What Are the Differences Between Alation and Secoda’s Data Catalog?

Explore a detailed comparison between Alation and Secoda’s data catalogs. Learn about features, usability, pricing, integrations, and more here.
Last updated
May 2, 2024

Data catalogs are incredibly useful solutions for a wide variety of industries. Companies of all sizes can use them to get a more comprehensive overview of their data assets and make their data more accessible and usable. However, it can be tough to narrow down the best data catalog option with the myriad of options available on the market. In today’s blog, we’ll be comparing two popular data catalog options – Alation and our platform, Secoda. We’ll compare them in several key areas to help you make the best decision for your business.

An Overview

At their core, you expect your data catalog to act as a central repository for your data that helps keep your data assets organized. With a centralized data catalog, your data can be more accurate and consistent while also making it easier for your team members to access. However, this is simply the bare minimum of a data catalog. Modern data catalogs offer various other features to make them even more useful for the modern business. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the features you should be looking for when selecting a data catalog.

What To Look for in a Data Catalog

When choosing a data catalog for your business, there are several key factors to consider. Some top factors to consider include:

  • Ease of use
  • Data governance and compliance features
  • Automation and AI capabilities
  • Customization options
  • Built-in integrations
  • Scalable pricing 
  • Comprehensive customer support

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about which data catalog is the best fit for your business. Remember to evaluate each solution based on your specific requirements to ensure you choose a data catalog that meets your organization's needs and helps drive better data-driven decision-making. Now that we know what features to look for in a data catalog let’s take a deeper dive into each of these categories.

Alation vs. Secoda

Both Alattion and Secoda are popular data catalog solutions, but they have distinct features and capabilities that set them apart. In this section, we'll explore the similarities and differences between Alation and Secoda, helping you make an informed decision about which one is the best fit for your business. So, let's compare Alation and Secoda!<p>


First, both Alation and Secoda are rich in features. Alation includes features like automatic data indexing, machine learning for collaboration and data discovery, and other features that improve data utilization. 

Secoda is also rich with features for data discovery and utilization. For one, Secoda is an all-in-one data management solution that includes features for data cataloging, data lineage, data analysis, and much more. Secoda’s unique features include dashboarding and querying abilities for team members to seamlessly share and collaborate on data findings. Secoda also features no-code setup, making it incredibly simple to use for non-technical users. Custom links and invitations also make Secoda a great platform for sharing analytics with customers and other stakeholders. Secoda also includes version control integration with Git.

Both Alation and Secoda have their own unique set of features that cater to different business requirements. Depending on your specific needs, one of these data catalog solutions may be a better fit for your organization.

User Interface

While both platforms have fairly intuitive user interfaces, it’s still worth comparing the difference between the two. Both platforms are built with data democratization in mind, making it easier for all users in an organization to utilize and access data. Both also feature search functionality to make it easier to discover data insights and navigate the data assets you have stored on the platform.

With that being said, Secoda’s search functionality is more in-depth, with features like semantic search and LLM-powered search functionality. Secoda’s modern UI doesn’t bog users down with complexities, though advanced users can certainly do a deep dive to derive even more insights from the platform. Secoda’s user interface prioritizes ease of use, so both technical and non-technical users can make the most of the platform. Secoda’s folder structure also makes it easy for users to organize documents and establish relationships among them.

In short, both user interfaces help users access data and get more out of your organization’s data. However, Secoda has some additional features that make it more intuitive for non-technical users than your average data catalog platform.

Data Governance and Compliance

Data governance and compliance are critical considerations when choosing a data catalog for your business. 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. 

Both Alation and Secoda offer security and compliance features such as SOC 2 compliance, SSH tunneling, along with included SAML, SSO, and MFA. Both also offer self-hosted or cloud deployment. However, Secoda sets itself apart with additional compliance and governance features, such as version history and control and access permissions. These features allow you to fine-tune and enforce your governance policies, making it easier to maintain compliance and avoid costly fees or errors.

Automation & AI

Modern data catalogs need to do more than just provide a centralized repository for data – they should also help you automate processes and offer AI capabilities. Secoda is a data catalog that fully embraces automation and AI features, while Alation doesn’t have quite as robust offerings in this category.

Some features that sets Secoda apart is an integrated AI assistant for automating mundane tasks and providing contextual search results for data discovery. Secoda makes data discovery simple for even non-technical users thanks to Chat GPT-powered search functionality.

Secoda also automates documentation tasks such as generating SQL, table and column descriptions, and more. Secoda can also automate data lineage visualization, making it easier to track data lineage and see the flow of data. While Alation does offer automation features for tasks, Secoda’s robust and varied offerings help make it one of the best AI-powered data catalog options on the market today.


Organizations need data catalog options that offer comprehensive customization options. If your data catalog can’t easily integrate with your current workflows, it can lead to disruptions to work and a lower rate of adoption.

While Alation offers some customization features, Secoda excels in customization thanks to features like granular user permissions.. Team members can personalize and customize numerous different functions of the Secoda platform. The level of customization Secoda offers makes it easy to seamlessly integrate it into your organization, while Alation may have more of a learning curve for your users. 

Extensive customization options will empower organizations and their users to make the most of their data catalog platform and get the most value from it. With Secoda, you can create a data catalog that aligns perfectly with your business processes and workflows, ultimately driving better data-driven decision-making.<p>


Of course, part of having customizability is offering easy integrations with other tools and platforms. Unlike Alation, Secoda offers out-of-the-box integrations with modern cloud warehouses and data stack tooling. Secoda also provides organizations with API access so they can make custom integrations that work well with their current tools and workflows.


Pricing is a major consideration when choosing your data catalog solution. While Alation is a popular data catalog, customers saved an average of $50k to $500k on annual contracts when switching to Secoda.

Alation’s pricing is dependent on your needs, but Secoda breaks down pricing with distinct, easy-to-understand tiers. Secoda also starts with a free tier, so you can upgrade your tier as necessary when your business scales up and needs its data catalog to fit its new data needs. Secoda also offers a trial period to ensure that Secoda works the way you need it to.

Customer Support

As you might expect from major data catalog solutions, both Alation and Secoda offer comprehensive customer support. Alation and Secoda will help walk you through the integration process, and the customer support teams are available to you after integration to help with any questions you may have.

How To Choose the Right Tool for You

Choosing the right data catalog tool for your business isn’t always an easy process, but it’s essential to find the best option. When choosing your data catalog, remember to consider the following:

  • Features - Make sure to review all of the features your data catalog tool offers. You want something that is feature-rich and helps you truly unlock the potential of your company’s data.
  • Budget - Always remember to keep your budget in mind. Try to find a solution that fits your budget and is scalable so you can upgrade as needed.
  • Your team - Remember that your team will be using your data catalog, so make sure to consult them on their thoughts. Let them try out the tools for themselves and weigh in.
  • Scalability and future-proofing - Make sure your data catalog is made to perform well in the future. Future-proof features like automation and AI will help you narrow down your options to the ones that work best for you and the future of your business.

Try Secoda for Free

Interested in finding out if Secoda is the right data catalog platform for you? Try Secoda for free to find out! Book your demo and get set up today to get started.

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