iTelliHashExcel is a cryptographic “one-way” hashing application designed to securely protect sensitive or private information from disclosure. Proper use of this program allows organizations, businesses, and individuals (i.e., the data owners) to share complete/intact datasets containing sensitive data with others without actually disclosing the sensitive or private information. Additionally, if such datasets are subsequently modified or enhanced through value-added services or products provided by other organizations or individuals and then returned, the data owner retains the ability to “re-map” the hashed sensitive data values back to their original values.
Email address (if private from an association/club membership, etc.)
National identification number
IP address (when linked, but not PII by itself in US)
Vehicle registration plate number
Driver’s license number
Credit card numbers
Date of birth
Login name, screen name, nickname, or handle
Geographic subdivisions smaller than a State
Dates (other than the year) related to the individual
Telephone and fax numbers
Social security numbers
Medical record numbers
Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers
Any other unique identifying number, characteristic, or code
Social Security number
Date of birth
Student education records
Student health records
NOTE: Although this example uses files produced by iTelliHashCSV as the input source to the Qlik Sense Desktop application, the concept remains that same regarding iTelliHashExcel. Output produced by iTelliHashExcel could have just as easily been used as the input source to the Qlik Sense Desktop application.
Qlik Sense Desktop
- Qlik Sense Desktop is a market leading business intelligence and analytics platform aimed at non-technical users. Information about this free Microsoft Windows application can be found at Qlik.com. Also, the 2017 Gartner report on business intelligence and analytics platforms showing Qlik as a market leader can be downloaded using this link.
- In this example we assume that the original Northwinds data represented your customers and employees. You likely wouldn’t want to disclose their detailed information (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) to anyone outside your organization. However, you desire to use online data processing services or products but up to now you have been unable or unwilling to do so since it would require you to first redact this sensitive data before uploading the data set or require you to risk disclosure of the sensitive information.
- Assume that you became aware of iTelliHashCSV and purchased it to allow you to securely share these sensitive data elements with others. Further assume that you chose iTelligent LLC to assist you in developing a Sales Analysis Dashboard from your Northwinds data and that your transmitted your protected Northwinds dataset to iTelligent LLC at the beginning of the project.
- Please download and refer to the referenced Powerpoint presentation and Qlik Sense Desktop applications for further information.
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program widely known and supported by consumer, business, and scientific computer users. CSV is a “workhorse” data exchange format that is widely supported by consumer, business, and scientific computer applications. Among its most common uses is moving tabular data between programs that natively operate on incompatible (often proprietary and/or undocumented) formats. This works despite lack of adherence to any specific standard because so many programs support variations on the CSV format for data export and import. For example, a user may need to transfer information from a database program that stores data in a proprietary format to a spreadsheet that uses a completely different format. The database program most likely can export its data as “CSV” and the exported CSV file can then be imported by the spreadsheet program. For these reasons and as detailed below, iTelliHashCSV is a more robust and broadly applicable product than iTelliHashExcel. Yet, if you only work with Excel files you may wish to use iTelliHashExcel. Keep in mind, however, that Excel can export and import CSV files… for this reason you could still choose to use iTelliHashCSV.
Input File(s) Processed
Data Volume Capability
“Share Ready” Output File(s) Produced?
Multiple files per processing cycle (if desired)
Yes. Sensitive data field(s) within input file(s) are replaced with hashed values in output file(s)
Single Excel file and sheet per processing cycle
Smaller (single Excel file)
No. Due to limitations associated with Excel, sensitive data column(s) within the chosen input spreadsheet and sheet are reproduced in the output file. Before securely sharing the output the user must:
- Create a copy of the original “Hashed_” iTelliHashExcel output file and open it in Excel
- For each sensitive data field/column processed, use the Excel VLOOKUP function to pull the corresponding hashed values into new columns
- Copy -> Paste Special-Values the new hashed values column(s) to overwrite the VLOOKUP formulas
- Delete the original plaintext columns and the hashed columns mapping sheets, save, and share the file -OR- delete the original plaintext columns then save the resultant sheet to a new spreadsheet and then share
See the following sites for further information:
- A summary ‘mapping’ file containing the hashes and original/plaintext forms of all columns selected to be hashed. This file will be named ‘Hash_MapFile_Summary_<selected hash format>‘. This file will contain the column name (column name = ColumnName), original (column name = Plaintext), and hash (column name = HashValue) of each distinct value of all hashed columns in the original Excel file.
- A detail ‘mapping’ file containing a sheet for every column hashed. This file will be named ‘Hash_MapFile_Detail_<selected hash format>‘. Each sheet will contain the original/plaintext (column name = Plaintext) and hash (column name = Hashvalue) of each distinct value found in the column.
- The original Excel file with ‘mapping’ sheet(s) added for each column hashed. The file will be named ‘Hashed_<Original Excel File Name>_<selected hash format>‘.
- iTelliHashCSV is much faster and more robust than iTelliHashExcel due to various limitations imposed by Excel.
- iTelliHashCSV is able to process multiple input files while iTelliHashExcel is only able to process one input file at a time.