From Data to Decisions: The Impact of Alation Expert Services

By Leandra Siedor

Published on March 11, 2024

From Data to Decisions: The Impact of Alation Expert Services

Alation just announced the next major release of the Alation Data Intelligence Platform and an entirely new set of offerings for Alation Expert Services. While the former continues to extend our platform’s capabilities in enabling our customers to measure and strengthen their data culture and accelerate time to value, the latter will help customers better plan and accelerate their data and AI initiatives.

Let’s explore Alation Expert Services, learn how these offerings enhance the value delivered by the Alation Data Intelligence Platform, and understand how they strengthen your organization’s data culture.

Advancing data culture maturity

Successful organizations know the power of data. The call to be “more data-driven” has been heard for decades, and now we’re entering an era of overdrive in the quest to harness the power and value of data. That’s especially true as AI and generative AI become more effective and reliant on trustworthy data.

But how can an organization improve and enhance its data culture? A sure way to improve something is by measuring it. You can begin with our Data Culture Maturity Assessment to gauge your current data culture maturity and identify areas for improvement. From there, you can use the Alation Data Culture Maturity Model to guide efforts to build a more mature data culture.

However, advancing data culture maturity takes more than just a data intelligence platform. That’s the technological foundation, but data culture maturity requires that users — people — can readily search for and discover the data they need. It also enables data governance so people trust the data, data literacy so people know how to pull more value from data, and data leadership so respected leaders champion the value of data to people across the organization.

Bridging that gap between your data intelligence platform and your people requires, ironically, people. More accurately, it’s the expertise, knowledge, and skills to understand your business challenges and goals, add data culture-specific change management experience to your internal teams, and help you deliver measurable returns on your data investments.

Introducing Alation Expert Services

To increase the value derived from data through a more mature data culture, we’ve structured Alation Expert Services to apply the combined power of Alation’s skilled experts and the Alation Data Intelligence Platform with the four pillars of the Alation Data Culture Maturity Model. Those pillars are data search and discovery, data governance, data literacy, and data leadership.

To understand the importance of data culture maturity, think about how people use data. They first need to find it, no matter where it lives or what format it’s in. Then, they need to understand it so they can apply it correctly. They also need to trust it so they can trust the insights and influence decisions made by leaders based on the data. Finally, they need the confidence to turn that data into business value.

There are a lot of capabilities, connections, trust, and more weaved across those seemingly simple steps. But any good business manager will know immediately that this chain from search and discovery through to value is fraught with people challenges. Alation Expert Services are here to help!

Alation Right Start

Deploying a data intelligence platform is the first step, but it must enable access to data, and people must then find success when using it. It’s the search and discovery pillar of data culture maturity, and if people can’t find data, it all falls apart.

Alation Right Start helps you build a strategic plan to roll out and ensure the success of your data intelligence platform. The team works with you to establish data catalog curation and management processes, ensuring accessible data. That creates a solid foundation to launch your data intelligence program and improve data culture maturity.

Among many other things, the Alation Right Start team interviews business users to understand and prioritize their desired outcomes, helps identify and document data assets, develops data usage best practices, identifies activity metrics, and more. The team also works closely with your internal teams to transfer knowledge, guide activities, and empower self-sufficiency.

Alation Advance

After initial deployment and adoption, it’s time to explore additional use cases. Alation Advance is the expert-guided path to mature data culture to the next level.

Combining a DCMM update with a comprehensive review of your Alation deployment, Alation’s Expert Services team identifies key wins and opportunities. Alation identifies business needs, specific initiatives, and desired outcomes through user surveys and interviews and documents all findings, recommendations, and next steps in a report for deep dive review and feedback with key stakeholders.

After aligning on focus areas, Alation Expert Services partners with your Alation team to unlock additional business value through configuration, user enablement, support for curation, and guided change management best practices. Alation Advance builds upon initial successes to ensure continued growth through the Alation Data Culture Maturity Model.

Alation Customer Engagement Managers

Once a data intelligence platform is rolled out, it’s essential to maintain that momentum and continue the progress in data search and discovery by adding more data assets, expanding data documentation, building training and coaching resources, and more. These seeds of data literacy and data governance are necessary to advance data maturity.

Alation Customer Engagement Managers are dedicated Alation best practices and adoption experts who deeply understand what it takes to mature and improve data literacy and data governance in pursuit of business outcomes. They push for progress and keep your data teams focused on the data maturity model related to your business goals.

For data literacy maturity, Customer Engagement Managers support ongoing documentation of data assets and access requirements, developing use cases based on strategic initiatives and user surveys, identifying training needs and feedback loops, designing and implementing communications plans, and more. The team can also guide the creation of a data governance framework (mission, vision, goals, etc.), identify and recruit subject matter experts, develop policy creation and approval processes, and assist with other governance efforts.

Alation Technical Account Managers

Driving data culture requires a powerful data intelligence platform in the form of Alation. Managing, maintaining, and continually expanding the use of the platform requires skilled application owners aligned closely with their business counterparts. To continually advance a data culture and organization-wide data discovery, customers iteratively enable advanced technical solutions and use cases.

Alation Technical Account Managers (TAM) specialize in data intelligence solutions, playing a pivotal role in ensuring seamless customer experiences. Tasked with understanding the unique needs of clients, the TAM acts as a bridge between business users and technical teams, translating requirements into actionable plans. As an expert on customer environments and the Alation data intelligence platform, TAMs optimize data catalog solutions, offering guidance on technical best practices and continually enabling catalog owners, deriving additional value out of your Alation investment.

Regular check-ins, performance reviews, and proactive communication are integral parts of the TAM's responsibilities, fostering long-term relationships and ensuring that the data catalog continues to meet evolving business needs. The Technical Account Manager is not only a technical expert but also a trusted partner dedicated to maximizing the value and efficiency of the data intelligence platform for each customer.

Alation Forward Deployed Engineering

As a data culture becomes more mature, it’s critical to enlist leaders to evangelize and enhance the importance of a data culture. But, as more leaders place more weight on the value data can deliver, the snowball effect takes over as the data culture becomes part of the organization’s fabric. Where this snowball hits the road is with specific and value-leading use cases, custom applications, and highly visible demonstrations of data’s power.

Alation Forward Deployed Engineering (FDE) is a customer-centric engineering organization that builds custom solutions for the Alation Data Intelligence Platform to unlock new use cases. It puts engineering resources closer to the customer’s unique need, which results in a more customized and value-driven solution.

FDE is there to put additional connectors to work, enable the discovery of more data sources and assets, and develop governance workflows. Alation natively connects to over 100 data sources and maintains extensive, open APIs. FDE adds its extensive domain expertise to expand these capabilities to even more sources and API integrations.

Alation Mission Critical Support

The teams of Alation Expert Service put you on a direct path to value realization mode, where you can maximize the benefits gained from the Alation Data Intelligence Platform. Again, it’s momentum you don’t want to impede with process or technical hiccups.

Alation Mission Critical Support is an enhanced customer support tier that provides a designated technical support resource with accelerated response times for technical questions, issues, or blockers with the Alation application, connectors, upgrades, and more. It puts you in contact with experts in significantly less time to identify and deploy a solution before any challenge impacts data-driven business value — up to 33% faster.

The intent is to keep your data culture, data intelligence platform, and data program investments returning real and consistent value to the organization. If an issue crops up, Alation Mission Critical Support will work quickly to resolve the issue.

Realize maximum value with the guidance of Alation Expert Services

We work with hundreds of new organizations every month and hundreds more entities across our customers. That combined experience enabled us to develop the industry-proven Data Culture Maturity Model to guide your organization’s data culture maturity and advancement.

Now, Alation Expert Services is here to help as you plan, prioritize, and accelerate data initiatives and strengthen your data culture. From data intelligence platform implementation to long-term strategic planning to continuous data culture maturity improvements, Alation Expert Services empowers your organization to maximize the value of your data investments.

Enhancing your organization’s data culture maturity is a continuous process that adapts to shifting priorities and objectives. Discover how Alation Expert Services can empower your organization to harness data more effectively, driving increased business value.

  • Advancing data culture maturity
  • Introducing Alation Expert Services
  • Realize maximum value with the guidance of Alation Expert Services
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