Harnessing the power of big data is increasingly important not just for business intelligence (BI)—a descriptive model that reveals to enterprises the current state of their companies—but also for data analytics. Data analytics offer predictive models with insight into where a business might head under different scenarios. Your organization's data gives you the opportunity to collect dynamic business intelligence.

But securing this data in the transformation process is an increasing concern with cloud-based, data-heavy infrastructure. Follow our tips to make the most out of your information without putting data security at risk.

Table of Contents

  1. Ensure Your BI Tool Retains Data Security Protocols
  2. Establish Access Control on Your Data
  3. Eliminating the Need to Upload Data
  4. Protect Your Data Security With Xplenty

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The Problem With Traditional BI Security Models

Business intelligence tools have matured over the past two decades. Enterprises have entered the age of big data, and the fundamental changes that come with it can lead to better decisions about short- and long-term strategies.

But the shift to better business decisions is not the only net result of leveraging big data. Companies also wrestle with additional pressures on security. Traditional security models for business intelligence focus on data held on-site in local hardware. Recent technological advances mandate that security strategies consider cloud infrastructure and data that moves through multiple entry points in the network.

There's also new legal pressure to secure personally identifiable information (PII) and personal health information (PHI) as that data becomes more widespread—and more individuals become concerned about its sale, transfer, or exposure.

Tips for Securing Business Intelligence Systems

Security is essential. But you don't have to abandon a business intelligence initiative out of security concerns. The right security protocols can support your BI solution.

1. Ensure Your BI Tool Retains Data Security Protocols

Data security protocols are essential elements of any network. BI tools often promote ease of use through a "set it and forget it" design and other methods of automation. This can make business intelligence development easier. But it can come with the risk of data corruption or unintended exposure. So every BI tool you choose should comply with the highest levels of data security. Look for these capabilities:

  • Access control
  • Key management
  • Authentication
  • Encryption

You should already have these security protocols in place in your cloud-based and local networks. Any new business intelligence tool you apply must be compatible with them.

2. Establish Access Control on Your Data

One key component of a data security strategy for your business processes is access control. In the simplest terms, this means limiting who can see, manipulate or manage your data sets. This seems like an obvious point, but in the day-to-day running of a business heavily reliant on data, the details can get lost.

Access control includes taking such steps as:

  • Setting permissions and hierarchies of business users
  • Password protecting end-user data sources and other access points
  • Assigning at least two managers to set and revoke permissions to ensure the smooth running of the business

Segmenting access helps ensure your business intelligence is secure. It also helps you maintain your obligations to protect personal information. Although it's tempting to see developing business intelligence as a seamless operation, from data mining to data analysis, it is essential to monitor the personnel who have the inside track at every stage of the process.

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3. Eliminating the Need to Upload Data

The first step toward creating business intelligence is integrating data from multiple sources. Doing this manually comes with many risks. By uploading data on an ad hoc or scheduled basis, you do not get business analytics in real-time. This also poses another security risk, as it requires the regular movement of unstructured data by a dedicated team or individual, opening up the possibility of data exposure or corruption.

You can reduce this security risk with an extract, transform, load (ETL) solution like Xplenty. ETL lets data, from structured to unstructured, automatically move to or from a data warehouse. The result is data you can convert into actionable analytics—with little security risk or delay.

Xplenty is a no-code ETL solution, a self-service option for data analysts who want to keep their data consolidation efforts separate from IT or R&D.

4. Protect Your Data Security With Xplenty

Your business intelligence systems are key to decision-making. Every new BI project gives you an opportunity to develop the relevant metrics, such as key performance indicators (KPIs), you need to present to your stakeholders. Data security protocols are important components in this process. And those protocols have greater strength when you use Xplenty.

One key feature of Xplenty is the capacity to mask and remove PII and PHI before it is loaded into a data warehouse. This provides peace of mind for organizations that have a legal obligation to keep that information secure. This is particularly helpful for international companies subject to laws like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With Xplenty, companies can mask PII and PHI gathered in Europe so it can be centralized into a data warehouse outside the EU, for example, in the US. Companies can rest assured that all the information in the warehouse is protected.

Xplenty lets team members with a range of skill sets develop powerful data pipelines. The no-code approach means team members need only limited access to data sets in order to create pipelines and benefit from business intelligence software that creates results. In turn, you enjoy that all-important data visualization that supports your decision-making process through every stage of your business cycle.

Xplenty complies with SOC 2, GDPR, HIPAA, and other security regulations. Legal compliance not only protects your company from fines and other legal sanctions but also ensures your data security meets industry standards and safeguards any personal information your system holds.

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We are committed to securing business intelligence processes. Following the highest possible security protocols, Xplenty can help you integrate your structured and unstructured data in real-time through customized, automated data pipelines. From there, you can get the descriptive and prescriptive analytics you need for your business to succeed.

To learn more about what Xplenty can do for you, schedule a call with us today.