How to create policies

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🤓 Who can do this? Any admin user in Atlan can create data governance policies.

Data governance policies form the backbone of effective data governance. These help you define how to store, manage, access, and use data within an organization. You can establish guiding principles, validation rules, and best practices for monitoring data and policy compliance.

An organization may have data that can be publicly available, secure and confidential, or a combination of both. Atlan can help you ensure that all your data assets are governed by data governance policies and used in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

The policy center in Atlan helps you build policies to align with your organizational goals for securing and managing data. You can currently choose from six different types of policies:

  • Data quality — maintain data accuracy, consistency, and reliability by establishing standards and processes for data validation, cleansing, and quality control.
  • Data privacy — govern the collection, processing, and sharing of personal and/or sensitive data to ensure compliance with data protection regulations and safeguarding privacy rights.
  • Data security — outline measures and controls to protect data from unauthorized access, breaches, and loss, often including encryption, access controls, and incident response procedures.
  • Data lifecycle — define the stages of data from creation and usage to archival and disposal. This ensures data is retained only as long as necessary and compliant with legal and business requirements.
  • Data ethics — set guidelines for responsible, ethical, and acceptable data use, and address issues such as bias, fairness, and responsible AI implementation.
  • Data definitions and models — standardize data definitions, taxonomies, and models to ensure consistent and accurate understanding and usage of data across the organization.

Create a policy

You can create a policy to document guidelines for the following:

  • How is data processed and managed within your organization?
  • Who is responsible for the data under various circumstances?
  • What can you do to reduce potential business problems from the improper use of data?

To create a new policy:

  1. From the left menu of any screen in Atlan, click Governance.
  2. Under the Governance heading of the Governance center, click Policy center.
  3. From the Policy Center, click the + New policy button to create a new policy.
  4. In the Create a new policy dialog, enter the following details:
    1. For Policy name, enter a meaningful name for your policy.
    2. For Policy type, choose a policy type.
    3. For Owners, assign individual users or groups as policy owners.
    4. Click Create to get started.

Define the policy

Add a purpose

Once you have created a policy, you can define its purpose. This is the mission statement of your policy, where you can outline what you want the policy to accomplish.

To define the purpose of your policy:

  1. In the Overview tab of the policy page, under Purpose, you can either:
    • Click Edit to manually describe the purpose of your policy and then click Save.
    • Click ask Atlan AI to add an Atlan AI-generated description. In the Generate purpose using Atlan AI form, enter the following details:
      1. For Enter industry, enter the name of your industry — for example, Finance.
      2. To define the area of impact of your policy, click the dropdown to select Global, Regional, or Local policy.
      3. For compliance type, select Standard, Regulation, or Other.
      4. For Enter compliance, enter the compliance regulation.
      5. For Describe the policy, enter a brief description of your policy.
      6. Click Generate Purpose to generate an Atlan AI-generated purpose.
  2. (Optional) Click + Add resource to add resources to your policy description.

Describe the policy

You can set out the best practices, goals, and guidelines for your policy document.

To describe your policy:

  1. Switch to the Purpose tab of your policy page.
  2. In the Policy section, click Edit to write your policy. You can either manually draft the policy description or use Atlan AI to do the same and then edit as needed.
  3. Click Save to save your changes.

Add policy exceptions

A policy exception is a method for maintaining a policy but granting exceptions to authorized individuals or entities. Doing so will allow them to circumvent one or more restrictions.

To add a policy exception:

  1. In the Purpose tab of the policy page, under Policy Exceptions, click Add policy exception.
  2. In the New policy exception form, enter the following details:
    1. For Exception name, enter a meaningful name.
    2. For Purpose, briefly describe the purpose of this exception.
    3. For Users, select the individual users or groups to whom this exception should apply.
    4. Click Add exception to save your changes.
  3. (Optional) Click + Add new to add more policy exceptions.

Link assets to the policy

💪 Did you know? Your selected assets will not be linked to the draft policy until after it has been approved. It may also take a few hours after the policy has been approved for the assets to be linked while the linkage workflow runs in the background.

You can determine the assets within the scope of your policy.

To select assets:

  1. Switch to the Purpose tab of your policy page.
  2. For Add assets to govern this policy, you can either:
    • Click Select via Atlan AI to write a prompt and enable Atlan AI to locate the right assets.
    • Click Select via filters to use asset filters for selecting assets.

Define policy validity

To define the validity period of your policy:

  1. In the Policy Details sidebar of the Overview tab, for Valid till, click the pencil icon to set a validity period.
  2. From the calendar, set a date for when the policy will expire.
  3. For Review period, click the pencil icon to set a review period. For ...days before expiry, enter a numeric value for when the policy should be reviewed before its expiration date.

Select approval workflow

To select an approval workflow:

  1. Switch to the Relationships tab of your policy page.
  2. From the left menu, select Approval Workflows.
  3. In the Approval Workflows section, click Add approval workflow.
  4. In the Select Approval Workflow dialog, click the relevant approval workflow for your policy.
  5. (Optional) Hover over Approvers to view a list of approvers.
  6. Click Save to save your selections.

(Optional) Add terms related to this policy

You can add business context to your policies in Atlan.

  • In the Overview tab of the policy page, under Associated Terms, click the + button to add related terms.

(Optional) Add related policies

You may want to group data governance policies by policy type, business function, and more. You can optionally create relationships between your policies in Atlan to build a more comprehensive framework of data governance.

To add related policies:

  1. Switch to the Relationships tab of your policy page.
  2. From the left menu, select Related Policies.
  3. In the Related Policies section, click Add related policies.
  4. In the left menu of the Add policies related to... dialog, click the relevant policies to connect to your policy.
  5. Click Add policies to save your selections.

Submit for approval

Once you have reviewed your policy, in the top right of your screen, click Submit for approval to submit your policy for approval.

If the policy has been approved and the workflow linking the policy to your selected assets has run successfully, the policy you created will govern linked assets.

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