Searching Data Catalog
Start course

In this course, users will explore the suite of tools available in Microsoft Purview for registering and scanning data sources, connecting a business glossary, searching the data catalog, and customizing metadata with enrichments and classifications. In addition, this course will review some of the management and administrative functionality in Purview, including creating roles, managing authorizations, and using the Apache Atlas API for custom implementations. This course will also review deployment best practices and network security considerations. By completing this course, users will have a strong understanding of the suite of functionality currently available in Purview and how these tools support a larger governance initiative within an organization.  

Learning Objectives

  • Provision and install Microsoft Purview
  • Create and manage a role
  • Register and scan data sources
  • Create a business glossary
  • Enrich metadata with classifications
  • Review data lineage tooling
  • Understand deployment best practices
  • Take network security considerations into account

Intended Audience

This course is designed for individuals who are responsible for setting up, monitoring, or exploring data catalog and governance programs within their organization.  


To get the most from this course, you should have some familiarity and experience with governance tooling as well as a basic understanding of the Azure portal.


Searching the Data Catalog. After data is scanned and ingested into the Microsoft Purview data map, data consumers need to easily find the data needed for their analytics or governance workloads. Data discovery can be time consuming because they may not know where to find the data that they want. And even after finding the data, they may have doubts about whether they can trust the data or take a dependency on it. The goal of search in Microsoft Purview is to speed up the process of quickly finding the data that matters. 

Here, we'll review how to search the Microsoft Purview data catalog to quickly find the data we're looking for and overcome those traditional data discovery obstacles. Searching a data catalog is a great tool for data discovery if a data consumer knows what they're looking for. But often users don't know exactly how their data estate is structured. The Microsoft Purview data catalog offers two modes of finding data: browsing and searching. The browse experience enables users to explore what data is available to them, either by collection or by traversing the hierarchy of each data source in the catalog. To access the browse experience, select browse assets from the data catalog homepage. 

From this page, we can search by collection or by source type. Browsing by source type allows data consumers to explore the hierarchies of data sources using an Explorer view. Select a source type to see the list of scan sources. The search experience is accessed by using a search bar located at the top of the Microsoft Purview governance portal or on the center of the data catalog homepage. Once we click on the search bar, we'll be presented with our search history and the items recently accessed in the data catalog. This allows us to quickly pick up from previous data exploration efforts. Next, we can enter keywords such as name, data type, classification and glossary terms to help narrow down our search. 

As we enter in search keywords, Microsoft Purview dynamically suggests results and searches that might fit our needs. To complete our search, click on "View search results" or simply press "Enter". At this point, Microsoft Purview returns a list of data assets and glossary terms that matched to the keywords entered in. The Microsoft Purview relevance engine sorts through all the matches and ranks them based on what it believes their usefulness is to a user. This is similar to how search engines in a web browser work. For example, a data consumer is likely more interested in a table curated by a data steward that matches on multiple keywords than an annotated folder. Many factors determine an asset's relevant score, and Microsoft Purview search team is constantly tuning the relevant engine to ensure the top search results have value to us. From the search results page, we can select an asset to view details such as schema, lineage, and classifications.


About the Author

Steve is an experienced Solutions Architect with over 10 years of experience serving customers in the data and data engineering space. He has a proven track record of delivering solutions across a broad range of business areas that increase overall satisfaction and retention. He has worked across many industries, both public and private, and found many ways to drive the use of data and business intelligence tools to achieve business objectives. He is a persuasive communicator, presenter, and quite effective at building productive working relationships across all levels in the organization based on collegiality, transparency, and trust.