In BARC’s recent webinar, six vendors went head to head in a direct comparison – here is the third and final part of the webinar report by our data management expert Timm Grosser.
In the first part, we looked at the performance of the three data catalog market leaders: Alation, Collibra and Informatica. The second part featured a direct comparison of the three challengers: dataspot, Synabi and Zeenea.
In this third part, we look at which of the six vendors were able to convince the audience.
The participating data catalog solutions at a glance
In principle, all vendors adhered to the specified roles of the script.
The first differences between market leaders and challengers became clear in the way they presented themselves. In terms of functionality, it was noticeable that the ‘big players’ offer machine learning functions as standard in their tools in order to be able to manage larger data volumes more efficiently, while the smaller ones rely on other approaches. In terms of range of functionality, the broad functional portfolio of the ‘big players’ contrasted with the focus on ‘core functions’ of the smaller ones.
However, you don’t need a cup holder to drive a car. As always, what counts is the ability of the tools to cover the most important functional requirements.
Finally, my impression was that the ‘big players’ argued more from the point of view of ‘big scenarios’ and, for example, demonstrated quick access to the catalog from applications, for example, via ‘Hotkey’.
The verdict of attendees
The task for vendors participating in the webinar was to demonstrate how their tool can support data democratization. After each presentation, the audience was asked to rate the tool’s suitability for implementing data democratization on a scale of 1 to 10 (1=”no support at all”; 10= “fully supported”).
All the solutions presented scored an average of 6 or above, proving they could support data democratization. Most attendee ratings were in the range of 6 to 9.
I had the impression that there were no technical showstoppers here. However, it also became clear in the webinar that data democratization requires certain organizational and cultural conditions to be in place.
The attendee ratings
According to the attendees, the market leaders did well in this webinar but there was one surprise candidate: Zeenea achieved the highest average score, closely followed by Informatica, Collibra and Alation, and the two challengers dataspot and Synabi.
Below, I describe my strongest impressions from the webinar. For those who want to see for themselves, I invite you to watch the recording.
My personal conclusion
In my opinion, the set task was addressed impressively by all the participating providers. The differences and focal points of the various solutions stood out in the demonstrations. Furthermore, a good impression of the look & feel of the tools was conveyed.
Zeenea, the only pure knowledge graph in the contest, was the best received by the audience, even if the gap to the other providers was only marginal. In my opinion, knowledge graphs are particularly interesting when metadata structures need to be flexible and extended. A useful side effect is that the metadata is equally comprehensible to humans and machines as correlations are stored directly in the graph and not in the application. In my opinion, knowledge graphs will therefore take a stronger position in modern data & analytics landscapes in the future, leading among other things to a reduction in information silos.
With regard to the data catalogs, I was left with the impression of consistent and well thought-out workflows. The collaborative aspects of the tools have advanced and functions have been expanded. Data collaboration features are among the core features for me. The support of collaboration is essential in order to be able to generate and exchange knowledge about data.
We are also seeing an increasing trend for solutions to move into the cloud. This enables them to make better use of shared services and computing power in the cloud as well as making the solutions easier to distribute.
Cloud offerings also offer options for expanded data sharing, for example, through data marketplaces, in which external as well as internal data can be easily exchanged, obtained or traded.
This represents a further functional expansion of the data catalog in the context of data democratization. It is about simple, fast, holistic access to data, whether it is internal company data, partner data or even external data. This is what the term “data marketplace” implies to me. Informatica placed the “data marketplace” at the center of its demonstration, here with a focus on internal company data.
The vendors also presented new functions to better support governance tasks, for example, through dashboards and workflows for data stewards.
You can find more product highlights on the individual products in the two blog posts:
I enjoyed the event very much and would like to thank all the attendees for their active participation as well as the speakers (in order of appearance):
Informatica: Kash Mehdi, Data Governance and Privacy Leader
Collibra: Paul Dietrich, Area Vice President DACH & Guido Bilstein
Alation: Christian Herzog, Senior Sales Engineer
Synabi: Wolf Erlewein, COO & Co-Founder
dataspot: Barbara Kainz, Managing Partner
Zeenea: Luc Legardeur, Co-Founder
I would welcome any questions, requests, suggestions or criticism and will be happy to respond.
BARC support in the data catalog software selection process
During the break, I presented our process for software selection and provided some best practice tips and criteria for selection. More content on this will follow. Follow me on LinkedIn and stay tuned!
If you are interested in support for your software selection project, please do not hesitate to contact me.