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Alation overhauls its platform, launches data services offering

"Less scrolling and clicking"

Alation has pushed out a major release of its Data Intelligence Platform with a simplified user interface and new business lineage capabilities.– and launched a new services offering that aims to help both businesses and Chief Data Officers deliver a data culture across four key pillars.

As a provider of data cataloguing software, Alation aims to help customers “find, understand and trust data” across sprawling data estates. 

It lets customers connect to a wide variety of data sources including BI tools, databases, and file systems, with connectors to hundreds, e.g. S3, Cassandra, Elasticsearch, Github, IBM DB2, MongoDB, SQL Server, SAP HANA, among many others. It recently also added connectors to:

🔌 Amazon DynamoDB
🔌 Apache Kafka
🔌 Confluent Kafka
🔌 Elasticsearch
🔌 Fivetran
🔌 MongoDB
🔌 TIBCO Data Virtualization
🔌 TIBCO Spotfire

Its customers include Pfizer, Sainsbury’s and The Very Group.

Both the dramatically reworked UI and the launch of its  Alation Expert Services reflect a reality of data projects at the coal face: Cataloguing tools and clever APIs are important, but culture eats tech for lunch in this space and many organisations are badly let down by a lack of maturity. 

Alation's four maturity pillars.

As Christos Mousouris, SVP of Customer Solutions put it in a release: “Data has never been more strategic, yet most companies do not have the right approach and collaborative model within their organizations to succeed. Alation Expert Services has transformed us into a strategic business enabler together with our partners, offering support to guide organizations through their entire data culture maturity journey…”

Jonathan Bruce, VP of Product Management at Alation, described the new UI to The Stack meanwhile as a “generational shift that is optimized for ease of navigation, consistent but recognizable patterns, and content customization,” – adding that it has been optimised for ease of navigation with both out-of-the-box templating for admins and user-specific configuration options that require “less scrolling and clicking…”

Important because, as the company's CEO put it in a 2023 interview with The Stack "... if you invest in accounting you know exactly what you're gonna get out of it. You invest in data, and it is often inherently speculative, you don't know if you're going to find insights. Even though on average, people are using data much more, there's been a lot of fits and starts... the standard deviation is still quite broad, relative to investing in projects. Some of that's inherent to what you're trying to do, which is discover insights; knowledge generation is not a deterministic process."

"But some of that is also because people don't know how to do it."

See also: The Big Interview: Alation CEO Satyen Sangani on AI, data, disappointments, distributing power