In the rush to move ahead with generative AI, many businesses have failed to prepare for the challenges of GenAI data governance.

Natural language models, such as ChatGPT or Copilot for Microsoft 365, have grown to prominence partly because they are so easy to use. Unfortunately, this “ease of use” also makes it easy for users to accidentally expose sensitive data. For instance, a salesperson might upload quarterly projections for help with a report, or someone in HR might do the same for employee salaries. If these files are not properly managed, they could become accessible to unauthorized users across the organization—and possibly beyond.

Data governance is particularly challenging to manage with generative AI and large language models (LLMs) due to their “black box” nature. It’s inherently difficult to understand and control how LLM providers process and use your data. This lack of transparency can lead to unintentional exposure of sensitive information and makes it harder to ensure compliance with data protection regulations.

This isn’t a fringe concern. Poor data governance leads to data breaches, non-compliance fines, and a loss of customer trust.

Top Data Governance Concerns with GenAI

There are a number of core data governance concerns every business should be focussed on with a move to GenAI. They are:

  • Data Access Management: Understanding and controlling who has access to what data.
  • Data Residency and Storage: Knowing where your data resides, including AI tool access and processing locations.
  • Quality and Integrity: Maintaining the accuracy and reliability of data as it flows through AI tools.
  • Compliance: Ensuring AI usage complies with data protection laws and industry-specific regulations.
  • Security and Privacy: Protecting data from unauthorized access and ensuring user privacy
  • Lifecycle Management: Managing the entire lifecycle of data, from creation to deletion.

Is Purview Microsoft’s Answer to GenAI Data Governance Worries?

The good news is that solutions are emerging to address the data governance challenges posed by GenAI adoption. One such solution is Microsoft Purview, designed for data governance in tools such as Copilot.

Purview provides automated data scanning, classification, and role-based access controls, ensuring sensitive information is protected and compliant with regulations. Its features, such as data lineage tracking and comprehensive data cataloging, directly address the complexities of managing and securing data in AI environments.

Purview helps manage data across on-premises, multi-cloud, and SaaS environments, including Copilot. Microsoft says Purview can also secure and govern data across various platforms not included in their offerings. The solution allows organizations to classify data with sensitivity labels across SQL Server, Azure, Microsoft 365, and Power BI. Additionally, Purview enhances data discoverability using familiar business and technical search terms.

Understanding if You Need Microsoft Purview

If you’re wondering whether you need Purview and whether it’s worth the investment, it’s important to consider a few factors.

Businesses already testing out Copilot are likely investing significant resources into this GenAI tool, and they might not have budgeted for an additional data governance solution.

Purview is included in various Microsoft 365 plans, such as E5 for Insider Risk Management and both E3 and E5 for Data Loss Prevention. Organizations handling sensitive data, requiring robust compliance measures, or utilizing AI tools like Copilot should seriously consider Purview.

While Purview operates on a subscription-based, pay-as-you-go model, detailed pricing can vary, and budgeting should account for both direct and indirect costs.

It’s also important to note that many of these details are still being actively worked out. And as seen with Copilot, Microsoft is quickly adjusting licensing, pricing, and business models in response to market feedback. For example, since Copilot entered general availability in November 2023, its pricing and licensing have already undergone changes. This fluid situation makes it essential to stay informed and consider future adjustments when planning your investment in data governance solutions like Purview.

What’s Next?

Navigating data governance in the context of GenAI and Copilot can be complex and challenging.

We recommend reaching out to your partner or contacting Block 64 for any questions about licensing, readiness, and data governance.

Our Insights & Discovery Platform can provide you with a clear understanding of your environment and your entitlements, and help you develop a comprehensive plan to implement Copilot and GenAI with confidence.

Need immediate help? Discover our Copilot readiness assessment or reach out to our team for a demo or free trial.