Hortonworks unfurls tool to cut grunt work, let firms spend more time rolling in juicy data

And *checks watch* of course it'll be really useful for GDPR

Data management biz Hortonworks has lifted the covers off a service that aims to make it easier for enterprises to identify, secure and connect data stored both on-premises and in the cloud.

Data Steward Studio, announced at Hortonworks' DataWorks Summit in Berlin, taps into a growing desire among businesses for more automation, as well as concerns about poor data management.

The tool plugs into Hortonworks' data management platform, DataPlane Service, which was released last September as acknowledgement that businesses have data stored across data lakes – often in hybrid or multi-cloud environments – as well as an increasing amount of streaming data, and so need a single view of it.

The idea is that enterprises spend too much time and effort trying to gain insights from diverse data sets, as they first have to locate the parts of the data they want and then improve its quality, before they're able to analyse it.

The new service aims to allow users to spend more time analysing data than on identifying, cleaning and integrating it, while also improving the data, for instance by eliminating redundancies and helping identify data that needs to be dealt with differently.

"[Customers] can use it to reduce redundancy, make decisions and choices about how data gets stored, and proactively search through that data for things like PII [personally identifiable data] or HIPAA [protected health information], or records that might be misidentified," said CTO Scott Gnau.

"Since it sits on DataPlane Service, it has access to all storage devices, all of the different clusters that are available and can apply that single view."

Hortonworks is also pushing the idea that once data is spread out across repositories it's harder for businesses to trust it – which will reduce its usefulness to the business overall.

"Either data will become disconnected, or data will become non-trusted," said Gnau. "And of course [you] don't want to use non-trusted data for writing your overall business strategy."

Of course, a data-governance tool in 2018 is nothing if it doesn't mention how great it will be for firms preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation – in this case by offering a view of data lineage and security policies.

However, director of strategy and innovation Abhas Ricky acknowledged the Hortonworks stack didn't have everything.

"Do we have all the solutions today? No. Can we get there with help of partners? Probably," he said, adding: "Is there any organisation that can get there [on its own]? I don't think so." ®

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