How RecordPoint enables data discovery

Effective data and information management begins with a comprehensive data discovery strategy. See how the RecordPoint platform enables data discovery and uses features like AI-powered classification to help you understand, manage and use your data more effectively.

Belinda Walsh

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Belinda Walsh

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April 23, 2024
How RecordPoint enables data discovery

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RecordPoint was built with data discovery at its core

For companies that are focused on reducing their operational risk, proving compliance and improving security, one of the most common obstacles is simply knowing what data they have.

Of course, without a clear picture of the data they hold, no company can reliably protect and manage the sensitive data in their systems, let alone dispose of it properly.  

Cautionary Tale: Large life insurance company learns a hard lesson  

In 2023, this major insurer fell victim to a ransomware attack.

Because the company didn’t have a clear understanding of the data it held, it was challenging, expensive and time consuming to try to identify which data was accessed and compromised. These issues resulted in an extended breach lifecycle, which created a poor and risky experience for the insurer’s customers.

At the time, the company used RecordPoint solely to manage their SharePoint Online and Exchange Online data, but as a result of the breach, company leadership were convinced to adopt RecordPoint’s File Analysis module, which provides an at-a-glance view of the status and location of sensitive data.

In the future, if the insurer suffers a breach, they’ll know exactly what data was accessed, and whether it’s sensitive, thanks to its newly enhanced RecordPoint instance.  

While executives and boards have woken up to the importance of identifying and understanding all their company’s data, turning this directive into a reality is a massive challenge for most teams.  

Data discovery is an essential part of the solution.  

Data discovery is the systematic process of identifying, classifying, and exploring your data. By embedding data discovery into their processes, organizations can ensure they’re:  

  • Strategically governing their data for risk, compliance, and privacy
  • Proactively identifying patterns, trends, and insights that can inform company strategy.

The RecordPoint approach

RecordPoint’s data and information lifecycle management platform was designed to enable data discovery throughout the data lifecycle.

Our data-centric approach enables our customers to identify all their data, intelligently classify it to enable compliance, and remove it when required. With RecordPoint, all your data.

Let’s explore how the RecordPoint data trust platform streamlines data discovery.

Find and manage your data, no matter where it lives  

The days of data being held in a small number of on-premises and IT-approved data sources are over.  

The increasing volume of data, particularly unstructured data, which makes up 80–90% of enterprise data according to Garner, complicates the challenge of managing it all.

Data is typically held in SaaS applications and cloud-based platforms, many of which are only used by a single department or team. Data silos like these can add complexity to data management practices and increase the risk that sensitive data won’t be captured and managed appropriately.  

Because data stored in one location will rarely stay there. For example, a job applicant’s Social Security Number (SSN) stored in a structured database is easily copied across to an unstructured Microsoft Word document for a job offer letter. In this example, unless you can manage both data sources, you’re not managing all your personally identifiable information (PII).

Major Australian bank reduces cost by removing the ROT  

This financial institution holds a massive amount of data over seven repositories. The bank chose RecordPoint’s platform to allow manage-in-place capabilities for unstructured data, to address gaps in governance, compliance and risk.  

In the beginning, the project focused on analyzing and managing the bank’s file share infrastructure to identify redundant, obsolete and trivial (ROT) data, before it could be ingested into the RecordPoint platform for ongoing management.

Today, RecordPoint manages the entirety of the bank’s SharePoint Online instance and its OneDrive for Business drives, which include one petabyte of data.  

RecordPoint’s powerful Connectors enable you to seamlessly connect to standardized systems with common configurations, like Microsoft 365 applications like SharePoint, OneDrive, and Outlook. Connectors are also flexible enough to accommodate unique configurations of systems like Salesforce or Workday, as their setups often differ between organizations. For data stored in on-premises systems our File Analysis feature can do the same, allowing you to maintain visibility of all your data, whether stored in SaaS systems or on-premises storage.

Data discovery is much easier when you can see what you possess at a glance. The platform lets you quickly search all connected data, rather than requiring separate searches across each individual system. Because the platform manages your data in place, you won’t be limited to point-in-time understanding of your data.  

Large state government department tackles data sprawl with centralized data discovery  

This Australian state government organization chose RecordPoint to manage its information governance, with a focus on improving the management of unstructured data in its SharePoint Online instance.

After implementing RecordPoint for SharePoint, the department’s leaders identified another opportunity to leverage RecordPoint: data discovery within another critical data source: Salesforce.  

While Salesforce data is primarily structured, the department was running more than 20 Salesforce instances, as every project required a new instance. This, of course, led to extensive data sprawl.

The team connected the most critical Salesforce instances to RecordPoint to ensure centralized data discovery across standard business systems like SharePoint and now Salesforce instances also.

Automated analysis enables more accurate classification

Beyond understanding where your data is, you need to ensure it is correctly classified so you can filter what really matters, and manage it appropriately. Accurate classification allows you to:

  • manage access
  • ensure the most sensitive information is stored appropriately  
  • remove data in accordance with retention schedules and privacy regulations.

Thanks to the volume and diversity of data in the modern era, classification is no longer a task that can (or should) be completed by a human. Requiring employees to manually classify their files and enter the information into a records management system is a recipe for unproductive teams and inaccurate data inventories. Many companies have found this out the hard way, suffering data breaches and fines from their regulators.

Instead, RecordPoint leverages machine-learning to consistently classify data across all data sources, at a level of accuracy and a scale not achievable through manual methods. Using intelligent classification adds an extra layer of privacy to your data and can help reduced unnecessary data storage.

No matter where you’re based, you’ll likely be subject to modern privacy regulations. At their core, these regulations require businesses to understand their data. As well as requiring the protection of the most sensitive data, these laws impose obligations on companies to provide data subjects with the right to access their data, correct inaccurate data and, depending on the regulation, remove it.  

Of course, you can’t complete any of these tasks without knowing where the data is stored.

Redundant, obsolete, and trivial data

Another factor hindering data discovery is the sheer amount of data organizations possess. While a lot of this data is valuable, a significant amount is not. Organizations often hold onto this data on the off chance that it can provide value down the line.  

“Data storage is getting cheaper, so there is little downside,” goes the argument.  

But while it’s certainly getting cheaper to store data on a per-gigabyte basis, the actual cost of storing information is higher when you factor in indirect costs like egress, the cost of managing access, governing it through its lifecycle, and managing its retention and disposal.

If not all of this data is valuable, your data discovery efforts will be significantly easier once you’ve separated the wheat from the chaff, and removed the ROT, (Redundant, Obsolete, and Trivial) data you don’t need to store.  

And great news for you — RecordPoint can detect and classify ROT, allowing you to take action to remove it with ease.

Deep reporting allows for streamlined decision-making

Business Intelligence (BI) reporting can play a key role in risk identification and mitigation. Organizations leverage such reporting to identify risks, anticipate market shifts, and spot anomalies in their data. When you can incorporate data governance metrics to your BI reporting, you can make better decisions about your risk posture.

The RecordPoint platform features deep reporting capabilities, which let you explore your data in your Business Intelligence platform of choice, providing a data-driven view of your level of risk, rather than making decisions on risk based on gut feeling. When you understand these data governance metrics, you can detect trends such as unsafe internal data sharing practices, better understand where your data is held, and surface data needed to fulfil DSAR requests and requests for data deletion. Our Enterprise Reporting tools are as flexible as you need them to be, with connections to whichever BI platform you choose, including Power BI, Tableau and others.  

Discover a better platform

Whatever your business, you likely have challenges locating your data. If you want to learn more about how RecordPoint can help with data discovery, explore the platform now, or book a demo for a full walk-through.

Discover Connectors

View our expanded range of available Connectors, including popular SaaS platforms, such as Salesforce, Workday, Zendesk, SAP, and many more.

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