April 26, 2023

Top 10 Alation Alternatives and Substitutes

Discover our top 10 Alation alternatives and substitutes! Compare features, pricing, and pros and cons to find the right data catalog for your business.

Alation is a well-known data catalog on the market, appealing to many Fortune 100 companies. But what if you're on the hunt for Alation alternatives? Well, you're in luck because there are plenty of other options out there! So, let's dive in and explore some of the top Alation substitutes.

Whether you're a small business looking for a cost-effective solution or a large enterprise in need of scalability and customization, we've got your back. In this post, we'll take a deep dive into Alation and its top 10 alternatives. We'll evaluate important factors such as pricing, features, and integrations to help you make an informed decision. And don't worry, we've kept our process as unbiased as possible by focusing solely on the available facts. 

Before we get into the alternatives, here’s what you need to know about Alation:

Alation Overview

Alation was founded in 2012 and launched its data catalog in 2015 to provide companies with a holistic view of their data assets. They feature robust collaboration tools and enhanced data discoverability to enable data users to organize and leverage their data.

Alation was built for data teams,  analysts, and governance teams. 

Key Features:

  • Data lineage and impact analysis
  • Automated data discovery with machine learning algorithms
  • Data governance workflows, data dictionaries, data quality metrics
  • Collaboration and knowledge-sharing features

Alation integrates with a variety of data warehouses, visualization tools, and other data systems. It is considered a conventional data catalog, with deep on-premise integrations. 

Alation pricing is not available online, but you can learn more on their website.

So, why might you be considering alternatives to Alation? Perhaps you are doing your due diligence and researching the data catalog landscape, or you’re looking for a modern and comprehensive solution that allows for company-wide adoption, such as CastorDocDoc. Whatever your reasons, we are glad you are here! Now let’s dive into Alation’s alternatives. (... and for even further reading, you can view all our product comparisons here).

1. CastorDoc Overview

CastorDoc was established in 2020 by former data scientists, engineers, and heads of data with the mission of improving the data experience. It unifies the modern data stack with an easy and accessible plug-and-play approach. It simplifies data discovery, community, and health, making it easier for businesses to navigate their data.

One of the unique aspects of CastorDoc is its approach to full company adoption, which includes both business teams and data people. It's a great solution for companies that want to analyze their data without having to request reports from the data engineering team. CastorDoc provides a sleek and easy-to-understand user interface, allowing for a seamless data experience. 

Key Features:

Companies may choose CastorDoc over Alation if they are seeking a modern data catalog with a focus on ease of use and adoption. CastoDocr improves efficiency and productivity by leveraging the usage of features such as search by popularity and personalization. CastorDoc’s advanced automation features also mean fewer manual tasks needed to maintain it. 

Companies may also choose CastorDoc due to an available Free Trial, and higher scores than Alation in the following G2 categories for Machine Learning Data Catalog: Meets Requirements (9.5 vs 7.9), Ease of Use (9.9 vs 8.3), Ease of Setup (9.6 vs 7.7), Ease of Admin (9.4 vs 8.3), Quality of Support (9.8 vs 8.3), Partnership (9.9 vs 8.3), and Product Direction (10.0 vs 8.3).  

CastorDoc offers a 14-day free trial as well as three pricing plans - Starter (starting at $10,000), Premium (custom pricing), and Enterprise (custom pricing). As a third-generation data catalog, CastorDoc will be more affordable than Alation, and setup is quick, which avoids long and costly implementation delays.

Visit CastorDoc’s website for more information, or book a demo here

2. Select Star Overview

Select Star was introduced in 2020 as a single source of truth for companies to capture, find, and organize their data. Its selling points include its emphasis on column-level lineage, user-friendly interface, and quality of support. Select Star appeals most to data teams.  

Key Features:

  • Column-level lineage
  • Find, tag, and add documentation to all of your data
  • Auto-populated documentation
  • Entity Relationship (ER) diagram
  • AICPA SOC 2 Security, Confidentiality, and Availability standards

Select Star offers a variety of integrations, which can be viewed here

Companies may choose Select Star over Alation if they are looking for a more modern solution specifically designed for data teams, or based on Select Star’s higher Quality of Support rating.

Select Star offers a free 14-day trial and four different tiers of plans - Light (free), Pro ($270/month), Growth ($810/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing). As a third-generation data catalog, Select Star will also be more affordable and quick to implement vs Alation.

To learn more about Select Star, visit their website.

3. Atlan Overview

Atlan was created in 2018 by data people, specifically to address the pain points that data teams face. It does offer tools for business users, but its primary emphasis is on data teams.  

It offers several warehouse, transformation, and business intelligence integrations

Key Features:

  • Column-level lineage
  • Codeless metadata builder
  • Data discovery with natural language search
  • Customized automation

Atlan rates well on G2.com, with an overall score of 4.5/5. This includes higher-than-average scores across all categories, including Ease of Setup, Ease of Use, Quality of Support, and Meets Requirements. They offer 24/7 support, with several tiers of escalation, which is reviewed positively by users. 

Companies may choose Atlan over Alation if they are seeking a more modern solution with innovative features, if their primary focus is on data team use, or if they are interested in Atlan’s lower cost compared to Alation.

Atlan pricing is not listed online, but you can learn more here.

4. Secoda Overview

Secoda was established in 2021 to enable organizations to efficiently manage their data assets from a centralized location. Leveraging the power of machine learning algorithms, Secoda automates the indexing and categorization of data assets, streamlining the process of search and retrieval of relevant data.

It is designed to be used by both technical and non-technical users. It enables communication between teams and promotes data democratization.

Key Features:

  • Individual user access permissions
  • Automatically indexing
  • Automate lineage and assess the impact of changes
  • Data catalog, lineage, and documentation features
  • Simplify the data request flow

Secoda offers three pricing plans - a free plan, a Business plan ($800/month), and an Enterprise plan (custom pricing). 

Companies may choose Secoda over Alation if they are interested in a third-generation data catalog built for the modern data stack, and a more user friendly experience.

You can learn more about Secoda here, and view a comprehensive list of their integrations here.

5. Metaphor Overview

Metaphor was established in 2020 and introduced its Metadata Platform in 2022. It was created by the same people who developed DataHub at LinkedIn. It is called the “Social Platform for Data” due to its use of wikis and social hashtags.

Metaphor’s main focus is on data teams. However, it also strives to appeal to non-technical folks such as product teams and business analysts.

Key Features:

  • Social hashtags capture various use cases and capture tribal knowledge
  • Business-friendly wiki helps everyone access documentation
  • Slack and Teams integration
  • Automated column-level lineage
  • Tools for technical users to easily govern data

Metaphor’s pricing is not listed online. Companies may prefer Metaphor over Alation if they are interested in a more modern solution with social and collaboration features. Metaphor offers a full suite of warehouse and business intelligence integrations

You can learn more about Metaphor here

6. Informatica Overview

Informatica is an enterprise data catalog featuring detailed lineage and metadata management across tens of millions of data sets. It features an AI-powered discovery engine that allows users to quickly scan and organize data both in the cloud and on-premise. They appeal to both business users and data teams with semantic searches and collaboration features. 

It is integrated into the Informatica Intelligent Cloud Service (IICS), which streamlines and accelerates the migration of data to AZURE. 

Key Features:

  • Integration with IICS
  • Associate business terms to technical assets
  • Tableau extension
  • End-to-end data lineage
  • AI-driven collaboration

Informatica is rated and reviewed well on G2.com. Users feel that Informatica’s data catalog is the ideal fit for companies that are already using Informatica’s ecosystem. Pricing is not listed online.

Companies may prefer Informatica over Alation if they’re already using IICS.

For more information on Informatica, visit www.informatica.com.

7. Amundsen Overview

Amundsen was created by Lyft as an open-source data catalog platform, with the goal of providing companies with a centralized location to capture, understand, and collaborate on their data.

Amundsen primarily caters to data people, such as Data Scientists, Data Engineers, and Data Analysts. It connects with a variety of data warehouses and other tools - you can view a complete list of their integrations here

Key Features:

  • Open-source
  • Automated and curated metadata
  • Table/column descriptions and data stats
  • PageRank-inspired search algorithm
  • Collaboration features such as data annotations and comments

Companies may choose Amundsen over Alation if they are interested in an open-source data catalog and have the engineering resources to build and maintain the product in-house, as opposed to a managed SaaS catalog. 

You can learn more about Amundsen here.

8. Collibra Overview

Collibra was released in 2008 as the Data Intelligence Company. They offer a data catalog that helps companies find and take advantage of their data as well as democratize their data.

Collibra is designed for both data people as well as business teams. In fact, they reference that their solution allows users to find data 57% faster while spending less time on data issues. 

Key Features:

  • Column-level lineage
  • Native business and technical lineage
  • Connect business, privacy, and technical metadata with ease
  • Data Marketplace
  • Embedded data governance and privacy
  • ML-powered classification and automated workflows

A complete list of Collibra’s integrations can be found here. They have a Professional Services team on hand to assist companies with custom integrations. Pricing is not listed on their website. Collibra has positive reviews on G2.com, though several of the categories come in slightly lower than the industry average. 

Companies may choose Collibra over Alation if their primary goal is data governance. 

You can learn more about Collibra here.

9. Segment Overview

Segment is a Customer Data Platform that was acquired by Twilio in 2020. By dismantling data silos and establishing a unified customer profile that can be accessed by all teams within a company, Segment enables companies to gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers. This, coupled with Twilio's customized communication capabilities, empowers companies to gather and analyze data while also communicating with their customers from a single source.

Key Features:

  • Complete data toolkit for all teams
  • Consolidates all customer touchpoints
  • Data collection from web and mobile apps
  • Data pipeline functionality

Segment offers three pricing plans - a free plan, a Team plan ($120/month), and a Business Plan (custom pricing). 

Companies may choose Segment over Alation if they are interested in Twilio’s comprehensive suite of customer and data solutions or already use other Twilio systems.

You can learn more about Segment here

10. Stemma Overview

Stemma was released in 2020 as a managed version of the Amundsen data catalog project created at Lyft. It provides users with tools to collect and manage their data in a self-service environment. 

Stemma connects with your favorite data tools - you can view a full list here.

Key Features:

  • Table and column-level lineage
  • Deep insights into data use
  • Seamless integration into existing workflows
  • Automated documentation
  • Automated data stewardship

Companies may choose Stemma over Alation if they’re already familiar with or using Amundsen, and want to update to a managed version. They may also prefer Stemma’s lower price point and innovative features.

Pricing for Stemma is not available online, but you can learn more on their website.


The Best Data Catalog For Your Business

This article has looked at the top 10 alternatives to Alation. View G2’s list for more information on Alation competitors and alternatives. While there are plenty of great options out there, CastorDoc is the proven market leader for ease of use and mass business adoption. 

Get a 14-day free trial today and enhance your data experience with CastorDoc.


Get in Touch to Learn More

See Why Users Love CastorDoc
Fantastic tool for data discovery and documentation

“[I like] The easy to use interface and the speed of finding the relevant assets that you're looking for in your database. I also really enjoy the score given to each table, [which] lets you prioritize the results of your queries by how often certain data is used.” - Michal P., Head of Data


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