How to create governance workflows

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πŸ€“ Who can do this? Any admin or member user in Atlan can create governance workflows.

You can streamline your data governance requirements in Atlan with governance workflows and manage approvals from the task inbox. Governance workflows enable you to set up robust controls on data access and metadata enrichment with out-of-the-box workflow templates and automated execution.

For example, instead of allowing your users to directly query data or update the certification status of an asset, you can curate assets that need advanced controls and create governance workflows to govern them. These workflows will run in the background and only approve users with the appropriate permissions to perform any action.

You can use governance workflows to ensure:

  • Policy compliance β€” set up repeatable processes and approval flows for your data assets in Atlan to adhere to regulatory requirements.
  • Risk mitigation β€” determine how data in your organization is used and shared with automated access policies.
  • Data security β€” manage requests for data access and processing to only allow access to authorized individuals or teams.
  • Metadata change management β€” monitor and audit metadata changes to align with organizational standards.

A common set of properties are applicable to all governance workflows in Atlan:

  • Only an admin or member user can create, update, or delete governance workflows.
  • Out-of-the-box workflow templates.
  • Predefined steps based on workflow selection.
  • Must be associated with an asset type or action.
  • Set up auto-approval rules for users or groups based on metadata attributes and policies.
  • Activity logs for all workflows available by default.
  • Visibility into the transition states of a workflow.

Create a governance workflow

Atlan provides no-code workflow templates with predefined steps to help you get started.

To create a governance workflow:

  1. From the left menu of any screen in Atlan, click Governance.
  2. Under the Governance heading of the Governance center, click Governance workflows.
  3. Click the + Workflow button to create a new governance workflow.

Select a workflow template

To select a workflow template:

  1. From the Create new workflow menu, select the workflow template best suited to your use case:
    • Data Access Workflow Template β€” allows you to automate the process of requesting and approving access to data assets in Atlan. This includes a combination of a self-service approach as well as mandating human intervention for approval. Use cases include access to query data or view sample data.
    • Change Management Workflow Template β€” allows you to control changes to metadata within an organization's data management and governance framework. Use cases include requests to update description, owners, tags, terms, certification status, custom metadata, and more.
  2. In the upper right of the screen, click the Use template button to begin.
  3. In the New workflow dialog, enter the following details:
    1. For Name, enter a meaningful name for your workflow.
    2. (Optional) For Description, enter a brief description of your workflow.
    3. (Optional) Select an icon to represent your workflow.
    4. Click Create to create your workflow.

Select the scope of workflow

Governance workflows must either be associated with assets, including data products, or certain actions in Atlan. If a user submits an access or update request, your workflow will be triggered to provision access or approve the update request, respectively. 

To select assets for the scope of your workflow:

  1. For When assets match rules, define the scope of your workflow to specific assets.
  2. To set a matching condition for the filters, select Match all or Match any. Match all will logically AND the criteria, while Match any will logically OR the criteria.
  3. For Attributes, select a relevant option:
    • Click Connection and then select an existing connection. (Optional) To further refine your asset selection:
      1. Click All databases to filter by databases in a selected connection.
      2. Click All schemas to filter by schemas in a selected connection.
    • Click Connector to filter assets by supported connectors.
    • Click Asset type to filter by specific asset types β€” for example, tables, columns, queries, glossaries, and more.
    • Click Certificate to filter assets by certification status.
    • Click Owners to filter assets by asset owners.
    • Click Tags to filter assets by your tags in Atlan, including imported Snowflake and dbt tags. 
    • Click Glossary, terms, & categories to filter by a specific glossary or category to bulk update all the nested terms or by multiple glossaries and categories.
    • Click Linked terms to filter assets by linked terms.
    • Click Schema qualified Name to filter assets by the qualified name of a given schema.
    • Click Database qualified Name to filter assets by the qualified name of a given database.
    • Click dbt to filter assets by dbt-specific filters and then select a dbt Cloud or dbt Core filter.
    • Click Properties to filter assets by common asset properties.
    • Click Usage to filter assets by usage metrics.
    • Click Monte Carlo to filter assets by Monte Carlo-specific filters.
    • Click Soda to filter assets by Soda-specific filters.
    • Click Table/View to filter tables or views by row count, column count, or size.
    • Click Column to filter columns by column-specific filters, including parent asset type or name, data type, or column keys.
    • Click Process to filter lineage processes by the SQL query.
    • Click Query to filter assets by associated visual queries.
    • Click Measure to filter Microsoft Power BI measures using the external measures filter.
  4. For Operator, select Is one of for values to include or Is not for values to exclude. Depending on the selected attribute(s), you can also choose from additional operators:
    • Select Equals (=) or Not Equals (!=) to include or exclude assets through exact match search.
    • Select Starts With or Ends With to filter assets using the starting or ending sequence of values.
    • Select Contains or Does not contain to find assets with or without specified values contained within the attribute.
    • Select Pattern to filter assets using supported Elastic DSL regular expressions.
    • Select Is empty to filter assets with null values.
  5. For Values, select the relevant values. The values will vary depending on the selected attributes.
  6. (Optional) To add more filters, click Add filter and select Filter to add individual filters or Filter Group to nest more filters in a group.
  7. (Optional) To view all the assets that match your rules, click View for a preview.
  8. At the bottom of the form, click the Save & Continue button.

(Optional) Enable auto-approval

You can set up specific conditions for auto-approval of requests to reduce the need for human intervention. For example, you can enable auto-approval of:

  • Data access requests from new users in your team to facilitate faster onboarding.
  • Metadata update requests for assets with no restrictions.

To enable auto-approval of requests:

  1. For If auto approval is enabled, toggle on the Auto approve request slider.
  2. For Filter assets for auto approval, create a subset of assets for auto-approval. Follow the steps in Select the scope of workflow to filter your selections.
  3. For Auto-approve eligible users requests, click + Add users/groups to select individual users or groups whose requests can be cleared for auto-approval.
  4. At the bottom of the form, click the Save & Continue button.

Set up manual approval

You can set up the approval process for requests and identify approvers. This ensures that each request is reviewed and authorized by designated approvers. Approvers can be individual users, user groups, or a combination of both.

To set up the manual approval process:

  1. For Approval process, determine an approval strategy from the following options:
    • To enable any one approver from a list of approvers to approve requests, click Anyone approves. This means if any one approver approves or rejects a request, the workflow will be completed.
    • To enable all selected approvers to approve requests in no particular order or simultaneously, click All approve - Parallel. This means that requests will go to all designated approvers and must be approved by all.
    • To enable all selected approvers to approve requests in a predefined order, click All approve - Sequential. This means that the request will go through a particular order for approval and must be approved by all.
  2. Click the + Add approver link to designate approvers. If you have selected the sequential option, you can drag and sort approvers to create a custom order for approval.
  3. For Approval expiry period, set the minimum or maximum number of days during which the approval window will be open. Non-approval will lead to automatic rejection of the request.
  4. At the bottom of the form, click the Save & Continue button.

Grant access

To provide access to requestors once their requests are received:

  1. You can set up the workflow to create a Jira issue when a request is received. Select the Project and Issue type to track and grant access.
  2. At the bottom of the form, click the Save & Continue button.

Notify requestors

You can choose the mechanism by which requestors should be informed whether their request was approved or rejected.

To notify requestors about the status of their requests:

  1. For How to notify?, select one or more of the options:
    • Click Send in app notifications to alert users through the Atlan inbox.
    • Click Send updates based on user’s notification preferences to keep them updated throughout the approval process about the status of their request.
  2. At the bottom of the form, click the Save & Review button.

Review and publish workflow

Review all your selections, and then to publish your workflow:

  • In the upper right of the screen, click the Publish button.

Congratulations, your governance workflow is now active! πŸŽ‰

Any requests on assets within the scope of your workflow will be immediately routed through the workflow you just created.

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