Alation Readies Company for Growth, Appoints First Chief Data Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing
Appointments Will Contribute to Alation’s Commitment to Supporting Chief Data Officers with Data Culture Initiatives Around the Globe
Alation Inc., the data catalog company, announced that Aaron Kalb, Alation co-founder, has been appointed as the company’s first Chief Data Officer (CDO). As CDO, Kalb will lead a centralized team dedicated to Alation’s data governance, self-service analytics, security, and compliance initiatives as well as best practices on the proper use of data and data literacy initiatives.
In addition, Stephanie McReynolds has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing. The first senior marketing hire at Alation, McReynolds has been instrumental in bringing Alation’s customer stories to market and helping the company become a recognized leader in the machine learning data catalog category. Through the evangelization of the Alation Data Catalog, McReynolds has been at the forefront of sharing best practices for enterprises wishing to build a customer data culture through leveraging a machine learning data catalog.
“Aaron and Stephanie have both been instrumental in championing the data catalog category and the core tenets of a customer data culture. As we further our mission of changing the way people work with data, it’s critical that we continue to evolve our own organization as a center of industry best-practices for data culture,” said Satyen Sangani, CEO of Alation. “We’re looking forward to sharing Aaron and Stephanie’s hands-on experience with a broader audience, especially as developing data culture becomes critical to enterprises worldwide.”
The role of the CDO is growing in importance, with the position becoming both a fundamental function and an agent of change for data-driven transformation. According to Gartner, “It’s not difficult to see how, by 2021, the office of the CDO will be a mission-critical function comparable to IT, business operations, HR, and finance in 75% of large enterprises.” And yet, CDOs still face steep challenges when it comes to fostering data culture. Gartner also finds that, “top CDOs reported internal roadblocks to success of their offices, indicative of a reactive response from organizations being pushed to change.”
As CDO, Kalb will work with customers and internal users to test and publish best practices for using a data catalog to create a data culture. One of Kalb’s first initiatives will be embarking on a global tour to meet with prospects, partners, and customers. Through these conversations, he will be developing and sharing best practices for finding, understanding, trusting, using, and reusing data to drive business impact, as well as key learnings and success stories from other CDOs and analytics leaders. Internally, new Alation employees will be trained on how to integrate data into their day-to-day work. This training process, facilitated by Alation’s own rich data catalog and smart query tool, Compose, will help employees in a wide range of roles make data-informed decisions and build deeper empathy with Alation’s end-user population.
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“Alation’s vision is to empower a curious and rational world. My mandate is simple: to promote curiosity, rationality, data-driven decision-making, and data culture within Alation and around the world,” said Kalb. “I’m super excited to work with and learn from the incredible community of CDOs across our customer base, from Salesforce in San Francisco to Sainsbury’s in London, and advance our vision and values throughout many organizations.”
The promotion of Kalb and McReynolds follows on the heels of Alation’s impressive Q4 2018 customer growth, which reflects year-on-year, triple-digit revenue growth. Driven by the need to innovate with analytics, enterprises are turning to the Alation Data Catalog to support the creation of a customer data culture. Alation’s customers like GoDaddy, MunichRe, and Pfizer are seeing tangible outcomes by embracing a customer data culture.
“Only a few years ago, the market was just beginning to understand what a data catalog is and how it could help them connect analytics with decision making. Now, enterprises around the world and in nearly every major industry vertical are crediting the Alation Data Catalog with increasing analytic productivity, driving agile stewardship and expanding access to analytics beyond the analytic specialist,” said Stephanie McReynolds. “In conjunction with our customers, we’re learning that to reach the final mile of analytic value, applications, like data catalogs are critical.”
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