Bloor, a leading IT industry analyst, recently conducted an audit on the Grid-Tools data masking offerings, Fast data masking and Simple data masking. Philip Howard, Bloor’s technical analyst in the test data management space, has been interested in the Grid-Tools software for some time and has already written an audit on their complete test data management software suite, Datamaker, earlier this year. Data masking, also known as data obfuscation and data de-identification, is the process of hiding, or “masking” personally identifiable information (PII) in some way, whilst maintaining the referential integrity of the original environment.
This report advocates the importance of employing automated tools for data masking, stating firmly that “using manual methods for data masking will typically be inadequate, time consuming and costly,” highlighting that manual methods are invariably “error-prone and liable to lead to fields that should be protected being missing.” He goes onto explore the specific capabilities of both data masking tools offered by Grid-Tools and highlights the differentiators between the two. He talks particularly about the speed of Fast data masking as its key benefit, being able to typically mask over 100 million rows per hour.
The paper identifies where Grid-Tools have the advantage over its competitors: “Where Grid-Tools has an edge over pure data masking solutions is in its discovery and profiling capabilities that can significantly reduce the amount of time that needs to be spent on this part of the exercise. The company’s emphasis on performance is also important.”
The ability to upgrade from a masking solution to a full test data management toolset is an important factor when considering the Grid-Tools offering. Howard goes on to say: “There are only a handful of companies that offer full test data management capabilities. If you are absolutely sure that you will never ever want to go beyond pure data masking then by all means ignore the fact that Grid-Tools’ data masking offerings are part of a broader suite of products. However, if you cannot give that guarantee then this fact represents a significant advantage for Grid-Tools.”
Grid-Tools’ data masking technology supports all database types and data sources. All methods and functions always maintain the referential integrity of the original production database. Both the new Data masking report and the previous Test data management report can be found on the Grid-Tools website www.grid-tools.com.
Grid-Tools is known internationally as the industry leader in data creation, data masking and test data management. Their highly experienced personnel have been writing and developing solutions for large companies in both the private and public sectors for over 30 years.
The Grid-Tools methodology consists of using a “data-centric” approach to test data management. Their focus is to ensure the quality of the test data you are using is of the right quality for successful testing and development.