Gartner Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Includes Alation

Stephanie McReynolds
Stephanie McReynolds VP, Marketing

Gartner predicts that “By 2020, 50% of information governance initiatives will be enacted with policies based on metadata alone.”
– Gartner, Inc., Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions, Guido de Simoni and Roxane Edjlali, August 10, 2017. Metadata management no longer refers to a static technical repository.Now, it means an active catalog for business. Data catalogs have
emerged as a core component of a modern technology stack and are a critical foundation for the transition from process-driven to data-driven decision making. Metadata management with data catalogs now empower organizations to manage their data as a strategic asset across use cases as broad as data governance, analytics and application development.

According to Gartner, across all vendors, the key business benefits to metadata management now include:

  • Facilitating collaboration around data
  • Dealing with complexity
  • Automating processes

Who is leading this disruptive shift? New solutions that embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a key technology enabler for automating and enriching metadata while placing it at the core of automated recommendations.

Alation has embraced AI as a key technology in our data catalog since our first release. We’ve seen the power of AI to both automate metadata enrichment and redefine metadata by transforming static repositories into active sources of analytic recommendations.  To be transparent, we’re not the only ones embracing AI, but our customers have helped us find the design balance between human and machine collaboration that delivers real business impact.

And now we’ve just been recognized by Gartner as a Leader in the 2017 Metadata Management Magic Quadrant.

Key features to look for in a metadata management solution include:

Metadata repositories — where metadata is stored and managed.

Business glossary — established definitions of business terms and how each term relates to the other.

Data lineage — a way to show the data’s origins, where it moves over time and what changes it goes through as it moves through different processes.

Impact analysis — an indication of dependencies between information assets and what might happen when a data source changes.

Rules management — automated enforcement of business rules in order to establish information stewardship for effective governance.

Semantic frameworks — support for taxonomies, entity relationship (ER) models, ontology and modeling languages.

Metadata ingestion and translation — the capability to ingest and translate metadata from and into a wide variety of formats.

While all data catalogs share such features in common, the Alation Data Catalog is unique in its approach to metadata management because of Alation’s Behavior I/O. This AI-powered engine enables Alation to automatically identify meaningful patterns about how data is being used and how data curators are managing data governance. And then it makes that metadata active by using it to power smart recommendations to Alation users. Examples include which data set is best suited to the analytic question at hand, how it should be labeled for standardization, what term to tag it with so that it is easy to find, and which data sets could be blended for further insight.

As more companies begin to adopt self-service analytics they are finding that data catalogs make increasing sense as a way of maximizing the value of data assets. Without a data catalog, it is difficult for an organization to locate the relevant datasets, make sense of them for future analysis, and understand how those datasets are used to make decisions. Through the use of metadata, a data catalog provides the active context that is needed to transform your organization from process-centric to data-driven.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose 

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