A Showdown Between Modern, Legacy, and an Open-Source Approach to Data Governance

  • October 28, 2022

Data Governance Tools Comparative Analysis

Data Governance is a key part of a modern data ecosystem and stack, and the market is shifting to modern approaches for data governance categories. There are many excellent solutions in the market, so choosing the right tools for your business can be overwhelming.

Our data experts have created a Data Governance Tools Analysis to help filter through the noise and find the perfect solution. While there are so many solutions, such as Castor and Monte Carlo, we started with three solutions, each unique in its approach. Atlan is a modern solution to modern-day data governance, Alation takes more of a legacy approach, and DataHub represents an open-source approach.

The comparative analysis of these three tools provides a great foundation to form a solid opinion on the type of tools and their advantages that are right for you and your organization.


”The humans of data are diverse: analysts, engineers, business, product, scientists. Each has their own tooling preferences, skillsets, and DNA. When these diverse people come together and collaborate, we know that amazing things will happen — everything from self-driving cars to a cure for cancer. Here’s to the decade of the humans of data!”

— Atlan

Atlan is based out of Singapore but has a 100% remote workforce. Started in 2018 by Prukalpa Sankar and Varun Banka, Atlan is a modern data collaboration workspace, like Github for engineering or Figma for design. It is a virtual hub for data assets ranging from tables and dashboards to models and code. Atlan deploys as a manager service in your virtual private cloud or as SaaS. Atlan enables teams to create a single source of truth for all their data assets and collaborate across the modern data stack through deep integrations with tools like Slack, BI tools, and data science tools. They currently enable teams at Plaid, Postman, and Unilever. Atlan provides out-of-the-box integration with Snowflake, Tableau, dbt, and many more. Additionally, they provide out-of-the-box capabilities, such as metadata management, data profiling, data discovery, data quality management, and data cataloging.

“We used data science to tackle problems facing humanity at the “data for good” enterprise, SocialCops. Over five years, we built internal tools to help our data team execute large-scale data projects — minus all the chaos.”

— Atlan


“At Alation, we are passionate about helping enterprises create thriving data cultures where anyone can find, understand, and trust data. Alation pioneered the modern data catalog and is now leading its evolution into a platform for data intelligence.”

— Alation

Founded in 2012 by Satyen Sangani and Aaron Kalb, Alation pioneered the modern data catalog during the Hadoop heyday and is one of the leaders in enterprise data intelligence solutions, including data search and discovery governance, data stewardship, analytics, and digital transformation. They combine machine learning with human insight to tackle demanding data and metadata management challenges.

More than 300 enterprises in 34 industries and 26 countries drive data culture, improve decision-making, and realize business outcomes with Alation. They are a key Snowflake partner for Data Governance solutions.


“DataHub’s Analytics gives the organization a birds-eye view of the volume of data assets across Domain, Platform, and Terms, as well as a snapshot of metadata coverage by entity type. This is very useful to monitor and measure the impact of initiatives to increase data ownership, documentation, and more.”

— DataHub

DataHub is an open-source metadata management platform for the modern data stack that enables data discovery, data observability, and federated governance. It was initially built at LinkedIn to meet the evolving metadata needs of their modern data stack. It is characterized by automated metadata ingestion, easy data discovery, and understanding of data with context.

DataHub follows a push-based architecture, which is built for continuously changing metadata. The modular design lets it scale with data growth at any organization, from a single database instance to multiple data centers spanning the globe. They have pre-built integrations with many popular ecosystem tools and options: Kafka, Airflow, MySQL, SQL Server, Postgres, LDAP, Snowflake, Hive, BigQuery, and many others. The community continuously adds more integrations, so this list continues to grow.

Passing the torch of information

As data experts, we constantly research companies and solutions to ensure the right tools are used for the right projects. We aim to share as much of that research with the community to ensure you can make those same informed decisions and easily filter through the noise. Connect with our team to schedule a 1:1 review of the Data Governance Tools Analysis.

Our data experts have spent countless hours of research and testing to evaluate three highly rated tools – from top to bottom – download our Data Governance Tools Comparative Analysis today.

Subscribe to our blog

Anthony Bulk

Anthony is a results-oriented technology director at NTT DATA Services focused on data, analytics and machine learning. He is a passionate problem-solver and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. Anthony is a former Microsoft Data Platform Most Valuable Professional (MVP). He has presented at world-recognized conferences such as Microsoft BUILD 2017, Power BI World Tour 2017-2019, and Azure Global Bootcamp, amongst others.

Related Blog Posts