MANTA & BigID: Giving Customers a Broader Bi-directional Point of View
Throughout MANTA, we have long held the belief that we can achieve more together. It’s a philosophy that we extend to our customers, each other, and our partners. That’s why we were excited to sit down with two esteemed leaders to talk about the power of a recent partnership with BigID. Hear what Jan Ulrych, VP of Research and Education at MANTA, and Christopher Glover, Field Chief Technology Officer at BigID, have to say about the power of the MANTA Data Lineage App for BigID.
To begin, tell us what brought BigID and MANTA together. What challenges did we want to solve?
Christopher: Our partnership comes down to a foundational problem for many companies: They want to manage and leverage their data better. Traditionally, it’s been very hard for companies to automate data lineage and data discovery at scale. We saw an opportunity to solve this challenge by blending our strengths. We set out to combine the business context that comes from the data discovery offered by BigID with the operational context offered by MANTA, which shows a user what happens to data as it moves around the environment. By bringing our two platforms together, we knew we could solve more problems for an organization [than either solution could solve alone].
Jan: I completely agree. Also, we’re both the leaders in our respective categories within data management. We take a best of breed approach, which delivers greater value for our customers and translates into something that is truly usable. We see many companies that are trying to do everything – a bit of this, a bit of that – but in the end, they are not strong in any one category. So, what this means for a customer who is trying to use data lineage or wants to tag and classify data well and accurately, is that they’re not getting the value they paid for. They’re not getting what they originally expected and have to rethink their approach.
Christopher: I commonly run into customers who tell me “we don’t have lineage.” And I often respond with, “Well, you do have lineage. It may be immature, under leveraged and under valued, but you do have it.” Everyone has data discovery, lineage, data quality, and other data management functions in their environment – they just may not have dedicated applications or functions for each. It’s when you bring solutions like ours into the environment that you are able to make quantum leaps in the ability to manage data.
What makes our partnership distinct?
Jan: What’s really unique is that we offer a bi-directional integration. On one side, MANTA is pushing lineage information into the BigID platform; on the other side, BigID pushes classifications into MANTA. That’s very strong because what we see in the market, and especially from the lineage perspective, is that many stakeholders are using and benefiting from the access to metadata.
These users are coming from different angles – they may be data engineers, data analysts, support engineers, business analysts. All of them have slightly different angles, slightly different needs. By showing the information in the tool of choice for a particular user, that user gets the best value without having to switch from what they are working on. They also have an option to leverage the bi-directional nature of the app, switch to the other tool, and get a much deeper view.
Christopher: Together, we’re able to bring users both business and operational context. Alone, BigID delivers comprehensive and in-depth discovery, but doesn’t deliver operational context. Conversely, MANTA brings visibility into a data environment, but lacks the business context to help users make decisions about data and its movement. With our partnership, users get the business and operational context to help them make better informed decisions.
How can the MANTA Data Lineage App for BigID help customers take a proactive data protection stance?
Jan: One area is with impact analysis. Businesses constantly respond to new requirements and make changes to their data environments. When these changes occur, it’s usually data and business analysts who assess their impact. With data lineage, you can see where data is propagated but, as Christopher just noted, what you don’t get is business context. For example, Personal Identifiable Information (PII) may be entered into a system that isn’t suited for it. With information from BigID, business and data analysts can see that there is data they should be aware of in order to protect PII.
Christopher: In addition to impact analysis, data provenance is also a use case. Financial companies are highly regulated and must understand where their data originated. In a large financial institution, the number of data flows are in the tens of thousands. When looking at all of that data, it’s hard to understand what’s going on – the types and qualities of data, the standards that may be applied from internal policies and external regulations – and from which lens to view it. By giving viewers bi-directional visual context, they can look at their data in a way that is more effective. They can investigate security breaches through a security lens; they can evaluate regulations through privacy and financial lenses; or use any other lens that expands their viewpoint.
How does our partnership help customers manage data compliance and meet regulations?
Christopher: It’s important to understand that the availability of lineage data, from the BigID side, is not just about presenting lineage in a new way – it’s about using the lineage to automate processes that were previously manual. For example – privacy regulations. For Records of Processing Activities (RoPAs) within BigID we have a manual function, an application to document RoPAs. Now, we can automate that process because data lineage shows us the way data is moving and is connected to processes. We can be suggestive about records of processing including new information, we can alert a privacy officer that information needs to be updated, or we can see where information has become stale or inaccurate. While these are not traditional use cases for lineage, we are now using lineage in a way that proactively helps other processes or data management inside of a company and enhances processes that, in the past, were manual and resource intensive.
Jan: That’s a great point. Unfortunately, a lot of the metadata management hasn’t changed in 10-15 years. Sure, we can process larger amounts and deploy new code faster, but the environment in which data is managed is still manual. It doesn’t scale. With our partnership, we help customers understand the business context of their data, which allows them to meet regulations.
Parting thoughts: are there any additional benefits to customers that you'd like to share?
Christopher: Our partnership comes down to one of dedication. At BigID, we see our customers as partners, too. So, when we look at opportunities to integrate with other technology providers, we do so with the intention of putting the customer at the center. We knew that MANTA deeply cares about their customers and solving their problems.
We embarked on this partnership knowing that we are two companies that are both looking to solve bigger problems for our customers – to solve additional problems in the enterprise that weren’t being solved before. We aren’t taking on cookie-cutter problems. By understanding provenance and the business context around lineage, we knew we could bring value to our customers that they had never experienced before.
Jan: I couldn’t agree more. From MANTA’s side, we’ve never compromised on quality. We always want to do the best for our customers – to act with integrity, to be very thorough in our work. That’s what really pays off. We knew that BigID operated in the same way. We’re two companies that care strongly about the customer.