Data Discovery and Visual Data Discovery

One of the more important new trends in business intelligence is that of Data Discovery.   In today’s world Managers need to make decisions based on large amounts of data stored across multiple systems.  The goal of data discovery is to allow consumers of information the ability to find meaning and insight in real time.  This new trend moves away from the static reporting in traditional business intelligence and emphasizes an interactive visual analytics approach to finding meaningful and important information.    

Trends in Data Discover:

  • Agile Analytics: Consumers of information need flexible and efficient tools for real-time iterative analysis.
  • Big Data: The volume and variety of data needs to be profiled, processed and integrated in order to be used appropriately.
  • Data Visualization: No longer a luxury, today’s executives, managers and analysts expect insights to be delivered in a visual fashion.

Last year specialty venders like Tableau, QlikView, TIBCO Spotfire grew rapidly and the traditional larger vendors such as SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, MicroStrategy, SAS were slow to respond to the new demand for better discovery tools.   This year all have responded with new interfaces and solutions, however these large vendors solutions still have limited capabilities.   The challenge for all the vendors is to strike a balance between agile analysis and trusted data.   IT departments need to maintain a control over the data and data discovery needs to be a user driven experience.

An iterative exploration of data with easy to use tools that has been correctly configured for the needs of the user can make the tasks of data discovery a quicker and a more productive experience.   Users can ask questions in different ways and get the answers back in real-time without the help of the IT department.

Data Discovery for Identifying Sensitive Data

Data discovery tools are becoming more and more necessary for determining where data resides on how to handle sensitive information.  Traditionally this has been no easy process. "Discovering" what you already have sounds straightforward, but anyone who has searched through drawers for a small but important item knows that it is not that easy. Finding where important information is stored on your own computer system has been no easier.

Data discovery has typically involved a cumbersome and costly manual process. Database administrators had to exhaustively and manually map out all server locations. They also had to develop a full understanding of all sources from which any given server might be accessed. And even these burdensome steps did not eliminate the possibility that some critical data might be missed, and thus be left unprotected.

Fortunately, tools such as the Data Discovery Module in Camouflage's DLM Suite have automated much of this discovery process, providing templates for searching text or regular expressions to identify account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive data. These tools have made Data Discovery a far simpler and more reliable process.

If you have not made data discovery and visual data discovery a part of your Business Intelligence strategy than you are missing out an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage and protect your valuable information resource.

To learn more, please contact us.