Every business can be a data business with low-code/no-code governance tools

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We’ve all heard the saying that “every company is a software company” at some point over the past few years. But recently, there is a new saying that goes: “every business is a cloud and data business”. It makes sense – data is driving an explosion of cloud information, innovation and usage, cloud spending is expected to exceed $1.3 trillion by 2025. Because the cloud is now the default expectation of doing business, the rules have changed – and companies must work with new regulatory hurdles and barriers to innovation. Fortunately, we know how to move quickly based on what has worked in the past: low-code/no-code solutions.

where we started

To succeed as software publishers, companies previously had to hire enough people to write code, which limited their growth. This lack of skills first forced companies to hire expensive consultants to tell them where technology could improve service or increase sales, define the software needed, and then deliver it – certainly not a cheap or quick process.

Companies finally overcame this obstacle with low-code and no-code tools — software that could write the code for users and thereby democratize operations that had previously only been carried out by IT professionals. For example, building websites used to require HTML and Java coding experience, but over the past five years, low-code and no-code tools have helped end users speed up this process and improve operations on the business side. . When typos and coding failures don’t have to be disasters that IT pros have to spend all their time researching, and these tools are in the hands of everyone in the enterprise, working with data in the cloud becomes much easier and more efficient.

Yet these tools have generally been limited to building applications and using established processes, rather than addressing the threats important to today’s businesses – data governance and risk.

Why data-driven advancements clash with privacy regulations

Businesses today create and store vast amounts of corporate and customer data. They now have personal information on hundreds of millions of users and data on how, where and when they use software. Digital data on healthcare, financial information, logistics and shipping, e-commerce, security, etc. can easily be collected and stored.

As companies rush to use this resource for business purposes, they face a new hurdle: data privacy regulations. New regional laws governing the sharing of PII, PHI, and PCI data are being passed and updated at a rapid pace, disregarding consistent global standards. These regulations, from GDPR to CCPA, include costly penalties for data leaks or misuse. In California privacy law, for example, fines range from $2,500 to $7,500 per record.

For example, direct-to-consumer companies have had to adapt to GDPR and CCPA fairly quickly in order to maintain customer trust. Functional nutrition company HumanN was concerned about complying with GDPR and other PII regulatory requirements to avoid potential fines and reputational damage. And HumanN CEO Joel Kocher and the company’s small data team recognized the need for a no-code solution that could deliver business value in hours or days, not months or years. They ultimately chose an easy-to-implement technology that, integrated into their cloud-based ecosystem, ensured that data was reviewed responsibly and access was tightly controlled.

Many companies today may be at the start of their data governance journey, but they will soon run into a skills gap equivalent to the coding gap, unless they invest in the tools that make achievable compliance, regardless of technical skills.

No-code and low-code software enables self-service data governance and faster data analysis

The good news is that we already know the solution: building tools for non-technical users to deploy and manage a data governance solution themselves. Companies have already adapted to digital transformation with low-code and no-code approaches. Rather than applying it to software, in this case, they need to extend it across their entire cloud and governance infrastructure.

What makes this adaptation possible? A technology that works in the hybrid and multi-cloud framework and does not require new infrastructure or code to configure things. This technology democratizes the governance process across the organization and reduces the stress of adapting to regulatory changes.

With this strategy, data engineers and administrators can offload the tedious process of configuring policy-based data controls, and updating and managing them over time, to non-technical, non-technical teams. take care of only the most difficult tasks. No one needs to know SQL, Apache Ranger or YAML – data governance teams or any other non-coder can activate governance policies themselves and control and update them quickly, if needed. Not only does the process become faster, but it also becomes less error-prone. Governance leaders can see that policies are working properly with their own eyes, and they can adjust immediately if there’s something wrong, just like the marketing team can step in to fix a typo on the website.

For HumanN, visibility into data consumption highlighted a previously identified problem: the lack of clarity caused by using the same role for multiple purposes. For example, a database superuser role was used by BI tools to extract data, by sales channels to import data, and by database administrators to perform queries and make changes to the database. database.

The engineers therefore faced a serious problem: a lack of precise analysis of data consumption. Investing in low-code data controls allowed them to understand access to data sharing and administration roles and create custom compliance rules to control them.

And after?

With this approach, anyone within the company who wants to gain insights from sensitive and regulated data, including on the business side, can implement controls and data protections to use that data securely and in accordance with regulations. With no-code data governance tools, businesses can leverage data faster and become the “data businesses” they need.

Companies should seek out low-code/no-code tools, create a workplace culture that emphasizes that everyone is responsible for data privacy and security, and provide the tools for everyone to take action. We have already taken on the challenge of building technology coding and learned to adapt. Now we have to do the same with governance.

James Beecham is co-founder and CTO of ALTR.

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