Quest Software is a privately held company (owned by private equity firm Clearlake) headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California. It was founded in 1987, a systems management and security vendor that bought the software company erwin Inc at the end of 2020. Quest Software has 9,000 customers, 130 brands, 15,000 partners and has revenues of around $1 billion annually.
erwin Data Intelligence by Quest
Last Updated: 22nd September 2023
Mutable Award: Gold 2023
erwin is known for erwin Data Modeler by Quest, a market leading data modelling tool dating back to 1993 used to visualise data assets and help developers to design and build corporate databases. The erwin by Quest suite of products has since extended over time to additionally cover data governance, enterprise architecture and business process modelling needs. erwin Data Intelligence by Quest supports data governance initiatives and offers data catalog, data quality, data stewardship, data discovery and literacy, and data marketplace capabilities. The technology has a wide range of connectors to numerous software products to extract metadata from these in order to provide enterprise data landscape visibility, develop data intelligence, and speed up the building of data pipelines. 115 enterprise level organizations worldwide actively use erwin’s data governance capabilities every day, many of which in highly-regulated industries such as finance, healthcare, government, insurance, and utilities such as energy giant E.ON.
“erwin increases efficiency in managing the grid and makes it easier to manage the regulatory requirements.”
“We use Erwin for the autoconfiguration of data pipelines. I did not imagine in 2018 that I would use a data catalog to automatically configure data pipelines, but I can. I can do things that I didn’t even think about when I got started.”
Romina Pyplacz, Head of Data Management and Governance, E.ON
In the context of data governance, erwin Data Intelligence carries out data lineage, impact analysis, data profiling, merge/matching data cleansing, and monitoring, supported by a data catalog of the ingested metadata collected and enriched with technical and business context from across a company’s data landscape.
Data owners can be assigned and the product supports workflow for data stewards, who curate and bring together technical assets with business assets such as business terms, policies, rules and more, manage data classifications, and manage requests for data access. Asset discovery and collaboration, including the recently released erwin Data Marketplace, provide consumer-like capabilities to allow end users to analyze, compare and share datasets, AI models and other data assets, commenting on and ranking the quality of data sources in a similar way that they might rank and comment on movies or products they have purchased on-line. Automated data value scoring for reliability and value, also leverages these user ratings and reviews, data quality scores and data governance curation completeness to help build a picture of the trustworthiness of specific data and lay the groundwork for potential monetization. Currently the software runs on-premise and as a software as a service with the same capabilities. The software will also have a hosted offering in 2024.
The software has automatic data asset discovery, speeding up the onboarding of data assets using techniques including fuzzy logic. The software can recognize a business term like a social security number, and can find all columns with that term based on column definitions, presenting that to a data steward. The product has a number of visual displays such as knowledge graphs and mind maps to allow end users to easily visualize their data. Data elements can be classified as sensitive for personally identifiable information purposes. Data lineage assessment can be carried out right down to table and column level. Customers can define policies, regulations and processes and set up workflow processes to evaluate and authorize changes.
Data governance is more than just populating a stand-alone data catalog and business glossary. The governance process extends to data quality, and is not a one-off exercise but something that requires constant monitoring. erwin has long been the de-facto standard for data modelling, and so many customers may wish to use an integrated suite of tools, from modelling through to data quality through to catalog and marketplace, rather than dealing with a series of tools from different vendors and having to interface these together. The software automates many of the time-consuming aspects associated with data discovery, quality assessment, business contextualization, governance guidance and organizational data literacy enablement and data accessibility.
The Bottom Line
erwin Data Intelligence is a full-function data governance product that can also leverage the proven erwin data modelling tool. It competes with other such products like Collibra and Alation, and should be considered for companies wishing to embark on enterprise-wide data governance.
Mutable Award: Gold 2023