An Evolved Data Catalog, a Centaur, and the Letter E: Alation’s 2022 in Review

By Anthony Zumpano

Published on December 29, 2022

A calendar flipping through the pages showcasing Alation's 2022 highlights along the months of the year.

In business — and even in life — you can be so focused on “What’s next?” that it’s easy to forget to ask “What happened?” The answer to both questions should align, though, for it’s important to leverage your accomplishments of the past 12 months as a foundation to build on during the following year.

After all, I shed (net) 10 pounds since my end-of-2021 weigh-in, an achievement that I hope will compel me to run more miles and eat fewer doughnuts in 2023.

With the dawn of a new year right around the corner, let’s look back on some of the highlights of Alation’s 2022.

The 2022 Data Catalog Wasn’t Your 2021 Data Catalog

The Alation Data Catalog our customers currently use has evolved from when the year began. These updates and upgrades include:

We Fostered a Data Culture Conversation

Data does more than offer cold, hard numbers. It can also tell stories. In 2022, we launched the Data Radicals podcast, hosted by our CEO, Satyen Sangani. Satyen and his wide-ranging array of guests shared compelling tales of — and sometimes with — data.

The podcast covered ground you’d expect, such as data governance, data culture, and tips for the modern CDO, but it also provoked many a thought regarding the impact of data on:

  • Online dating (bestselling author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz)

  • Military operations (retired four-star general Stan McChrystal)

  • Human rights (Human Rights Data Analysis Group data analyst Tarak Shah)

  • Cataloging the world’s knowledge (Alation senior director of learning & communities, Deb Seys)

Some More Awards and Distinctions, NBD

We don’t like to brag — well, maybe a bit when it’s warranted. This year our trophy case got a little more crowded as we were:

We also received industry recognition from leading analysts such as Dresner, IDC, Constellation, BARC, GigaOm Radar, and Forrester.

Evolving from Unicorn to Centaur…

Besides being mythical four-legged creatures who have never been in my kitchen, unicorns and centaurs are terms to describe the financial status of tech startups. In June 2021 Alation reached $1 billion in valuation to join the unicorn herd, but this year we reached the more enviable (and rarer) centaur level when we surpassed $100 million of ARR (annual recurring revenue).

Both “1 billion” and “100 million” might not seem like such a big deal in tech, where 10-figure figures are pretty common, so Satyen distilled this distinction further: “Over the last 18 months, our growth rates have almost doubled. Our loss rates have been cut in half. Our NPS numbers have increased. Our overall pace is only getting faster.”

And even beyond the numbers and math, this success is testament to how we empower data intelligence for our customers: 25% of today’s Fortune 100 companies use Alation!

…in a Year Brought to You by the Letter “E”

Finally, we had barely celebrated our Centaur status when we announced that we raised $123 million in Series E funding, which increased our valuation to more than $1.7 billion. A new investor, the leading software investment firm Thoma Bravo, led the round and lauded our leadership, product, and momentum — including five quarters of consecutive accelerated growth despite an up-and-down economic landscape.

Hopping into 2023

According to the Chinese calendar, 2023 (which officially begins on January 23) is the Year of the Water Rabbit. According to Chinese Taoism, water is aligned with intelligence and wisdom, which is what the Alation Data Catalog delivers by empowering organizations to cultivate a data culture and unleash the power of your data — wherever it resides, and by anyone who uses it.

As we turn from “What happened?” to “What next?,” we look forward to building on our successes to deliver a data-driven new year.

A year with, I hope, fewer donuts consumed than this year.

  • The 2022 Data Catalog Wasn’t Your 2021 Data Catalog
  • We Fostered a Data Culture Conversation
  • Some More Awards and Distinctions, NBD
  • Evolving from Unicorn to Centaur…
  • …in a Year Brought to You by the Letter “E”
  • Hopping into 2023
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