Alation Named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Data Governance Solutions, Q3 2023

By Heidi Vasconi

Published on September 26, 2023

Forrester Wave with Alation's logo at the top-right corner.

Alation takes pride in being recognized as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Data Governance Solutions, Q3 2023. The company achieved the highest scores possible in 12 criteria, including data discovery, data catalog, data usage monitoring, data governance management, and roles and responsibilities. We also received the top score in the “strategy” category, as well as in the adoption criterion. 

“Alation’s offering differentiates itself by blending strong technical skills in the field of machine learning (ML) and intelligent asset classification capabilities with an obsessive focus on collaboration tools and data valuation models,” writes the Forrester report in its research.

The Forrester Wave Data Governance Solutions Q3 2023 Leader badge

Data governance as a pillar of data culture

Alation’s active data governance approach — people-first, collaborative, and iterative — has evolved to include federated governance. 

“Reference customers report high satisfaction levels around the solution’s ability to empower a flexible federated governance model on a technical and business level, while helping governance leaders prove the tangible value of their programs across the enterprise,” the report notes.

What is federated governance? Federated governance centralizes core governance features, like policies, while enabling access and democratizing data across disparate systems. It describes a governance model that extends across multiple, often decentralized or distributed, data sources, platforms, and environments. It addresses the challenges of managing and ensuring data quality, security, compliance, and access control in a world where data is increasingly generated, stored, and processed in diverse locations and systems.

Data leaders are embracing a federated model because it reconciles data management and data governance by aligning technical data handling with organizational policies and goals. Doing so increases both adoption and community, key factors in driving business value and ultimately fostering a data culture. Forrester’s report validates, in our opinion, our federated governance approach and ability to empower an accessible data culture among customers.

A roadmap paved by AI 

The report also cites the Alation roadmap, which “focuses on AI-fueled automation of policy management, enhanced workflow, and analytics capabilities, as well as on actionable and collaborative end-to-end lineage.”

The benefits of AI in data governance include:

  • Automating data discovery, classification, and lineage tracking across disparate data sources

  • Simplifying data discovery and usage for non-technical users

  • Enhancing data literacy with AI-driven recommendations and insights, helping to build communities

  • Facilitating teamwork and knowledge-sharing among data professionals, promoting collaboration

AI's potential and capabilities are central to our mission of data governance. Namely, to provide solutions that empower organizations to effectively manage and derive maximum value from their data.

Partner-tested, customer-approved

Our data governance capabilities, which establish trusted data accessibility for all, served as the foundation for recognition by two cloud partners earlier this year:

This recognition is a testament to how we empower organizations to reach data-driven success:

Sainsbury's uses Alation’s federated governance approach to embed best practices throughout the organization, democratize data compliantly, and harness the power of collective expertise. 

“The name of the game for us is certainly to make governance a much more community-focused function,” notes Jade Jones, Manager of Metadata and Data Quality. “We need all hands on deck to embed good practice throughout the organization. We absolutely cannot do that as a single centralized function.”

Texas Mutual leverages transparency into where their data is — and how it should be used — to create business dashboards 80% quicker. This enables stakeholders across the organization to make faster, more data-informed decisions.

“Decisions were often made on instinct rather than trusted data,” reveals Anthony Seraphim, VP of Data Governance. “With Alation’s Data Intelligence Platform, our data analytics teams can easily find, understand, and govern the data stored in our Snowflake instance. This provides transparency into where our data is and how it should be used.” 

Spark NZ, New Zealand’s largest digital services company, uses Alation to govern its Snowflake data. Data classification, sensitivity, PII, and data retention periods are all visible in Alation. Alation lineage allows users to trace datasets back to the data layer in Snowflake to ensure the correct object set is used for analysis or reporting. 

“In addition to the basic metadata that we’ve captured in Alation, we’ve also implemented an extensive tagging taxonomy on our Snowflake objects,” says Peter Langham, domain chapter lead for data engineering. “It helps our data engineers and our DataOps teams understand the policies that need to be applied across those objects.”

Alation helps these customers achieve their data-related goals. These include guiding accurate and well-governed data usage, promoting data literacy, democratizing data access, and mitigating data-related risks. Each organization leverages Alation to enhance data management, data quality, and data accessibility to support their specific business needs and objectives.

Charting the course for future data governance success

Are we surprised by our position as a leader in the latest The Forrester Wave™: Data Governance Solutions, Q3 2023? Frankly, not at all — we're known for moving the needle on data governance capabilities. But that’s not stopping us from improving our comprehensive approach to data governance. We will continue to focus on promoting a data-driven culture, strong community building, technical prowess, customer satisfaction, and a roadmap that includes AI-driven automation to enhance data management.

Download the full report: The Forrester Wave™: Data Governance Solutions, Q3 2023.

CTA of The Forrester Wave™: Data Governance Solutions, Q3 2023 report.

  • Data governance as a pillar of data culture
  • A roadmap paved by AI 
  • Partner-tested, customer-approved
  • Charting the course for future data governance success
Tagged with