Alation Data Catalog

The first data catalog designed for human collaboration


What if you had a recommendation engine for your data?
Data inventory was automated. A searchable catalog revealed proper data usage.
And the system proactively made smart recommendations inline, as you wrote queries.

Alation makes all of this possible with the world’s first collaborative data catalog for the enterprise. It's a powerful solution that dramatically improves analytic productivity and empowers better business decisions for all.

A Data Catalog Is Only As Good as Its Applications

Alation surfaces proactive recommendations to data consumers through applications

Browse all your data - no technical jargon needed
We took inspiration from Google for a simple interface to connect the language of your business to the technical schema of your data. Finding the data you need is no longer stalled by tricky semantic translations.
Increase productivity for both the SQL-savvy and the novice
Interested in using a data set for analysis, but not sure which filters or joins to use? We'll guide you through building a query with inline recommendations powered by the Alation Data Catalog.
Best practices shared through endorsements & warnings
In the creative flow of analysis, it's easy to forget governance policies and best practices. Alation ensures that both data policies and proactive recommendations are available in real-time, as you work.
Share work seamlessly in a wiki built for data analysis
Collaborating with data is challenging. Data updates automatically and conclusions change. Cut and paste mistakes result in errors. Alation removes these barriers to teamwork with data-aware collaboration tools.

Have One Trustworthy Source of Data

What schema is this in?
What columns are available?

Automated Data Catalog

Alation indexes all of your data for business use. Technical metadata is surfaced where it is most relevant to the data consumer - in-context with data definitions and sample data. And machine learned patterns of usage are surfaced alongside the technical details, all to create complete context for the user.

What does this mean?
What does that acronym DRG stand for?

Business Glossary

Alation's machine learning algorithms learn the lexicon of your business, standardizing references through automated and consistent recommendations of user-friendly data labels.

Between these two columns, which one might be more accurate?

Behavior-based Insights

Alation ingests and parses every query log in your analytic ecosystem to understand how your analysts are using data on the front lines. This information is aggregated and surfaced to users to jump-start their own data literacy.

Where did this come from?
What feeds off it?

Data Lineage

Data is often only as good as it's origins. Alation gives users full insight into the systems that the data hopped through before it hit your report or dashboard, what transformations were made at
each stage, and what other reports or
dashboards are consumers of the same data. This information is all available from a highly interactive data lineage browser built into the data catalog.

Who recommends that I use this?

Social Curation

Data is proliferating but so are self-service opportunities to transform data. Alation communicates clearly to users the internal experts that stand behind every data set. Endorsements, warnings and deprecations are clearly marked and communicated. The pace of business today demands that analysis is not slowed down by data curation, but that the intricacies of data governance are made clear to all consumers.

See your data

Alation is a complete repository for all the data assets & data knowledge in your organization. Alation is a single point of reference for your:

  • Business glossary
  • Data dictionary
  • Wiki articles
Understand your data

Alation profiles data & monitors usage to ensure that users have accurate insight into data accuracy. This includes providing insights through:

  • Usage reports
  • Data profiles
  • Interactive lineage
Collaborate with data

Alation provides deep insight into how users are creating & sharing knowledge from raw data. This includes surfacing details that include:

  • Top users
  • Column-level popularity
  • Shared joins & filters

How Alation Creates a Data Catalog

Automated Inventory

Automating the Metadata Inventory

Traditionally creating an inventory of all the data knowledge in the organization has required a time-intensive & people-heavy approach. Alation uses search techniques perfected in the consumer space to simplify & automate creating an inventory of your data assets.

Simply connect Alation to your data sources and the system crawls & indexes data assets stored across different physical repositories including databases, Hadoop files and data visualization tools.

Alation automatically ingests technical metadata, user permissions and business descriptions into a central repository that is a foundational resource for all data users in your organization.

Catalog of Behaviors

Leveraging User Behavior as Suggestions

Anyone who has participated in a knowledge management project knows how fundamentally unscalable the approach is — no one likes to write documentation.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could only train all of your analysts to work like that one wonderful data scientist on the team? She just seems to know naturally how to ask the right questions and access the best data.

Alation taps into the trail left by your best analysts, their SQL log files. By parsing the SQL used to access data during the normal flow of their work, Alation’s algorithms can identify meaningful patterns.

More importantly, these patterns can be used as a foundation for automated interventions during any analyst’s workflow. SmartSuggestions in Alation Compose show how recommendations for best practices or policy compliance can be driven intelligently.


Documentation through Engagement

As self-service data visualization tools have taken off, more business users across organizations are discovering and transforming their own data to help make critical business decisions. Sharing the nuances and best practices of how to use data becomes ever more critical in this environment.

With data curation, any analyst in the organization can be a curator of data knowledge, and subject matter experts are encouraged to do so. By upvoting or downvoting data assets, annotating the why of where a filter was last used, or adding additional nuance to a data definition, any analyst can curate data for the organization.

Data curation is a new approach that gets organizations to where data documentation efforts alone could not. Data curation promotes reuse of the data knowledge that already exists & results in higher analyst productivity. Collaboration comes more naturally. And the coverage and accuracy of data knowledge in the organization also increases.

APIs for Management

Using APIs for Virtual Data Pipelines

Alation can stand-alone or be a significant component in your footprint for managing data in your organization. Designed for the data consumer, it also supports the data creator in the role of a single point of reference for enterprise data.

Alation uses API access to read technical metadata and business definitions from existing third party repositories.

Just as easily, third party tools can access Alation as a point of reference in their work managing data throughout the enterprise. This is done through a standard set of APIs.

Data Platforms That Alation Connects To

Alation Links Data to Business Value

Work Better Together

Everyone in the organization, from data novices to experts, can easily search, collaborate and leverage knowledge from one trustworthy source.

Index All Data Knowledge

Automatically collect all knowledge about data and its usage so useful information is always available to all in your organization.

Use Data with Confidence

Share insights that are always relevant, up-to-date, accurate and easy-to-reference across the entire organization.

Improve Productivity

Reduce the time needed to onboard employees, document data and write complex SQL queries with one easy-to-use interface.

Want to see Alation in Action?

Just fill out the form below to schedule a demo.