First data catalog to enable active collaboration on the best COVID-19 data
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 5, 2020 — In an effort to support the worldwide community of people working to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Alation Inc., the leader in enterprise data catalogs, today announced the creation of a public data catalog populated with information on COVID-19. The data catalog was designed as a collaboration platform where a community of data scientists, researchers, and epidemiologists can work together to answer key questions about the disease caused by infection with the novel coronavirus.
“Combatting, containing, and responding to COVID-19 is a massive data problem and in order to succeed, the brightest minds from different fields will have to work with the best data sets and collaborate with one another. Our catalog will give data and domain experts a single platform to discover relevant data sets, combine, annotate, and analyze them with confidence, and collaborate to generate and validate results.”
– Aaron Kalb, co-founder and Chief Data Officer at Alation
Alation’s COVID-19 Data Catalog currently includes data from dozens of key sources, including case data from the COVID tracking project, Johns Hopkins University, and The New York Times, and contextualizing data including census information, comorbidity trends, weather patterns, vaccination histories, and more.
Built by a team of volunteer engineers and data scientists within Alation, the COVID-19 Data Catalog will enable community members to:
- Search for and discover relevant data sets
- Upload and register new data sets for inclusion in the data catalog so they can be combined with and compared to existing data sets
- Collaborate on answering COVID-19 research questions and pose new questions to the community
- Post “lab notebooks” and articles on specific topics and have conversations around them—all with easily embedded data
- Define and publish queries and business intelligence artifacts, (e.g., Tableau visualizations) that can be shared and searched within the catalog
“I believe that COVID-19 researchers face the same problems with public data that our enterprise customers face with their internal data: not that there’s too little data, but that there’s too much, it’s too hard to find, and when you do find it you’re not sure how to use it or if you can trust it. We solve that problem every day for over 180 enterprises, and we want to make that same technology available for the COVID-19 research community to benefit the wider world,” Kalb continued. “We want to get the word out because a good analytics research project is a virtuous cycle: as participation increases, the community, catalog, and conversations get richer, attracting more participants — yielding increasingly impactful insights.”
Data scientists, epidemiologists, researchers, and healthcare professionals can request access to the Alation COVID-19 Data Catalog free of charge, by registering at www.alation.com/covid-catalog.
“Data Catalogs have the potential to enable break-through answers to questions about COVID-19. In the current situation, where we are so often missing the denominators for rates and missing the nuances of how samples have been defined in assessing probabilities, it’s particularly difficult to analyze data properly and in the right context,” said R “Ray” Wang of Constellation Research, Inc. “People need forums to post hypotheses, have them challenged, and improve them. Any company that succeeds in building a vibrant community around this catalog will stand out and create a game changer.”
Alation would like to thank partners Amazon Web Services for providing computing and database infrastructure resources and Trifacta for their support in automating the pipeline and cleaning datasets for this initiative.
Alation pioneered the data catalog market, leading the evolution of data management from simply managing data to driving data culture. Alation customers leverage the data catalog as a platform to drive data search & discovery, data governance, data stewardship, analytics, and cloud transformation. With its powerful behavioral and linguistic intelligence technologies, collaboration capabilities, and open interfaces, Alation provides a platform for a broad range of metadata management applications by combining machine learning with human insight to tackle the most demanding challenges in data management. More than 180 organizations are driving their data cultures and improving their organizations’ decision making with Alation, including AbbVie, DraftKings, Exelon, Finnair, Genentech, GoDaddy, Marks & Spencer, MercadoLibre, Munich Re, New Balance, New Relic, Pfizer, Scandinavian Airlines, Scout24 and US Foods. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Alation is funded by Costanoa Ventures, Data Collective Venture Capital, Icon Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures. For more information, visit alation.com.