Microsoft’s Azure Purview is a data governance tool offering a unified, cloud-based data discovery, management, and protection approach. It enables businesses to discover sensitive data, guarantee regulatory compliance, and obtain insights into their data assets.

Why is Microsoft Azure Purview useful for organizations?

Microsoft Azure Purview enables organizations to –

  • Acquire awareness of data assets
  • Make data, security, and risk solutions accessible
  • Protect and manage private information across endpoints, applications, and clouds
  • Handle regulatory compliance and end-to-end data hazards
  • Authority to control, safeguard, and manage data in a comprehensive manner

Let us examine some of Azure Purview’s salient features –

1. Microsoft Purview data map

The basis for data management and discovery is provided by Microsoft Purview Data Map. As a cloud-native PaaS service, Microsoft Purview Data Map gathers information about business data stored on-premises and in cloud analytics. By data scanning and asset categorization across data assets, Microsoft Purview automates cloud-based data discovery. A comprehensive map of assets incorporates the metadata and descriptions of newly identified items. A built-in automated scanning and classification mechanism ensures that the Microsoft Purview Data Map is always up to date.

Below is a sample of how the unified data map looks like in Microsoft Azure Purview –

Some of the benefits of Microsoft Purview data maps –

  • Data discovery
    • Azure Purview simplifies the discovery and cataloging of any data asset within an organization. It offers a consolidated view of data from several sources, including cloud and local data storage like Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Blob Storage, and SQL Server, as well as other sources. Users can use the bar to search and explore data from all connected sources, like a Google search.
  • Data classification
    • One of the most important features of Microsoft’s data governance solution is Azure Purview data classification. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze data content and apply labels that indicate data sensitivity, quality, and usage. This enables organizations to quickly identify and protect sensitive data and ensure regulatory compliance.
    • The Microsoft Purview Governance Portal supports both system and custom taxonomies.
      • System classification: Out-of-the-box with over 200 supported system taxonomies.
      • Custom classification: Create custom classification to classify assets based on patterns or specific column names that are not available as system classifiers. Custom classification rules can be based on regular expression patterns or dictionaries.
  • Data lineage
    • Azure Purview data lineage feature allows users to track the origins and transformations of data across various systems and applications. This helps data stewards better understand data and ensure it is used appropriately.
  • Microsoft Purview compliance and policy enforcement
    • Azure Purview provides policy enforcement capabilities that allow organizations to set rules and restrictions on data usage. Policy enforcement can include access controls, data retention policies, and data sharing restrictions. This helps ensure that data is being used in compliance with regulatory requirements and company policies.
  • Microsoft Purview Data Catalogue
    • Azure Purview provides collaboration features like data cataloging, profiling, and quality analysis, enabling data stewards and scientists to work together on data governance tasks. This helps organizations improve data accuracy and relevance and drive better insights and decisions.
      • Business Glossary
        • Since the technical language associated with data repositories is abstracted, business users may find and interact with data using more familiar terms. A business glossary offers users terminologies and phrases that may be categorized and connected to one another to be understood in various settings. A database, tables, columns, and other assets may then be mapped to these concepts. Each term in an organization refers to an item, and different phrases may refer to the same thing. The terms client, purchaser, and buyer may also describe a consumer.
  • Data Estate Insight
    • The Data Estate Insights tool was developed with governance stakeholders in mind, especially those in leadership positions with a focus on data management, compliance, and utilization, such as a Chief Data Officer. The application provides actionable insights about the organization’s data estate, catalogue usage, adoption, and procedures.
    • The Data Estate Insights tool automatically extracts valuable governance gaps. It shows them in its top metrics when firms scan and populate their Microsoft Purview Data Map. Below is how it generally looks –


There are other built-in features besides the one mentioned above that help organizations have complete control and visibility of the data combined with great UI, making it easy even for business users to use Azure Purview. Purview comes with robust security features and data-sharing capabilities without the need of data physical data replication. It natively integrates with ADF or Azure Synapse to scan sources and destinations and get lineage information. It supports major data sources, even the ones outside Microsoft or Azure domains like Amazon RDS, SAP Hana, Oracle, My-SQL, Snowflake, and others. Services like Power BI, Looker, and Salesforce are also supported.

Azure Purview comes with some limitations as well. Not all features are supported across all the data sources, especially those outside the Azure or Microsoft ecosystem. Also, the Microsoft Purview Data Map can’t scan an asset that has /, \, or # in its name. There are some resource limitations as well which are described here.

Purview will be the first choice if the data ecosystem is built upon Azure or Microsoft-based systems. For other cases, checking supported features before using Microsoft Azure Purview as the data governance tool is recommended. As a leading Microsoft Azure Partner, learn how we help businesses maximize the business value of their data in Azure by integrating Microsoft Purview.

Arka Majumdar
Associate Technical Architect- Analytics

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