Leveraging Power Automate with Microsoft Purview (Part 1)

When it comes to information, risk management, compliance, protection, and data governance, there are a ton of point solutions. This fragmented approach has proven wanting, especially given the sheer number of regulations so far, particularly on privacy. 

A proven solution to this need for an integrated and comprehensive solution is leveraging Power Automate with Microsoft Purview.  

In this piece, part of a three-blog series, we examine how you can utilize both these platforms to enhance data management and automation capabilities.  

Part 1: Leveraging Power Automate with Microsoft Purview (Part 1) 

Part 2: Integration of Microsoft Purview and Power Automate (coming soon)

Part 3: Integrating Microsoft Purview and Power Automate: Implementation Best Practices (coming soon)

First, let us do a little overview of both Microsoft Purview and Power Automate. Then we will talk about how they come together to achieve what we are looking for. 

Overview of Microsoft Purview

Microsoft Purview, previously Azure Purview, is a unified data governance solution designed to help your organization discover, catalog, manage, and secure your data assets across various sources. With Purview you will be able to understand and control data across your entire data estate, whether it be on-premises, multi-cloud, or SaaS (Software as a Service) data sources. 

Key Capabilities

  • Data Discovery and Cataloging- Working with structured, semi-structured, or unstructured data, Purview enables both in its discovery and cataloging.  

  • Data Lineage - Visualize your data across systems and processes which comes in handy when trying to understand transformations and dependencies.  

  • Data Classification and Sensitivity- Classify data using predefined rules while still being able to stay within compliance and regulations.  

  • Data Governance Policies- Create and enforce data governance policy which could include access controls, data retention policies, and data usage policies.  

  • Data Catalog Collaboration- In a situation where you have teams looking to collaborate on data assets with a catalog, all members of the said team should be able to annotate, comment and contribute to the tasks at hand without much hassle.  

  • Data Asset Profiling- Assess the quality, structure, and characteristics of your data assets which ties into their usability and reliability.  

  • Integration with Azure Services- Integrate Purview with among others Azure Data Factory and Azure Databrick.  

  • Unified Search and Discovery- With access to Purview, you get to leverage a powerful search interface whose net effect is reduced data silos.  

  • Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Support- Manage data across both hybrid and multi-cloud environments thus more consistent data governance practices.  

  • Compliance and Regulatory Support- Data discovery, classification, and monitoring, you should be better able to comply with data regulations.  

Advantages of Microsoft Purview

  • Centralized Data Governance – Together with other decision-makers, you get to have a centralized platform from where you can manage all your data governance practices throughout your organization. 

  • Improved Data Discoverability- You get access to cataloging and search capabilities that simplify the finding and utilization of data assets. 

  • Enhanced Data Quality- Whether you are on the technical team or are a key decision maker, having profiling and lineage tracking should help improve your interaction with the data assets. 

  • Collaboration- Purview comes with many collaboration features that encourage data asset collaboration and sharing of knowledge within teams. 

  • Regulatory Compliance- Seeing as you are dealing with predefined rules, meeting protection, and compliance requirements Purview reduces time and risk. 

Overview of Power Automate

Microsoft Power Automate is a cloud-based automation platform that enables users to automate workflows and processes across their entire data estate. Power Automate streamlines tasks, increases efficiency, and reduces the manual effort otherwise needed if automation was not applied. 

Some of the key features you should be on the lookout for: 

  • Workflow Automation- As a user, you should be able to create automated workflows that connect across your entire data ecosystem.  
  • Integration- You have available to you a wide range of connectors that should make integration with popular Microsoft and third-party applications seamless. 
  • No-Code and Low-Code - Whether you have technical knowledge or are purely from a non-technical background, you should be able to tackle even the most complex workflows on the platform. 
  • Triggers and Actions- You can construct your workflows based either on events that kickstart the workflow or the aftermath of the event. The outcome is an automation process that is both dynamic and responsive. 
  • Notification and Alerts- In line with timely communication, you should receive notifications and alerts via email, Microsoft Teams, or mobile applications. 

Data Governance Challenges and Automation Opportunities

f you are to make it in today’s landscape, you must adopt leadership through data mindset and approach. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done with numerous data governance challenges arising. These include: 

  • Data Proliferation- With just how much data streaming in by the second, you might end up with a data sprawl which then introduces the challenge of managing, categorizing, and maintaining the quality of incoming data.  

  • Data Privacy and Compliance- You’ve got to keep in mind several regulations including GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability), and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) which to be achievable requires a robust governance framework.  

  • Data Quality and Accuracy- It can prove challenging to track your data’s accuracy, consistency, and reliability which can be quite detrimental as it could lead to incorrect insights and decisions.  

  • Lack of Data Visibility- It can be near impossible to have a comprehensive view of your data landscape.  

Automation stands to offer a solution for most if not all the data governance challenges. The opportunities therein include: 

  • Data discovery and classification 
  • Data lineage and auditing 
  • Data quality monitoring 
  • Metadata management 
  • Policy enforcement 
  • Data cataloging 
  • Workflow automation 

Benefits of Automation with Microsoft Purview

  • Streamlined Data Workflows  

Leveraging Power Automate with Microsoft Purview streamlines data workflows by automating data-related tasks, improving data access, and overall, enhancing collaboration. 

More specifically, said integration automates data cataloging as Power Automate automatically extracts metadata from various data sources and updates Purview’s data catalog. You should be able to eliminate manual cataloging while speeding up how new data assets are added to your estate. What is more, you should be able to take advantage of the centralized data repository made available by Purview. This means efficient data discovery. 

  • Enhanced Data Governance  

Leveraging these two tools together means you will be combining Power Automate automation capabilities with Purview’s data classification, sensitivity labeling, and access controls. The outcome is a better ability to enforce data governance policies and a better grip on whether the data being used complies with set regulations. 

  • Data Lineage and Transparency  

Applying automation with Microsoft Purview significantly enhances data lineage and transparency. For starters, you can leverage the automated data lineage tracking whereby you can automatically capture data movement and transformation. Having said automated tracking should provide you with a clear record of how data flows throughout your systems. 

Of significant importance is how said integration gives you end-to-end visibility. Once you integrate Power Automate with Purview, all your data lineage information becomes accessible from a centralized data catalog. You should then be able to get a comprehensive view of how your data moves throughout your data estate. 

When it comes to transparency, you get to have each step of the data transformation highlighted. This means you should be better equipped to point out any manipulation of your data during analysis. From this point, it should be significantly easier to conduct an impact analysis whereby you can analyze the potential impact of changes to your data sources. 

Finally, with automated data lineage, you should be better able to troubleshoot and resolve any arising issues either within the data workflows or transformations. As a user, you can track back to the source of any problem which then translates to expedited troubleshooting and resolution. 

  • Automated Compliance  

By integrating Power Automate with Microsoft Purview, you will be combining Purview’s data classification and sensitivity labels with Automate workflows. The outcome is stricter compliance with data protection regulations. Tasks such as data masking or encryption should then be automatically done based on Purview’s classifications. 

Note that Power Automate automates data retention policies based on Purview’s classification. This ensures that data is retained within the stipulated duration and can be deleted based on compliance requirements. Further, Power Automate is designed to send notifications to relevant personnel when there is any violation of data governance policies. As a business decision-maker, you should be better equipped to take prompt action to address any compliance breaches. 

Power Automate enables compliance checks and audits based on Purview’s metadata and generate automated compliance reports using said metadata and data classification information. Not only do you save considerable time but also ensure accurate documentation. 

  • Faster Decision-Making  

Leveraging Microsoft Power Automates with Microsoft Purview expedites decision-making. Specifically, it quickens access to relevant data, automates data-related processes, and enhances data transparency. 

You are better equipped to eliminate the delays associated with manual data gathering. What is more, decision-makers can receive real-time alerts which means they can respond promptly to critical issues. 

  • Improved Collaboration  

Integrating Power Automate and Microsoft Purview ensures that the right people have access to the right data. You are better able to achieve secure and controlled collaboration. Besides, the streamlined workflows mean that teams are better able to collaborate on tasks that require data movement, transformation, and integration. 

  • Reduced Errors  

An advantage of Power Automate is that it automates data entry tasks. This reduces any likelihood of manual errors which you would otherwise be prone to if said data was entered manually. What is more, integrating Power Automate with Purview makes room for automated metadata extraction and cataloging. The outcome is consistent and accurate metadata across your entire data estate which then avoids any discrepancies or errors during data classification and labeling. Further, Power Automate automates all data movement between the different systems and databases. This reduces the possibility of errors if said data was manually copied or migrated. 

Overall, Power Automate creates predefined rules which in turn reduce any errors that would otherwise come about during manual handling of your data. 

  • Cost Savings 

By combining automation and efficient data governance, your business reduces the manual labor required. What is more, you no longer must grapple with data-related errors which not only increases billable hours but also take a toll on project turnaround time. Finally, leveraging power Automate with Microsoft Purview equips decision-makers with the knowledge of the right compliance without extensive manual effort. 

Of note is the fact that integrating these two optimizes resource allocation. This translates to employees focusing on higher-value tasks which has a positive correlation to innovation, growth, and overall customer experience. 

  • Scalability 

Integrating Microsoft Power Automate and Microsoft Purview grants your business scalability as it automates and streamlines data-related processes in a manner that creates room for increased data volumes, tasks, and operations. This means that as your business operations grow and even become complex, you do not have to worry about proportionally increasing your administrative overhead. 

Once you integrate Power Automate and Microsoft Purview, your organization is better able to streamline data management, enhance data governance and automate workflows based on the rich metadata and governance policies provided by Purview. As both Microsoft Purview experts and Power Automate experts, we are well-equipped to ensure that said collaboration results in data being used effectively, securely, and in compliance with regulations. 

The bottom line is that at Agile IT, we can help executives leverage Power Automate. Check out our services today!

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