Resources for the data-driven

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Data cataloging best practices from industry analysts, experts, and Alation customers

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Join Kiran Narsu, VP of business development at Alation, and William Murphy, VP of technology alliances at BigID, to learn how together Alation and BigID can help foster a privacy-aware data culture.
Join Neil Patel, a director of data science at Pfizer, to learn how one of the world's leading biopharmaceutial companies is implementing collaboration with the Alation Data Catalog and Dataiku to help make a greater impact with data science.
Jennifer Belissent, Forrester’s leading expert on data literacy, and Aaron Kalb, Alation’s chief data officer and co-founder, take a deep dive into data literacy for the enterprise.
Join AbbVie’s Karthik Kandamuri, and Alation’s Mitesh Shah for a discussion on how AbbVie evaluated and implemented a data catalog to democratize data and mature advanced analytics and AI.
"Alation’s approach accommodates the needs and workflows of multiple data stakeholder roles."
Paige Bartley, 451 Research
"Our work seems to indicate that there is huge value for the experienced people to showcase and share their work, especially with the folks who just started."
Van Mieghem, Kellogg School of Management
"Right now, having Alation as a place where we can capture information is critical."
- Cristian Varela, Aon
"The value of opportunity cost that subject matter experts save as a result of Alation is huge."
- Andy Carrington, Nielsen
"91% [of organizations] report that improving the use of data insights in decision making is challenging."
- Forrester, "The Writing’s On The Wall: Data Literacy Matters," Jennifer Belissent, Jan 8, 2020
"Alation’s approach accommodates the needs and workflows of multiple data stakeholder roles."
- Paige Bartley, 451 Research
"A data catalog enables data consumers to find and understand relevant data sets in order to extract business value from data."
- Ethisham Zaidi, Gartner
"Alation offers a purpose-built catalog that can stand alone architecturally and provide broad data connectivity."
- 451 Research, "Doppelgangers: the many identities of the modern data catalog," Paige Bartley, January 02, 2020
"The productivity impact of an enterprise data catalog can lead to concrete ROI benefits."
- Alation, "Productive Analytics With an Enterprise Data Catalog"
"Alation is evolving to be more than just a data catalog. It's becoming a knowledge management platform... and a learning tool."
- Susannah Barnes, American Family Insurance
"Modern data catalogs combine the power of machine learning and human curation to help users find, understand, and trust data."
- Michelle Lam, Alation
"Alation has a huge impact on the ability to foster a self-service culture."
- Julia Fazdayeva, Forrester
"What's really helpful with having a data catalog is that everything you want is in one central location."
- Kathy Xu, Pfizer
"Our report validates the vital role data catalogs play in the successful rollout of [business intelligence] efforts."
- Bill Hostmann, Dresner Advisory Services
"Alation has been a leading vendor in this market since its entry into it with data catalogs, and is well known for its data-cataloging capabilities."
- Gartner Inc., MQ for Metadata Management Solutions, 2019
"Alation is our foundation for data management. Everything depends on knowing where your assets are and what’s in the data."
- VP of Information Management and Strategy, Forrester TEI Study
"Compose—that lets us create and run queries to get on-demand data—has been truly transformative."
- Kelly Barnes, Genentech
"The Alation Data Catalog provides the underlying fabric for data democratization."
- Doug Gray, Caserta
"Data and analytics leaders must investigate and adopt ML-augmented data catalogs as part of their overall data management solutions strategy."
- Gartner Inc., Augmented Data Catalogs, 2019
"Alation has been a significant saver in our world… It maintains integrity, allows greater collaboration, and enables self-service."
- Sharon Graves, GoDaddy
"Culture and data literacy are the top two roadblocks for data and analytics leaders."
- Gartner "10 Ways CDOs Can Succeed in Forging a Data-Driven Organization, 2019
"Data is an asset that has value –– and Alation exposes that asset so you can see it, feel it and touch it. It becomes real. That’s really the value that I see."
- Pat Dever, Avista
"Through interaction with humans, [a machine learning data catalog] can determine which data assets contain sensitive data that is subject to regulatory compliance."
- David Loshin, Industry Expert
"The easier it is to find and access analytic content, the more successful the BI initiative is."
- Dresner Advisory Services Market Study
"With a partner like Alation, our end users can have more trust and confidence in their data insights."
- Ashley Howard, Tableau
"There is a case to be made that the data catalog is the most important data management breakthrough to have emerged in the last decade."
- Matt Aslett, 451 Research
"It's important to look at catalogs that can span all sources within an enterprise."
- Doug Heschen, Constellation Research
"Finding ways to engage people’s competitive and collaborative sides could be a huge motivator when it comes to data cataloging."
- Aaron Kalb, Alation
"The most effective catalogs not only show users what data is available but also expose governance-related nuances."
- Doug Henschen, VP & Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
"Catalogs are driving faster analysis, improved accuracy and trust in the data, and broader data access."
- Aaron Kalb, Alation
"A modern data catalog should take all the paradigms that make modern catalogs, like Google and Yelp, great and apply the same thing to data."
- Aaron Kalb, Alation
"Innovation has been critical for us to get here, and we're going to continue to be the leaders and to innovate."
- Aaron Kalb, Alation
"Alation serves as a self-service layer that helps data users perform a quick search on various data elements — in plain English."
- Yannis Katsanos, Exelon Corporation
"Simply put, catalogs are indispensable tools in support of regulatory compliance and data-driven decision-making."
- Andrew Brust, Research Director, GigaOm
"Alation is the Google for your data in your organization."
- Stephanie McReynolds, Alation
"The challenge isn't the data; the challenge is ensuring data has the right context. When it comes to insight, semantics is everything."
- Forrester, "Reclaim Your Semantic Desert To Monetize Your Data"
"Agile data governance provides a framework where individuals are empowered to unlock the value of data."
- Malcolm Chisholm, First San Francisco Partners
"The data catalog is the most important data management breakthrough to have emerged in the last decade."
- Matt Aslett, 451 Research
"The move [from build to buy] replaced the original IKEA-like DIY model with a governed self-service approach that was more user-friendly—and ultimately, more effective."
- Alex Liang, eBay
"This concept of more agile, grassroots approach to data governance is a breath of fresh air for anyone who has spent their career in the data space."
- Stephanie McReynolds, Alation
"Machine learning data catalogs position enterprises for data architecture of the future."
- Michele Goetz, Principal Analyst, Forrester
"Today’s data-driven organizations demand an approach to data governance that pairs technical innovation with process innovation."
- Satyen Sangani, Alation
"The top three data catalog feature priorities for 2018 are that it 'includes a data dictionary,' 'catalogs multiple databases,' and 'includes a business glossary.'"
- Dresner Advisory Services Data Catalog Market Study
"At every step [in the data value chain], we can ensure that only the most trustworthy data sets are being used, because any problem upstream flows downstream."
- Aaron Kalb, Alation
"While our ability to produce, ingest and store data has grown exponentially, our ability to parse consistent insights from data has not."
- Stephanie McReynolds, Alation
"Before data catalogs, we had no single source of truth for data."
- Maksim Pecherskiy, Chief Data Officer, City of San Diego
"We are noting growing adoption of more agile approaches to data stewardship, which Alation is well-placed to benefit from."
- 451 Research, "Alation rises amid expanded data catalog adoption and partnerships," Matt Aslett, June 27, 2018
"Information only becomes a true insight when the enterprise understands exactly what to do with it."
- Stephanie McReynolds, Alation
"Many CIOs have invested in creating data lakes using Hadoop distributions, but continue to struggle to deliver the actionable data businesses want."
- 451 Research "Working with service providers to get value from the data lake"
"The ability to produce data is something that we all have and have been able to do, exponentially. But what we don’t have is the ability to parse out the insights from that data."
- Satyen Sangani, Alation
"We let machines do what they do best so that humans can do what they do best."
- Maksim Pecherskiy, City of San Diego
"Seeing the top data sets and queries used in the organization is a great way to capture the knowledge of the company so you don't have to start all over again"
- Andreas Kohlmaier, Munich RE
"Only 29% of companies successfully connect analytics to action. Why? Lack of trust."
- BBBT Podcast, "Data Catalogs – Taming the Wild West of Self-Service Analytics", March 9, 2018
"Over 2/3 of CDOs in a recent Forrester study have been appointed in the past 2 years. It’s not too late."
- Forrester, "Hail to the New Chief (Of Data)", Jennifer Belissent, February 21, 2018
"Demand for data catalogs is soaring as organizations struggle to inventory distributed data assets to facilitate data monetization and conform to regulations."
- Gartner Inc., "Data Catalogs Are the New Black in Data Management and Analytics", December 13, 2017
"The Alation Data Catalog has significantly increased the productivity of my team... enabling them to quickly find, understand and trust the data they need and increasing time to real business insights."
- Hernan Asorey, SVP at Salesforce
"Governance is now being viewed as a facilitator for self-service analytics rather than an obstacle for access to data."
- Matt Aslett, 451 Research
"The fact that behavior of how people query data is an input, and that input then informs recommendation as an output is very powerful"
- Stephanie McReynolds, Alation VP of Marketing
"To find that needle of good data in the haystack of other data is the challenge that catalogs help with. Catalogs answer questions that actually help us to make good decisions."
- Aaron Kalb, Alation
"By 2020, 50% of information governance initiatives will be enacted with policies based on metadata alone."
- Gartner Inc., Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions, August 10, 2017
"As data complexity continues to increase we expect data catalog capabilities will only grow in importance into the future."
- Howard Dresner, Dresner Advisory Services
"Creating a data-driven organization requires the ability to share tribal knowledge and support collaboration between the producers and the consumers of data and analytics."
- Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., Intelligent Solutions
"Data catalog focuses upon the user requirement to locate and leverage metadata, data, models and data elements within an organization – for the purposes of analysis within business intelligence solutions."
- Howard Dresner, Dresner Advisory Services
"Alation integrates with and compliments Tableau’s existing data governance capabilities so that organizations can truly balance the demands of agility and compliance"
- Alation White Paper
"Now (our analysts) just log into the tool, start searching, and the answer is right at their fingertips."
- Matt Sullivant, Data Steward, Chegg
"We definitely do see a data cataloging technology playing a huge role in not just data governance but BI governance."
- Boris Evelson, Forrester
"Alation's capability to sit on top of Kylo allows customers to go from 0 to 60 in a pretty short amount of time... users can get both technical value from Kylo and business value from Alation."
- Stephanie Mcreynolds, Alation
"The majority of our end users can easily work in Tableau and Alation, which allows our BI/BA team to work on the hard questions"
- Sharon Graves, Enterprise Data & BI Tools Evangelist
"Trifacta and Alation allows for an open and integrated stack for wrangling, discovery, and governance."
- Bertrand Cariou, Trifacta
"Imagine the power and impact of a curated marketplace that serves a community of analysts 'shopping' for data."
- Dave Wells, Eckerson Group
"We chose Alation because we needed a tool that does documentation right beside our data and right beside our queries. There was just nothing else on the market that I’ve seen that does that."
- Bob Briski, Director of Data Infrastructure, invoice2Go
"Data's getting stale because it is not being leveraged... if there is no collaboration, nobody is going to use the data lake... you need to index and catalog the data to know what is available."
- Bertrand Cariou, Trifacta
"Imagine the power and impact of a curated marketplace that serves a community of analysts “shopping” for data."
- Dave Wells, Eckerson Group
"We realize that multiple platforms are going to exist within a companies infrastructure...Alation provides the data cataloging and governance component that is needed over that whole infrastructure."
- Mark Sharinman, Teradata
"Data is increasing at exponential rates in all organizations. We want to give access to all employees and yet there are good reasons why managers are still relying on intuition to make decisions. Data curation has become a more important strategy as a result."
- Stephanie Mcreynolds, Alation
"Teradata is this powerful place for modeling a view of the world in data, and Alation is this great place to start from where Teradata ends and build onto it"
- Deb Seys eBay
"Opening up access to data will yield diminishing returns if users are still in the dark about its provenance."
- Tony Baer, Ovum
"Alation makes data accessible at Square. And it makes it so they can find the data and the connectivity to the data in the same place."
- Ryan Mason, Square
"Data curation is emerging as a technique to support data governance, especially in data-driven organizations."
- Alation White Paper
"Our Tableau power users are now freed to do actual analysis."
- Sharon Graves, Enterprise Data & BI Tools Evangelist
"Data is coming from everywhere today, internally, externally, from the cloud & device data. It’s really time to re-think the way that we’ve been managing our data."
- Michele Goetz, Forrester
"Everything is powered by big data. If you cannot unpack the value of your big data, no matter how beautiful the technology is, it means nothing"
- Alex Liang, eBay
"The need for data to be filtered, processed, treated and managed to make it suitable for multiple analytics use cases is critical to delivering value from the data lake."
- Matt Aslett, 415 Research
"We also wanted to solve this problem of tribal knowledge. We have data analysts, three of them may know membership really well, and if they aren’t around it becomes a bottleneck... So we wanted to focus on capabilities that allow us to expose data transparency to the rest of the organization."
- Beata Puncevic, BCBS-Michigan
"Data isn’t the only capital... the intellectual property is in the algorithm. We need the data to feed the algorithm"
- Stephanie Mcreynolds, Alation
"When you get behind the wheel of a car, you’re engaging in a very high risk, high reward activity... The same thing goes for using data."
- Aaron Kalb, Alation
"Discovering data assets via post-it notes and water cooler conversations is no longer an appropriate method. Today, we can’t leave it to people we need systems discovering data in systems."
- Dez Blanchfield, The Bloor Group
"What we do differently at eBay is to trust people to do the right thing and to give them the information they need to make that decision. We’re calling this governance self-service."
- Deb Seys eBay
"To use data is not a simple exercise, you need a lot of information about trivial things like what the field name means, what the values represent, and business context around which tables to use. That tribal knowledge is not documented."
- Satyen Sangani, Alation
"The proliferation and popularity of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) data preparation tools for knowledge workers begs the question, “How will your data quality, consistency, and security be maintained without top-down governance?"
- Neil Raden, Hired Brains
"From day one, Alation has offered capabilities that address the needs of both business analysts and data scientists as well as data stewards and data governance professionals."
- Matt Aslett, 415 Research
"We are a company that believes that many of the problems related to data are not ones that can be easily solved by computers & algorithms & systems but rather are problems that need to be addressed by how people use data."
- Satyen Sangani, Alation
"Alation combines machine learning with crowdsourcing and collaborative approaches to help end users ask the right questions of the right data. It is the preferred partner for data cataloging in Teradata's Universal Data Architecture (UDA)."
- Tony Baer, Ovum
"[you] need the right platforms for the right applications with the right skill sets within their organizations"
- James Kobielus, IBM Big Data Evangelist
"Teradata and Alation have announced a reseller partnership. Teradata will sell Alation's offering into Teradata Unified Data Architecture (UDA) accounts, both new and existing. Marketing will focus on Teradata's Sentient Enterprise strategy."
- James Curtis, 451 Group
"Sharing results and persisting new views of data and models is core to success. And collaboratively governing data catalogs is the approach that works."
- Neil Raden, Hired Brains
"58% of managers base decisions on intuition, even when the data exists. Why? You need a lot of knowledge to get to the right data."
- Satyen Sangani, Alation
"By using Alation, our analysts are saving 50% or more in time savings for composing, sharing & learning queries. We can get into that data and access it in a way that is much more accessible and user friendly than the other ways that we have."
- Robert Stratton, Marketshare
"To learn from data you have to learn about the data. We wanted to found a company that was enabling people to learn about data."
- Satyen Sangani, Alation
"Context, collaboration and catalogs are the 3 C's of the modern information architecture. They can be useful to stitch together a big picture view of your organization."
- Satyen Sangani, Alation
"If the analyst is not able to find the queries, it hurts the productivity of the analyst as well as the entire organization."
- Venky Ganti
"We help people understand the data and the systems inside of their companies. Like Google we crawl those systems and we look for what people are doing with the data and use that information to build a very rich catalog that people can update collaboratively."
- Satyen Sangani, Alation
"Alation is a query tool that queries your data sources, takes the metadata from querying your query logs and turns it into a consumable product so you can find the data you want easily and you can write queries quickly. It has auto-fill when you’re writing queries. It’s awesome."
- Kristie Allen, Albertsons
"The value that analytics teams are getting out of this product is to be able to access their data but in human context."
- Stephanie Mcreynolds, Alation
"Self-service is a must if you are going to make your organization insights-driven. Understanding data, including its lineage and context, is key to enabling data exploration."
- Gene Leganza, Forrester
"The biggest challenge nontechnical users are encountering is the same one that has been a steep challenge for data scientists: slow, difficult, and tedious data preparation."
- David Stodder, TDWI
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