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Glossary

Data portal

A complete definition of data portals: indispensable tools to facilitate access, management, and governance of data within organizations.

Data Portal

The following article provides a comprehensive definition of data portals. In an ever-evolving digital world, understanding the role and capabilities of these portals is essential. Let’s explain the details of this fundamental technology for information management within organizations.

Data Portal: Definition

A data portal provides a platform – whether an application or a website – offering centralized access to data assets from various sources, made available to data users within an organization or ecosystem. By serving as a single, secure gateway, the data portal facilitates the discovery and efficient use of reliable, high quality data. It acts as an entry point to all of an organization’s data assets, promoting the democratization of access and reuse of data. In summary, data portals enable Chief Data Officers (CDOs) and other data professionals, such as data stewards, to meet new data consumption requirements. Portals can be internal (used solely by an organization’s employees), shared with specific audiences (such as business partners or clients), or open to everyone, as with public or “open data” portals. Organizations can also adopt a hybrid approach, combining these different uses in a single portal solution.

  • The term data assets refers to data that has been prepared and transformed to have commercial or societal value. This transformation makes data both accessible and reusable, transitioning it from raw data to formats such as reports, dashboards, CSV files, APIs, or visualizations that facilitate data discovery and use.

Different Types of Data Portal

Open Data Portals

Open data portals, also known as “open data”, are platforms that facilitate the sharing of data, and are accessible to all users connected to the internet. Data can be easily reused while adhering to standard licensing conditions. Initially designed to meet regulatory requirements in the public sector, open data portals quickly expanded to the private sector, strengthening stakeholder engagement, organizational reputation, and transparency. They provide users with instant access to relevant information and contribute to reducing incoming information requests.

Internal Data Portals

These portals are designed for internal use within organizations, accessible to all relevant employees. They rely on granular access management to ensure data security and they segment the datasets that are visible to users based on their individual roles. Internal data portals improve decision-making, foster collaboration, and drive innovation by optimizing data use. They contribute to cost reduction, operational efficiency, and digitization of services.

Portals for Partners and Clients

Sometimes, data is too valuable, specialized, or sensitive, to be freely shared. In these cases, the solution is to create a trusted, secure sharing space within a specific ecosystem. Portals reserved for partners and clients can be joint portals where each stakeholder contributes data on an equal footing, or more advanced solutions where a single organization shares data or services with customers or partners. These portals also provide the opportunity to monetize data, creating new revenue sources and stimulating ecosystem innovation.

Hybrid Portals

In many organizations, a single portal is used for different uses, with access segmented to meet the needs of each audience, as outlined above. Although this simplifies administration and data management, it requires strong access management controls and the establishment of an effective governance policy to securely protect data.

Data Portal FAQs

Who are data portals intended for?

Data portals are intended for a wide range of stakeholders, from public organizations to private businesses. They cater to decision-makers, internal collaborators, business partners, and even the general public, depending on the organization’s specific objectives.

What are the essential features of a good data portal?

A good data portal must offer advanced search functionalities, interactive visualizations, secure sharing, and ensure data quality and governance. It should be user-friendly, promote data reuse, and offer customization options to meet the diverse needs of users.

What are the benefits of implementing a data portal?

Implementing a data portal has multiple benefits, including improved access to data, greater data reuse, increased collaboration, more informed decision-making, enhanced transparency, better regulatory compliance, and the optimization of internal processes.

Ebook - Data Portal: the essential solution to maximize impact for data leaders

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