Technology / Data

Microsoft Purview: What it is and How it’s Changing Data Governance

What is Microsoft Purview
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Published on January 26, 2023

Data governance is a hot topic these days. We need to keep our business data safe. That’s an easy process for small teams of application engineers and SaaS developers, but what about larger groups or businesses with more than one department? Data governance gets a little trickier in those situations. Today, we're going to introduce you to Microsoft Purview, what it does, and why it is essential. 

If you’re already familiar with Purview and need a quick Microsoft Purview tutorial, take a look at Bob Salmans’ Purview and data governance training. His Purview-specific skill class can be completed in less than an hour. 

Want to Start Learning Purview Now?

Take time to learn Microsoft Purview. Bob Salmans' SC-400 training at CBT Nuggets delves into developing data governance strategies.

Bonus points: You’ll be prepared to pass the SC-400 MS exam and earn the Microsoft Information Protection Administrator Certification after completing Salmans' course. With the hiring frenzy around cybersecurity right now, having that cert could open a lot of doors for you. 

Why Should You Use Purview?

Microsoft Purview is a fancy schmancy tool used to analyze data. That doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is. Bear with me here. This one took me a few passes to fully understand. 

How to Visualize Data

First, Microsoft Purview collects all your data into one central location. Microsoft Purview can analyze and catalog data sources like MySQL databases, Azure Blobs, AWS S3 data, and more. Imagine having user records, customer data like images and videos, and everything else mapped together in one chart. It’s a handy way to quickly visualize and grasp what kind of data your business is working with. 

It's not enough to collect and visualize data, however. Microsoft Purview has tools to analyze your data as well. This is the tricky part of data governance and why you might need help to fully grasp the value of Purview. 

Related: Microsoft Azure vs. Oracle Cloud.

Teams Extend Beyond Software Engineers

In a traditional application team setting, there’s a good chance that your software engineers know what data is coming into and going out of your app. Depending on your business's industry, they likely already have safeguards for things like PII or CPI compliance. So, why do you need tools like Microsoft Purview if the application engineers already have data managed?

Application engineers aren’t the only technical staff. Organizations need to worry about other employees and bad actors, too. At a minimum, systems administrators will need a method for analyzing data and assigning policies against that data as required. In an ideal situation, your organization will have a team of people handling data governance, which will reside outside application engineers.

Stop Sending Unencrypted PII 

Likewise, data governance extends beyond software engineers. Salespeople and support reps must communicate with customers outside the business. Those interactions may include sensitive information. Your organization needs to ensure that sensitive data is handled appropriately, so someone from HR doesn’t send employee social security numbers to someone outside the business by mistake. 

This is the secret sauce behind Microsoft Purview. It allows organizations to govern data beyond the information collected through apps and contact forms on websites. Microsoft Purview tracks data lineage, email compliance policies, what data your business has, where that data lives, and more. 

Essentially, Microsoft Purview is like Figma but for the IT crowd. It’s a tool that any technologist should understand – especially if they are trying to pass the SC-400 MS exam

Are You Ready to Dive into Microsoft Purview?

Are you ready to learn how data governance works? Managing the data lifecycle sounds complicated, but Bob Salmans makes it easy to understand. 

Here’s the problem I had when I was first introduced to data governance. I couldn’t wrap my head around why it was so complicated. The problem is that I always lived too close to projects. I knew what data went in, what went out, how it was managed and secured, and when it was disposed of. There was this mystical bridge that didn’t exist between me, that data, and everyone else in the business. Because that bridge was missing, it was tough to understand the complexities of managing data at scale inside large teams and projects.

You never know what kind of fresh Mordor you’re walking into, or worse, leaving behind for someone else to clean up. That’s the idea behind Microsoft Purview. It gives teams visibility into Mount Doom, collecting all their data under one umbrella with tools to quickly find things like PII data. 

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