We’re building Parabola to empower operators, which is only possible with true alignment between business and tech teams. Parabola has a robust set of features in place to promote oversight across data ingestion, transformation, and export. This is a significant improvement over processes that have historically included CSV exports and spreadsheet work, which is largely hidden to tech teams. Here’s how it works.
Common concerns from tech teams
Whether we’re working with a small IT team or CISO of a global company, we frequently hear the same set of concerns:
- How do we ensure that best practices are being followed when working with data, and that we’re maintaining data integrity?
- How is security handled at Parabola?
- How do we make sure the existing permissions structures in place are respected?
- How are flows shared across teammates? What if those teammates have different permissions?
- How can we make it easier to make changes in the future rather than more difficult?
Promoting best practices and data integrity
Parabola offers multiple methods to ensure that best practices are followed, with ‘Card Templates’ being the key feature.
What is a Card Template?
Card Templates are codified blocks of logic that are saved and shared across your team. The same way engineers have Github libraries, operators have Parabola Templates. These templates provide access to pre-approved data sources, enforce best practices for cleaning data, and provide tech teams with visibility into the methods being employed for pulling and transforming data.
There are two main benefits to using Card Templates. First, if the IT team or CISO wants to change database schema, permissions, and so on, they only have to make a change in one place which is immediately propagated everywhere. Second, when operators use the Card Templates, they know that the data they’re getting has been vetted by tech teams and represents best practices.
As more and more templates are built out, teams start to develop a shared library of templates. Updates can be pushed across these templates at any time, as necessary.
For more information, check out our How-To doc about Card Templates.
Documented audit trails
For most teams we work with, the existing process includes…
- Download CSVs from 1 or more systems and open them in a spreadsheet
- Repeat a set of steps to clean data (ie. remove duplicates, filter, eliminate columns, find and replace, etc.)
- Merge data across sheets
- Upload the output file in another tool, or use that dataset to make cross-functional decisions
We refer to this process as “happening in the shadows,” since a tech team doesn't have visibility into any of the work being done. This raises questions around data integrity and lack of standardization across processes. If decisions are made using questionable data, overall trust is reduced.
When data comes from Parabola Flows, there can never be any questions around “where was this data pulled from?” or “how did you calculate this metric?” because every flow self-documents and shows the end-to-end process:
This provides tech teams with the ability to monitor any data pull, transformation, or export with a whole new level of visibility compared to spreadsheet processes.
Parabola is SOC 2 Type 2 compliant and has passed security reviews at multi-billion dollar global companies. Feel free to check out our Security page for additional information.
Parabola follows the permission structures enforced by other tools. For instance, if a user only has access to three tables in Snowflake, they will only be able to access those same three tables in the Parabola-Snowflake integration.
Parabola builds on top of the existing governance in place across other tools.
Teams have two options when sharing flows:
- Move flows into team folders
- Share flows with only specific teammates
To take it a step further, a user can have one of two permissions on a flow:
Teams can organize their workflows by team, function, report, draft vs. live, etc. to support proper governance of workflows. When a flow is shared with a team, the whole team can either have Editor or Viewer permission. You can also (for example) give the whole team Viewer permission, while three specific people have Editor access.
Sharing Private Flows
Users can also hold onto flows in their private space for instances where the data within a flow may be sensitive. In those cases, a user can share private flows with specific teammates and dictate their permissions.
Here’s a link to more information about organizing flows.
Because Parabola enables business teams to access data more easily, it’s sometimes perceived as being scary from a governance perspective, but the opposite is true. Bringing data processes “out of the shadows” and increasing access to data via a standardized mechanism actually promotes tech teams' best interests. It puts them in a stronger position to oversee the work being done, and gives them more control over how data is being used across the whole organization.