At your business today…

You have so much data, in so many different places, it’s hard to find stewards to curate and annotate it. You have so many people who both produce and consume data. You’d love to be able to identify which data is important and who’s using it. You wonder how everything will get documented, where to start, and if completed, how it will all stay up-to-date. You also need to know when the data changes and whether people are using data in an appropriate way. Let Alation turbo-charge your data governance initiatives.

Alation can…

Accelerate recruitment of data stewards
Automate stewardship processes
Track and improve the ROI of governance initiatives
Ensure proper data consumption

Stewards: create correct and comprehensive documentation, fast.

You have so many terms and tables to document, it’s difficult to know where to start. Or how you’ll ever finish. You’d love to be able to prioritize your work, get more done, and do less busy work. Let Alation help.

All the Basics, but better.

Business Glossary

Alation lets you create a business glossary in minutes.  You can track terms, assign owners, track relationships and even directly map the glossary to underlying data objects like tables, attributes and reports.  If you have an existing glossary, no worries—use Alation to connect your glossary with your other data assets, to make it even more useful to your analytics, business, and technology teams.

Integrated Data Dictionary

Alation automatically builds and updates a data dictionary covering all of your data sources, from MySQL to Teradata to Hive. A typical out-of-the-box table page includes sample rows, the schema (including many English titles guessed using machine learning over your documentation), experts (as determined by their querying behavior in the logs), lineage, keys and indexes, and relevant queries. You can then further enhance a page with descriptions, policies, data quality warnings, links to glossary, and more.

Extensible Model

Customize fields in your data dictionary and glossary to suit the needs of your organization.


Create articles with best practices, tips, queries, and examples directly in Alation. Alation offers wiki and forum functionalities specifically designed around data. No more pasting best practice SQL code as text into your wiki article only to find it outdated within days. With Alation, you can link to anything and the content will be kept up to date.

Automation and propagation: Let the computer work for you and make every click count


Alation parses the logs to automatically generate a map of where the data came from, where it’s going, and how it’s being moved. You can see a visual diagram of inputs and outputs or zoom to see the actual code that’s moving the data around.


Using cutting edge techniques in machine learning and natural language processing, Alation can learn to speak your language by reading your organization’s documents. Allie, the Alation “robot,” can deduce that ‘comp’ tends to mean “comparative” in your team, “computer” in someone else’s, and “compensation” for HR. She can then figure out what your funky column names mean, so you don’t have to. But if she makes a mistake or misses a spot, you can view all her guesses about terminology, and can make corrections or additions, which will then take effect throughout the data dictionary.

SmartSets & Propagation

Don’t copy-paste until you develop carpal tunnel syndrome. With Alation, you can define a set of objects which share a property (e.g. all schemas ending in ‘_t’ or all tables with more than 10,000 rows) and add annotations to all of them simultaneously. The members of the set update dynamically as the data changes, and when you change the annotations for the set, all the members update at once. Never worry about staleness or completeness.

Make a real impact:

Actionable and enforceable policies

Warnings and deprecations

Push users away from stale or broken data and toward the gold standard sets with deprecations, or provide warnings on how to avoid common pitfalls. Flags will appear right at the top of the object’s page in Catalog, so users see the information before they make a mistake.

Curators and consumers, together

Data consumers such as business analysts actually use Alation every day to do their work. Most policy documentation in enterprises gets overlooked or forgotten. But with Alation, you have a direct line of communication to your audience.

Learn from past behavior: Turn usage into insight

Identify the most-qualified stewards

Governance officers report one of the hardest parts of the job is to find qualified stewards for data objects. Alation surfaces those individuals who’ve written the most queries or documentation on a table already: prime candidates to tap as official stewards.

Prioritize: match stewardship supply with demand

In large enterprises, there’s so much data growing so fast that 100% coverage remains elusive. But there’s no need to document data which is never used. At one customer, Alation found that fewer than 10% of tables were queried by two or more people in the last year (over 90% were stale, unused tables, or pet tables used by a single analyst)! Alation sorts tables and schemas by usage, providing a perfect prioritization for stewardship work.

Tracking and Transparency

Completeness Dashboards

Track the status and completeness of items in your data dictionary or business glossary. See which stewards are making the most process, and which domains are lagging and could use more manpower. Understand how much human work is left to do and how much time you’ve saved with Alation’s automation.

Slice and Dice

Filter and facet to get lists of To-Do items by topic, steward, size, or staleness.