Amazon Web Services Inc. today introduced Amazon DataZone, a new cloud service that companies can use to manage their internal data and make it accessible to employees. 

AWS detailed DataZone at its AWS re:Invent 2022 conference in Las Vegas alongside multiple other new offerings.

A large organization’s business data is scattered across upwards of dozens of databases, file storage services and other systems. Moreover, those systems are often operated by different business units. As a result, finding data assets can be a time-consuming task for a company’s employees. 

Finding data is particularly difficult when an employee is working on an analytics project that requires information from not one but multiple systems. The more information must be retrieved, the more time the task requires. With DataZone, AWS is seeking to reduce the amount of time and effort required for the task while also easing data access management.

DataZone organizes a company’s information in a data catalog that makes it easier for employees to find data assets. Instead of having to locate the specific system where a particular set of business records is kept, workers can navigate to the records directly through the DataZone interface. As a result, less time must be spent on data retrieval in analytics projects. 

AWS says that DataZone can provide access to information from a variety of sources. The service enables users to browse records stored in AWS services such as Amazon S3 and on-premises systems. Additionally, DataZone is capable of connecting to cloud data platforms such as Snowflake and Salesforce.

Companies organize internal datasets in a way that allows workers to easily find them and incorporate them into analytics projects. According to AWS, DataZone includes machine learning features that automate several aspects of the task. The service can automatically generate a description of a dataset and provide information about the source from which it was retrieved, details that usually have to be added manually.

DataZone users can create a so-called Amazon DataZone Data Project to more easily work with business records. A Data Project is an environment where users can aggregate records from multiple systems and share them with colleagues. According to AWS, the service also makes it possible to stream information to external analytics platforms such as Databricks. 

Alongside features that make it easier for users to work with business information, DataZone provides data governance controls. Using those controls, administrators can regulate who can access what dataset and how. A company’s administrators can, for example, require that users request access from the information technology team before downloading an important business dataset.

“Good governance is the foundation that makes data accessible to the entire organization, but we often hear from customers that it is difficult to strike the right balance between making data discoverable and maintaining control,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, the vice president of databases, analytics and  machine learning at AWS. “With Amazon DataZone, customers can use a single service that balances strong governance controls with streamlined access to make it easy to find, organize, and collaborate with data.”

DataZone is currently in preview. During the preview, the service is available in AWS’ Northern Virginia, Oregon and Ireland infrastructure regions.

Photo: Robert Hof/SiliconANGLE

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