Table of Contents
- Market Categories and User Segments
- Key Criteria Comparison
- GigaOm Radar
- Vendor Insights
- Analyst’s Take
- About Andrew Brust
The heterogeneity of the data ecosystem is becoming increasingly complex. Organizations are grappling with a diversity of data models, schemas, taxonomies, and data formats that are dispersed throughout multiple sources, including data warehouses, data lake houses, data lakes, and databases.
All this complexity makes it difficult to understand simply what data is where, who owns it, how it’s used, and how it relates to fulfilling enterprise objectives. The ability to synthesize all these points of distinction into a centralized tool to rapidly make sense of it—and create action from it—is imperative for any organization.
That’s exactly what data catalogs are designed to do: they take a metadata-centric approach to making data available for everyday workflows while storing, defining, organizing, and describing all the points of variation impacting data for its abundance of uses across the enterprise. These instruments contain a wealth of metadata—often consisting of classifications, tags, taxonomies, subject area models, and business glossaries—that empower users to understand what their data means in terminology that’s relevant to the business, as opposed to documenting these entities using esoteric IT terms, markup language, or code.
Consequently, modern catalogs function as a meeting place for users of all types—technical, business, and executive employees—where they interact and exchange thoughts about their data. They facilitate comments, rankings, discussions, and even knowledgebase articles about the nuances of how data is used and by whom, and best practices for doing so. As such, they’re able to drive data literacy, grow data culture, and empower the business with self-service approaches involving automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and business rules.
If data catalogs have become the figurative meeting ground for data users throughout the enterprise, their greatest accomplishment is providing a literal connection place for the different aspects of data management. The metadata management essentials of data catalogs are used in almost every facet of data management, from data lineage to predictive modeling, data stewardship, and regulatory compliance. Data catalogs underpin each of these domains by becoming the basis for the enterprise knowledge that informs them.
That knowledge includes definitions, roles, and attributes for users, applications, and operations that must be solidified to ensure data’s long-term value. Catalogs are the repositories for storing, consulting, and acting on these standards to meet data quality goals, combine schemas for data integration, or to improve predictive model accuracy, to give a few examples. Therefore, organizations must keep them updated, refreshed, and populated with the latest information that enhances each aspect of data management. Data catalogs contain a fair amount of the stipulations and rules organizations have adopted for managing their data on an ongoing basis. Their primary value proposition, however, is in making this information immediately retrievable and actionable to ensure these organizational requisites are met.
With the numerous facets of data management contiguous to it, picking the right data catalog for your organization is a critical task.
This GigaOm Radar report highlights key offerings from data catalog enterprise software and data platform vendors, as well as offerings from data catalog pure-play and specialist vendors (vendors that are focused exclusively on data management or on data cataloging specifically). This analysis equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating Data Catalog Solutions,” we describe in more detail the key features and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.
Combining the information in these reports will enable organizations to make judicious decisions about their data catalog selections, whether they’re new to or well-versed in this tooling.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.