Founded in 1993, Informatica is a US-based data management provider with headquarters in Redwood City, California. The company currently has 5,227 employees and operates worldwide, with a strong footprint in the United States and Europe. Informatica not only provides a data catalog solution, but a whole data management platform covering multiple use cases. As the numbers suggest, it is one of the biggest providers in this area with over 5,000 customers. The company’s main audience is in financial services, healthcare and public sector organizations. Informatica also cooperates with many different partners and provides educational services.
Informatica offers the Enterprise Data Catalog (EDC) as a standalone product or as part of its Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC). It is available on-premises or can be deployed in the cloud (AWS, Azure or Google). A SaaS offering is expected in H2 2021. Initially, this will not be 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 kind 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 eight 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.
User & Use Cases
Not surprisingly, all the companies surveyed use Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog (EDC) as a ‘data governance’ solution and 60 percent use it for ‘data stewardship/data quality management’. This indicates that customers are using additional data quality functionality that is tightly integrated with the data catalog. It is also very positive to see that 50 percent are using EDC as a ‘holistic data platform’, which means that users have access to, or at least can get information about, all the company’s data. Surprisingly, only 30 percent use it for ‘data virtualization’ and 20 percent as a ‘data lake’, because these are what EDC was originally intended for. However, it is now seen as a metadata-based tool for cataloging, monitoring and data quality monitoring. This may also mean that customers use EDC as a tool for these use cases to model and coordinate data sources and their data.
The vast majority of customers are large companies (80 percent). The relatively high mean of 189 users suggests that EDC is mainly used by data experts rather than lots of business users. The median of 75 users per company confirms the impression that EDC can serve high numbers of users. The average of 3 administrators per implementation is about right in relation to the mean of 189 users. Compared to other products evaluated in this survey, Informatica’s penetration in companies is impressive.
Total number of users per company
Total number of administrators per company
Company size (number of employees)
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