Manta Business

GDPR: “What’s Next?” The Aftermath

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect last Friday. At this moment it is important to ask: “What’s next?”

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect last Friday. At this moment it is important to ask: “What’s next?”

Were you able to ensure your company’s compliance with GDPR, send all the mandatory privacy policy update emails, and happily complete what you thought might be one of the most challenging tasks for your company in 2018? Well, we are sorry to break it to you, but it doesn’t stop there.

The GDPR was formed as a regulation to protect users and customers, and they have indeed been given the reins. It might not have happened to you yet over the last few days, but there will come a time when customers will request that your company delete all existing data about them. Or your company might have recognized that there are still large amounts of data in your BI environment that need to be anonymized. Either way, there is a heap data staring back at you, waiting to be handled.

The Big Mess

Some of the consultancy companies that MANTA works with have recognized that the biggest struggle connected with GDPR compliance is most likely tracking customer data across multiple databases. Companies must identify the various locations where sensitive or uncompliant data is being stored as well as discover the relationships between this data. Not all records are equally sensitive, not all need to be anonymized. Sometimes, only parts of the data need to be re-written (e.g., a name and a country code in the same table will most likely not lead to the identification of a customer, but adding a city name can end up leading to quite precise identification).

The complexity of today’s BI environments makes it almost impossible to search for these relations manually. Luckily, MANTA can automatically analyze all database objects and data processing logic within your database, and if an additional description about the level of sensitivity of each record is provided, it can identify the locations of sensitive records. Then you can eliminate all potential threats to compliance as well as make sure you didn’t fail to find a complete record of customer data.

Lucky for you, MANTA is still available, no matter whether the GDPR countdown has ended or not. If you think that you could use some serious help with tracking your data and automating your data lineage, schedule an informative call with our pre-sales guys. They are really friendly!

Or contact us at manta@getmanta.com. We are always up for a chat.

Key Features of MANTA: Current and Past Revisions

Due to popular demand, we bring you another episode from our series “Key Features of MANTA”. This time, we will take a look at MANTA’s ability to automatically report the differences between current and last revisions.

Due to popular demand, we bring you another episode from our series “Key Features of MANTA”. This time, we will take a look at MANTA’s ability to automatically report the differences between current and last revisions.

Exactly which differences are reported?

Usually, you are not the only user in your bu¨siness intelligence environment. Many employees and groups of employees within the company access specific resources, edit database schemas, or just upload new information, e.g.:  add new customer records, edit customer information such as addresses or phone numbers, and so on.

When various changes are made in your database, it is possible that some relations within tables are changed or deleted, and that can lead to spare tables suddenly getting “lost” in traffic or being modified, resulting in a change in the course of the data lineage itself.

Suddenly, the data lineage you have been exporting from MANTA doesn’t fit in the database anymore. This could mean that you no longer have an accurate overview of the data being used in your database, or even, in the worst case scenario, that you are no longer compliant with regulations.

Practical explanation of how revisions work can be found in our technical demo of MANTA + Microsoft SQL Server. Take a look (video will start at 5:09, where Lukas starts to explain how revision system works):

We’ve got you covered!

Because MANTA is specifically tailored to meet customers’ needs, we have noticed this point of frustration and have developed a specific feature that allows you to avoid any unpleasant situations in connection with changes to your database. Every time you log in to MANTA, it will let you know what has changed since it last exported data to your metadata management solution. We’ve simply got you covered!

Is there anything else you’d like to know about MANTA? We are always available at manta@getmanta.com.

 

Key Features of MANTA: Automation

Our slogan is literally “Automate your data lineage”. But what does this actually mean?

Our slogan is literally “Automate your data lineage”. But what does this actually mean?

MANTA is a fully automated tool. This means that after the initial setup, which is usually finished after the POC process but in general doesn’t take much longer than doing your laundry, MANTA works on its own:

Once it’s successfully connected, the software automatically reads your BI environment and provides you with detailed end-to-end data lineage based on our powerful scanners. No editing, no manual metadata injections or excel table uploads, just pure automation (you are obviously welcome to push something in manually as well, but our scanners work automagically automatically).

Automated mapping for agile or else

We wanted to spread this message because it is still a wonder to us how many tools out there claim to be automated when they actually are not. They usually require you to carry out a vast number of manual tasks prior to giving you answers. Some are actually so non-automated that they basically just throw the data you enter there into a nice graphic design and call it lineage!

But why should you want to automate the process of collecting data lineage anyway? Well, there are many reasons why it is beneficial for a company to be able to automate this task.

Automation not only saves you time and resources in the form of employee work hours, but it also helps your company be more versatile in development. If you are trying to keep up with an agile development plan or prefer sandboxing your environment, without automating the process of mapping your data, it is not only inefficient but almost impossible! Automation is the future. All industries and tasks are being adjusted to achieve a certain level of automation. Why shouldn’t your DWH mapping process be automated as well?

MANTA is a powerful tool with features crafted by our developers to meet our customers’ needs. Since we realize that you might not know about every single one of them or you might just want to get a better overview of what MANTA can do for you, we have prepared this blog series. The next one is coming in a few weeks!

Let us know what you think and if you want more posts like this! We are always available at manta@getmanta.com

How to Make a Manta Ray Charity Origami Paper Plane

April 29, 2018 by

Need help figuring out how to fold our charity origami paper plane? Look no further!

Need help figuring out how to fold our charity origami paper plane? Look no further!

If you are coming from Collibra Data Citizen 2018 (where we first distributed these DIY origamis) take a look at this very helpful video that will help you make our paper plane.

And remember, when you are done, post it with #mantaorigami on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. For each origami made, we will donate $10 to Manta Trust, a global charity focused on research and conservation of manta rays and their relatives.

A big thanks goes to the YouTube channel paperaplane for creating this beautiful (and helpful) visualization.

Good luck!

 

Data Warehouses Are Dusty Attics Full of Data in “Temporary” Storage

April 25, 2018 by

Storing unnecessary data and the processes surrounding it just because you are not sure if you can throw them out is a pain. But why? And how can you fix it?

Storing unnecessary data and the processes surrounding it just because you are not sure if you can throw them out is a pain. But why? And how can you fix it?

That old couch you don’t need anymore

“What do I even have up there?” is what you might be asking yourself. Well, it turns out that everything you have both stored and discarded up in your attic is a sign of the way your company treats its data warehouse. For example: You have a couch in the living room. You have one in the bedroom as well. So you don’t really need a third one, but you don’t want to throw out that perfectly good old couch. I mean what if you need it, right?

The same thing happens with data in your data warehouse. There are some types of data you are obligated to store for a certain amount of time, but other than that, clean it! There are so many companies storing outdated information that they can’t even use for anything anymore, but they continue to store it on their servers. Throwing away that “old couch” can save you lots of money on storage fees with your database and/or cloud provider as well.

The closet you never use

Next! What about that empty closet you have up there? Closets are convenient for storing random things – but not when they just take up space! And that is what happens to some “lost tables” in your data warehouse as well. When you make changes to the architecture of your data warehouse, you often stop using certain tables and optimize the table infrastructure. When that table no longer has a relation with other tables, it can easily become “forgotten” or “lost” among all the data in the warehouse, causing the data to become outdated, messy, and unnecessarily greater than it needs to be.

All that Junk!

Luckily, MANTA is able to help with all that junk. Do you want to organize your DWH and get end-to-end data lineage, map your data warehouse and optimize it? We are here for you! Check out our advanced scanners or just ask for a free trial right away.

Why All IoT Projects Need Data Lineage

April 17, 2018 by

The rapid growth of IoT (Internet of Things) devices and their associated data streams brings with it a completely new discipline of data. The huge amount of data that companies have to process (and store!) from these projects is complicated, dynamic, and usually of a very sensitive nature, so it has to be handled with care. To process such a large amount of data in an effective way, we need to automate the metadata harvesting, and we need to be able to get complete end-to-end data lineage in order to trust our data. So, keep reading. Here are a couple of MANTA x IoT use cases we have drafted for you!

The rapid growth of IoT (Internet of Things) devices and their associated data streams brings with it a completely new discipline of data. The huge amount of data that companies have to process (and store!) from these projects is complicated, dynamic, and usually of a very sensitive nature, so it has to be handled with care. To process such a large amount of data in an effective way, we need to automate the metadata harvesting, and we need to be able to get complete end-to-end data lineage in order to trust our data. So, keep reading. Here are a couple of MANTA x IoT use cases we have drafted for you!

IoT & Smart Homes

There are buildings that can collect information about their neighborhoods as well as smart homes that connect appliances to mobile phones – monitoring your fridge and adding groceries to your shopping list, heating your rooms and plenty of other activities that make up your daily life – this is the concept of a smart home. But then at the end of the day, you have a bundle of very personal information about your customers’ lives that is all collected in a company DWH and/or in a “cloud far, far away”. This data will come with the need to comply with regulations for personal data. This could be compliance with GDPR or even HIPAA in some cases, if the data includes information that could indicate the customer’s health status (e.g. if the home is barrier-free, there is a special medication device installed, what food is in the fridge).

IoT & Healthcare

With HIPAA and other regulations, healthcare is one of the most monitored industries in the world, and for good reason! It will only get harder to comply with these regulations, especially with the desire to digitalize all customer records and add IoT concepts that integrate data from wearable sensors. These wearables usually sync data in real time as well, giving doctors the ability to remotely monitor patients. This makes them a real-time security threat for medical experts, doctors, insurance providers, you name it! In the worst-case scenario, if there would happen to be a data breach, the healthcare provider would have to prove that it did everything humanly possible to stop it! Data lineage is a way of showing that as well.

IoT & Finance

IoT can be incorporated into the finance industry through a broad variety of payment methods, virtual payment methods, apps, microchip technology, cards, sensors, and so on. The data collected from these payment methods can also be used, for example, to calculate individualized rates for term-based insurance or other financial products/services that can adapt to a person’s real-world behavior rather than an estimated mathematical model. But, as if companies working in finance didn’t already have enough data, all of these concepts dramatically increase the content of company data warehouses.

IoT & Retail

IoT locating technologies and on-product sensors could enhance the customer shopping experience by sending instant personalized promotions, sharing reviews from other customers, and offering remote payment options. A future model could offer a hands-free shopping process, and even current ones would also be able to track customers’ moves through the aisles, their ideal “shopping path”. Microchips or sensors inside goods could also help the company create an automatic on/off -stocking process, which would leave the company to deal with a never-ending flow of new information into their data warehouses.

IoT & Utilities

Networks of connected sensors among household appliances and devices would be able to regulate the amount of electricity that is being used in the home, autonomously control a building or home’s energy consumption, and optimize intake. On a bigger scale, this should also help optimize large-scale energy grids.

Conclusion: IoT & Data Lineage

IoT is a data-driven concept, and all data-driven concepts have exactly the same problem: their data needs special attention! That includes precisely tracking their data as well as having complete end-to-end data lineage that is, preferably, completely automated – because the amount of data that floods company DWHs after implementing an IoT solution is insane! And no company has the kind of time and employees necessary to manually reconstruct data lineage from that many sources, right?

MANTA can enable your company to prove exactly where your data is, where it is going, and how it is treated along the way. This can mean the difference between complying with a regulation, gaining a happy customer – or putting your data at risk. Although living on the edge is exciting, that does not apply to your data, ever!

Ready to learn more? Leave us a note in the form or let us know via email at manta@getmanta.com.

 

Spring Clean Your DWH!

March 29, 2018 by

Yes, it’s time for some spring cleaning! Some of us might have to deal with GDPR soon, some of us want to optimize our DWHs and save money as well, some of us want to start with agile development, and some just want to migrate to the cloud! No worries, read on and see how MANTA can help.

Yes, it’s time for some spring cleaning! Some of us might have to deal with GDPR soon, some of us want to optimize our DWHs and save money as well, some of us want to start with agile development, and some just want to migrate to the cloud! No worries, read on and see how MANTA can help.

GDPR

With GDPR, you need to address at least three areas related to physical persons – understand 1. what data you have; 2. where it is stored; 3. if you have consent to use it for a specific purpose; and what you are using the data for. Getting a complete understanding of which systems the person/related data elements are distributed, stored and used in is traditionally a lengthy and expensive process. However, items #2 (where your data is stored) and #4 (how you are using the data) are automated when you use Manta. This way you get an understanding quickly and, even more importantly, MANTA keeps that information up-to-date.

Migrating to the Cloud

When migrating your DWH to cloud technology, you need to be careful about what exactly you are migrating. For example, if you are Migrating Microsoft SQL Server to Azure, you are paying twice – once for the processing units (cDWUs), and once for the storage (DWUs). In this case, you want to make sure that you are transferring/migrating only what you need.
Your data warehouse, that has been developed over the last several decades, may (and likely does) contain obsolete or legacy parts that have not been used in a while or have even been decommissioned. MANTA can map your DWH and see which pieces of data are being used and which not.

Note: Even if you’re not migrating to the Cloud, you can still benefit from cleaning up the legacy or obsolete parts of your DWH. By removing the unused parts of your data warehouse, you may not only save on licenses by reducing the size of your DWH, but also reduce your operational costs (by not maintaining unused parts) as well as reduce the risk of using outdated or invalid data in the unused part of the warehouse. Automating such analyses gives you an immediate understanding which leads to immediate savings.

Sensitive Clouds

When you want to save space in your on-premise DWH by migrating some parts to the cloud but are afraid of security issues, you can always migrate only part of your warehouse. For example, MANTA can scan for all tables that are related to tables of sensitive data and show you where those data elements are being propagated and used. Then you can migrate only less sensitive data and save DWH space without losing your security status.

Sandboxing a Cloud

Another common use case in data migrations is when someone is trying to create a sandbox. You want to let a third party develop for your environment but don’t want to give them access to the entire environment, just a small part – in a copy! But first you need to find out exactly which records in your DWH are connected to your product so you don’t give too little or too much. This could take many hours, or even days, depending on your environment. But thanks to MANTA, you can automatically scan the data in a few minutes and identify the relevant pieces.

Data Lineage: The Penguin Effect

February 23, 2018 by

One jumps, they all jump! The penguin effect is a cute term from crowd psychology that suggests that penguins (and humans too, apparently) wait for one “victim” to start doing something, and then they all join in. We don’t know who was first, but now they’re all in—in data lineage!

One jumps, they all jump! The penguin effect is a cute term from crowd psychology that suggests that penguins (and humans too, apparently) wait for one “victim” to start doing something, and then they all join in. We don’t know who was first, but now they’re all in—in data lineage!

There is no doubt that the importance of data lineage has grown enormously over the past couple of years. For example, the number of searches on Google for “data lineage” has doubled in the past year, and quadrupled since 2014! Simultaneously, the term “data lineage” has been appearing in a significant number of academic papers and scholar projects each year.
We are proud to say that the longing for data lineage has been reflected in our numbers as well. The featured image is a map of every use of the MANTA Flow demo. It shows that MANTA has been attracting businesses, partners and customers on all six continents and in more than 80 countries—from Vancouver to Wellington, from Santiago de Chile to Tokyo!

Let’s take a closer look at the evidence here

We took data from the past 3 years and spread them on the map. Naturally, most of the inquiries have come from the United States—almost exactly a third of them. Second place goes to India. We can’t be surprised about that one either! There isn’t really any special trend in the statistics. It just seems that 2015 kicked-off with a couple of inquiries from Riyadh, followed by the US boom. Part of the success is, of course, thanks to our hard-working marketing team (side note: this article was written by its hardest-working member), but we would have to do a really in-depth analysis to find out how much.

All in all, out of all the 8.2K connections, more than three quarters are from 2017! We can, of course, describe this as proof of the rapidly growing popularity of MANTA and, perhaps even more importantly, of the widening of MANTA Flow’s scope—the capabilities of the product (the increasing number of technologies analyzed). Also, we can’t overlook the impact of our partnerships. 2017 was big in this sense, too.

Yes, as demonstrated by this article, data lineage has seriously caught the attention of enterprises all over the world. Now, more than ever, companies rely on having their data under control.

Do you have your data under control, or does your data control you? manta@getmanta.com.

A Tech Support Love Letter: Be Our Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is heading our way and we know who our Valentine will be, but do you? We’ve made you this card so you can see how our customers get nothing but love and affection from MANTA’s support and development teams. It’s a love letter in numbers, enjoy!

Valentine’s Day is heading our way and we know who our Valentine will be, but do you? We’ve made you this card so you can see how our customers get nothing but love and affection from MANTA’s support and development teams. It’s a love letter in numbers, enjoy!

With love, MANTA.

A LOVE LETTER IN NUMBERS

The Year of MANTA and Why We’ve Published Our Pricing Online

December 31, 2017 by

We’ve seen a massive surge in the world of data lineage over the last year.  More buzz, more leads, more customers for us and (from what I’ve heard) for other metadata players as well. It might come as a bit of a disruption, but we’ve decided to do something which is very common in other industries, but not in ours. We’ve published our pricing online. Why?

We’ve seen a massive surge in the world of data lineage over the last year.  More buzz, more leads, more customers for us and (from what I’ve heard) for other metadata players as well. It might come as a bit of a disruption, but we’ve decided to do something which is very common in other industries, but not in ours. We’ve published our pricing online. Why?

The Year We’ve Come Through

2017 is coming to an end, and so it is the right time to take a look back. It was a very hot year for metadata and data governance. Partially thanks to the new GDPR regulation, but there are more reasons behind it – more and more enterprises have come to the understanding that the only way to build an efficient data-driven company is through proper data governance. In 2016, data got a lot of attention, how big it is or can potentially be, how to manage large volumes, velocity, and variety in data.

In 2017, we all started to realize that it is not just about data, but also a lot about data algorithms – the way your data is and how it’s gathered, transferred, merged, processed, and moved around your company. Thanks to GDPR, internal discussions have been initiated about how and where sensitive / protected data elements are used, and suddenly, it turns out that we are flooded not just with data but with data algorithms too, and it is impossible to handle it all manually without automation.

That has drawn even more attention to MANTA and its unique data lineage automation capabilities. Our website basically exploded – our audience doubled and the use of our live demo nearly tripled. We have on-boarded several amazing new customers from all around the world, and we delivered four major releases this year, with plenty of new features in all of them including Public & Service APIs and new technologies (SSIS, IBM Netezza, IBM DB2, and Impala, to name a few). Simply said, 2017 was a fantastic year and more is coming in 2018!

And even though this year was yet another giant step for MANTA, we decided to do one more thing that will shake things up. We’ve done something that’s pretty common in all the other industries except ours.

Yes, we’ve published our pricing online for everyone to see.

And why?

MANTA is taking the lead in transparency and openness

Sometimes there are good reasons for hiding the price of your product or service. And it is common practice in the enterprise software industry. But does that really make sense? Let’s take a look at the usual reasons, then:

1) You might be legally bound to hide the price by a government or its suppliers. Yes, national security is a serious issue, and there might be some limitations put on companies which deal with it. But that works only for individual deals and is hardly a reason to hide the price.

2) You want to participate in tenders with secret bids. Yes, that also makes sense – especially when you are dealing with clients that focus only on the price. You would not want to lose just because your bid is a few thousand higher, would you? Perhaps not, but this is not our case – MANTA is a very unique software product with clear and easy to see value for its users. The price has to be reasonable, but it is rarely a way how to win anyone’s business.

3) You want to keep everybody in the dark. Yes, some do want that. But frankly, it’s a rather dishonest strategy. It’s foolish to expect that customers do not know other players on the market and their prices. It’s even more foolish to try to control the market by spreading rumors and making deals in the shadows.

When you are confident of your product and what it stands for, you are also confident of its price. There’s no reason to follow the “industry standard” by not disclosing the enterprise IT product prices. So dive into our pricing right here and if there’s something that needs clarification, just take a look at our pricing glossary right below it.

Thank you for your support this year and see you in 2018!

Yours,

Tomas

 

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