centers, and Azure data storage services.

Redefine your data governance with Azure Purview

Today, data is the most sought-after business asset. But its value depends on how fast you can discover and use data insights. The more data you gather, the more accurate insights you can draw. But more data makes analyzing it more difficult – that’s the paradox of analysis. Purview helps you draw more insights from more data by bringing the sources together.

Let us help you categorize and keep your data safe using Purview. Solftlanding is a Microsoft Gold-Certified partner committed to supporting businesses in achieving their tech goals in data-driven industries. Talk to us and learn more about Purview and other data solutions from Microsoft.

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Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

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