Microsoft launches data governance service Azure Purview in general availability

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Last December, Microsoft announced the launch of Azure Purview, a unified data governance solution for on-premises, cloud, and app-based systems. Today marks the broadened availability of Purview, which is now available to all Azure customers, with support for services and apps including SQL Server and Oracle, Amazon Web Services Simple Storage Service, and Salesforce.

Data governance is becoming more important as companies embrace digital transformations during the pandemic. Governance runs the gamut from metadata management and data analytics to data quality solutions, data catalogs, and business glossaries. But challenges stand in the way of adopting governance solutions. According to one survey, there’s been a slowdown in adopting data governance as a core organizational capability, with less than 15% of companies having done that in 2020 compared with 31% in 2018.

Purview offers both management and cataloging of data paired with governance, revealing whether enterprise data is secure and compliant. Its Data Catalog provides a data search tool with filters based on lenses like glossary terms, classifications, sensitivity labels and more, while the Data Map feature captures metadata about enterprise data present in analytics and operations systems on-premises and cloud.

Purview also offers data scanning of AWS S3, along with the public preview of data scanning of Erwin, IBM DB2, Salesforce, Google BigQuery, Looker, and Cassandra. And in addition to Microsoft Information Protection integration, Purview will feature over 200 AI classifiers that automatically look for personally identifiable information (PII), sensitive data (e.g., business terms, government IDs, names, and locations), and pinpoint out-of-compliance data for the European Union’s GDPR and California’s CCPA.

“Every year, the volume and variety of data businesses generate increases across on prem and multi-cloud environments. Maximizing the business value of data through broad, compliant data consumption across an organization is the new elephant in the room that business leaders need to address,” Microsoft general manager of Azure Data Governance Platform Mike Flasko told VentureBeat via email. “We created Azure Purview to provide a unified data governance solution that helps organizations achieve a complete understanding of their data to enable rapid discovery of data assets, better understand risks, and adapt quickly to changing market and regulatory conditions.”

Purview, which works with Azure Synapse, will be in 14 regions at general availability, including three new regions — West US 2, West Central US, and North Europe. 

Data governance

By 2025, IDC expects that the amount of data companies produce will rise to over 175 zettabytes, an increase from 59 zettabytes from 2020. Spurred by this growth, the global data governance market size is projected to grow from $2.1 billion in 2020 to $5.7 billion by 2025.

Beyond Microsoft, startups are emerging to address the blockers to data governance that companies continue to face. Cyral uses stateless interception technology to deliver enterprise data governance across platforms. There’s also Collibra, which centralizes internal and external data on a cloud-based platform, and Immuta, which provides a cloud-native data governance platform to help organizations automate data access control, security, privacy, and compliance.

“The pandemic has also acted as a catalyst to the growth of data usage. Enterprises across various end-user industries, especially telecom companies across emerging nations, have witnessed a surge in data usage due to lockdowns imposed by the governments,” reads a recent report from Mordor Intelligence. “In such times, organizations that have an established data governance program in place have fared much better than those without.”

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