What is data discovery?

July 3, 2020
July 3, 2020
03 July 2020

In this age where data is all around us, organizations have increasingly been investing in data management strategies in order to create value and gain competitive advantage. However, according to a study conducted by Gemalto in 2018, it was found that 65% of organizations can’t analyze or categorize all the consumer data they store.

It is therefore crucial for enterprises to look for solutions that allow them to seek out the value of their data from the metrics, insights and information by facilitating their data discovery journey.

Data discovery definition

Data discovery problems are everywhere in the enterprise, whether it’s in the IT, Business Intelligence or Innovation department. By integrating data discovery solutions, enterprises provide data access to all employees, enabling Data teams and Business analysts to understand and thus, collaborate on data related topics.

It is also very useful for enterprises seeking better compliance management. It allows organizations to know what data is personal/sensitive and where it can be found. In addition, data discovery can bolster innovation, as it unblocks essential information for satisfying customers and gaining competitive advantage.

From Manual to Smart Data Discovery

For 20 years, before advanced machine learning techniques, data specialists mapped their data using the sole brain power of humans! They critically thought out about what data they had, where it was stored, and what are the needs to be provided to the end customer. Data Stewards usually took care of data assets documentation rules and standards that guided the data discovery process. In these manual approaches, usually done using Excel sheets, people conceptualized and drew out maps to comprehend their data’s organization.

Nowadays, with the advancement of technology, the definition of data discovery includes automated ways of presenting data. Smart Data Discovery represents a new wave of data technologies that use augmented analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. It not only prepares, conceptualizes and integrates data, but also presents it through intelligent dashboards to reveal hidden patterns and business insights.

The benefits of data discovery

Enterprise data moves from one location to another in the speed of light, and is being stored in various data sources and storage applications. Employees and partners are accessing this data from anywhere and anytime, so identifying, locating and classifying your data in order to protect it and gain insights from it should be the priority!

The benefits of data discovery include:

  • A better understanding of enterprise data, where it is, who can access it and where, and how it will be transmitted,
  • Automatic data classification based on context,
  • Risk management and regulatory compliance,
  • Complete data visibility,
  • Identification, classification, and tracking of sensitive data,
  • The ability to apply protective controls to data in real time based on predefined policies and contextual factors

Data discovery enables enterprises to adequately assess the full data picture.

On one hand it helps implement the appropriate security measures to prevent the loss of sensitive data and avoid devastating financial and reputational consequences for the enterprise. On the other, it enables teams to dig deeper into the data to identify the specific items that reveal the answers and find ways to show answers. It’s a win-win situation!

Learn more about data discovery in our white paper: “Data Discovery through the eyes of Tech Giants”

Discover the various data discovery solutions developed by large Tech companies, some belonging to the famous “Big Five” or “GAFAM”, and how they helped them become data-driven.


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At Zeenea, we work hard to create a data fluent world by providing our customers with the tools and services that allow enterprises to be data driven.

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Chez Zeenea, notre objectif est de créer un monde “data fluent” en proposant à nos clients une plateforme et des services permettant aux entreprises de devenir data-driven.

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Das Ziel von Zeenea ist es, unsere Kunden "data-fluent" zu machen, indem wir ihnen eine Plattform und Dienstleistungen bieten, die ihnen datengetriebenes Arbeiten ermöglichen.

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