How do you become data-driven? It\u2019s a question that seemingly has infinite answers. That\u2019s why many companies flounder in the ambiguity of data-driven initiatives absent of concrete, actionable focus areas. Forward-thinking leaders are strategically focused on a particular data-driven initiative \u2014 self-service data access and governance.\n\nBut even for companies who\u2019ve succeeded in pinpointing the core data-driven initiative of self-service data sharing, creating a plan and implementing it is exponentially easier said than done. Why? The dual mandate. It\u2019s about much more than just collecting, storing, and processing data. IT, security, and privacy teams need to provide fast, agile data access to reduce time to insights while maintaining compliance and regulatory requirements. So, how do architects achieve and maintain the right balance of security and speed? How do they empower analytic and data science teams with safe and timely access to insights? Swing the pendulum too far to one side \u2014 opening the data floodgates to give teams data as fast as possible \u2014 or too far to the other side \u2014 locking data down with overly stringent policies \u2014 leads to severe business, security, and compliance consequences. What\u2019s the key to the speed-security balance?\n\nBalancing data democratization with security, privacy, and compliance\n\nThe key to successfully meeting the dual mandate of agile and secure data access is comprehensive, enterprise-wide data governance.\u00a0\n\nEscalating privacy regulations plus evolving consumer preferences, on top of internal security requirements, leave little room for error in an organization's responsible data usage. In the face of increasingly tough compliance regulations, the default approach for IT and security teams has been a tight lockdown of data to ensure compliance and security. Without an enterprise-wide, centralized system of accountability, privacy and security teams often deny access to personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive data. This lack of analytical agility is a major blocker to becoming data-driven and a significant, growing source of friction between teams since business users, data scientists, and analysts demand rapid access to a wide swath of data.\n\nThen there\u2019s the challenge of the expanding, diverse, and hybrid multi-service and multi-cloud data estate requiring management and data access policies.\u00a0\n\nUnified data security and access governance\n\nSavvy organizations have had an epiphany. They realize data access governance must be one of the top disciplines they need to master for compliant data at scale. Most enterprises have some form of data access governance in action, and those with automated execution have separated themselves from the pack. From onboarding new data or new users to a 1,000-fold reduction in the number of policies, enterprises that automate reap massive cost savings and operational efficiencies.\n\nUnified data access governance grants a singular experience for creating, managing, enforcing, and executing policies. This unified approach is essential to modernizing data architectures, meeting increasingly stringent regulations, enhancing operational efficiency, and keeping data flowing with secure agility. \n\nSo, what are the critical elements of a unified data security platform?\n\nWhere to start your unified data security journey\n\nPrivacera is a Unified Data Security Platform founded by the creators of Apache Ranger and Apache Atlas. With build once, deploy anywhere capabilities, Privacera empowers enterprise users to holistically secure and protect data with consistent and native enforcement across hybrid cloud data estates. Privacera supports the entire lifecycle of data access and security governance with an automated solution that provides sensitive data discovery, fine-grained access control, distributed native policy enforcement, and extensive auditing and reporting. All delivered through a single pane of glass.\n\nSee for yourself why Fortune 100 enterprises trust Privacera\u2019s unified data access governance \u2014 request a demo today.