Alation extends its Data Lineage capabilities


Data intelligence software provider Alation on Monday added a new feature, dubbed business lineage, to its Data Lineage product to help business users track data flow across enterprise systems.

“Business lineage is an extension of Alation’s end-to-end data lineage, providing an abstraction layer to filter views of data flows and visualize relationships across technical, system, and business metadata,” the company said in a statement, adding that this visibility increases trust in data and accelerates time to insights for decision-making.

Explaining further, the company said that enterprises generally have to face the challenge of increasing the number of data sources, especially in the wake of technologies such as AI and generative AI — which requires combining all enterprise data.

The increased number of data sources intensifies data fragmentation and creates data silos, leading to ineffective use of data and complications around tracing data origins, the company said.

Typically, any activity related to the data pipeline involves eight different sources, managing four different types of data, which leads to eight different outputs, according to market research firm IDC.

This presents significant challenges for enterprises in guaranteeing data reliability, identifying data stewards, and capturing the crucial context needed for informed decision-making, IDC explained, adding that this is where data lineage capabilities can help by providing an end-to-end view.

In addition to providing data maps as a visual representation, Alation’s business lineage will provide users the ability to trace critical performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics back to their data sources and highlight essential data elements with contextual metadata overlays, such as data health, sensitivity, policies, or a chosen custom field.

Business lineage also adds filters within the Data Lineage interface that will allow users to drill down into areas of interest.

Business lineage to offer governance abilities, reduce cost

The business lineage feature also offers data governance abilities. “Governance teams can use classification metadata overlays in a business lineage view to see the movement and use of this data,” the company said.

Further, business lineage allows enterprise users to monitor changes made to their data and trace them through an audit trail, enhancing governance with a retrospective view, and understanding impact analysis.

This means that enterprise users are aware of the consequences of their changes and identify who will be affected, the company said.

Alation also claims that business lineage’s capabilities can help enterprises reduce data maintenance costs by streamlining change processes.

“Impact analysis and Trust Flags expedite error identification and correction, preventing expensive outages and reducing the time needed for root cause analysis,” the company said.

Trust Flags is a tool inside Data Lineage that tells users whether or not their data can be used based on parameters such as endorsement, deprecation, or warnings.

Additionally, the company said that its query log ingestion process provides essential operational metadata to help data operations teams derive insights that support cost savings through data pipeline performance optimization and technical debt reduction.

According to the company, business lineage is in private preview and is expected to be generally available in the second quarter of 2024.

Last month, the company released a tool, called the Data Culture Maturity Assessment, to help enterprises examine their data maturity and the ability to realize business value from data initiatives and adopt newer technologies such as generative AI.

While the tool is free of charge, Alation said it expects the tool to drive the adoption of the company’s data intelligence platform.

Not to be confused with data analytics, data intelligence, according to IDC, is the practice of effectively managing data as an asset, whereas data analytics is the practice of using data to gain insights.

Alation, which forms a part of the data integration and intelligence software segment, competes with the likes of Microsoft, Informatica, Oracle, SAP, Collibra, and Dataedo.

The data integration and intelligence software market is valued at more than $7.9 billion, according to an IDC report released in late 2022. This market is expected to grow to $11.6 billion by 2026, the report showed.

Copyright © 2024 IDG Communications, Inc.



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