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Alation Updates Data Catalog with Additional Analytics Tools

Visualization tools enhance monitoring of user activities, new content, and usage trends.

Note: TDWI’s editors carefully choose vendor-issued press releases about new or upgraded products and services. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the vendor's statements.

Alation, the enterprise data intelligence solutions vendor, released 2021.2, the company's quarterly update for its flagship data catalog product. The update includes out-of-the-box visualizations to help users understand adoption progress and activity. Users can see usage trends, who is most active, new content being created, and which assets are the most utilized.

In a blog discussing the update, Talo Thomson, content marketing manager at Alation, explained that usage trends are helpful because chief data officers want to identify people who know the most about their organization’s data. “Those are your subject-matter experts. If they’re supported, and their knowledge shared, they can raise the data literacy level of the entire enterprise.”

Additional updates include:

  • Separate deployment: Customers can deploy Alation Analytics (AA) separately from the core Alation Data Catalog. It gives both the catalog and AA more resources and flexibility. This enables better performance. Alation uses a modern containerized architecture to deploy, which increases reliability through process isolation.

  • Top search terms visualization: Users can see what catalog users are searching for from day one. Located in the Alation Analytics Dashboard, visualization keeps administrators informed about what people are searching.

  • Groups filter: Filter all Alation Analytics visualizations by group. This lets users drill down into activity patterns by particular groups of interest, to compare how people use data in finance versus, say, marketing.

  • Third-party visualizations: Users can see their favorite visualizations in a single place, making it easy to embed the most useful visualizations from third-party tools like Tableau.

  • Improved search ranking: Search results ranking and relevance takes clues from social indicators. With this update, Alation is leveraging that tribal knowledge to influence all search rankings, illuminating the best assets that people trust. Specifically, user-created endorsements will boost ranking scores while deprecations will penalize rankings scores.

  • Search table view: With Search Table View, users can customize search of metadata, including standard and custom fields, to display in their personal results page. This gives users a holistic view of search results alongside the relevant community knowledge.

  • Search metadata: This research tool, expands searchable metadata in the catalog, so users can search source comments, trust flag text, and Tableau custom SQL.

  • Lexicon pairing: Users now have the ability to search using either natural or technical language. As a result, if a user searches for the abbreviation as the keyword, the search results will automatically show expansion terms as well, educating users on all the technical terms associated with a broad term, such as “customer.”

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