Alation Earns 8 Top Rankings in BARC & The Data Management Survey 23

By Steve Neat

Published on October 19, 2022

One gold, silver, and bronze medal standing up-right in a tan background.

Leading European analyst firm BARC (Business Application Research Center) offers comprehensive, unbiased reviews and recommendations of business software. In September, BARC named Alation a leader in the BARC Score Data Intelligence Platforms Report due to our strong product strategy, roadmap, and powerful collaborative features.

Today, they have issued The Data Management Survey 23, a report based on a survey of more than 1,200 data management end-users of 23 products (or groups of products). The survey was conducted from January to April 2022 and examined user feedback on product experience across 18 criteria.

Alation outpaced its rivals by achieving 8 top rankings and 11 leading positions across two separate peer groups of Data Intelligence Platforms and Data Governance Products. In addition, 83 percent of surveyed users would recommend — and 90 percent are satisfied with — Alation Data Catalog.

BARC’s The Data Management Survey 23 generated rankings based on verified customer feedback.

This report is a testament to customers’ satisfaction and positive experiences with Alation, reflected in their enthusiastic feedback and high likelihood of recommending the product.

Usability Drives Adoption and Collaboration…

One of Alation’s benefits is data democratization, which makes digital information accessible to everyone throughout the enterprise. Yet even the most powerful platform can’t fulfill its promises if it’s too confusing or frustrating to use.

That’s why usability is key to enterprise-wide adoption, especially for a tool that improves with repeated use and collaboration. In awarding Alation the top rank in the Data Intelligence Platforms peer group, BARC states that Alation offers “an easy environment to share knowledge by editing or adding information as and when required (and allowed).”

When asked why they purchased Alation, customers cited this ease of use for both business users (60 percent) and technical users (40 percent). “Alation’s modern, web-based, user-friendly interfaces provide a good set of workflows and functions to interact with the system intuitively,” the report reads.

Alation’s usability goes well beyond data discovery (used by 81 percent of our customers), data governance (74 percent), and data stewardship / management (74 percent). The report states that 35 percent use it to support data warehousing / BI and the same percentage for data lake processes. “It is remarkable also,” the report continues, “that 63 percent of respondents are using Alation as a ‘query engine’ leveraging direct access to data and exploring it using the built-in SQL query builder.”

…And Leads to Customer Satisfaction

Usability is a major influence on customer satisfaction, so it’s not surprising that a high usability score should correlate with a superior customer experience; in fact, Alation achieved a top rank for Customer Experience in the Data Intelligence Platforms peer group.

Alation was also recognized as the leading product for Performance, as well. BARC cites constant improvements, such as workload manager, as a reason that 75 percent of survey respondents rated product performance as good or excellent. In awarding Alation the top rank for that KPI, the report declares, “Performance is not an issue for Alation users, so search requests would seem to be as fast as Google.”

The data catalog learns from user behavior, gaining value as more people use it. By integrating information borne of human usage — such as asset popularity — a data catalog can strengthen the platform for data knowledge … which in turn improves participation.

A Strong Future

Your data landscape isn’t going anywhere. Neither should your data intelligence platform. BARC named Alation the top-ranked Data Intelligence Platform for Innovation, pointing to vision and roadmap as strong supporting factors. “Alation’s vision and roadmap is highly rated by users,” the report states. “It is focused on extending the platform and functional apps… Its Open Data Quality/Observability Initiative integrate has been a good innovation.”

A big factor in Innovation is tied to Product Enhancement, another KPI in which Alation has a leading position. BARC notes that Alation’s high 7.1/10 score is the result of:

  • Newly developed innovative functions

  • Expansion toward a robust data intelligence platform

  • Acquisitions that boost product functionality, such as natural language (NLP) query options

  • Product enhancement was rated as excellent or good by 81 percent of surveyed users — compared to 62 percent of for the average data management tool

“Alation is taking a modern and innovative approach here and customer feedback confirms that the company responds well to business user needs,” the report states.


Alation has evolved from humble data catalog origins to emerge as a complete data intelligence platform that offers:

  • A friendly interface that encourages use and collaboration

  • Comprehensive functionality, from a data discovery/governance/stewardship tool to a holistic data platform

  • Enhancements and innovations to ensure the product keeps pace with market trends and customer needs

These factors, combined with our recent Centaur status, confirm BARC’s analysis that, when it comes to serving customers with features and functions that maximize usability and satisfaction atop a foundation built for the future, “that is exactly what Alation does.”

And this is just the latest recognition in a big year for Alation achievement, including:

And there are more updates on the horizon! Stay tuned for exciting product announcements to come soon.

Curious to read the full report? Download BARC’s The Data Management Survey 23.

  • Usability Drives Adoption and Collaboration…
  • …And Leads to Customer Satisfaction
  • A Strong Future
  • Conclusion
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