Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Operational Data Governance – APOS Live Data Gateway

There is a considerable amount of clamor on the Web concerning data governance these days. We can dispense with the-sky-is-falling rhetoric and still see that there are great data governance challenges that need to be met by organizations of all sizes. As vendors in the live data connectivity space, we hear many of these challenges expressed by our customers.

For many of our customers, data proliferation is a reality. As these organizations move forward with their analytics plans, they face the need for governed connectivity to numerous data sources from numerous data source vendors. Through our interactions with these organizations, we have formed a pretty good understanding of their governance concerns and challenges, and APOS Live Data Gateway is designed to address those concerns and meet those challenges.

Data Governance and Motivated Reasoning

In a recent article, Data Governance’s New Clothes, Sean McDonald, a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, begins by saying “The ‘governance’ of data, without real rights, is an embarrassing illusion.” It’s a provocative start to a good read.

His real point is that motivated reasoning may lurk behind the design of many data governance programs, and that there are often two conflicting motivators in all data governance programs:

  • Safety of data, privacy of the individual
    Focusing on the safety of data is a bottom-up approach that empowers line-of-business-level data stewardship, but may inhibit organizations from realizing the maximum value of data.
  • Value of data
    Focusing on the value of data is a top-down approach that maximizes data value, but may potentially risk misuse of data.

Data has value, and therefore there will be efforts to mine that value. To those wanting to mine that data, a focus on data safety and individual privacy may seem overly cautious and a barrier to the realization of value. Those looking down on that potential value from above are concerned with data value maximization, and those in IT and line of business positions are most concerned with contextual problem-solving, such as providing connectivity to a variety of data sources for a more complete analytics.

Top-down data governance may be a path for motivated reasoning, under the guise of “providing a public good.” We are both the rational animal and the animal that rationalizes.

Can these two positions co-exist? Certainly, but Sean McDonald’s point is that such peaceful co-existence does not happen automatically or easily.

Disruptive Data Governance

In a recent webinar called “Disruptive Data Governance that doesn’t suck,” Laura Madsen asks what prevents us from being successful at sharing information across organizations, and her answer is essentially that traditional data governance tends to act as a barrier to communication. She then asks how we can “operationalize” data governance to make sharing insights easier.

Operational data governance:

  • Increases usage
  • Improves quality
  • Demonstrates lineage
  • Protects data

This is the essence of the “contextual problem-solving” Sean McDonald wrote about. These are the issues that BI and analytics teams face as they provide data connectivity to more and more data sources for self-serve analytics.

Data Governance and Live Data Connectivity

Data governance is everyone’s business, and analytics teams need to follow privacy-by-design principles to ensure data protection and data lineage tracking.

In a top-down data governance scenario, ulterior motives are more likely to come from the top than the bottom. Responsibility rests at the top of the hierarchy, but blame may settle to the bottom, which is why BI and analytics teams need to get out ahead of data governance issues and ensure their workflows are compliant.

APOS Live Data Gateway is a live data connectivity middleware platform that provides virtualized data connectivity for SAP Analytics Cloud, enabling live data connectivity to a vast range of non-SAP data sources. APOS Live Data Gateway lets you leverage the existing data governance provisions of your non-SAP data sources:

  • Use data from its existing location – Access relational, OLAP, Cloud, and Hadoop data using a single, simplified and consistent connection point into the available data.
  • Keep data behind the corporate firewall – Create live data connectivity without exposing data.
  • Leverage existing security – Access is governed by the well-developed security model in the data source.

In addition to these governance features, APOS Live Data Gateway ensures that the data that analytics users access is always current, allows users to leverage existing data modelling through its unified semantic layer., and simplifies connectivity through recognized SSO protocols.

I’m old enough to remember a common saying in IT departments: Nobody ever got fired for buying a Cisco router. This saying spoke to the reputation of Cisco routers for dependability and efficiency, but also to the need for IT departments to use trusted technology rather than cut corners.

For SAP Analytics Cloud live data connectivity, APOS Live Data Gateway has become the Cisco router of the ‘20s. It expands, simplifies and unifies data connectivity to non-SAP data sources for SAP Analytics Cloud, while respecting all data governance provisions, and providing faster time to value for analytics teams building a more complete analytics.


Learn more about APOS Live Data Gateway

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