SOURCE: Alation

November 02, 2016 09:00 ET

Alation announces Alation Tableau Edition and partnership focused on cataloging data for enterprise users of Tableau

Solution delivers simple and powerful data governance for insights without sacrificing self-service speed, freedom, or agility

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 2, 2016) - Alation, Inc., the collaborative data company, today announced the planned Q4 release of a new product, Alation Tableau Edition, a data governance offering specifically designed for Tableau users. The new Alation product deeply integrates with Tableau Server and supports a new approach to no-risk, self-service analytics. Together, Alation and Tableau embrace the freedom and speed of self-service analytics with the trust in data that comes from consistent enforcement of data governance best practices.

Tableau is a global leader in visual analytics and Tableau's partnership with Alation recognizes the power of Alation for promoting accurate data use without impeding speed, flexibility or freedom typical of traditional governance tools and methods.

"Enabling self-service analytics at scale requires governance and insight into how data is being used across an organization," said Francois Ajenstat, chief product officer at Tableau. "The Alation Data Catalog helps this process by automatically surfacing the necessary context around the data so broad groups of people can collaborate and discover insights with appropriate controls."

Alation and Tableau create an analytics environment where data governance acts as a traffic light rather than a dead end. Alation Tableau Edition easily surfaces standardized data assets and data governance policies defined by data stewards. This is done directly in Tableau itself, providing Tableau users with a seamless experience and prompting them when their analysis may inadvertently lead to non-compliant or inaccurate insights. Alation automatically understands the full lineage of systems that have touched the data prior to visualization and indicates when there are underlying deprecations of source tables and files or even columns that are no longer accurate sources of data. With Alation, Tableau now supports a new approach to data governance -- Governance for Insight. This strikes a balance between enabling more people to get hands on with data and effectively governing the use of data.

"At GoDaddy, we have been using Tableau as our primary BI Analytics tool since 2013. Tableau has been instrumental in allowing more of our teams to get hands-on with data. However, as tens of Tableau users turned into almost one thousand, a lack of formalized data catalog or data glossary made it difficult for any user to understand the appropriate usage and intent of the data. Using Alation with Tableau enabled our users to understand the context and lineage of our data and ensure the accuracy of their analysis," said Sharon Graves, BI applications admin, GoDaddy. "With the Alation Data Catalog governing our data in Tableau, we can confidently scale our data initiatives, and use the information to provide better experiences for our customers."

"As we repeatedly cataloged Tableau Workbooks and Data Sources at joint customers like GoDaddy, we realized that Tableau was often synonymous with business insights. Alation Tableau Edition tailors the Alation Data Catalog specifically for the needs of enterprise Tableau users," said Satyen Sangani, CEO, Alation. "We're pleased to be working so closely together with Tableau and are excited to support Tableau's approach to self-service analysis with the power of Governance for Insight."

Organizations typically struggle to overcome the two biggest pitfalls that can occur in self-service environments. The first is unknowingly falling out of compliance with regulatory requirements, including legal, security and privacy policies. The second is making mistakes in the application of data, which is becoming more common and impacts key decision making processes, including visibility and effectiveness. According to a recent Gartner report, "Through 2017, less than 40% of self-service business intelligence initiatives will be governed sufficiently to prevent inconsistencies that adversely affect the business." 1

Alation helps Tableau's enterprise customers to govern their self-service analytics deployments in a manner that encourages growth of data usage and compliance with key data policies. With Alation Tableau Edition, analysts easily search, query and visualize data no matter where it lives. Using machine learning algorithms, Alation automatically inventories data and enriches it by cataloging how analysts have used it in the past. Query components that have been re-used time and time again to analyze data generate proactive recommendations for analyst best practices. But most importantly, when the catalog is updated with an organization's data governance policies, analysts can be warned if their use of data is jeopardized by upstream data quality issues or faulty data preparation logic that might negatively impact the insights that are used for decision making.

Alation Tableau Edition, creates a seamless experience for Tableau users:

  • Any data source or workbook approved by data stewards in Alation can be published directly to designated Tableau Projects, simplifying the management of governed data in Tableau.
  • Alation endorsements, deprecations and warnings can be pushed to Tableau workbooks as tags, making searching for data steward-approved data assets easy.
  • Tableau users can easily receive email notifications from Alation on data pipeline issues that may affect the accuracy of their Tableau workbooks and dashboards. Alation makes Tableau deeply data-pipeline aware by notifying data consumers any time that underlying changes in the source database or file structure may affect the accuracy of their analysis.

Alation Tableau Edition works with Tableau Server implementations and will be available before the end of 2016. Customers interested in using Alation for data governance not only with Tableau, but also across databases, Hadoop and other business intelligence tools can upgrade to Alation Enterprise Edition, available today. Alation Enterprise Edition enables Alation users to initiate data blending in Alation and push it to Tableau Server seamlessly for collaborative analysis using Alation Compose. Previews of both versions of Alation will be demoed at the Tableau Conference, November 7-11, 2016.

Attending Tableau Conference 2016? Visit Alation in Booth #203 or attend GoDaddy's session on the use of Alation's Data Catalog with Tableau: https://tc16.tableau.com/learn/sessions/3681

Find out why Gartner named Alation a Cool Vendor in Data Integration and Data Quality, May 2016.2

1Gartner, "Critical Capabilities for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms" Cindi Howson, Josh Parenteau, Rita L. Sallam, Thomas W. Oestreich, Joao Tapadinhas, Kurt Schlegel. March 10, 2016. 2

2Gartner, "Cool Vendors in Data Integration and Data Quality, 2016" Ehtisham Zaidi, Roxane Edjlali, Ted Friedman, Mark A. Beyer, Eric Thoo, Andrew White, Saul Judah. May 12, 2016.

About Alation
Alation is the first data catalog built for collaboration. With Alation, analysts are empowered to search, query and collaborate on their data to achieve faster, more accurate insights. Alation automatically captures the rich context of enterprise data, including what the data describes, who has used it, and the fit between the data and different types of analysis. Alation's catalog is generated and updated using machine learning and improved through human collaboration between analysts, stewards, experts, and business users. Alation is funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Bloomberg Beta, Costanoa Venture Capital, Data Collective and General Catalyst Partners. Customers include eBay, Albertsons, Square, and some of the world's largest insurance and pharmaceutical firms. For more information, visit alation.com.

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