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Alation Scoops Gold for 5th Straight Year in Dresner’s Wisdom of Crowds Report

By Mitesh Shah

Published on June 16, 2021

Alation has been named the #1 data catalog in Dresner Advisory Services’ 2021 Wisdom of Crowds® Data Catalog Market Study. Vendor ratings are based on feedback from actual data-catalog users, making this the only market study on data catalogs of its kind. Alation received the highest score of 2021, marking this as the fifth straight year in which Alation has been ranked the best data catalog on the market by the research firm.

To arrive at a rating, Dresner scored top data catalogs by three core features: collaboration, administrative, and extended data catalog features. Alation received the highest possible score on the collaborative ranking, and the highest combined score overall.

Dresner clarifies that these features are core to the data catalog’s mission to make data more trustworthy and accessible, writing,

“Data catalogs provide the technology to simplify access to analytical content and provide collaboration and governance capabilities for that content to make it more trustworthy and broadly available. Our data catalog research examines user segment requirements and priorities with a focus on simplified data navigation/access, governance, and content collaboration capabilities.”

To arrive at a fair score, Dresner surveyed the users of actual data catalogs, asking them to rate vendor features.

“In rating the data catalog vendors, we considered all data catalog, collaborative, and governance features as reported by vendors and weighted by users. The report shows vendors with the strongest (or most complete) capabilities. Alation … dedicated data catalog… while others include this functionality as a part of a broader (e.g., business intelligence) solution.

Wisdom of Crowds® research is based on data collected on usage and deployment trends, products, and vendors. As with all of its Wisdom of Crowds® Market Studies, Dresner constructed a survey instrument to collect data and used social media and crowdsourcing techniques to recruit participants.”

It bears repeating that this study draws on feedback from real catalog customers. Alation has always been laser focused on delivering the best user experience, so to get this feedback from real users validates our approach — and emboldens us to further place the customer at the center of our plans for innovation.

We believe this recognition from Dresner validates the growing, essential role of the data catalog in an organization.

Key Takeaways

A central theme to this report is enabling business intelligence, defined as “knowledge gained through the access and analysis of business information.” Yet BI initiatives are often hamstrung by lack of access; conversely, easy access to data can be a key driver for BI success.

In this study, 53% of respondents indicate that analytic consumers and use cases have difficulty locating and accessing relevant analytic content. The less accessible such content is, the less likely it is that BI initiatives will succeed.

Other key findings include…

  • The ease of finding data is tied to data leadership. Organizations with a tenured CDO or CDAO of five years or more reported lsd difficulty in finding analytic content.

  • Data governance is a growing focus. Government, financial services, and healthcare organizations show growing interest in governance features, and more than 91% of respondents shared that governing and sharing data is critical, very important, or important.

  • Small and large organizations are most interested in data governance, while mid-sized organizations (101-1,000 employees) show comparatively low interest.

  • Geography reveals divergent priorities. Latin American respondents show the most interest in collaborative features (EMEA the least), while North Americans place search and navigation as the most vital feature.

In Conclusion

This recognition arrives at an exciting time for Alation. We’ve recently announced our founders raised a $110M round in Series D funding, which will allow us to build out more catalog capabilities to better serve our customers – some of whom were surveyed for this report.

Within the time that Dresner first published this study five years ago, Alation has gathered further recognition. This past fall, Alation was named a leader in both the Forrester Wave Machine Learning Data Catalogs, as well as the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions.

We’re in good company! “Data catalogs stand out as an area of growth that organizations rank as important to their BI and analytics projects because the complexity of data continues to increase,” says Howard Dresner, founder and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services.

“We congratulate Alation on their top performance once again in our annual assessment of the market.”

  • Key Takeaways
  • In Conclusion
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