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RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Alation Launches COVID-19 Data Catalog

New data catalog enables active collaboration on the best COVID-19 data; enables community members to find relevant data sets, upload new ones, and collaborate on posing and answering COVID-19 research questions.

Note: TDWI’s editors carefully choose press releases related to the data and analytics industry. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the author's statements.

To support the worldwide community of people working to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprise data catalog specialist Alation, Inc., has released a public data catalog populated with information on COVID-19. The data catalog was designed as a collaboration platform where a community of data scientists, researchers, and epidemiologists can work together to answer key questions about the disease caused by infection with the novel coronavirus.

“Combatting, containing, and responding to COVID-19 is a massive data problem and in order to succeed, the brightest minds from different fields will have to work with the best data sets and collaborate with one another,” said Aaron Kalb, cofounder and chief data officer at Alation. “Our catalog will give data and domain experts a single platform to discover relevant data sets, combine, annotate, and analyze them with confidence, and collaborate to generate and validate results.”

Alation’s COVID-19 Data Catalog currently includes data from dozens of key sources, including case data from the COVID tracking project, Johns Hopkins University, and The New York Times, and contextual data including census information, comorbidity trends, weather patterns, and vaccination histories.

Built by a team of volunteer engineers and data scientists within Alation, the COVID-19 Data Catalog will enable community members to:

  • Search for and discover relevant data sets
  • Upload and register new data sets for inclusion in the data catalog so they can be combined with and compared to existing data sets
  • Collaborate on answering COVID-19 research questions and pose new questions to the community
  • Post “lab notebooks” and articles on specific topics and have conversations around them, all with easily embedded data
  • Define and publish queries and business intelligence artifacts, (e.g., Tableau visualizations) that can be shared and searched within the catalog

“I believe that COVID-19 researchers face the same problems with public data that our enterprise customers face with their internal data: not that there’s too little data, but that there’s too much, it’s too hard to find, and when you do find it you’re not sure how to use it or if you can trust it. We solve that problem every day for over 180 enterprises, and we want to make that same technology available for the COVID-19 research community to benefit the wider world,” Kalb continued. “We want to get the word out because a good analytics research project is a virtuous cycle: as participation increases, the community, catalog, and conversations get richer, attracting more participants and yielding increasingly impactful insights.”

Data scientists, epidemiologists, researchers, and healthcare professionals can request access to the Alation COVID-19 Data Catalog free of charge by registering at www.alation.com/covid-catalog.

Alation would like to thank partners Amazon Web Services for providing computing and database infrastructure resources and Trifacta for their support in automating the pipeline and cleaning data sets for this initiative.

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