Data Intelligence + Human Brilliance: The Future of the Data Catalog

By Satyen Sangani

Published on June 3, 2021

Title: Data Intelligence + Human Brilliance: The Future of the Data Catalog

Go faster.

That’s the message I hear from customers, partners, employees, and investors. Today, I’m excited to share some big news that will allow us to accelerate:

Alation has raised $110 million in Series D financing. This brings total funding to $217 million.

This also means that Alation is valued at $1.2 billion — a unicorn.

Unicorns were once notable for their rarity. And while the business milestone is exciting, I mainly love the idea of being a unicorn because they are super fast.

In this sense, “unicorn” suits us well. This capital will allow us to accelerate our growth.

The Data Catalog that Launched an Industry

Since we founded Alation, Forrester has credited us with starting the data catalog trend and leading the category outright. Gartner and IDC have marked us as category leaders. The World Economic Forum has recognized us as a Technology Pioneer. Inc Magazine listed us as one of the 429 Best Workplaces in the country.

Most critically, more than 250 customers — 80% of which have revenues exceeding $1billion dollars — have chosen Alation as their enterprise data intelligence solution. This list includes industry leaders like Cisco, Daimler, GE Aviation, Munich Re, Nasdaq, Salesforce, and Pfizer.

It’s the type of growth and recognition that, as a founder, you envision, but never expect.

Big Data. Bigger Opportunities.

Despite our growth, data — and the challenges with managing it — have grown even faster.

There are two obvious trends.

First, there’s been huge growth in the volume of data and the difficulty of processing it. Last year, every person generated an average of 1.7 megabytes of data… each second. 95% of businesses say managing unstructured data is a problem, and 97.2% of businesses are investing in big data solutions and AI.

Second, regulatory pressures are growing. The GDPR and CCPA have made data management even more cumbersome — and important. Nearly 8 out of 10 US companies have taken steps to comply with the GDPR, and an estimated $9 billion has been spent on GDPR compliance.

Less obvious are the massive challenges in helping people navigate so much complexity. For most people, who don’t spend their careers in data, it’s not always obvious how difficult it is to manage data. Why don’t the numbers just match? Why is it so tough to process information? Why can’t everyone just get the right report when they need it? Why is there so much bad data? How come we have so many data silos?

People have been asking these questions since I first started working at Oracle almost 20 years ago. People without Alation are still asking these questions today.

Re-introducing Alation: Data Intelligence + Human Brilliance

To this date, we’ve won by building the best product, supported by a customer-first field organization that differentiates on knowledge and hard work. Alation is the best because it’s the easiest to use. And, we’re also the most sophisticated. We haven’t focused on building complex, packaged software that checks every single box, but we have focused on delivering what our customers need. Time and again, we’ve put people first.

What excites me about this financing is that it enables us to build out additional specialized capabilities to help more people. We can bring more intelligence to how people consume, manage and create data. With this funding, we can empower more users with new use cases; these include data privacy, data discovery, data sharing, and data acquisition.

With all of this new capability, ease of use will remain a central goal. We know that there are hundreds of companies focused on these problems. The challenge isn’t availability of features, it’s simplicity of architecture and ease of both experience and deployment.

As we grow, we will stay true to that ethos of simplicity. We will continue to build software that simplifies how folks find, understand, and use data. Trust arises naturally with these pieces in place. When people can trust the data, they can trust their decisions, their work, and each other.

Alation to Empower Curiosity and Rationality

Indeed, if we can empower human connection around data, there’s no end to the problems we can solve. We think that helping people understand data and science will accelerate their curiosity. That spirit of inquiry, coupled with human ingenuity, is the real superpower. It may very well prove fundamental to solving the many problems we face.

What excites me about this financing is that we can leverage scale to help more people become data literate. Today, tens of thousands of people use Alation every day. Hundreds of thousands use us monthly. With this financing, we will empower literally millions of people to use data who otherwise wouldn’t. And, who knows what these newly initiated might teach us in turn?

What excites me about this financing is that we can go even faster. We are already moving at a very fast pace, and are completely focused on execution.

So, if you haven’t checked out Alation recently and want to leverage the product, now is a great time to get to know us again. And, if you’re looking to build a career working with people who love their peers and their craft, and people who want to achieve our vision of empowering a curious and rational world, we’re hiring in every department.

  • The Data Catalog that Launched an Industry
  • Big Data. Bigger Opportunities.
  • Re-introducing Alation: Data Intelligence + Human Brilliance
  • Alation to Empower Curiosity and Rationality
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