One of our clients had an interesting data masking requirement. How to mask Production data to meet with GDPR and IT security policies. The data needed to be human readable enabling the development and testing teams to create a data feed for a new Client Portal system. However, the core system did not have the ability to mask the data, only scramble or obfuscate. The core system was extremely complex, built & expanded on over 10 years. It is difficult to understand the system & how data is stored because documentation didn’t exist!
Furthermore, the architecture restraints meant there was not enough storage space to hold a second (in-line) database with masked production data.
The more companies we speak to, the more complex or complicated situations we find. From our experience, we’ve found a pattern emerging in the common problems or requirements:
We had a lot of options to solve this problem, but selected Redgate Data Masker and here is why:
We created a simple plan to extract the data, load into a SQL database and then mask. Only taking required data increased efficient use of storage and reduced processing time. This would allow the Client’s development team to export the masked data and transfer into the Client Portal.
Identifying the data was a difficult manual process because of the
At the end of this exercise, WhereScape 3D produced detailed documents of the core systems data structure as well as analysis of the data cardinality/profiles. It uncovered some interesting points about the system, including some parts of the system that held personally identifiable data, that the client had not known existed.
Using the information within the metadata; WhereScape’s Red imported the physical structure of the system and automating the extraction of data into a SQL database on a scheduled basis. We started off daily, but later to increase to every hour.
Now that the data was at rest in the SQL database, our consultant used Redgate’s Data Masker to convert the personally identifiable data to a data set, based on the agreed rules held within the metadata. Once the rules had been designed, WhereScape’s Red scheduler automated the masking so that it started as soon as the loading has completed.
Data processing, including masking and being loaded into the target database, took place within 4 hours (initially). Not too onerous and very timely compared to other options. More importan
Using WhereScape Red, the Engaging Data consultant was able to build a comparison process, that utilised the metadata (only using those field marked as containing personally identifiable data) and compare the values before and after the process.
The processed ends with an automatic email of the data masking comparison report. This report contains a summary of field error analysis as well as a number of field errors per record. The latter was used to fail the process & prevent the data from be transferred to the target database. Automating this, enabled the Client to feel confident that the process was working correctly.
All sorts of tools can be used to mask data. We find the best of them will automate the process allowing you to decide how to mask, when to mask & how frequent to do it.
Instead of putting our logo on the shirt, we choose to support a charity Young Minds who are the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health.
Engaging Data will continue to support the team & its charity Young Minds in going into the 2020/21 season!
COVID-19 cut the season short, but we hope the team get back to playing football, safely. Who knows what football will look like next season, at a professional level or grassro
Agile data warehouse development
One of the most common problems we are approached to resolve is agile data warehouse development. Clients understand the importance of data and building the right data platform to service their businesses needs. Delivering a new or amending a platform at pace is one of the keys in providing true flexibility and enabling change within organisations.
Engaging Data has built data solutions using our three pillars principles – people, process and technology. With a highly-skilled development and consultancy teams, we provide real added value to our clients.
Quick and nimble!
Fantastic partners like WhereScape, enable us to build data platforms in days. Imagine, within the first few days of starting development, the business will have a data platform that they can start interrogating. WhereScape RED allows you to continue developing and amend your data platform without any complications. RED offers several data platform solutions allowing you to choose the right solution for your business.
If you are planning a project to create or alter a data warehouse, data lake, data vault or a combination of all of these, allow us to show you the power of data automation using WhereScape.
Do not just take our word for it, have a look through what our clients are saying.
Having the right team
Our services will help will all aspects of data solutions. From the development of a data platform, data model design and visualisation to day to day solution support.
Our design process uses the BEAM (Business Event Analysis & Modelling) methodology. This approach alongside WhereScape 3D provides a quick and effective data platform from the source system to report or visualisation.
Having the right process for your company
Our support services offer a wide range of support levels that give comfort and peace of mind at a cost-effective price.
Achieve the goals you have set out for your data project with our experienced team who can help with your data strategy, governance and SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) processes.
Keep everyone up to date with the latest thinking and methodologies – don’t be afraid to change or try new ideas!
We provide training and support for your data platform & can arrange bespoke training courses for all WhereScape products. In our experience, learning a new tool using familiar data, makes the topic more digestible.
If you would like to read more about WhereScape RED and 3D, please click here.
Looking for help with geo-relational or mapping data. Read more about our partnership with the Ordnance Survey and the products they offer.
Engaging Data has started to work on Data Vault projects. If you are not aware, Data Vault is great methodology for data development (DevOps/DataOps). It’s a good fit for how we like to work with clients!
We have seen it work really well with cloud technologies such as Snowflake, but it is very adaptable to most architectures.
The Data Vault user group has set up a free meet up. This meeting will be a great introduction to how Data Vault 2.0 is being used. John Giles a Data Vault guru will be making a guest appears, so you know there will be good content!
See you there!
We are really excited to go into partnership with Redgate. Find out more about them here. Redgate’s software can help from development to environment controls. Moreover, these tools are perfect for any data developer!
Redgate develops tools for developers and data professionals. These products are a natural fit for Engaging Data providing suitable tools to for data development teams and enhancing or streamlining processes. Redgate produces specialised database management tools for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL and Microsoft Azure.
All of these platforms and tools driven by Engaging Data Consultants create engaging data solutions.
Our consultants are already using Redgate software in a project to mask data for a data warehouse. As a result, we will share some of the challenges and how we’ve built robust solutions using Redgate’s tools!
If you would like to know more about the tools we use, or have a question about Redgates product, please get in touch!