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Common IT Department Concerns, and How Rapid Insight Manages Them

Reading time: 5 minutes
IT

By Earl Sires, Rapid Insight

If you’ve decided that your organization is in need of data analytics software, you likely already understand the benefits that data prep, predictive modeling, and data sharing software can bring to your work. However, adding any new software, especially one that can be connected directly with a database, might raise some understandable concerns from the IT department. After all, it’s one of IT’s many jobs to protect and secure institutional data.

In this post, we will cover common areas that concern IT departments and explain how Rapid Insight’s data software products are designed to put the IT team at ease.

Rapid Insight Does Not Alter Source Data

IT Departments are often concerned that software which interacts with data can alter or corrupt the original data files. Altered source data would be a big problem for record-keeping with historical data retention and for data integrity in general.

Rapid Insight’s software products act as “read-only” on data sources. When interacting with a database, spreadsheet, text file, or any other format, Rapid Insight’s products access the source data, read it, then output a new file to reflect the changes made in processing.

For example, if you build a job in Rapid Insight’s data prep software, Construct, to collate data from three separate sources, then filter out some of the data points and fill in null values to produce a new spreadsheet, no changes will have been made to the original data sources – they’ll remain intact and in the same state they were in before you performed the job.

Predict (Rapid Insight’s predictive modeling software) pulls information from the data source, builds a predictive model, and allows you to view or save the results without changing any fields in the original database or document.

Finally, Bridge (for data sharing and visualization) utilizes the Cloud to access data sources, but Bridge, like the other two products, simply access the data and allows you to create a dashboard or visualization to view the data from different perspectives. Again, the source data is not altered in the process.

On-premises Data Storage

Off-site data storage can create risks related to data integrity and privacy, especially in fields like higher education (where protecting student records is paramount) or healthcare (with HIPAA compliance to be concerned about).

Rapid Insight does not store data offsite. Rather, Construct and Predict install locally and interact directly with data stored on your local or network drives. Bridge stores data in the Cloud, but access can be granted or revoked to specific data sources on a per-user basis (more on that in the next section).

This means that student privacy is maintained, and that Construct and Predict are as compliant with HIPAA or other data privacy policies as the rest of your organization currently is. With regards to Bridge, where privacy is a concern, the safest bet, as with any cloud-based application, is to encrypt and/or anonymize the data before uploading it.

To avoid any possible confusion: the Server edition of Construct also stores data on-premise, on your servers and drives. Server is a workspace that allows multiple users to collaborate on shared jobs, and it uses the power of your server (rather than individual workstations) to speed up job processing.

Manage Access Levels On-Site

With Bridge, Rapid Insight’s data-sharing platform, a concern sometimes raised by IT is that users can access data they shouldn’t see. This is a security risk and a privacy issue, and an entirely valid concern.

Bridge solves this problem by allowing an on-site data manager to grant access to different data on a per-user basis.

Let’s say one user, such as an administrator, should have full access to data. Another user should only be able to see department-relevant data. Tour on-site data manager can easily arrange for that. Your data manager can be someone from the IT department or an administrator. Appoint a data manager based on what makes the most sense for your organization.

Setup is Easy

Typically, all that’s needed from IT to get Rapid Insight’s software products up and running is a brief setup call. The main objective of the call is to establish a connection to the data sources.

Rapid Insight’s Construct and Predict install directly onto individual workstations. IT may need to grant permissions for installation or exclude the programs from the company firewall. Ordinarily, that’s  the extent of what’s required to get the software up and running.

Bridge, Rapid Insight’s data-sharing platform, is a cloud-based application that users access through web browsers. Any device that connects to the internet can display Bridge’s easy dashboards and visualizations.

During each step in the process, Rapid Insight’s support team will work with directly users and IT.

Which brings us to our final point…

Rapid Insight Provides Free Training and Ongoing Support

IT departments often feel that adding yet another software to the lineup will result in additional support tickets.

The advantage of working with Rapid Insight is that we take that off of your IT Department’s plate. We have a team of analysts trained in the software and in predictive modeling available to help with any of your data questions. We’ll schedule training with you to make sure you’re comfortable and familiar with the programs. 

Then, we’ll be available to help you every step of the way. Need help setting up your first Construct job? Give us a call! Want someone to look over your model in Predict and share feedback? Send us an email and we’ll set up an appointment! Want to see if you’re getting full functionality from Bridge? Chat with us live on our website and we’ll help you get squared away.

We also have a library of training videos available for on-demand instruction in Construct’s nodes, Predictive Model building, Working with Data, and more!

Upshot

It’s understandable for IT to be concerned about adding one more product to what they’re already responsible for managing.

However, Rapid Insight’s “read-only” access, on-site data storage and access management, easy setup, and free, unlimited support and training mean IT doesn’t need to be concerned about our products. We make the process of setting up and using our software as simple as possible. We’re always happy to help work alongside you to solve your data challenges. There’s no need to put an additional burden on IT.

If you or anyone from your IT department has additional questions, please get in touch. We’re happy to help! Just click the button below.

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