"So Much More than a Data Catalog" - Latest Edition of The Data Management Survey by BARC

By Steve Neat

Published on September 30, 2021

"So Much More than a Data Catalog” - Latest Edition of The Data Management Survey by BARC

Alation achieves a top-rank for Innovation within the peer group Data Governance Products, according to BARC’s The Data Management Survey 22. Feedback from real Alation users informed the survey results. Alation scored above average in 13 of 17 KPIs, and 90% of users surveyed said they’d recommend Alation to others.

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is a leading European analyst firm for business software. The Data Management Survey 22 is based on the findings from BARC‘s major survey of data management end users.The survey was conducted from January to April 2021, with a total of 1,101 people responding to analyze 20 products (or groups of products).

The Data Management Survey 22: Alation Data Catalog Highlights

Alation Crowned Top-ranked for Innovation

Alation was ranked #1 in two KPIs within the Data Governance Products peer group: Innovation and Innovation Power.

Comments from real users bear out this ranking. “The Data Catalog can be used for so much more than a data catalog,” remarked a BI project manager. “We use it as a central hub for all things data. They are great about implementing new features and listening to their customers for ideas and feedback…”

The report notes:

“Customers seem to be very satisfied and convinced by the tool… they believe in Alation’s roadmap and its fast-paced progress in enhancing the platform. As a result, Alation achieved a leading position in the Recommendation KPI with a score of 8.7/10.

One thrilled customer said: “This tool has been a game changer for our company. Never before have we had a centralized catalog that made finding data so easy.”

Alation’s robust platform helps users find and understand data in mere minutes — rather than months. In this way, the data catalog accelerates data preparation, freeing up time for more meaningful human pursuits: creativity, collaboration, and innovation.

The Data Management Survey 22: Alation Data Catalog Innovation Highlights

People Love to Innovate

Turns out, people much prefer innovating on creative projects over the stress of hunting for data. Of Alation users surveyed, standout results include:

  • 90% of surveyed users would recommend Alation

  • 90% of surveyed users are satisfied with Alation

  • 87% of surveyed users rate Alation Data Catalog’s usability as excellent or good

A strong commitment to stellar customer service plays no small part in this feedback. “The customer service and support is top notch,” remarked an IT employee. “They also listen to customer input and needs and incorporate new technology in a timely manner.”

Customer feedback has played an integral role in our product enhancements. That’s not lost on our users. An Enterprise Architect said, “The Alation tool and product team continue to impress and supply a very promising roadmap.” People invest ample time and energy into our platform! It’s only right we should re-invest in our user community, in turn.

Our investments back into the community are essential to our users “… Alation leadership is investing in the right places in their product roadmap,” confirms an Enterprise Architect at a consumer packaged goods company. “Alation University and Alation Community are also well thought-out solutions that add even more benefit to the Alation Catalog.”

Innovation Gets a Boost from Key Features

On top of earning two top ranks for Innovation and Innovation Power, Alation earned five leading positions in the following KPIs:

  • Recommendation

  • Performance

  • Platform Reliability

  • Usability

  • Customer Experience

The report clarifies, “Performance is crucial to promote user acceptance. A closer look at the Performance KPIs shows that this is a difficult category and few high scores were achieved. Therefore, it is all the more impressive that Alation was able to secure another leading position here.”

Indeed, these features reflect why many folks choose Alation in the first place. In fact, the survey found that:

  • 64% chose Alation because of its ease of use for business users

    • Compared to 27% for the average data management tool

  • 64% chose Alation because of its connectivity to source systems

    • Compared to 48% for the average data management tool

But what use cases do these features support? The report reveals:

“Alation is used by the majority of its customers for data governance (77 percent), data discovery (77 percent) and data stewardship / data quality management (73 percent). This shows that Alation has successfully evolved from a pure data catalog tool to a platform that also supports data governance and self-service analytics.“


Innovation. Ease of use. Connectivity. These are all great reasons to partner with Alation. But at their core they all share one key feature: Usability. Process and technology are important, sure, but the people are truly the magic ingredient. A platform must put people first, and be a joy to navigate and experience. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Opportunities for improvement never end. And while we’re proud to be recognized as a leader in this space, we still recognize there is much more work to be done. We’re never done getting better, because we’re never done learning from the people who use Alation.

Keen to learn more about the data catalog market? Explore these resources:

For more information on BARC, go to https://www.bi-survey.com.

  • Alation Crowned Top-ranked for Innovation
  • People Love to Innovate
  • Innovation Gets a Boost from Key Features
  • Conclusion
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