Alation Replacement for Large Enterprises: Why Atlan Scales Better for Growing Data Needs

Updated April 17th, 2024

Share this article

The best option for Alation replacement

Alation is a data catalog that helps organizations manage, understand, and find data across their systems. It promotes data discovery and governance by enabling users to collaborate and leverage collective intelligence.

However, with rapidly evolving data demands and complex business environments, its adaptability has been called into question. As a result, forward-thinking organizations are seeking more agile and modern solutions that can keep pace with contemporary data challenges.

Modern data teams across industries have found that Atlan is the best Alation replacement. In this article, we’ll explore what makes Atlan the ultimate choice for users upgrading from traditional data catalogs.

“Atlan could save us $300k a year in just people time” — Nasdaq

Looking for a data catalog with an ROI you can present to your CDO? Atlan is designed for adoption and embedded with automation. It helps you save time, cut cloud costs, and make faster, better decisions that lead to revenue.

Get Atlan Pricing →

Table of contents

  1. The best option for Alation replacement
  2. Why customers move from Alation to Atlan
  3. What customers say about switching to Atlan
  4. How Alation replacement works
  5. Alation replacement: Related reads

Why customers move from Alation to Atlan

We’re observing an increasing trend of customers transitioning from traditional data catalog solutions such as Alation to more evolved solutions like Atlan. To understand this shift, we conducted a survey with these customers. Here are the three key reasons they highlighted.

Why traditional data catalog/governance tools fail

Why traditional data catalog/governance tools fail - Image by Atlan.

What makes Atlan a natural choice for users wishing to replace traditional data catalog tools Alation? It comes down to a few factors:

  • Adoption by data and business teams
  • Automation for faster time-to-value
  • Atlan’s partnership approach
  • Lineage for a single pane of glass
  • Configurable and flexible for diverse teams and stacks
  • An extensible platform approach to leading the category

Adoption by data and business teams

It’s not often that a data catalog tool is a hit among both technical and business users.

Technical users appreciate the product’s out-of-the-box administrative options and extensibility. Meanwhile, business users often note how easy it is to find context as part of their daily workflows and praise about tool’s intuitive and personalized UX

By picking Atlan, you join a growing, knowledgeable community of data and analytics professionals.

Automation for faster time-to-value

Atlan adopts an automation-first approach to data governance, ensuring the rapid development of a comprehensive and useful catalog. It offers DIY no-code integrations for seamless metadata ingestion, resulting in significant savings in engineering time during tool setup. By leveraging a blend of Atlan AI and rule-based playbooks, the process of metadata enrichment becomes as automated as possible.

Atlan’s partnership approach

Atlan champions a ‘partner not vendor’ approach, deeply engaging with users beyond typical support. Unlike others assigning just a success manager, Atlan collaborates on strategy, rapid use case adoption, and scaling innovative practices. This comprehensive support framework is parallel to none.

G2 badges won by Atlan, a testament of the Partner, not Vendor approach

G2 badges won by Atlan, a testament of the Partner, not Vendor approach - Image by Atlan.

Lineage for a single pane of glass

Once Atlan is set up, one of its most popular features becomes accessible: intuitive, user-friendly, column-level lineage. Atlan’s end-to-end, automated lineage tracking provides both technical and non-technical users with a detailed, usable view of an organization’s data dependencies. This unlocks numerous benefits, including faster resolution of data issues, increased end-user trust in data through impact analysis, and a cleaner data estate.

Configurable and flexible for diverse teams and stacks

Every organization’s team structure and data estate are unique. Atlan supports diverse users, use cases, and tools through a customizable and personalized approach.

Atlan empowers personalization through ‘Personas’ and ‘Purposes’, tailoring experiences and granular access policies for diverse user roles and groups. It extends customizability to your data estate by allowing you to capture specific details through custom metadata.

Extensible platform approach to leading the category

Readiness for mission-critical data projects like training AI models requires a platform approach to your metadata. Atlan’s active metadata vision expands metadata use beyond traditional cataloging to programmatic applications, leveraging an open and extensible architecture for limitless possibilities.

What customers say about switching to Atlan

Let’s hear from some former users of traditional data catalog tools to better understand what switching to Atlan offers.


DigiKey, a previous Alation customer, switched to Atlan. The key reason for the move was Atlan’s impressive end-to-end lineage view from upstream sources that engineers highly valued. Atlan offered a visually appealing and automated approach, perfect for DigiKey’s data needs.

Another reason was that Atlan offered comprehensive support resources, including help videos and an educational university platform beneficial for end users. The decision was further solidified by Atlan’s deep integration with Snowflake, enabling future use cases that weren’t possible before.

“Atlan is our data catalog. We had Alation before. Atlan had the best features for us going forward, some of the stuff we are interacting with Snowflake.” Source.

Also check: Why DigiKey chose Atlan


The HelloFresh data governance team had tried 2 traditional catalog solutions but struggled with low adoption. An internal survey found that the majority of data professionals can’t easily find data. 57% said it’s not easy to find data and that they are not aware of all relevant data that exists.

For HelloFresh, Atlan’s user experience, like personalized views for non-technical users and visual data lineage, bridged the gap between data and users. Streamlined setup meant they were able to find value quickly.

”We were up & running within a few weeks. The engineering effort was very low. That was a surprise because we spent a month setting up one connector with our previous data catalog. With Atlan, we had all our major sources onboarded within a few weeks.”

“Understanding data lineage from the operational sources all the way to your dashboard was something that was very important for us. Also, understanding what the impact on my downstream consumer is if the data producer makes changes. We didn’t have that end-to-end view in our previous data catalog. Data lineage support was a big factor in switching to Atlan.”

How Alation replacement works

If you already have Alation up and running, you may be worried about making the switch. Atlan offers a simple 3-step transition so that you can feel confident about making a quick and easy switch:

  • Glossary migration: Migration of glossary structure and enrichment resources (such as READMEs) from Alation to Atlan
  • Asset/lineage migration: Atlan supports a large catalog of out-of-the-box data connectors to connect quickly to dozens of popular sources without any custom programming. And we provide a flexible open API to address your corner cases.
  • Asset enrichment migration: We’ll migrate any enrichment you’ve done in Alation into Atlan—no need to redo all that hard work.

Additionally, a dedicated Customer Service Architect will be assigned to guide the entire migration process, working hand-in-hand to create a customer migration workflow plan. Moreover, excellent developer experience resources are provided for self-service, including platform resources at and custom packages at This ensures that the migration process is as smooth as possible.

To find out more about kickstarting your journey from Alation to Atlan, book some time with us today.

Share this article

[Website env: production]