What Is Data Profiling and Why Do You Need It?

Maintaining high data quality is essential if you want to get the most out of your data sets. Working with questionable data can lead to severe losses. To avoid this, you must acquaint yourself with data validation techniques such as data profiling.

Data profiling offers a simple but effective framework for examining your data sets and enhancing your cybersecurity. So what the benefits of data profiling? And how can you use it to your advantage?

What Is Data Profiling?

Data profiling is the process of analyzing, evaluating, and examining data sets for better understanding and application. It x-rays the structure of data to determine whether it’s of good quality in terms of integrity, accuracy, consistency, and more, in order to enhance your cybersecurity.

As with most things, the source of data gives insights into its conditions. It tells you why the data is the way it is. Profiling identifies the sources of data sets to understand their original state of being and helps identify elements that might have altered their authenticity.

If done right, data profiling sets precedent and guides you on how to utilize your data sets effectively. You can channel findings from your analysis to areas that are most beneficial to you. This is key because misaligning information from your data sets can expose your system to security vulnerabilities.

What Are the Benefits of Data Profiling?

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Using the data sets you collect without profiling them can affect your network performance. In severe cases, it could create room for cyberattacks.

Data profiling is key in cybersecurity for several reasons.

1. Facilitate Better Decision-Making

The results of your actions are an offshoot of your decision-making abilities. Instead of making decisions blindly, you need to work with the data at your disposal. But how valid are your data sets?

Making decisions based on invalid data sets is a recipe for disaster, and could expose your system to data breaches and other cyberattacks.

Data profiling facilitates data validity. With such concrete information at your disposal, you can make informed choices. It gives you the opportunity to know what works for you. You can replicate your successes by leveraging valid data sets repeatedly.

2. Enhance Data Integrity and Credibility

Integrity and credibility are attributes of valid data sets. Even when you make provisions for securing your database against unauthorized access, your data could be jeopardized either at rest or in transit through Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks and other techniques cybercriminals deploy.

Data profiling helps you identify and sieve anomalies in your data sets. It also prevents redundancy that may cause results being duplicated. If you offer services to people with inaccurate or contaminated data, your integrity will also be on the line due to the flaws in your offerings.

3. Increase Precision in Predictive Analysis

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Predicting outcomes within your application helps to avert data theft, threats, and breaches. In cybersecurity, adopting proactive security beats reactive security. The efficiency of your proactive security depends on the precision of your predictive analysis. Your predictions will be more precise when your data sets are accurate.

Data profiling gives you better insights into the activities on your network. With concrete data available to profile, you can set up your cybersecurity structure ahead of time to prevent cyber threats and attacks.

4. Focus on Opportunities

Sometimes, you might be chasing things that are of no benefit to you or your system. You spend your time and resources on unproductive ventures. Data profiling gives you a clear picture of your network; so from your data profiling results, you can identify your network’s strengths and weaknesses.

When you know what works for you, you can focus on that and achieve the desired outcomes. Focusing on specific things cultivates better management of resources. This is especially important if you have limited resources as you can’t afford to waste them on activities that don’t benefit your system.

5. Better Crises Management

Every system is prone to cyberattacks. Even when you have strong defense mechanisms, you shouold be prepared for an attack. If you suffer a cyberattack, how you respond to or manage it reflects on its overall impact on your system.

Having clear and comprehensive data sets gives you valuable information to prepare for crisis management beforehand by developing an incident response plan. You can create possible attack scenarios, and if an attack eventually happens, you won’t be taken unawares.

Types of Data Profiling

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Data profiling offers different categories to help you sort information in the most effective way for your system. The three main types of data profiling are structure discovery, content discovery, and relationship discovery.

1. Structure Discovery

One of the things that invalidates data is inconsistency. If the elements of your data aren’t consistent, your results will be flawed. Structure discovery focuses on how you format your data sets to ensure consistency.

In data profiling, structure discovery helps you ascertain the accuracy of your data by analyzing it with basic statistics. When you examine your data sets against the metrics, you’ll see the inaccuracies that may exist and correct them.

2. Content Discovery

You’ll encounter problems when you try to integrate a single piece of inaccurate data into other pieces that are accurate. Content discovery emphasizes the accuracy of individual pieces of data.

If a single data value is invalid, it’ll affect the validity of the entire data set. In content discovery, you have to verify and format each piece of data before joining them together.

3. Relationship Discovery

What is the connection between the different data sets that you are working with? In data profiling, relationship discovery helps you identify existing connections between data sets. With this knowledge, you can have a better understanding of your sets and align them correctly.

Leveraging Data Profiling for Better Deployment

To put your data to good use, you must interpret it accurately. Profiling helps you gain maximum value from your data sets as it takes out any elements that may alter its integrity and accuracy.

Irrelevant information can alter the validity of your data. By examining and arranging your data sets with data profiling, you’ll remove all the fluff and have only the relevant information you need to make the right decisions as far as your cybersecurity is concerned.

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