For many of us, working from home could be the norm for some time to come, but how does that impact the analysis of sometimes sensitive data?
Ben Mitchell, from Arbutus Analytics says.."I've been talking a lot with customers, prospects, and partners about how the work-from-home paradigm is different from performing analytics in an office environment and thought I'd share some of the challenges and potential solutions. It's not always the case, but quite often, the data needed to perform analytics is not accessed independently, it is provided by an IT specialist or external third party on either an ad hoc basis or a specified schedule. This data is then stored on the PC of the person performing the data analysis. This might be acceptable when that PC is in a secure office environment and on a corporate network but what if that PC is now outside of the network environment and stored on a laptop or PC in an employees home?"
Data security is certainly a challenge now that working from home is the norm. This challenge is potentially magnified when you imagine that the above scenario might involve a number of data analysts, who all need data on their PC/Laptop, but who might also need to share results with one another. You've now got multiple copies of sensitive data being stored in potentially unsecured environments and sent back and forth via email so that colleagues can collaborate - not ideal.
The picture painted above is true when desktop based analytics tools are used. However, there are alternative options that can address the challenges discussed, as well as offering several other benefits.
One such solution is Arbutus Server. All of the data that is required for analysis is stored on a specified machine. This PC/server can be located in a secure datacenter, office or even in a cloud environment such as Azure or AWS. Arbutus Server software can then be installed on this same machine and end-user data analysts can use Arbutus Analyzer to perform analytics that execute on the server, not on their personal laptop PC.
The above setup does require initial configuration of the server software, as well as the ability to securely connect to the Arbutus Server. However, the advantages over a standalone, desktop based analytics setup are compelling, particularly where team collaboration and continuous auditing/analytics are desired.
If you have questions, or would like to learn more about leveraging Arbutus Server to support performing analytics outside the office, don't hesitate to contact Arbutus.