An Introduction to Microsoft Purview

Apr 15, 2024

In the era of Big Data, organisations are striving to collect larger datasets. New methods are therefore required to identify, track, and manage information. Introducing Microsoft Purview…

Microsoft Purview, formerly Azure Purview, is a powerful tool to help give businesses and users a top-level view of their entire data estate. Purview helps to manage and optimise compliance and data governance. The launch of Purview has resulted in a major improvement in how organisations can manage and secure their data across different environments. 

Microsoft is promoting Purview as a unified data governance service for on-premises, multi-cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) data. With a holistic approach that provides a real-time map of their entire data landscape, it solves existing data management challenges. Users and teams can reduce duplicated and out of date data and files, allowing them to boost their efficiency and deliver greater value. 

Building from Azure Purview, Microsoft Purview provides three capabilities; data mapping, data cataloguing and data insights. Purview combines Azure Purview and Microsoft 365 compliance technology into one single solution. This helps your organisation to: 

  • Have greater visibility into data sets in your organisation 
  • Assign business value and security policies to files and datasets 
  • Safeguard private data across clouds, apps and endpoints 
  • Manage cyber risks and ensure your organisation is compliant 
  • Allow your organisation to govern, protect and manage data more efficiently and effectively 

Purview offers… 

Data Security: Purview provides Data Loss Prevention, Information Barriers, Information Protection, Insider Risk Management and Privileged Access Management, and the really good news is that there are a number of standard, out of the box capabilities that provide quick returns and can provide the base of more bespoke policies in time. These allow organisations to discover, track, manage and safeguard sensitive information, maintaining strong data security 

Data Governance: Purview provides unified data governance to manage data across on-premises, hybrid and SaaS environments. This allows you to map your data landscape using automated data discovery, and configure and deploy sensitive data classification, access controls and policies. 

Risk and Compliance: Purview manages risk and enforces compliance through defined policies deployed for files, emails, and Teams capabilities, with comprehensive audit trails and logs.  This assists organisations in managing compliance risks and meeting regulations. Tools within Purview include Microsoft Purview Audit, Communication Compliance, Data Lifecycle Management, Compliance Manager and eDiscovery. 

Data Map: Purview allows you to build a unified map of data across your entire data estate. You can use automation techniques to manage metadata from hybrid sources, classify data with built-in classifiers and Microsoft Information Protection Sensitivity labels, identify and label sensitive data efficiently across SQL Server, Azure, Microsoft 365 and Power BI. Using Apache Atlas APIs, Purview also allows you to integrate all of your data catalogues and systems.  

Data Catalogue: Purview’s data catalogue allows you to make data easily discoverable with familiar business and technical search terms. It also includes an enterprise-grade business glossary, data lineage visualization, which helps you to understand the origin of your data, and provides data analysts with the metadata they need for BI, analytics, AI and machine learning.  

Preparing for Copilot for M365: Purview’s capabilities are a pre-requisite before implementing Copilot for Microsoft 365. Users with Copilot for M365 can search and use Copilot to learn from all the data in an organisation they have rights and access to. If those access rights are not known and managed before implementation there is the very real likelihood that users will have access to organisational information they probably should not have, which will be reflected in the results of their Copilot searches and queries. 

Data Estate Insights: Purview’s Data Estate allows you to gain an in-depth understanding of your data management activities: 

  • Gain a comprehensive overview of key health metrics across your hybrid data environment. 
  • Search through your data estate and its distribution by asset properties such as source type, classification and file size. 
  • Receive real-time updates on how many scans succeeded or failed. 
  • Access key insights which allow you to add or redistribute glossary terms, resulting in better search results. 

The features we have covered in the article demonstrate that Purview is a vital component of an organisation’s Azure and Microsoft 365 cloud environments. Its advanced capabilities allows teams to operate more efficiently and reduce time and cost. Power BI and data engineers benefit by being able to allocate more time to focus on projects that contribute to the organisations bottom line rather than administrative and data management tasks. 

    The insights and controls over your organisational information that Microsoft Purview provides can be invaluable to your organisation and truly enhance productivity in the workplace.

    If you’re not yet taking advantage of the tool and wondering where to start, contact our team today for a free consultation.

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