Data is becoming one of the most critical parts of almost every business – and in some cases, data is already the most important component for data-driven businesses.
Data has been around for a while, but there’s no denying that the past few years have been critical ones. According to an IBM report on data, 90% of the world’s data was created in the last 2 years, that’s around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created per day.
This massive increase in the volume of data created is fully connected with the new systems and all the automation processes that companies are implementing in their operations. With that, it’s more important than ever to handle the data well and understand where it came from, how it was used before and which modifications it went through. And that’s where data lineage comes into play.
As businesses are willing to spend more on data to help them make all the smart and strategic decisions, they also need to invest in analytics and in tools that will keep their data accurate.
The value that data lineage drives to business is by enabling understanding of where the data came from and all of the changes it encounters through the data flow. This will help companies improve their current process, eliminate inefficiencies, and have a clear view of what’s working and what should be improved.
What Is Data Lineage?
To understand well how data lineage drives business value, it’s important to have a clear view of what data lineage is and why it’s so important.
Data lineage is the entire lifecycle of the data – from the origin until the end of the flow, and everywhere it passes on overtime. It’s the process of tracing the data, visualizing the lifecycle and monitoring all the changes.
As data goes through its flow, it changes, adapts and evolves, so the data lineage can be considered the full record of what happened to the data, from its source until how it reached a certain point and all steps in between.
This record will show the data behavior and help companies to solve possible errors back to the data source. It’s a way of debugging the data flow. It is also a necessity in regulated markets where auditors want full transparency in data changes, origins, and flows.
The Importance of Data Lineage
Decision-making at the right time and with accuracy is the key factor for some companies to succeed, generate revenue and grow, so having accurate data is the way to make decisions in a timely manner. The business will prevent data loss, become more efficient, save costs and ensure that all the auditing processes will run smoothly.
Companies that depend on data need to have a data lineage process in place – especially when there will be operational changes, data is being transferred from one system to another, or system updates are planned.
It’s a way of seeing if the data was modified, how it was modified and in which part of the flow. Data lineage ensures data integrity, security and quality and that the company can have confidence in it.
What Is a Data Lineage Tool?
Data lineage is created and maintained through software programs that give users a detailed map of the entire data lifecycle, from the source to the final destination.
The best data lineage tool should have the steps below specified:
- The exact source from where the data was extracted (data warehouses, databases, CSV files, APIs and so on)
- Each transformation the data went through (in a way that business logic can be applied to define the different parameters and remove the outliers). When the transformation is clear, the users can backtrack the data to its origin.
- Datastores, in which the data can be stored. This storage can be temporary or permanent in files, databases or data warehouses.
- The possibility of integration with other tools, software or artificial intelligence, like PowerBi, Tableau, CRMs.
The entire flow of the data should be available in the data lineage tool, so the tool needs to offer full visibility of the changes, so the company can see in detail how each step changed the data.
Also, those tools should keep track of which of the roles and which person has access to the data, who has access to the processes and can initiate the data changes, and give an auditor that will look at the data flow the possibility to replay every single event on each step of the data flow.
Why Are Data Lineage Tools Important?
Data lineage is key to companies that deal with data. That’s how they keep the data accurate to support the decision-making that will help the company grow. So, data lineage tools are the way to make data lineage processes possible.
Adopting best data lineage tools will help with:
- Governance improvement: The company’s rules and policies for data management, especially for the ones that deal with very sensitive information and need to have clear control of each step of the data flow and who has access to it.
- The quality of the data: With data lineage and the right tools for it, the problems and issues are discovered on the source, and the analysts and data scientists can go right to the root of it to work on a solution. If the company has no data lineage in place, the issues are discovered at a later stage, and it can be harder to discover in which step it happened and act on the main cause.
- Regulatory compliance: The best Data lineage tools are important to keep track of data changes so that an organization stays in compliance with industry regulations. There is no worse situation than having important data changed or go missing without any idea of who changed or deleted it, what was changed, or when the change occurred, when regulators or auditors have come calling.
Emissary: The Best Data Lineage Tool
Mt. Airy Technologies offers a complete component for data lineage. We offer evergreen data lineage with no-code, machine learning-enabled interface and reconciliation development.
Emissary offers a powerful tool to manage your data. It’s aided by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) shortens data-related projects while greatly reducing business risk.
Our software allows you to:
- Manage your data, so your organization can clean, normalize, compare, store, and rationalize the data.
- Integrate it with whatever you need to save time and cost. It gives you the power of building new interfaces or replacing the existing ones in just a few hours or days. Users can configure, map, and develop programs much quicker than other tools.
- Read the data received and sent in virtually any format and configuration, as data is received in different formats, configurations, shapes, and sizes. The software will deliver data in any of the limitless outputs that your organization needs to provide.
- Our tool will handle and provide actionable outputs to make sure that systems, statements, files, and any other data sources are in agreement. It’s an important aspect for many businesses to have their systems in total agreement with their third-party partners.
Emissary can reconcile practically anything, from cash balances, to transactions, to inventories and security positions to allow you to go beyond data comparison. The data reconciliation needs to be able to track exceptions and manage them through a flow designed for your business.