Replace manual and recurring tasks for fast, reliable data lineage and overall data governance
It’s paramount that organizations understand the benefits of automating end-to-end data lineage. Critically, it makes it easier to get a clear view of how information is created and flows into, across and outside an enterprise.
The importance of end-to-end data lineage is widely understood and ignoring it is risky business. But it’s also important to understand why and how automation plays a critical role.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Lost time is never found again.” According to erwin’s “2020 State of Data Governance and Automation” report, close to 70 percent of data professional respondents say they spend an average of 10 or more hours per week on data-related activities, and most of that time is spent searching for and preparing data.
Data automation reduces the loss of time in collecting, processing and storing large chunks of data because it replaces manual processes (and human errors) with intelligent processes, software and artificial intelligence (AI).
Automating end-to-end data lineage helps organizations further focus their available resources on more important and strategic tasks, which ultimately provides greater value.
For example, automatically importing mappings from developers’ Excel sheets, flat files, Access and ETL tools into a comprehensive mappings inventory, complete with auto generated and meaningful documentation of the mappings, is a powerful way to support overall data governance.
According to the erwin report, documenting complete data lineage is currently the data operation with the largest percentage spread between its current level of automation (25%) and being seen as the most valuable operation to automate (65%).
Doing Data Lineage Right
Eliminating manual tasks is not the only reason to adopt automated data lineage. Replacing recurring tasks that don’t rely on human intelligence for completion is where automation makes an even bigger difference. Here are six benefits of automating end-to-end data lineage:
- Reduced Errors and Operational Costs
Data quality is crucial to every organization. Automated data capture can significantly reduce errors when compared to manual entry. Company documents can be filled out, stored, retrieved, and used more accurately and this, in turn, can save organizations a significant amount of money.
The 1-10-100 rule, commonly used in business circles, states that preventing an error will cost an organization $1, correcting an error already made will cost $10, and allowing an error to stand will cost $100.
Ratios will vary depending on the magnitude of the mistake and the company involved, of course, but the point remains that adopting the most reliable means of preventing a mistake, is the best approach to take in the long run.
- Faster Business Turnaround
Speed and faster time to market is a driving force behind most organizations’ efforts with data lineage automation. More work can be done when you are not waiting on someone to manually process data or forms.
For example, when everything can be scanned using RFID technology, it can be documented and confirmed instantaneously, cutting hours of work down to seconds.
This opens opportunities for employees to train for more profitable roles, allowing organizations to reinvest in their employees. With complex data architectures and systems within so many organizations, tracking data in motion and data at rest is daunting to say the least.
Harvesting the data through automation seamlessly removes ambiguity and speeds up the processing time-to-market capabilities.
- Compliance and Auditability
Regulatory compliance places greater transparency demands on firms when it comes to tracing and auditing data.
For example, capital markets trading firms must implement data lineage to support risk management, data governance and reporting for various regulations such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s standard number 239 (BCBS 239) and Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II).
Business terms and data policies should be implemented through standardized and documented business rules. Compliance with these business rules can be tracked through data lineage, incorporating auditability and validation controls across data transformations and pipelines to generate alerts when there are non-compliant data instances.
Also, different organizational stakeholders (customers, employees and auditors) need to understand and trust reported data. Automated data lineage ensures captured data is accurate and consistent across its trajectory.
- Consistency, Clarity and Greater Efficiency
Data lineage automation can help improve efficiency and ensure accuracy. The more streamlined your processes, the more efficient your business. The more efficient your business, the more money you save on daily operations.
For example, backing up your data effectively and routinely is important. Data is one of the most important assets for any business.
However, different types of data need to be treated differently. Some data needs to be backed up daily while some types of data demand weekly or monthly backups.
With automation in place, you just need to develop backup strategies for your data with a consistent scheduling process. The actual job of backing things up will be managed by the system processes you set up for consistency and clarity.
- Improved Customer and Employee Satisfaction
Customer disengagement is a more severe problem than you might think. A recent study has shown that it costs U.S. businesses around $300 billion annually, nearly equal to the U.S. defense budget. When the employees are disengaged, they consistently give you their time but do not put the best of their efforts.
With data lineage automation, employers can automate such tasks and free up time for high-value work. According to a smartsheet report, 69% of employees thought that automation would reduce wasting time during their workday and 59% thought that they would have more than six spare hours per week if repetitive jobs were automated.
- Governance Enforcement
Data lineage automation is a great way to implement governance in any business. Any task that an automated process completes is always documented and has traceability.
For every task, you get clear logs that tell you what was done, who did it and when it was done. As stated before, automation plays a major role in reducing human errors and speeds up tasks that need to be performed repeatedly.
If you have not made the jump to digital yet, you are probably wading through high volumes of resources and manual processes daily. There is no denying the fact that automating business processes contributes immensely to an organization’s success.
Automated Data Lineage in Action
Automated data lineage tools document the flow of data into and out of an organization’s systems. They capture end-to-end lineage and ensure proper impact analysis can be performed in the event of problems or changes to data assets as they move across pipelines.
erwin Data Intelligence (erwin DI) helps bind business terms to technical data assets with a complete data lineage of scanned metadata assets. Automating data capture frees up resources to focus on more strategic and useful tasks.
It automatically generates end-to-end data lineage, down to the column level and between repositories. You can view data flows from source systems to the reporting layers, including intermediate transformation and business logic.
Request your own demo of erwin DI to see metadata-driven, automated data lineage in action.