When people interact with any system, they expect to see data that matter to them, as if a magic hand had drawn invisible boundaries according to their preferences.


Getting the “magic” right can be worth a fortune: think of the value of a social media platform, wholly dependent on the cleverness of its secret algorithm.

Given that the amount of information a person can process by looking at a screen is limited, the more the data, the bigger the challenge.

While “Algorithmic guessing” – a machine’s job – is a game-changing way to deal with content filtering, most systems still rely on an administrator assigning credentials to users – a very human challenge. This is because it’s not just about what you’d like to see but, especially in the workplace, what you are authorised to see.


Granting access to different people on the same system depends on the appropriate combination of:

  • Roles, or “User Groups”, e.g.: Administrator vs Operations vs Finance vs Legal;
  • Views, i.e.: data filters based on – for example – location, business line, department.

A person’s access credentials can be described as the product of Role(s) and View(s).

When People, Roles and Views are small in number, they are simple to manage.

Not so simple

In large organisations, however, the combinations can easily run into the thousands.

Imagine a process where there is a Data Entry person, an Approver, a Supervisor and a Viewer across 100 locations and 20 product lines: that’s 4 Roles and 2,000 Views.

The product of 4 and 2,000 generates 8,000 possible “unique” combinations. If you allow for the fact that one individual might look after multiple locations and / or product lines, the number skyrockets.

Technology deployed in such contexts needs a sophisticated approach to managing virtual boundaries.


The LiveDataset perspective

Efficient and transparent “boundary management” is perhaps the most significant obstacle in turning a good local process into a solution that can be leveraged across the firm.

In a configurable platform like LiveDataset – whether dealing with an uncomplicated departmental setup or the high-volume, highly partitioned context you’d expect to find in a global company – we knew that user access administration needed to be not only technically efficient, but easy to initialise, monitor and maintain.

We achieved this through People datasets, which allow segregation of data across multiple parameters in a way that is straightforward, intuitive and quick to update.

Such a component makes LiveDataset scalable across a distributed organisation, enabling centralised planning, compliance or governance as if each department were running their own local solution, without the risk of losing sight of who can access what information.

Want to convert a local process into a global system as fast as magic? Contact us.

This piece is part of our Digital Fire Drills series.