Read our key takeaways

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Thetalytics: Data & analytics trends, opportunities & challenges is our annual data and insights focused event, designed for businesses of all shapes and sizes, tackling business and technical considerations around the hot topics in the data and insights world.

If you missed the in-person or virtual event, fear not, we've added key takeaways below. If you want to dive a bit deeper into those summary points and ask some questions, join us for a live re-run of this virtual event on Thursday 4 November. Register here.


TOPIC 1 – DataOps

Presented by Gary Blumgart, Head of Theta Data & Insights 

Data privacy 


  • Data privacy will get harder to manage. Organisations collect a lot of data; they're storing it even if they're not using it.  
  • With an expanding digital footprint and a current nationwide skills shortage, taking care of data privacy is often deprioritised. 
  • In 2020, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million (IBM and Ponemon Institute). Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is the most frequently compromised type of record.  
  • Breaches are occurring via highly organised companies with their own KPI's. We've got to be successful all the time in data protection.  


  • Non-production data: use data masking.  
  • Production data: the challenge is to give access to everyone who can get value from it versus keeping it protected. Data Catalogs are the solution.
  • Good Data Catalogs can automatically scan and classify your PI data.  
  • Microsoft Information Protection can help.  

Time to insights 


  • Data testing is time-intensive, often done manually and via spreadsheets.  
  • Risks: inconsistencies and time spent reconciling instead of something more valuable.  


  • Automated data testing: 
    • improved time to insights 
    • eliminates human error 
    • improved productivity 
    • better accuracy 
    • significant time savings 
    • ROI! 


TOPIC 2 – Power BI Governance

Presented by Bruce Anderson, Practice Lead 


  • Lack of governance leads to a proliferation of datasets, reports, dashboards and apps.  
  • Keeping PII data secure in your Power BI environment. 


  • You need to govern: 
    • datasets and models
    • reports and dashboards 
    • workspaces 
    • apps 
    • data access
  • Use auditing, endorsed content, Microsoft Information Protection, data security and row level security. 
  • 3rd party tools can help, e.g. Power BI Sentinel.  
  • Consider both the technical and business side of governance – frequently revisit as the platform evolves.     


TOPIC 3 – Modern Data Platforms

Presented by JP van Heerden, Data & Insights Architect 

Benefits of your data platform being in the cloud: 

  • reduced capex costs 
  • reduced total cost of ownership 
  • scalable 
  • high availability 
  • speed & flexibility 
  • secure 
  • compliant
  • easy maintenance & support 

Demystifying modern data platforms:

  • Azure SQL Database, Azure Synapse and Snowflake have pros and cons regarding cost, integration, updates, support etc. (Full list explained in the upcoming webinar. Send us a message if you want to talk about suitability for your organisation).  
  • Pricing can be tricky – a reference architecture mitigates this. 
  • Integration of the platform should be seamless.
  • Updates are frequent with this tech.
  • Consider your capacity to upskill/re-skill people.   


Keen to dive a bit deeper? 

Join November's repeat live virtual event to hear more about the topics above.  

Thetalytics will also be back next year, with in-person sessions across several locations. We'll also bring a new range of current topics to the table.  

If you want to chat with our data specialists about areas that have piqued your interest, get in touch. We're always keen to hear what you want to achieve with your data and insights.