Navigating the Sea of Options: A Captain’s Guide to Data Discovery Software

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The modern business landscape isn’t without its challenges, and navigating the complex world of compliance is one of them. In a digital-first society, businesses can access endless data streams that facilitate decision-making—but it also presents serious risks.

Data leaks and cybersecurity breaches are more common than they should be, with Statista highlighting that 19% of UK businesses experience one data breach each month, while 6% said they deal with them several times a day.

Remaining compliant can seem like an uphill struggle, but it is possible. At Captain Compliance, we regularly help our clients navigate data management and stay within their industry’s regulations, so we know a thing or two about what can go wrong.

Data discovery software is one of the most beneficial solutions you can implement into your data management strategy. In this guide, we’ll reveal everything you need to know about the various options and how to choose one that suits your compliance needs.

Key Takeaways

Data discovery software is changing the way businesses collect and manage information. It also allows for error-free decision-making.

With so many types of software available, it’s hard to know where to start. However, we think Qlik and Tableau are the real contenders.

While data discovery software offers many benefits, it’s still important to focus on – or outsource compliance.

Understanding Data Discovery Software

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Navigating the Sea of Options A Captain's Guide to Data Discovery Software (6).png

Data discovery tools allow businesses to analyse raw data, evaluate patterns and gain valuable insights through machine learning and automated algorithms.

In their simplest form, data discovery solutions remove room for human error and ensure the information you gather serves a purpose.

Large datasets can be challenging to understand, but software solutions can streamline the process and highlight potential issues with the integrity of your data.

Businesses can use them to make data-driven decisions and ensure compliance.

The Captain’s Approach to Data Discovery

Captain Compliance knows that data compliance isn’t just about making the regulators happy; it’s also about building and maintaining trust with clients and stakeholders.

Our holistic approach to data compliance enables us to identify potential security issues and implement measures to mitigate them—preventing reputational and legal repercussions.

With a robust corporate compliance strategy, you can enjoy transparent data management practices, protect personal information and align your practices with geographical and industry regulations.

Leveraging Data Discovery Software for Effective Solutions

Compliance is an ongoing process which requires a proactive approach at all times. Captain Compliance utilises data discovery software to streamline various parts of the process and give us an in-depth look at your current security measures.

However, we also have years of experience in helping our clients navigate data protection, and our ability to work alongside the various software solutions delivers long-term, sustainable results.

Benefits of Data Discovery Software

When dealing with sensitive data, implementing discovery tools can automate various processes and help you manage unstructured data.

There are many benefits to investing in it; let’s take a look at them.

Streamlined Data Mapping and Classification

A solid data mapping strategy relies on locating and cataloguing the information across various systems and sources. While the process is often intensive, it can help stakeholders isolate issues and discover critical insights.

Data discovery tools can also aid in classifying personal information by sensitivity level, as they can identify high-risk data and help you develop stronger measures to protect it.

Improved Data Governance and Risk Management

Despite the importance of data in our digital-first society, businesses still struggle to recruit specialists who can support their compliance efforts.

According to Gov.UK, 46% of businesses actively recruiting for data specialists struggle to find suitable candidates, making discovery solutions instrumental.

These tools can give organisations a unified view of their data, ensuring consistency and accessibility. They can also improve governance, meaning fewer data corruption and misuse risks exist.

Enhanced Data Protection and Security

Manual data management often comes with risks, but data discovery tools offer advanced features that protect your data and remove room for error when handling it.

From classification to encryption and providing updates on potential weaknesses, businesses have a powerful weapon on their side and can feel confident in focusing on gathering insights from the information.

Regulatory Compliance Made Easier

Depending on where your industry operates and the sector it’s within, you could be subject to numerous regulations, including the following:

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation

CCPA – California Consumer Privacy Act

FCA – Financial Conduct Authority

HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Non-compliance can lead to legal issues, and some businesses might become inoperable.

However, implementing data discovery tools ensures you can align your organisation with the regulations and mitigate potential risks before they become serious problems.

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Navigating the Sea of Options A Captain's Guide to Data Discovery Software (7).png

So, now you know more about why remaining compliant is so essential, it’s time to reveal some of the best data discovery software solutions that will deliver. Are these tools an investment? Yes. But they’ll also work hard to prevent breaches.

As an IBM Security report shows, UK businesses pay around £3.4 million annually on breaches. The tools we’re about to reveal are nothing compared to the money you’d spend on mitigating a data breach.

Here are our recommended sensitive data discovery tools.

Tableau – Best for data visualisation

As one of the data visualisation world’s OGs, Tableau is simply one of the best tools you can invest in for data discovery. With its data visualisation features, users can easily extract data and turn it into graphs or charts to clarify the findings.

However, Tableau also has intuitive features that allow non-technical people to enjoy a self-service solution without going through years of training.

It’s also one of the more cost-effective solutions and can create custom graphs or other visual representations.


Choose from a wide range of visualisation types

Collect and manage your data from a range of sources

Implement simplified interfaces for non-technical users


Tableau can be a bit slow sometimes

Slow servers mean users have to wait for their data

Pricing: Tableau is one of the more cost-effective solutions out there, costing $42 monthly for each user.

Discover Tableau

Qlik – Best For AI Enthusiasts

Qlik is a highly advanced platform that leverages AI technology to refine your data processing techniques and decision-making. With large clients such as Paypal, Samsung and HSBC, it’s doing something right—but what makes Qlik unique?

Along with facilitating seamless data migrations and integrations, it also uses the information you collect to provide recommendations that will aid in decision-making.

You can also integrate various tools into the system, making it ideal for a stress-free transition.


Uses advanced AI

Instant recommendations

Seamless integration with other systems


It’s one of the more expensive tools

It can lag when processing large datasets

The token pricing model is complicated

Pricing: With its range of features, Qlik also comes with a price tag of $2700 monthly for the premium version.

Discover Qlik

Informatica – Best For Business Intelligence Teams

With a powerful suite of tools, Informatica is one of the best solutions for data warehouses and business intelligence teams.

With ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) features, Informatica helps you identify and manage your data through its lifecycle.

This tool stands out because of its messaging feature, which makes data governance easier than ever. You can also obscure personal information to ensure only people with access can read it.


Users can uncover insights they might not notice.

The tool ensures you can align your business operations with compliant practices.

It can handle and move large datasets.


The initial setup and integration can be highly stressful.

It’s more suited to large businesses.

Organisations that use Apple devices can’t use it.

Pricing: Unfortunately, there’s no clear pricing model for Informatica, but they offer a flexible fee based on your usage.

Discover Informatica

Manta – Best For Data Lineage

Manta is simply one of the most accessible data lineage tools around, making it easier for both technical and non-technical people to see how data flows through their systems. With its intuitive dashboard and automated features, Manta offers convenience.

The software can automatically scan data and show all potential flows in a convenient map, but you can also split the data by sets or review your entire organisation’s ecosystem.

You also can make informed decisions without deciphering endless streams of information.


Can work with numerous BI and ETL models

Offers automatic insights

Enables people to view how their data flows


There’s no clear pricing structure

Some people find the interface too basic

It struggles to map custom models

Pricing: Manta has no pricing information available.

Discover Manta

Aggua – Best For BigQuery and Snowflake data

As a cloud-based platform, Aggua enables organisations to collaborate between departments, sharing and analysing data.

Its main selling point is that the tool is designed for Snowflake and BigQuery data stacks, making it a great option if you want a seamless way to manage the information you collect.

With superior mapping capabilities and built-in anomaly detection functions, the software can turn a five-hour task into just 30 minutes of work.


Flawless data mapping

Anomaly detection

Tracks granular level data costs


It lacks user-friendly features

Beginners might find it too challenging

Customer support can be unreliable

Pricing: Currently, there’s no transparent pricing model for Aggua, which works on a subscription basis.

Discover Aggua

Data-Driven Companies Are Successful Companies

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Navigating the Sea of Options A Captain's Guide to Data Discovery Software (9).png

So, is data discovery software worth it? If you want to stake a place in the ever-increasing competitive business world, absolutely. Data-driven companies are often more successful because they can utilise information to make better decisions.

Whether during the marketing process, point of sale or gathering consumer feedback, brands like Amazon, Tesco and Tesla have seen colossal success after focusing on gathering and understanding data.

Need some inspiration? Check out these case studies and see how some of the world’s most prominent businesses embraced technology.

Overcoming Data Compliance Challenges

Data compliance doesn’t come without challenges, and the intricate regulatory landscape is hard to navigate.

Even large businesses with plenty of resources can feel like they’re in an uphill struggle, but data discovery tools and utilising compliance services can help you succeed.

The common challenges you might face include:

Understanding your industry’s regulations

Implementing a data management strategy that aligns with them

Ensuring data quality and consistency

Maintaining positive relationships with customers

Scaling data management processes with your organisation’s growth

Fostering a culture of transparency throughout the entire business

Both data discovery software and the experts at Captain Compliance can help you navigate these obstacles. With the analytic skills of AI and support from compliance experts, you can achieve more with your data and stay within your industry’s regulations.

Captain Compliance: Your Trusted Partner

Many businesses choose to outsource compliance, as experts have industry knowledge to identify any issues.

Captain Compliance is one of the most reputable services, with years of experience helping clients refine their processes and make non-compliance a thing of the past.

Our dedicated team of professionals can support you with data compliance and give you a strategy that delivers on all bases.

Final Thoughts

Data discovery tools are fast becoming necessary for forward-thinking businesses, and the right software solution can make a massive difference to your brand. Along with avoiding hefty penalties, you can also build a solid reputation and attract more customers.

If you’d like to learn more about our compliance services, we have a dedicated customer service team ready to advise and support you. Please feel free to get in touch today and future proof your business.


What is a data discovery tool?

Data discovery tools are advanced solutions to explore and visualise data. The right tool can enhance decision-making processes and ensure you avoid compliance issues.

Which service is used for data discovery?

Plenty of services are available for all stages of data discovery, but the most popular include Qlik and Tableau.

What is data discovery and classification software?

Data discovery and classification tools automate and streamline various processes, including mapping, categorising, storing and using data to make decisions.

How do you create data discovery?

You’ll need to adopt a systematic approach when creating data discovery, as the strategy must align with your organisation’s immediate and long-term objectives. Once you have processes, you can make data discovery more accessible for everyone.

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