Empowering data-driven insights in highly secure environments

by Gethin Leiba - Data Consulting Manager – Government & Transport
| minute read

At Sopra Steria, we understand the significance of data in ensuring safety, efficiency, and compliance within highly secure environments like nuclear facilities and immigration services. However, extracting valuable insights from data in such environments can be complex and time-consuming. Traditional data access and analytics approaches often result in delays and limited agility, requiring extensive involvement from IT teams or third-party suppliers.

In this article we will explore the transformative capabilities of the Common Data Model (CDM) in enabling self-service analytics within highly secure environments, as well as revolutionising decision-making processes across all levels of an organisation.

The challenge of data accessibility

Highly secure environments necessitate strict data governance and access controls. Nevertheless, traditional data analytics processes tend to cause a bottleneck at the IT department, impeding the generation of insights. This poses difficulties for business users in accessing and analysing data directly, leading to delayed decision-making and reduced operational efficiency.

The CDM provides a scalable solution by empowering users to explore and derive insights from standardised data models, addressing the pervasive challenges faced by both business and technical users.

How many times have you thought or heard a colleague say:

  • “I struggle with getting the reliable insights I need, despite knowing that my organisation has all of the data somewhere”, or
  • “I struggle with having all of my strategic data in separate systems and in different standards, making it impossible to actually make informed decisions”?

Left hand side of the image shows current state where core systems and business functions are not linked therefore data is siloed. Data source one points to reports, then data source two points to reports, data source three to reports and data source four to reports. So each data source is separate and doesn't feed into the same thing.

On the right hand side shows the target state where there is an ability to link business functions in a single data repository so that reporting is more accurate. CDM in the middle with all different data sources feeding into it and reports and analytics feeds out. All of the data sources are feeding into the same thing so reporting is connected.

Democratising data access

The CDM acts as a universal language for data, bridging disparate systems and applications. It establishes a standardized schema and data model that can be used organisation-wide through authorised consumption systems.

Within highly secure environments, business users can access pre-defined, well-structured data models that align with their specific requirements. This eliminates the need for excessive reliance on IT teams for data extraction and transformation tasks.

The democratisation of data access facilitated by the CDM empowers professionals at all levels to directly explore and analyse data, resulting in faster decision-making and improved operational efficiency.

Accelerating insights and decision-making

In time-sensitive highly secure environments, speed is crucial. The CDM, with its self-service analytics capabilities, enables users to rapidly explore data using familiar tools and platforms. Business users can directly connect to the standardised data models provided by the CDM, and leverage popular analytics tools such as Power BI or Tableau to visualise, analyse, and derive insights from the data.

By eliminating intermediaries in the traditional data analytics process, the CDM significantly accelerates the speed at which insights are generated, facilitating timely decision-making to enhance safety, optimise processes and mitigate risks.

Maintaining data security and compliance

Security and compliance are paramount in highly secure environments, and the CDM helps ensure their preservation. It facilitates a controlled and governed environment for data access and analysis, allowing the implementation of access controls and security mechanisms at the data model level to protect sensitive information.

The standardised data models provided by the CDM also promote data consistency and integrity, enabling organisations to meet regulatory requirements and maintain high data quality.

Unlocking operational efficiency and continuous improvement

By embracing self-service analytics through the CDM, highly secure environments can unlock operational efficiency and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Business users equipped with direct access to standardised data models, can gain real-time insights into various operational aspects. They can proactively identify bottlenecks, optimise workflows and implement data-driven improvements. This democratisation of data access also encourages cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing, enabling a holistic approach to problem-solving and innovation.


In highly secure environments, self-service analytics powered by the Common Data Model revolutionise agility, efficiency, and insights. By democratising data access, the CDM empowers business users to directly explore and analyse data, reducing dependency on IT teams and expediting decision-making.

With a strong focus on security and compliance, the CDM ensures data integrity and provides a governed environment for analytics. Embracing the CDM enables highly secure environments to harness the power of self-service analytics, optimising operations, ensuring safety, and driving continuous improvement in an ever-evolving landscape.




Related content

Roads for a connected Britain

Recently, we had the pleasure to attend the Highways UK' Roads for a connected Britain' conference. It was great to meet with peers from the transport industry and enjoy some excellent and insightful sessions around innovation, sustainability and investment. 

How putting the needs of citizens at the heart of policing is critical to transforming police control rooms

Taking a citizen-centric approach to control rooms can help police forces address their most pressing challenges.

Royal Marsden: The power of the pause in improving patient care

We worked with Royal Marsden to define a vision for their future ways of working, including leveraging the opportunity to integrate digital innovation and explore new solutions through a collaborative and user-centric approach.