Catalog Adoption: Discover more with Data estate insights in Microsoft Purview
Published Oct 28 2022 09:45 AM 3,106 Views
Copper Contributor

Adoption and usage of data governance tools are critical and lack of user engagement can be a serious blocker for the whole organization in its data governance journey. When it comes to solution adoption, fortunately Microsoft Purview comes with the built-in ability to analyze it.


This functionality is very useful to answer the following questions:

  • Are users actively using Microsoft Purview?
  • How is usage changing over time?
  • What is activity type e.g., data curation or search data?  
  • Which assets are the most viewed ones in an organization?
  • What are we missing in the catalog?


How to track the adoption?

Adoption tracking is part of Data estate insights functionality in Microsoft Purview. To be able to use it, the user needs to have appropriate permissions assigned. There is a dedicated Insights Reader role that can be assigned to any Data Map user, by the Data Curator of the root collection. More information about required permissions can be found in Permissions for Data Estate Insights in Microsoft Purview - Microsoft Purview | Microsoft Docs.


Let’s start with some basics

Going into the Insights area and choosing Catalog adoption, we can find information about monthly active users.


Catalog adoption - active users.png


In our case, we can see that currently we have 254 distinct users and the number dropped 7% in the last month. Microsoft Purview counts active users as a user who took at least one intentional action across all feature categories in the Data Catalog within a 28-day period. It’s also possible to determine how active our users are in total as Microsoft Purview aggregates number of total searches performed by users


Catalog adoption - total serach.png



Data estate insights functionality in Microsoft Purview shows information based on user permissions, which means data seen in Insights is limited to collections to which the user has permission to access. In this case, the user used to see insights has access to all collections, meaning the information visible in the catalog adoption is the overall number of users in the organization.


Even more information about catalog users

More adoption data means more insights into how the catalog is used.


Catalog adoption - active users by.png


This option shows the breakdown of active users by feature category. Feature category was divided into:


  • All  (which covers all kinds of users)
  • Search and browse (which indicates users who are reading data from the catalog by searching them or directly browsing the catalog assets)
  • Asset curation (activities related to data curation like assigning data owner, description, applying classification, etc.)

Information on the chart can be shown in Daily/Weekly/Monthly time range.


Increase catalog adoption by giving users more precise information…

Among the information that you get as part of adoption reports is information about which assets are the most viewed in the organization. If you are wondering why it is important to have a look at the following summary:


Catalog adoption - curation.png


The most viewed asset (231 views) “TicketReportTable” is fully curated (more about curation in the 2nd part of the article) which means the asset has an assigned owner, description, and at least one classification. On the other hand, the 2nd most viewed asset (136 views in last 30 days) “YearlySalesBySegment” is not curated at all. This can lead to situations where users are accessing catalogs and get poor-quality information. As a result, users may step back from using data catalog and adoption will be dropping. Based on such insights you can intensively work on asset curation and only provide users with high-quality information about data in your organization.


Adoption insights available in Microsoft Purview also give the ability to identify the most searched keywords.


Catalog adoption - key words.png


It is interesting that one of the most searched assets is only partially curated. Based on this information it is possible to help data stewards and owners set priorities and identify the most important areas in an organization. On the other hand, it’s also possible to get information about keywords that were searched by users but yielded no results.

Catalog adoption - top search.png


In this example, it looks like users are looking for information related to “sales” and couldn’t find it. This is an important tip for a data governance team and shows the next possible areas to investigate.



Now you should have a better understanding of how to identify the progress of Microsoft Purview adoption, You should also have learned how to improve it by converting provided insights into actions, like a better data curation process or by adding new assets to your catalog, which are searched by users. 

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