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Instacart on Why Engineers Shouldn't Write Data Governance Policies

Wednesday, June 28 @1:30 PM
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Controlling permissions for accessing data assets can be messy, time consuming, and usually a combination of both. The teams responsible for creating the business rules that govern who should have access to what data are usually different from the teams responsible for administering the grants to achieve that access. On the other side of the equation, the end user who needs access to a data asset may be left waiting for grants to be made as the decision is passed between teams. That is, if they even know the correct path to getting access in the first place.


Separating the concerns of managing data governance at a business level and implementing data governance at an engineering level is the best way to clarify data access permissions. In practice, this involves building systems to enable data governance enforcement based on business rules, with little to no understanding of the individual system where the data lives.


In practice, with a concrete business rule, such as “only users from the finance team should have access to critical financial data,” we want a system that deals only with those constituent concepts. For example, “the data is marked as critical financial” and “the user is a part of the finance team.” By abstracting away any source system components, such as “the tables in the finance schema” and “someone who’s a member of the finance Databricks group,” the access policies applied will then model the business rules as closely as possible.


This session will focus on how to establish and align the processes, policies, and stakeholders involved in making this type of system work seamlessly. Sharing the experience and learnings of our team at Instacart, we will aim to help attendees streamline and simplify their data security and access strategies.


  • Breakout


  • In Person


  • Data Governance, Databricks Experience (DBX)


  • Enterprise Technology, Retail and CPG - Food


  • Intermediate


  • 40 min
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Session Speakers

Headshot of Kieran Taylor

Kieran Taylor

Senior Software Engineer II


Headshot of Andria Fuquen

Andria Fuquen

Technical Program Manager


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