Collibra Alternative: 8 Reasons Why Future-Focused Data Teams Are Choosing Atlan

Updated March 28th, 2024
Best Collibra alternatives - 8 reasons why Atlan is the winner

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Checking out Collibra Alternatives? Check these 8 reasons why future-focused data teams are overwhelmingly choosing Atlan.

  1. The implementation is DIY and takes weeks, not years.
  2. This is the only tool that makes metadata available where you are, saving you from the hassle of having to toggle between different tools to gather context.
  3. Self-serve analytics become a reality, as the intuitive UI/UX encourages adoption among both technical and business users in your team.
  4. Not just deep integrations with modern data tools; you also enjoy a wealth of metadata (usage, quality, operational, governance, and more) available on data assets in these tools.
  5. The lineage actually works! You can effortlessly set up column-level lineage to map your data estate end-to-end.
  6. Governance will not require an army of data stewards; it can be a part of daily workflows. You’ll be able to move from reactive firefighting to proactive governance.
  7. Early investments in AI — the only tool where automation can be used to significantly accelerate documentation, querying, discovery, and more.
  8. The pricing is pay-as-you-go, isn’t prohibitive, and is aligned with your growth.


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.

Let’s quickly review each of these points to help you with your evaluation process.

It’s time we stop normalizing year-long implementation cycles

We have previously written about facing the same problem when we tried to buy a data catalog solution for ourselves. Many legacy software solutions then had mentioned taking more than 18 months to implement. Unfortunately, it seems that not much has changed in the past few years.

Legacy platforms like Collibra can take over a year just to set up. And that’s just for the initial setup - getting the software connected to your entire data estate and generating value is a whole different ball game.

Atlan setup is DIY and takes weeks. Even in G2 reviews, Atlan is rated significantly above Collibra in ease of setup, ease of use, and ease of admin.

Deploy in Minutes

We chose Atlan because they integrate with our modern analytics stack such as Snowflake and Tableau. It was very easy to set up — we had all our data sources flowing in within the first day!

Danielle Boeglin VP of Data & Analytics, TechStyle

Context should be available where you are, it shouldn’t be locked in another siloed tool

Atlan is the only platform in the market that’s taking the active metadata approach to solving for cataloging, governance, and other use cases. Active metadata ensures that there’s a bi-directional flow of metadata from Atlan to your preferred data tools and vice-versa.

For e.g. Using Atlan’s Google Sheets Extension, you can import lineage from Atlan into Google Sheets, and even update columns in the sheets - which you can sync back to Atlan for the consumption of other folks.

Similarly, you can be in a BI tool like Tableau and encounter a number in a dashboard that doesn’t look right - in such a case, using Atlan’s Chrome extension you can see a sidebar with all context on a data asset pop up in the same tab for you to understand and act on it.

Screenshot of Atlan’s Chrome Extension being called in during Tableau usage.

Screenshot of Atlan’s Chrome Extension being called in during Tableau usage. Source: HumansOfData

Your team has better things to do than struggle with a complicated user interface and user experience

Collibra has been known to have a user experience that even core technical users struggle with. Imagine that in a world where data democratization is mission-critical, and organizations aim to empower everyone to make data-driven decisions.

Collibra’s UI/UX is outdated and non-intuitive and often fails to achieve enterprise-wide adoption, particularly among business users. As a result, we frequently see customers switching to Atlan after 12-18 months of failed implementations, because end users overwhelmingly prefer Atlan’s experience.

The tool with the best UX

Implementing a data catalog is about adoption. After taking a look at the best catalogs on the market, I chose Atlan, and I would choose Atlan again if I had to. It’s the best UX, the best experience, and the best adoption.

Otávio Leite Bastos - Global Governance Lead, Contentsquare

If you work as a data practitioner in 2023, you likely enjoy using tools such as Fivetran, Snowflake, dbt, and Looker, among others. Integration with these best-in-class tools is considered essential. Collibra lags behind in terms of the depth of partnerships with these modern tools.

Atlan enjoys a deep partnership with top modern data stack tools and works closely on key innovations in the space. Also, it’s not just about having your sources connected, it’s also about the diversity and granularity of the metadata that you can leverage from the tool.

Video from Atlan Active Webinar - Explaining how dbt and Atlan work together to introduce governance in daily workflows of data users

How dbt and Atlan work together to introduce governance in the daily workflows of data users. Source: Atlan Activate Webinar

Lineage that’s easy to understand and act on is not a pipe dream, it’s possible, and you can generate it effortlessly

Data lineage is powerful and is necessary for understanding how data is created, manipulated, and used downstream. Without it, it becomes difficult to work with data.

However, Collibra and other legacy competitors create a clunky lineage experience that is hard to generate and even harder to understand and act on.

Atlan makes it effortless to mine your data tools and set up end-to-end column-level lineage across your data estate. With the use of APIs, you can bring in any data product you prefer. Atlan’s lineage visualization is also smooth, intuitive, and interactive.

What sets Atlan apart is that its lineage not only generates insights but also drives action. It has built-in line actions that allow you to raise tickets in JIRA, collaborate on Slack, and do much more without switching between apps.

We highly recommend you read this ultimate guide to evaluate data lineage tools while you’re looking for the best solutions.

The lineage you (Atlan) have is probably the best laid-out lineage we’ve seen — very clean and very easy to understand. Some of the other guys out there get themselves into a huge mess very quickly in laying out lineage, so it’s cool to see you guys have a clean lineage.”

Phil Warner - Director of Data, Boulevard

You don’t need an army of stewards to ensure governance, it can be integrated into the daily workflows of data users

Collibra still relies on traditional data stewards, resulting in bottlenecks - for instance, only named users on the platform can edit content. In fact, Collibra is known to need an army of data stewards to run it.

The traditional tools of data governance, which rely on teams of stewards and councils, are not efficient in today’s complex data environments. Instead, organizations are shifting their approach to treating data as a product, with an emphasis on creating standards for documentation and governance as part of the data creation process. Atlan is pioneering this change of mindset in collaboration with tools like Fivetran, Snowflake, and dbt.

Shifting Data Governance to Left – Better Impact Analysis, Collaboration, Documentation, and More Source: Atlan

With most of the software you love already incorporating AI, why should your data tooling lag behind?

Atlan made an early investment in artificial intelligence last year and is one of the first data governance and cataloging solutions to leverage the benefits of AI in your data documentation, discovery, querying, and more.

Within a few months of the roll-out, Atlan’s internal assistant which helps data teams enrich, suggest, and nudge for documentation, has already contributed to 1/3rd of all description updates on Atlan.

Snippet is from a recent Activate event showcasing Atlan’s Trident AI capabilities

Snippet is from a recent Activate event showcasing Atlan’s Trident AI capabilities. Source: Atlan

Like all investments, you should have confidence in leaning into this one as you experience its value

A data catalog is valuable only when,

  1. Most of your favorite data tools connect to it
  2. Most of your data operations can be managed through it
  3. Most of your data users actively use it

When optimally set up for all three, organizations can expect at least 4X-5X value on their investment in a data catalog, in fact, it’s arguably one of the most important investments that you can make as a data leader. But it doesn’t help when solutions come with prohibitive licensing fees upfront - especially solutions that aren’t ideal for enterprise-wide adoption.

Customers of many legacy tools, including Collibra, face this exact challenge - when again this is a problem that’s been solved before. We’re used to most modern software that comes with pay-as-you-go pricing and the setup takes a few clicks.

Atlan offers an experience similar to that of other modern tools you enjoy. Once set up, you can start experiencing its value within weeks. As you become more familiar with the tool, you can add more domains and users. In fact, your users may even request to use it, rather than you having to push them to do so.

5 Collibra open source alternatives

Here are the five popular collibra open source alternatives that you can check out.

  1. Amundsen
  2. DataHub
  3. Apache Atlas
  4. Metacat
  5. OpenMetadata

It’s possible you want to keep some open-source data catalog tools as well in your evaluation mix. These are the five popular tools that you can check out. Read more about them here.

We also have some handy comparison notes between these tools ready for you:

  1. How a fast-growing fintech improved GDPR compliance with Atlan in hours, not months
  2. Data practitioners on why they love Atlan
  3. Product roundup: Crowd favorite Atlan features from 2022
  4. What is active metadata, and why does it matter?
  5. What Is a Data Catalog? & Do You Need One?
  6. Best Alation Alternative: 5 Reasons Why Customers Choose Atlan

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