This summer Dresner Advisory Services ranked Collibra as the number one vendor in their 2019 Data Catalog Study. Dresner surveyed nearly 800 business intelligence (BI) professionals to examine customer preferences, customer investment and vendor performance in the data catalog space. It’s reaffirming to see that customer priorities align with the founding pillars of Collibra’s approach: governance embedded in the product, enterprise grade capabilities and scalability.
A data catalog needs to be more than just a point solution. Business analysts and data scientists are key stakeholders for any catalog implementation. But enterprise use cases are complex and need to satisfy more than just a single user group. 47% of Dresner’s survey respondents indicated that they have difficulty accessing data, but simply locating data is only part of the challenge. Data Intelligence relies on governance and collaborative frameworks to ensure data sources are trustworthy. It’s imperative that a data catalog has governance at its foundation, is part of an enterprise grade platform, and is scalable in order to empower Data Citizens to generate impactful insights and drive business value.
The importance of data governance
According to Dresner, more organizations are acknowledging the significance of data governance. 79% of respondents said that they view governing content creation and sharing content as either “critical” or “very important” to their organizations; a figure that was up from 70% the year prior. The industries with the most respondents specifying that data governance is absolutely “critical” were insurance (60%) and retail/wholesale (55%), closely followed by healthcare and financial services.
Data catalogs are meant to simplify the access and use of analytical content so business users can make impactful and insights-driven decisions. To achieve that objective, it is essential that the data housed in the catalog is well-governed. Catalogs need collaborative capabilities, controls and accountability to ensure data quality. Enabling data access without the right context and data quality can unfortunately lead to inaccurate analysis.
In order to support a governance framework, the Dresner study highlights a number of essential collaborative feature requirements for data catalogs— the ability to annotate content, search and navigation capabilities, and sharing and commentary capabilities.
Enterprise capabilities are key
Firms are looking more broadly at enterprise requirements to guide successful implementations. Solutions that only target the narrow requirements of business analysts and data scientists ultimately will fall short in delivering true enterprise value.
Reflecting this trend, survey respondents noted that their top feature requirements for a data catalog were the inclusion of a data dictionary, the ability to catalog multiple databases, integration with self-service data prep tools and the inclusion of a business glossary.
These requirements all point towards the importance of enterprise capabilities. Modern organizations need to catalog multiple databases, to standardize definitions using a data dictionary and business glossary and to accelerate BI through self-service data preparation tools.
The need to satisfy enterprise requirements was further underlined by the range of stakeholders that can benefit from catalog implementations. The survey broke out responses by job function – including executive management, finance, BI, IT, operations, research and development, sales and marketing – and found that at least 70% of respondents expressed some difficulty finding relevant content in every function.
Dresner also highlighted the correlation between the ease of locating analytic content and successful BI. The report noted that “successful BI initiatives indicate half the difficulty is in finding, accessing and using analytic content.” This relationship suggests that implementing a data catalog can be a prerequisite for BI success. It also implies that firms serious about using BI to advance their business are more likely to be successful at cataloging their data.
Scaling up to the challenge
The volume of data is increasing and this growth has no end in sight; so, modern data-driven enterprises need scalable catalog solutions. Additionally, large and emerging enterprises typically support multiple subsidiaries, geographic locations and reporting lines. Many have grown through mergers and acquisitions and evolved heterogenous data architectures that are difficult to consolidate. While an average of 47% of survey respondents said that they experience difficulty locating/accessing analytic content, this figure was closer to 60% for large enterprises (more than 10,000 employees) and just over 40% for small organizations (fewer than 100 employees).
Managing the complexity of this data proliferation places an onus on having collaborative capabilities in place and overlaying them with accountability and controls to enhance data quality and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. This was corroborated by the Dresner survey, which found that large organizations reported not only the “highest importance in content governance features” but also placed the highest priority on “collaborative features.”
The rise of the data-driven enterprise
Ultimately, this year’s Dresner Data Catalog Study validates Collibra Catalog’s approach: a data catalog with embedded governance, enterprise grade capabilities and the ability to scale because data is now a fundamental resource to all modern enterprises. We empower IT and business users alike to leverage their data catalog and make their data meaningful.
If you are interested in learning more about Collibra Catalog, you can request a demo here.
Chandra Papudesu has more than 20 years of enterprise software experience delivering value to customers.