The idea that multiple people are required to work together to accomplish a task is now commonplace. Having meetings and sending emails are expected in most scenarios, but in the world of data you typically need to share data and some form of script that manipulates the data. We will discuss sharing a Paxata project (the equivalent of an Excel macro or Visual Basic script) in a future article.
Sharing in Excel is very easy. All you have to do is send your file to another person or group of people. This is typically done via email, but it is also accomplished by putting the file on a shared drive or saving it in Sharepoint. At this point there is no security on your data and you need to put complete trust in the other individuals that they will not take the data out the door with them. It is important to note that sharing is not the same thing as collaborating. Collaborating suggests that the users are essentially equal and that everyone can do everything without having to coordinate with other users.
You probably have experienced some of these issues associated with sharing.
- Once the file gets larger, you may not be able to send it via email.
- When you get a newer version of the source data, you need to update the spreadsheet and send it out again. This makes you the bottleneck.
- You have a hard time taking vacations or even a sick day, because you are needed to complete the process.
- It becomes very easy to mistake an old version of the file as the current because all the prior versions are in someone else's email. People might come to the wrong conclusion because their information is out of date.
- If the person you shared the data with sees something that should be changed, if they change it the original owner no longer has the most recent version. Ownership becomes a problem.
- If the person just sends a message back to you to make the changes, you continue to be the bottleneck.
- ...and many others
Since everything in Paxata occurs on a server, just changing a few settings makes it very easy to give access of your data to others. If you are the owner of the dataset meaning that you are the one that initially created it, then you get to decide who else can work with it. If you were given rights to someone else's assets then that person has already decided if they wanted to give you the rights to share it with others. In Paxata, when the data is updated to a more recent version of the data, everyone that has rights to the dataset will automatically see it; no additional work is necessary. Since datasets are not copied, the dataset only exists once. It is not flooding your emails or file servers with various versions of the file. Most importantly, the data remains secure.
To share a dataset
Hover over the "More Actions" then select the menu "edit details"
On the left side of the screen, select the "permissions" menu
Select the "USERS" menu (or GROUPS if appropriate)
Select the user by opening the drop down then either scroll to the user or type in to search
Select the permissions that are appropriate, then click save (or repeat for other users)
In this example, I have now logged in as user2 and the following image shows the datasets that I can see. Take note that the file was created by a different user. You can also see that the delete button has been deactivated since the initial user didn't give user2 the right to delete the dataset.