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How Can Microsoft Purview Help Manage Your Data Estate?

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

Learn how Microsoft Purview is the new hidden data governance gem in the Azure ecosystem!


What is Microsoft Purview?


Microsoft Purview is a unified data governance solution that manages your on-premises, multi-cloud, and SaaS data. The product was first released as “Azure Purview” in September 2021. Then, just a few months later, in April 2022, Microsoft announced that Azure Purview would become Microsoft Purview. What’s the difference? Microsoft Purview is essentially a combination of the former Azure Purview and Microsoft 365 Compliance portfolio. So now, you’re able to maintain data governance, security, and compliance all in one place! And the awesome thing about Purview, especially when compared to other data governance and compliance platforms: Microsoft Purview is an Azure service, so its spending runs under the pay-as-you-use model.


How Does Purview Fit into the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform?

Just a month after the name change to Microsoft Purview, Microsoft unveiled the new “Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform”. The 3 main pillars are databases, analytics, and governance (Microsoft Purview). Data governance is the first step for organizations to accurately lasso their data estate.


the microsoft intelligent data platform flow of data

Microsoft Purview Architecture

In the architecture shown below, connections to data sources are created, and catalogs are then created on metadata from those sources.


the components of the microsoft purview governance portal


Microsoft Purview assists with data discovery, traceability, and searchability. Why is this so valuable? Say for example, you need to identify all versions of a Sales Header. You can view the original data source, where that entity is shared, who has access to it, and what Power BI reports use the transformed and modeled tables.


How to Search Within Microsoft Purview

You can search by navigating to the Microsoft Purview Governance Portal and can either search for that Sales Header entity or browse for it.


contoso purview in microsoft purview

How To View Data Lineage in Purview

Once you find the item you searched for, you can see all the details of the data’s lifecycle. Purview provides details such as the lineage of what Power BI reports use the table, what activity in the Azure Data Pipeline transformed it, and, finally, a full lineage to the original data source. That source could even be a file in an external tool like an Azure Data Lake. Create definitions, govern security, and share parameters within the governance portal.


a screenshot of microsoft purview

Here is a sample Purview implementation which shows the upstream lineage of a file in Azure Data Lake Storage.


the user sample final in microsoft purview

How to Get Started with Microsoft Purview

First, create an account within your subscription.


the marketplace in microsoft purview

Then, traverse to the Microsoft Purview Governance Portal.


A screenshot of contoso purview in microsoft azure

Once you are in the Governance Portal, click into the Guided Tour, which walks you through setting up connections, assets, collections, and making use of the platform. Give yourself at least a couple of days to understand and piece this solution together as it is a bit complex. Or, contact us if you’d like help setting it up!


contoso purview governane portal screenshot



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