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Data Masking Software

Morgan T. Lee

Have you ever worked on a project where you had to analyze “as-is” data structures and “to-be” data requirements in order to create large volumes of information, multiple databases, or manipulate production data to create a new set of data for the purpose of development, testing, reporting, or training?

Back in 2000 I was working on a project that required my setup multiple development and testing environments and created a particular set of data for each environment. The company I worked for had a legislative requirement to use non-production data, this meant that we could not just copy a production database and alter the data for our needs.  We had to use an ancient test database that contained hundreds of thousands of records. It was my job to analyze the data requirements and design test data.  I had to find the various record types, start and end positions of the data that I wanted to alter, and copy and replace old values with new records, or generate unique values and update the data manually or run custom scripts.  Understanding the data requirements and creating a new set of data often took weeks for each project, phase, or minor software update.

Years later I was fortunate enough to work for a company that had developed their data masking software. I was immediately blown away with what this software could do. Not only could this data masking software easily change data from one value to another, but it could also create new data based on parameters that I specify.  For example, if I wanted a database with 100,000 records that contained realistic SSN/SIN numbers, salary ranges, first and last names, telephone numbers, and Country code, what would have taken me weeks to do in the past could now be completed in a few hours.

Now as a BA consultant, I am able to include data masking software in my BA toolkit.  This software allows me to offer Discovery, Subsetting, and Data Masking services to my clients purely on a consulting basis or in conjunction with a software license that is built to suit their needs.

Data Discovery and Classification can help an organization “discover” what data in their production or testing databases are sensitive.

Data Subsetting makes subsets of large databases.

Data Masking is where you change, anonymize and protect the data but preserve the characteristics of the real data.

If you find yourself responsible for analyzing and creating data, please consider using a data masking solution instead of doing it the old way.  It will save time, money, and will improve the quality of your data.

Visit www.datamasking.com to learn more about Data Masking software.

Posted in Business Analyst, Requirements, Software, Tools.

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