Founded in 1993, Informatica is a US-based data management provider with headquarters in Redwood City, California. The company currently has more than 5,200 employees and 43 office locations in 24 countries, with a strong footprint in the United States and Europe. As the numbers suggest, it is one of the biggest providers in the data management area with over 5,000 customers. The company’s main audience is in financial services, healthcare and public sector organizations. Informatica cooperates with more than 500 partners (e.g., technology partners) and provides educational services (e.g., Informatica University, training, certification, webinars, etc.).
Informatica offers Enterprise Data Catalog (EDC) as a standalone product or as part of its Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) platform. It is available on-premises or can be deployed in the cloud (AWS, Azure or Google). The SaaS offering is not a full equivalent to the on-premises version in terms of functionality. EDC is often used in conjunction with Informatica’s Axon Data Governance solution to provide metadata expertise to all kinds of users. The two products are deeply integrated. While Axon is more geared to business users and serves as a collaboration hub and data marketplace for successful, scalable data governance programs, EDC is aimed more at technical users and enables users to scan and index metadata, discover and profile, and provide detailed lineage. However, EDC does support all relevant data catalog use cases, as well as self-service analytics, data governance, data privacy, risk and compliance, and data democratization while providing functionality for all types of users.
Informatica provides various interfaces to access EDC, making it an open and extendable platform. It supports more than 2,000 metadata classes, and the proprietary metadata model can be extended through APIs. Users can deploy multiple instances of EDC, which is available in different languages. A broad set of connectors simplifies metadata integration from any kind of source. Informatica provides more than 70 metadata scanners out of the box to extract metadata and perform data profiling and discovery. Beyond standard database connectivity, EDC has out-of-the-box scanners for different technologies. There are also scanners available to extract metadata where it is not explicitly available, and custom scanners can be created by users themselves. Data assets with different additional data can be exported as Excel or JSON files.
For consumption, Informatica provides quick and advanced functionality to search different metadata assets and preview data. Users can create their own search filters and semantic search allows business synonyms to be searched across domains. Moreover, Axon provides advanced functionality to support business users searching and analyzing metadata. It helps to analyze metadata, including visual end-to-end data lineage with impact reports and basic collaboration as well as glossary functionality. Informatica uses ML methods to support metadata ingestion and classification by automation (e.g., to automate keyword detection, clustering, data classification, glossary associations and analyzing data). This also includes automated detection of file types and lineage extraction with SQL code parsing. Optional functionality to support direct data access is also available. As a result, Informatica provides an e-commerce-like data shopping experience with Axon Data Marketplace. EDC also offers opportunities for collaboration, evaluation of data assets, interaction on data assets and notifications when changes occur.
To cover data protection and security requirements, EDC provides role-specific user interfaces and distinguishes between general system-defined (not modifiable) and custom (modifiable) role models. In this way, not only privacy and protection roles can be managed, but role-specific user interfaces and role-based tasks can also be defined. With Axon Data Governance, Informatica has also come up with complex workflow and business process management support. This is somewhat unique in the market, because the catalog can be directly linked to business processes and users can evaluate the impact of data on the processes and vice versa.
Informatica follows a monthly release cycle with bug fixes and performance enhancements. Future milestones include enhancements to the scanners, user experience and analytics capabilities. On its journey to becoming a cloud-first provider, Informatica will be transferring its EDC technology to the IDMC platform.
Released in 2021, Informatica’s Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) consists of several platform and data management services to serve all kinds of data management tasks on one integrated platform. A notable component of the platform is CLAIRETM, a metadata-driven AI/ML engine, which helps to automate data management tasks, makes recommendations and adds context and insights for cloud data management. The platform can be seen as an integrated end-to-end solution that consists of various best-of-breed solutions. An important part of the IDMC will be the ‘Governance and Cloud service’, which should complete the integration between EDC and Axon to one product powered by CLAIRE. We assume that future investment will primarily focus on IDMC, in terms of data governance on an AI-based, cloud native and integrated metadata and data governance solution.
User & Use Cases
75 percent of the companies surveyed use Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog (EDC) as a ‘data governance’ solution and 50 percent use it for ‘data stewardship/data quality management’. Another 50 percent use it for ‘data discovery’. This indicates that companies operate the catalog in more centralized data governance use cases as well as for more decentralized use cases supporting self-service analytics by business users. One in three companies is also using the tool as an ‘holistic data platform’, providing data knowledge and data to a broad range of data consumers. Informatica EDC scales from small up to very large scenarios supporting thousands of users. The majority of customers are large (56 percent) and medium-sized (38 percent) companies. Half use the tool in one division only, and just 17 percent use it company-wide. This contrasts somewhat with the amount of reported users.
Extend of usage in the company
Total number of users per company
Total number of developers per company
Company size (number of employees)
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