Data Access

What is Data Access?

Data Access refers to a user's ability to access or retrieve data stored within a database or other repository. Users who have data access can store, retrieve, move or manipulate stored data, which can be stored on a wide range of hard drives and external devices.[1]

Data access is one of the main outputs of effective data governance programs. Organizations should ideally have well thought out, structured means of granting data access to different users. This is reinforced by various permissions and levels of security required for data access. Frequently, these permissions are based on organizational roles or responsibilities, which are structured according to data governance policies. When data is at rest in a repository, there are two basic ways of accessing it: with sequential access and random access:

  • Sequential access uses a seek operation to move the different data on a disk until the requested data is found. However, each data segment is read (in sequential order) until the sought-after data is found, which can tax computational resources. Still, this method is often faster than random access because it requires fewer seek procedures than random access does.
  • Random access stores or retrieves data from anywhere on the disk. The advantage of this approach is that not all data has to be read in sequential order to find what a user’s looking for. Also, the data is located in constant time, which means there’s an upper limit to how long it will take for it to be retrieved. When that limit is less than how long it could take to sequentially read and retrieve data, random access is preferable.[2]

See Also


  1. Defining Data Access Techopedia
  2. The Two Basic Types of Data Access Talend