Comparison Guide

Alation vs. Secoda:
What are the differences?

Your evaluation guide to navigating
the top data catalogs

Evaluation Criteria

Managing data in modern stacks can be complex for data teams, as they deal with diverse sources that pose challenges in maintaining accurate records. However, there is a solution in the form of a modern data catalog equipped with embedded AI capabilities.
Secoda is the only data enablement platform to have a version controlled, publishing system as well as AI powered semantic search to truly make data discovery as easy as using Google search.

Secoda is an automated and centralized repository for your data knowledge. As the only AI powered data catalog, discovery, lineage, documentation, and governance platform, data teams are able to work more efficiently and power self-serve analytics across their organizations.

We’ll compare Secoda to Alation's legacy data catalog against six key criteria that modern data teams should be considering during their data catalog evaluation process:

  1. Automation
  2. Ease of Use
  3. Data Governance & Security
  4. System Maintenance and Innovation
  5. Customizability
  6. Price

1. Automation

Unlike Alation, Secoda offers an integrated AI assistant that automates documentation tasks and query generation. Moreover, it goes beyond by providing contextual search results based on natural language queries. With Secoda, users can engage with a ChatGPT-like interface, enabling anyone, regardless of technical ability, to find answers to their data-related questions without having to rely on the data team for assistance. Secoda provides an LLM on top of your metadata that users can access via the app or directly through Slack.

When it comes to a data catalog, maximizing efficiency in data discovery and documentation is crucial. With Secoda, you can streamline this process by utilizing its integrated AI assistant. Secoda seamlessly extracts metadata from all your data sources, allowing you to automate up to 90% of documentation tasks. This includes generating SQL, table and column descriptions, user guides, and other related documentation.

In addition to its documentation capabilities, Secoda takes it a step further by providing automatic visualization of data lineage across all data sources in your stack. You can effortlessly enhance the lineage by adding manual nodes through a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. Secoda's comprehensive lineage feature covers both column and table levels, ensuring a holistic view. Moreover, it even sends Slack notifications for any changes in downstream ownership, keeping you informed and up-to-date.

1. Automation
Secoda
Modern
Alation
Legacy
Automatically ingest metadata
Yes
No
Automatically ingest table and column level lineage
Yes
No
Dedicated data request management workflow
Yes
No
Ability to automatically generate documentation from metadata
Yes
No
Ability to run live queries in documents
Yes
No
Automated impact analysis
Yes
No

2. Ease of Use

Secoda serves as a user-friendly entry point for anyone, regardless of technical expertise, to search for data knowledge. With the simplicity of ChatGPT, team members can easily ask questions and receive relevant, contextual answers.

In order to deliver value, data catalogs should serve the needs of both technical and non-technical users. Secoda successfully accomplishes this by providing a robust and intuitive search function, leveraging the power of LLMs. This advanced search capability takes into account the context of search terms, significantly improving the accuracy and speed of retrieving information from the catalog.

Secoda is purposefully designed to empower all members of the organization, extending data access beyond just data practitioners. It provides personalized user journeys and tailored views that cater to specific roles within the organization, whether it's data analysts or heads of sales. This ensures that individuals in various positions can effortlessly access the data they need to make informed decisions and drive their respective areas of expertise.

To deliver an enjoyable user experience, Secoda offers support for multiple collaborators working simultaneously, similar to collaborative tools like Google Docs or Miro Boards. This enables seamless teamwork and enhances productivity. Additionally, Secoda facilitates the organization of documents by providing nested folder structures, allowing users to establish hierarchies and relationships among their documents easily. This promotes efficient data management and accessibility within the platform.

Getting started with Secoda is a fast and straightforward process. Once you create an account, data teams can go live within minutes. Whether you decide to implement it independently or with the guidance of our customer success team, you can expect to be up and running by the end of the day. Secoda ensures a smooth onboarding experience, allowing you to start leveraging its benefits without delay.

2. Ease of Use
Secoda
Modern
Alation
Legacy
LLM powered search functionality
Yes
No
Semantic search
Yes
No
Search by customizable tags
Yes
No
Dedicated business user portal
Yes
No
Slack integration
Yes
No
Multiplayer editing
Yes
No
Dedicated data dictionary component
Yes
No
Modern UI
Yes
No
Ability to create nested documents and establish folder hierarchy
Yes
No
Ability to implement immediately
Yes
No
Access to live support and training
Yes
No
Advanced editing and markdown support
Yes
No

3. Data Governance & Security

In order to address the requirements of enterprise data governance, data catalogs must provide robust support for various workflows, including version control, version history, publishing, role-based permissions, assignments, and access controls. Secoda fulfills these needs by offering tailored experiences for non-data team users based on their specific organizational roles. For example, the head of marketing will have access to different reports compared to the director of analytics. This level of customization ensures that users have the appropriate level of access and permissions, promoting effective data governance within the organization.

Secoda maintains compliance with SOC 2 Type 1 and 2, adhering to the stringent standards established by the AICPA. It offers hosting flexibility, allowing you to securely host Secoda within your own VPN and VPC in a self-hosted environment. The deployment process is convenient and efficient, offering options such as Terraform or Docker. This ensures that your deployment is secure and tailored to your specific requirements.

Secoda offers seamless integration with various authentication services, including Google and Microsoft SSO, Okta, MFA, and SAML, enabling users to sign in using their existing credentials.

In order to ensure secure data transfers from private databases to Secoda, a secure process is implemented using SSH tunneling. This establishes a protected connection for transferring data. Secoda also provides users with granular control over their datasets, allowing them to selectively remove or exclude sensitive data during synchronization. Additionally, users have the option to automatically label sensitive data within Secoda, further enhancing data privacy and security.

Secoda fully encrypts data both during transit and at rest. This stringent encryption process guarantees continuous protection of the data. Importantly, Secoda upholds data security by strictly adhering to a principle of non-access and non-viewing of the data being transferred. This further reinforces the commitment to maintaining the integrity and privacy of your data throughout the platform.

3. Data Governance & Security
Secoda
Modern
Alation
Legacy
Ability to assign unique roles and access permissions per role
Yes
No
Ability to automatically identify and tag PII data
Yes
No
Ability to require documents to be approved before publishing
Yes
No
Version history
Yes
No
Version control with Git
Yes
No
SOC 2 Compliance
Yes
Yes
SSH Tunnelling
Yes
Yes
Included SAML, SSO, and MFA
Yes
Yes
Self-hosted Deployment
Yes
Yes
Private Cloud Deployment
Yes
Yes

4. System Maintenance & Innovation

Secoda stands out as the pioneering AI-powered catalog with integrated search capabilities. Secoda AI is fully operational, encompassing search, lineage, and documentation features. Unlike being in beta, Secoda AI is already being utilized by our customers to automate 90% of their documentation efforts.

Secoda is built on modern infrastructure, enabling smooth integration with both modern and legacy data stacks. It regularly introduces new features on a weekly basis and offers on-demand training for users who require assistance. Secoda places great importance on customer feedback and maintains an open feedback structure, actively listening to and addressing the needs and requests of its customers.

4. System Maintenance & Innovation
Secoda
Modern
Alation
Legacy
Weekly feature releases
Yes
No
High feature development velocity
Yes
No
Public roadmap
Yes
No
Ability to implement immediately
Yes
No
Open product feedback cycle
Yes
No

5. Customizability

The ability to customize is crucial for the successful adoption of a data catalog and other data products. If a data catalog does not align with existing workflows, it is likely to be rejected. Seamless integration with workflows, without causing disruptions, is essential for the success of a data catalog.

Secoda excels in customization capabilities by offering features such as granular user permissions and API integration for creating custom integrations. With Secoda, data teams have the flexibility to personalize alerts, keeping stakeholders informed about changes that impact downstream assets. Additionally, Secoda provides the advantage of utilizing Terraform for enhanced customization.

5. Customizability
Secoda
Modern
Alation
Legacy
Out of the box integrations with modern cloud warehouses
Yes
No
Out of the box integrations with modern data stack tooling
Yes
No
API access to create custom integrations
Yes
No
API access to build data discovery process into existing workflows
Yes
No
Customizable broadcasts from changes to documents
Yes
No

6. Price

Customers who have migrated from Alation have saved anywhere between 50-500K on their annual contracts.

Data catalogs need to be customizable to meet the specific needs of organizations. Additionally, their pricing should be flexible and scalable to accommodate different requirements. It is crucial for a data catalog to offer a pricing structure that eliminates concerns about the number of assets, viewers, or integrations, providing scalability as needed. This scalability sets apart comprehensive solutions from point-solution data catalogs, offering organizations greater value and adaptability.

Secoda offers transparent pricing options with four distinct tiers: Free, Growth, Business, and Enterprise. We are delighted to support you in setting up a trial, allowing you to experience firsthand the seamless integration of Secoda into your workflow and the enhancement it brings to your data management processes.

6. Price
Secoda
Modern
Alation
Legacy
All-in-one pricing
Yes
No
Public, transparent pricing
Yes
No
Under $1000/month for base plan
Yes
No
Implementation fees
No
Yes
Unlimited viewer roles
Yes
No
Unlimited data assets
Yes
No

A whole new level of data discovery

Secoda makes data discovery a breeze with simple integrations, search and documentation that makes sharing your data knowledge a piece of cake.

Why People Choose Secoda versus Alation?

Secoda offers numerous features that you can’t find on Alation's platform. Here are some of the benefits you can expect to find with Secoda that you won’t see on competitor tools like Alation:

Dashboarding + querying abilities

One of the best features a data tool can have is the ability to chart and query your data. With Secoda, it’s easy to access and use our advanced charting and querying features. Any member of the team can easily search and understand data, chart it, ask the questions they need, and even document queries.

Unlimited viewers + guests

Secoda has straightforward pricing and doesn’t charge you more for viewers. Unlike Alation, Secoda gives you unlimited viewers and guests from the start, so you can share and collaborate with the users you need to collaborate with.

Simple, no code set up

Secoda can be used right out of the box. No complicated setup and no coding knowledge are required. Secoda is designed to be as intuitive as possible, so you can get set up in minutes.

Custom links and invitations

Secoda makes it easy to share data, charts, and analytics with customers. Simply share with a link or invitation and get the information to those who need it.

Workspace analytics

Secoda provides in-depth analytics for your data, allowing your team to learn more about your company data and understand it on a deeper level.

Version control with Git

Secoda integrates with Git and provides version control, so you can easily merge or roll back changes in Github and Gitlab.

Data Q&A and Requests

Secoda makes it easy to Q&A your data and make requests. This means your data team requires less bandwidth to answer data requests for the rest of the team and they can also access the data they need more easily. Other users will have more data literacy and be able to easily request the answers they need.

API access

Secoda provides you access to our API. Our Business and Enterprise plans let you see our docs, collections, lineage, dictionary, catalog, and questions.

Cloud-hosted

Secoda allows you to host in a self-hosted environment or a cloud-hosted environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using Secoda?

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Secoda provides numerous benefits for your business. Here are some of the primary benefits you’ll get from signing up:Secoda stands for “searchable company data,” and that’s where our benefits start. Anyone on your team can easily search and find the data they need. Our tool helps reduce data requests, increase data literacy, and empower data-driven decisions.

Our holistic platform is collaborative and searchable for all the data knowledge you need, not just technical metadata.

Secoda easily integrates with the important tools that you’re already using.

Secoda is easy to set up and use. We don’t charge for extra viewers and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting at our price point.In short, if you’re looking for a way to manage your data catalog, lineage, docs, dictionary, analysis, and data requests in one platform, Secoda is your solution.

How is Secoda different from Alation?

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Amundsen is a data tool that some companies may consider as an alternative to Secoda, but you would be losing out on quite a few features. Some of the biggest benefits that set Secoda apart are our charting abilities, querying abilities, simple setup, and cloud hosting options. Here are some more ways that Secoda is different from Alation:

Unlimited viewers + guests - No limits on viewers, scale Secoda with your team
Customer links and invitations - Easily share data with customers
Workspace analytics - Get in-depth analytics about your data
Version control with Git - Rollback and merge changes with Git version control
Data Q&A and Requests - Easily Q&A data and allows anyone to make data requests
Flexible, Notion-like docs - Make collaboration and documentation easy with Notion-like docs.
Confluence / Jira integrations - Secoda allows Confluence and Jira integrations, along with an array of other tools
API access - Get access to the Secoda API

What makes Secoda a better alternative to Alation?

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Secoda is a better alternative to Amundsen in various ways, with some of the key advantages being Secoda’s intuitive and searchable data platform, our straightforward pricing and easy set-up, and our collaborative features. When comparing the two tools, Secoda is more full-featured, robust, scalable, and easy to use.

What metadata does Secoda extract?

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Secoda does not pull in your data. Instead, Secoda pulls in metadata about your data. For a majority of the integrations connected to Secoda, this means Secoda pulls in resource names, popularity, lineage, queries, descriptions and frequent usage. For more information about our integration, you can visit our integration docs.