The editors at Solutions Review highlight what’s changed since the last iteration of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions and provide analysis of the new report.
Analyst house Gartner, Inc. recently released the 2020 version of its Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions. Gartner defines the software category as “a core aspect of an organization’s ability to manage its data and information assets. The term “metadata” describes the various facets of an information asset that can improve its usability throughout its life cycle.” Metadata simply summarizes data, which has the ability to make finding and working with relevant information easier. Metadata can be created manually by a user, or automated by a data processing tool. Metadata describes how and when and by whom a particular data set was created and what native format it resides.
Most notably used as a reference for business-centric projects, metadata is instrumental for describing, inventorying, and understanding data for multiple use cases. The most common include data governance, risk and compliance, and data analytics. Selecting the best metadata management product can be a difficult task due to the high degree of specialization among vendors in this space. Gartner adds: “The market for metadata management solutions is complex because these solutions are not all identical in scope or capability.”
The solution providers included in this Magic Quadrant offer one or more of the many traditional metadata management capabilities like metadata repositories, a business glossary, data lineage, impact analysis, rules management, semantic frameworks, or metadata ingestion and or translation. Vendors also had to demonstrate to Gartner the ability to identify, document, and maintain relationships between ingested and translated metadata to be included.
In this Magic Quadrant, Gartner evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of 17 providers that it considers most significant in the marketplace and provides readers with a graph (the Magic Quadrant) plotting the vendors based on their ability to execute and their completeness of vision. The graph is divided into four quadrants: niche players, challengers, visionaries, and leaders. At Solutions Review, we read the report, available here, and pulled out the key takeaways.
Gartner adjusts its evaluation and inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants as software markets evolve. Solidatus has been added to the report while Global IDs was dropped.
Informatica retains its spot at the top of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for another year, distancing itself from the next closest competitor. Informatica appears more than any other metadata management vendor in competitive situations seen by Gartner. IBM made a notable move up Gartner’s vertical axis, making it next in line to challenge Informatica’s dominance in this data management space. IBM is also seen in a high percentage of competitive situations by Gartner and represents an established metadata management standard for the largest of organizations.
Collibra remains a strong player in the Leaders column and touts a product development roadmap that aligns well with current market conditions. Customers use Collibra in an array of delivery options, and the product has a growing user community. erwin made notable gains on Gartner’s Ability to Execute axis and now retains solid footing among the major metadata management players. erwin Data Intelligence Suite is a complete offering with strong data governance capabilities, according to reference users.
Alex Solutions has grown its list of channel partners by roughly 150 percent since 2019, and customers often select its metadata management platform for ease of deployment and use. Alex Solutions also supports a broad range of use cases. Alation is also maintaining its leader status, buoyed by an explosion in interest for its data cataloging platform. Alation has continued to extend its machine learning-based features at a rapid rate as well.
Oracle, SAP, Smartlogic, and ASG form a bloc in the lower left-third of the Leaders column and round out the major players. Oracle is best-fit for complex deployments, features connectors for metadata ingestion, and uses metadata management as a basis for core capabilities like business continuity and data movement, transformation, and governance. SAP utilizes metadata integration for multiple DBMS platforms and enables users to monitor, report, audit, and forward engineer. SAP has also initiated a new focus on metadata-driven solutions throughout its product line.
Gartner reference customers report using Smartlogic for a wide range of metadata management use cases like revenue leakage prevention, data quality and governance, and compliance. Smartlogic’s architecture is scalable, and the vendor secured more above-average scores from users than any other provider in the field. ASG Data Intelligence features what Gartner calls an “intuitive interface” with a broad range of functionality. The product is based on business use cases and offers support for 260 data sources and data lineage.
data.world made the leap from 2019 Niche Player and now touts the top position in Gartner’s Challengers bracket. data.world reference customers highlight ease of use and collaboration features as notable capabilities. Customers also enjoy scalable metadata management and the fact that the platform is cloud-based. Data Advantage Group remains similarly positioned as a 2020 challenger with an evolving product that meets the demand for a wide user audience and a variety of use cases. 40 percent of its customers indicated that pricing was a major factor in their selecting the solution.
The Challengers column is rounded out by two 2019 Leaders in Adaptive and Infogix. Adaptive earns excellent scores in user experience for its semantic knowledge graphs. Adaptive also offers a rich set of business glossaries out-of-the-box, and an impressive partner ecosystem for vertical and specific use cases. Infogix offers a product that is heavily influenced by data governance and features support for all major metadata management use cases. Infogix reference customers rate ease of use and implementation flexibility as excellent as well.
Semantic Web Company and Syniti retain Visionaries status in this report. Semantic Web’s PoolParty platform analyzes the context in which data is used regardless of structure and including derived data from analytics. The product also combines first and second-generation machine learning to ingest metadata, and customers report great support for existing metadata and semantic standards. Syniti offers a combination of software and services aimed at incremental, data-experience-based delivery. Syniti customers indicate that the provider is adept at making platform improvements based on customer input as well.
New entrant Solidatus is the only Niche Player in this Magic Quadrant for 2020. Solidatus operates mostly in EMEA and its clients are primarily in the financial services. As such, regulatory compliance is a major strength of the product. A “lineage first” approach is a major differentiator, according to the analyst firm. Gartner reference customers cite ease of use and product flexibility as value-adds, as well as professional support options.
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