New product empowers a wider class of business users, enabling faster, more accurate decision-making with spreadsheets
Alation Inc., the leader in enterprise data intelligence, announced the launch of Alation Connected Sheets, a new product stemming from the company’s acquisition of Kloud.io. Alation Connected Sheets enables business users to pull trusted, governed, and up-to-date data from data sources into spreadsheets, including Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel1, via Alation Data Catalog.
Spreadsheets are foundational for business decision-making across every industry. According to IDC2, there are 78 million advanced spreadsheet users worldwide. While both static in nature and disconnected from data sources, spreadsheets remain the preferred tool for business users; however, 90% contain errors. Data within spreadsheets is often copied-and-pasted from one spreadsheet to another or downloaded into CSV files via untraceable data sources. Without the proper management and effective data governance of spreadsheets, organizations suffer from significant productivity losses and expose themselves to increased risk because critical business decisions are based on inaccurate and ungoverned data.
Alation Connected Sheets solves this problem by meeting business users where they are: spreadsheets, including Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Now, business users across the enterprise can easily find, understand, and use trusted data from spreadsheets with confidence. Alation Connected Sheets increases business user productivity by enabling them to find, filter, import, and refresh data without having to learn a new tool or querying language. Alation Connected Sheets is available immediately as an add-on in Google Sheets, and for Microsoft Excel in early 2023.
Key benefits of Alation Connected Sheets:
- Brings trust and governance to spreadsheets: By integrating with Alation Data Catalog, unique governance features such as TrustFlags signal if data is endorsed, warned, or deprecated, helping users pull in the best and most appropriate data, directly from the source.
- Effortless setup, use, and maintenance: With a simple user interface and easy-to-use filters, data can be imported and automatically refreshed without relying on technical resources like data engineers or analysts.
- Risk mitigation: By leveraging existing security credentials, only authorized users can pull in and use live, compliant, and trustworthy data in a spreadsheet.
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“As it stands, business spreadsheets are often created using copy/paste functions or downloading static data that doesn’t sync with source data,” said David Menninger, SVP & Research Director, Ventana Research. “It’s one of the most pervasive data governance challenges organizations face that significantly deteriorates productivity at scale. Without a traceable data lineage, multiple iterations of the same project are created using different formulas, data sources, and deprecated or low-quality data. Alation Connected Sheets helps solve this problem. Now, spreadsheet users can quickly retrieve governed data from a single source with confidence in the data they’re using – all natively within the spreadsheet.”
“Harnessing the power of an organization’s data to drive fast, accurate business decisions is challenging for any employee,” said Raj Gossain, Chief Product Officer, Alation. “Business users routinely rely on the simplicity, power, and ubiquity of spreadsheets to do their jobs. But the data that powers spreadsheets is typically copied from other sheets or downloaded into CSV files, creating real risk for every business. Alation Connected Sheets combines the power of trusted, governed data with the ease of use of the spreadsheet. Now spreadsheets can be a trusted enterprise data asset instead of an invisible liability, empowering every business user with the best data the enterprise has to offer.”
“Alation Connected Sheets will allow us to work natively in a familiar spreadsheet environment while connecting to the catalog and enabling spreadsheet governance,” said Sara Cook, Director of Data Science and CMC Statistics, Novavax. “Now, we can manage the countless spreadsheets we rely on to make critical business decisions, govern our spreadsheets, and limit regulatory compliance risk of exposing private information. Alation Connected Sheets will make our advanced spreadsheet users more productive because they can self-serve trusted data without being blocked by limited data engineering resources. Data teams will now be able to focus on complex analyses that drive the business forward; time otherwise spent pulling and verifying fresh data or tracing lineage.”
As the result of Alation’s second acquisition, Kloud.io CEO and co-founder Krishna Bhat and CTO and co-founder Sathish Raju have joined the company.
“We created this technology to make it easy for anyone in an enterprise to pull data from other sources into a spreadsheet, without needing the deep technical understanding of underlying databases or data lakes,” said Krishna Bhat, Senior Director of Product Management, Alation.
“Alation Connected Sheets is the result of a synergy between the technology that connects spreadsheets to source applications and Alation’s market-leading data intelligence platform,” said Sathish Raju, Senior Director of Engineering, Alation.
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