Data Classification in Microsoft Purview
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This course examines sensitive information types within Microsoft 365 and how you can use them to protect your data.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to use sensitive information types
  • Understand the parts of the Data Classification solution within Microsoft 365
  • Understand how to navigate the Data Classification solution

Intended Audience

This course is designed for anyone looking to keep their data safe within Microsoft 365.


To get the most out of this course, you should have some basic knowledge of Microsoft 365.


When looking for Sensitive information type management, we first need to navigate to the Microsoft Purview Compliance portal. So we head over to, head down to admin center, and click on compliance. This brings us to the Microsoft Purview Compliance portal, and from here we click on data classification, which is where we manage our sensitive information types.

Unfortunately, since this is a personal demo environment, I don’t have any data or labels currently in use, but we will show how to create those in a moment. As you can see, the overview page here shows a snapshot view of our organization’s current labels and sensitive information types. At the top of this dashboard, we can see a few tabs, which is where we can get more in-depth information and the ability to manage the labels and sensitive information types. We have Trainable classifiers, sensitive info types, EDM classifiers, content explorer, and activity explorer.

This course will be providing an overview specifically of sensitive information types, and as such, both Trainable classifiers and EDM classifiers are covered in other courses that I have linked below, but I will give you a quick overview of both. Trainable classifiers are used for detecting information that isn’t easily identified with the standard sensitive information types. Organizations can utilize AI and Machine learning to train a classifier to identify content based on what the information is rather than the elements of the item. EDM classifiers, on the other hand, is where organizations can create Exact Data Match classifications. These are used to create custom sensitive information types for exact values rather than finding matches using patterns. This results in significantly fewer false positives and works well with structured data like client or employee lists.

If you want to learn more about either Trainable classifiers or EDM classification, you can check out the course material down below for links to other courses. Sensitive info types, as you could probably have guessed, is where we can find all of our sensitive information types. We can see all of the built-in sensitive information types created by Microsoft and even create and manage our own custom sensitive information types. If we click into any of these, it provides us with a bit more information about each, such as the number of items matched and the ability to test the sensitive information type with your data.

Next, we have the content explorer. This is where we can see all data within our environment that contains sensitive information or has labels applied. On the left, we have our sensitive information types and the amount of files found with that type of data. If we wanted more details about one of these, we can click on one and see that there are ___ files all of which are within exchange. With proper permissions, we can drill deeper and see exactly which files hold the information type.

Finally, that brings us to the Activity explorer, which is similar to the content explorer, only rather than focusing on content, it focuses on the activity of that content. Effectively, any files that have labels or are identified as a sensitive information type are audited, and any activity having to do with those files is tracked here. And that’s the Data classification solution. If you want more details about how to create custom sensitive information types or more, I have linked related courses and documentation down below for you to review.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Lee has spent most of his professional career learning as much as he could about PC hardware and software while working as a PC technician with Microsoft. Once covid hit, he moved into a customer training role with the goal to get as many people prepared for remote work as possible using Microsoft 365. Being both Microsoft 365 certified and a self-proclaimed Microsoft Teams expert, Lee continues to expand his knowledge by working through the wide range of Microsoft certifications.