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12 Best Data Catalog Tools Shortlist

After extensive evaluation, I've curated the 12 best data catalog tools tailored to address your data challenges.

  1. Aggua - Best for agile data management
  2. Qlik Catalog - Best for lineage visualization
  3. Alation Data Catalog - Best for collaborative curation
  4. DataGalaxy - Best for comprehensive data mapping
  5. ThinkData Platform - Best for versatile data access
  6. Orion Governance - Best for governance integration
  7. Hygraph - Best for inventory-focused operations
  8. Shinydocs - Best for structured data documentation
  9. Segment - Best for customer data consolidation
  10. Atlan - Best for team-based data projects
  11. OneTrust - Best for data access governance
  12. Microsoft Azure Data Catalog - Best for cloud-native organizations

In the evolving world of data, a proficient data catalog solution becomes paramount. Think of it as a dynamic intersection between business glossary and data intelligence. For business users and data analysts alike, these tools offer self-service abilities, transforming complex SQL schemas and data pipelines into accessible indexes.

With on-premises and open-source options, they facilitate data stewards in defining clear business terms and assist data teams in optimizing data ingestion processes. The result? Enhanced observability, natural language search capabilities, and a unified metadata repository that bridges the divide between intricate data landscapes and tangible business use cases.

What Are Data Catalog Tools?

Data catalog tools serve as organized repositories for companies looking to harness their vast amounts of data. Essentially, they enable businesses to categorize, discover, and manage their data assets, making it simpler to locate and access specific datasets.

Typically used by data scientists, analysts, and IT professionals, these tools streamline data search and governance processes, facilitate collaboration, and ensure that users across the organization can trust and understand the data they work with, driving informed decision-making and strategic initiatives.

Overviews of the 12 Best Data Catalog Tools

1. Aggua - Best for agile data management

Aggua's data management platform home screen
This is a screenshot from Aggua's data management platform home screen.

Data cataloging is essential for companies looking to manage their data efficiently. Aggua steps in to offer a solution that's not just about data organization, but also about agility in data management. Its alignment with agile methodologies makes it a standout choice for teams looking to integrate data cataloging into their agile processes.

Why I Picked Aggua:

When curating this list, I sought tools that would cater to the unique requirements of different businesses. In my judgment, Aggua earned its spot because of its unique approach to data management that prioritizes agility.

This decision is borne out of observing how well Aggua supports teams that leverage agile methodologies, ensuring they get the best out of their data without compromising on their dynamic workflows.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Aggua offers robust metadata management which makes it easier for teams to understand their data's lineage and quality. Additionally, it provides an intuitive interface that promotes user collaboration, ensuring that everyone can contribute to and benefit from the data catalog.

When it comes to integrations, Aggua connects effortlessly with various data sources, ensuring businesses can consolidate all their data into one accessible hub.


From $19/user/month (billed annually)


  • Agile-centric approach to data management
  • Robust metadata management capabilities
  • User-friendly interface promoting collaboration


  • Might have a steeper learning curve for non-agile teams
  • Limited third-party integrations compared to some competitors
  • Annual billing might not be preferred by all businesses

2. Qlik Catalog - Best for lineage visualization

Qlik's lineage dashboard
This is an image from Qlik's lineage dashboard that provides visibility on the source and journey of each dataset.

In the intricate world of data, understanding the journey of your data from its origin to its current form is crucial. Qlik Catalog facilitates this understanding by putting a strong emphasis on lineage visualization. By presenting data lineage in a clear, visual format, Qlik Catalog helps teams grasp the flow and transformations of their data.

Why I Picked Qlik Catalog:

In my process of selecting the best tools, Qlik Catalog consistently rose to the top in the domain of lineage visualization. I determined that its approach to visually showcasing data lineage is unparalleled. The decision to label it as "best for lineage visualization" comes from its capability to provide clear, concise visuals that clarify the data journey, which can be complex and multifaceted.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Qlik Catalog boasts a powerful visual interface, simplifying complex data lineage into understandable visuals. Furthermore, it offers automated metadata discovery and robust data profiling capabilities. When it comes to integrations, Qlik Catalog offers connectors to a myriad of data sources, from databases to cloud storage solutions.


From $35/user/month (billed annually)


  • Powerful visual representation of data lineage
  • Automated metadata discovery
  • Comprehensive data source connectors


  • Might be overkill for small teams
  • Requires some training to fully utilize
  • Higher starting price point compared to some competitors

3. Alation Data Catalog - Best for collaborative curation

Alation data catalog customer account details
Document data with valuable context for everyone to better understand and trust data using the Alation Data Catalog.

When managing data, collaboration can be the difference between chaos and coherence. Alation Data Catalog steps up to ensure that teams can work together effectively to curate their data. The tool shines particularly when it comes to fostering collaboration, making the data curation process both effective and inclusive.

Why I Picked Alation Data Catalog:

My selection process led me to recognize Alation as a leader in facilitating collaboration in data cataloging. Based on my comparisons and judgments, Alation has been able to merge the complexities of data management with the simplicity of teamwork. The tag "best for collaborative curation" is a testament to its prowess in ensuring team members can actively participate in and benefit from the data curation process.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Alation stands out with features that promote active collaboration, such as shared glossaries and collaborative data stewardship. It also has powerful machine learning-driven data discovery features. On the integrations front, Alation offers connectors to various data warehouses, BI tools, and other enterprise applications.


From $40/user/month (billed annually)


  • Strong emphasis on collaborative features
  • Machine learning-driven data discovery
  • Integrates with a wide range of data solutions


  • Might be overwhelming for small businesses
  • The interface requires some adaptation for new users
  • Priced on the higher side for startups

4. DataGalaxy - Best for comprehensive data mapping

DataGalaxy's customizable business glossary
Here is an image from DataGalaxy's customizable business glossary where users can bridge the gap between business, IT, and technical teams by creating a standard, customized data language for all users. 

The terrain of data is vast and intricate. DataGalaxy promises to be the cartographer businesses need, offering tools to map out data landscapes comprehensively. With its focus on comprehensive data mapping, DataGalaxy ensures that businesses have a detailed blueprint of their data assets.

Why I Picked DataGalaxy:

During my analysis, I consistently found DataGalaxy's approach to data mapping to be extensive and detailed. Based on my observations and opinions, it's clear that DataGalaxy offers a level of depth in mapping that many tools lack. The descriptor "best for comprehensive data mapping" is attributed to its capability to provide intricate and detailed maps of an organization's data terrain.

Standout Features & Integrations:

DataGalaxy's capabilities extend beyond simple mapping; it provides semantic layers and advanced data modeling features. In terms of integrations, DataGalaxy links with a host of databases, ETL tools, and BI platforms, ensuring that data mapping is as comprehensive as possible.


Pricing upon request


  • Provides deep and comprehensive data maps
  • Advanced data modeling capabilities
  • Integrations with various data platforms


  • Pricing information is not transparent
  • Might be complex for beginner users
  • Requires dedicated resources for best results

5. ThinkData Platform - Best for versatile data access

ThinkData Platform data catalog tool
The Data Catalog displays all the datasets to which your organization is connected, alongside visualizations of data utility, activity, and health.

Accessing data across various sources, in different formats, can be a challenge for many businesses. ThinkData Platform is engineered to address this, offering users a unified platform where they can access data with versatility and ease. Given the platform's design and features, it stands out as an ideal tool for organizations that need to access their data from various points without any hiccups.

Why I Picked ThinkData Platform:

During my selection process, I consistently observed ThinkData Platform's emphasis on providing versatile data access. Based on my comparisons and judgments, I discerned that ThinkData offers flexibility many platforms lack. I chose this tool because of its unique capability to adapt to different data formats and sources, earning it the title "best for versatile data access".

Standout Features & Integrations:

ThinkData Platform is equipped with features that support flexible data querying and a robust API for custom integrations. Its capability to connect with multiple data sources, both structured and unstructured, is noteworthy. Integrations-wise, the platform is designed to link with various databases, cloud storage solutions, and data lakes, making data access versatile and straightforward.


From $50/user/month (billed annually)


  • Offers flexibility in accessing varied data sources
  • Robust API for custom integrations
  • Supports both structured and unstructured data


  • Might have a steep learning curve for beginners
  • Higher starting price point compared to some competitors
  • Requires ongoing management for best results

6. Orion Governance - Best for governance integration

Orion Governance's website homepage
This is a screenshot from Orion Governance's website homepage.

Good data management requires strong governance, and Orion Governance delivers on this front. Orion Governance is more than just a catalog; it's a tool that integrates governance into every aspect of data management. Its dedication to governance makes it invaluable for businesses aiming to ensure their data meets compliance and quality standards.

Why I Picked Orion Governance:

While comparing various tools, Orion's commitment to governance integration was evident. I selected Orion because, in my opinion, it offers more than just cataloging; it integrates governance throughout the data lifecycle.

This deep integration is what made me determine that Orion Governance truly is the "best for governance integration".

Standout Features & Integrations:

Orion Governance provides features like policy management, robust auditing, and automated compliance checks. It integrates with various data management tools, enterprise applications, and databases, ensuring that governance is a part of the entire data ecosystem.


Pricing upon request


  • Emphasizes integrated governance
  • Offers automated compliance checks
  • Robust policy management features


  • Not transparent about pricing
  • Might be complex for those new to data governance
  • Requires dedicated resources for optimal use

7. Hygraph - Best for inventory-focused operations

Hygraph data catalog tool dashboard
Hygraph offers the most enterprise-tested features among Headless CMS, including GraphQL Mutations, Digital Asset Management, Sortable Relations, and Globally Distributed Content.

Effective data management often resembles managing a vast inventory, and Hygraph recognizes this. Built with an inventory-focused approach, Hygraph allows organizations to catalog, track, and manage their data assets much like an inventory, making the process intuitive and organized.

Why I Picked Hygraph:

In my quest for the right tools, Hygraph's inventory-centric approach caught my attention. I judged it to be different because it treats data as tangible inventory items, simplifying management. This unique perspective is why I concluded that Hygraph is indeed the "best for inventory-focused operations".

Standout Features & Integrations:

Hygraph champions feature detailed data asset tracking, customizable tags, and a visually appealing inventory dashboard. For integrations, Hygraph connects with various data warehouses, BI tools, and other data platforms, providing a holistic view of the data inventory.


From $30/user/month (billed annually)


  • Treats data as tangible inventory items
  • Offers a detailed data asset tracking system
  • Visually appealing inventory dashboard


  • Might be an overkill for smaller organizations
  • Requires training for best utilization
  • Some features might be redundant for simple data setups

8. Shinydocs - Best for structured data documentation

Shinydocs data catalog tool product page assets
This is an image from Shinydocs data management product page assets.

Shinydocs offers an intuitive platform that helps organizations maintain clear, structured documentation of their data assets. With the growing complexity of data in modern businesses, structured documentation becomes pivotal, and Shinydocs excels in this area, ensuring data remains comprehensible and manageable.

Why I Picked Shinydocs:

In assessing numerous tools, Shinydocs stood out with its strong emphasis on structured data documentation. I selected it because of its ability to bring clarity to vast amounts of data. This tool's dedication to keeping data assets systematically organized made it clear that Shinydocs is the "best for structured data documentation".

Standout Features & Integrations:

Shinydocs is recognized for its features that allow systematic cataloging, tagging, and data hierarchy establishment. On the integration front, it effectively collaborates with major enterprise content management systems, ensuring streamlined data documentation.


Pricing upon request


  • Enables systematic data documentation
  • Integrates well with enterprise content management systems
  • Offers robust tagging and cataloging features


  • Might require a learning curve for some users
  • Not transparent with its pricing
  • Might be overwhelming for smaller datasets

9. Segment - Best for customer data consolidation

Segment data catalog tool integration dashboard
With Segment, users can collect user data across multiple sources with one API and send it to hundreds of tools

Segment provides businesses with a unified platform to consolidate, manage, and utilize their customer data. Given the dispersed nature of customer data across multiple touchpoints, Segment's capability to centralize this data efficiently makes it indispensable for businesses focused on a holistic customer view.

Why I Picked Segment:

I chose Segment after determining its prowess in consolidating customer data from diverse sources. Among the many tools I evaluated, Segment differentiated itself with its comprehensive approach to data consolidation. Its commitment to creating a singular, unified customer data view convinced me it is "best for customer data consolidation".

Standout Features & Integrations:

Segment offers powerful features such as real-time data synchronization, data filtering, and transformation capabilities. Integration-wise, it connects with popular analytics, marketing, and data warehousing platforms, promoting efficient data use across the board.


From $10/user/month (billed annually)


  • Efficiently consolidates customer data
  • Offers real-time data synchronization
  • Extensive integration capabilities


  • Can be complex for beginners
  • Pricing can escalate with extensive data usage
  • Initial setup may be time-consuming

10. Atlan - Best for team-based data projects

Atlan data catalog tool screenshot
A data catalog facilitates metadata search across your data stack.

For teams that collaboratively work on data projects, Atlan emerges as a preferred choice. Atlan is designed not just as a data tool but as a collaborative platform where teams can manage data projects, ensuring efficient teamwork and optimal results.

Why I Picked Atlan:

Atlan caught my attention due to its team-centric approach to data management. I selected this tool after judging its unique capabilities to facilitate collaboration among team members. This collaborative emphasis is why I concluded Atlan to be "best for team-based data projects".

Standout Features & Integrations:

Atlan's strengths lie in features that promote team collaboration, such as shared workspaces, role-based access, and collaborative data quality workflows. Integration-wise, it is compatible with a plethora of data sources, databases, and visualization tools, ensuring smooth teamwork.


From $12/user/month (min 5 seats)


  • Facilitates team collaboration on data projects
  • Provides role-based access control
  • Compatible with various data sources and tools


  • Minimum seat requirement for pricing
  • Might be overkill for solo data workers
  • Requires consistent team training for best utilization

11. OneTrust - Best for data access governance

OneTrust central dashboard
This is an image from the OneTrust central dashboard.

OneTrust offers robust solutions aimed at ensuring that data access within organizations is managed and governed in line with compliance and organizational policies. Given the increasing emphasis on data privacy and governance, OneTrust stands out by ensuring that data access is both secure and compliant.

Why I Picked OneTrust:

When I was selecting tools for governance, OneTrust's dedicated focus on data access governance was clear. In determining the best tools available, OneTrust's comprehensive approach and its array of governance features set it apart. I chose it as the "best for data access governance" based on its in-depth capability to align data access with compliance needs.

Standout Features & Integrations:

OneTrust excels in features like automated risk assessments, data discovery, and assessment automation. It also offers tight integrations with major IT and cloud platforms, ensuring that governance is consistently maintained across varied environments.


Pricing upon request


  • Comprehensive data governance capabilities
  • Integrates with major IT and cloud platforms
  • Automated risk assessment features


  • Might have a steep learning curve for newcomers
  • Not transparent with its pricing
  • Some features may be overwhelming for smaller organizations

12. Microsoft Azure Data Catalog - Best for cloud-native organizations

Microsoft Azure data catalog tool compute & apps view
Azure Data Catalog is a cloud-based data governance software that helps users organize and manage their data assets.

Microsoft Azure Data Catalog is designed to be a fully managed service that facilitates the discovery of data sources within the Azure cloud ecosystem. For organizations that are intrinsically tied to the cloud, especially the Azure platform, this tool is indispensable for managing and cataloging their data assets.

Why I Picked Microsoft Azure Data Catalog:

Microsoft's Azure platform already has a reputation in the cloud space, and when I was evaluating tools for cloud-native organizations, the Azure Data Catalog's capabilities in managing cloud data sources became evident. Its integration with Azure services and emphasis on cloud data management is why I determined it to be "best for cloud-native organizations".

Standout Features & Integrations:

Azure Data Catalog boasts features like automated data source discovery, robust data annotation, and clear data lineage views. As expected, it integrates deeply with Azure services, from databases to analytics tools, ensuring that cloud-native organizations have a unified view of their data.


From $2/user/month (billed annually)


  • Deep integration with Azure services
  • Automated data source discovery
  • Offers clear data lineage views


  • Primarily limited to the Azure ecosystem
  • Might be overkill for non-cloud-native organizations
  • Requires knowledge of the Azure platform for best utilization

Other Notable Data Catalog Tools

Below is a list of additional data catalog tools that I shortlisted, but did not make it to the top 12. They are definitely worth checking out.

  1. Collibra - Good for enterprise-wide data collaboration
  2. Talend Data Fabric - Good for unified data integration and management
  3. Dataedo - Good for data documentation and ERD generation
  4. OvalEdge - Good for AI-driven data discovery
  5. K2View - Good for logical unit-based data organization
  6. DvSum - Good for data quality management
  7. Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog - Good for scalable data discovery
  8. IBM Knowledge Catalog - Good for integrating AI and data governance
  9. erwin Data Catalog - Good for metadata-driven data mapping
  10. Unifi Data Catalog - Good for AWS-centric data operations
  11. AWS Glue Data Catalog - Good for serverless ETL processes on AWS
  12. TIBCO Cloud Metadata - Good for metadata management in the cloud
  13. dScribe - Good for lineage tracking and compliance reporting

Selection Criteria For Choosing Data Catalog Tools

When diving into the world of data catalog software, it's easy to get lost in a sea of options and features. I've evaluated dozens of data catalog tools, but in this instance, I was particularly focused on their capability to streamline data governance, promote ease of use, and offer advanced features tailored to the requirements of modern businesses.

The following criteria became crucial in distinguishing the best from the rest:

Core Functionality

  • Data Discovery: Tools should be able to auto-discover and catalog data sources.
  • Metadata Management: Ability to manage, organize, and update metadata efficiently.
  • Data Lineage Tracking: Visual representation of where data comes from and how it flows.
  • Data Governance: Controls for ensuring data integrity, security, and compliance.
  • Collaborative Features: Allows team members to annotate, comment, and share insights.

Key Features

  • Data Quality Metrics: Display metrics that evaluate the quality of data sources.
  • Automated Classification: Automatically categorizes data into predefined classes or domains.
  • Access Control: Granular role-based access control to ensure only authorized individuals can access sensitive data.
  • Search and Filter: Powerful search functionality with intuitive filtering options.
  • Integration Capabilities: Compatibility with a wide range of data sources and platforms.
  • Version Control: Ability to track changes and revert to previous versions if necessary.


  • Intuitive Interface: For a data catalog tool, a clean, organized dashboard is essential. It should provide at-a-glance insights and easy navigation to various functionalities.
  • Easy Onboarding: A robust onboarding process, potentially with tutorials or walkthroughs, is crucial, especially for tools with extensive features.
  • Configurable Role-based Access: Given the sensitive nature of data, the tool should provide a clear and straightforward method to assign roles and configure their permissions.
  • Responsive Customer Support: Especially for enterprise solutions, having knowledgeable and timely customer support can greatly affect the user experience.
  • Learning Resources: The provision of a resource library, FAQs, or community forum can be invaluable in helping users understand the tool's full capabilities.

Most Common Questions Regarding Data Catalog Tools

What are the benefits of using data catalog tools?

Data catalog tools offer several advantages, including:

  1. Efficient Data Discovery: They allow users to quickly locate and access the data they need.
  2. Enhanced Metadata Management: They provide structured and organized storage, making it easier to manage and update metadata.
  3. Improved Data Governance: These tools help ensure data security, integrity, and compliance with established standards.
  4. Collaboration: They enable team members to share insights, comment, and annotate data sources.
  5. Streamlined Data Lineage: Users can visually track the source and flow of data, which aids in understanding and trust.

How much do these tools typically cost?

The cost of data catalog tools can vary widely based on features, scalability, and the target audience. Prices might range from a few dollars per user per month to thousands of dollars for enterprise-level solutions.

What are the typical pricing models for data catalog tools?

The majority of data catalog tools follow one or more of these pricing models:

  • Per User: Pricing is based on the number of individual users.
  • Per Feature: Some tools charge based on the features or modules you want access to.
  • Data Volume: Pricing can be based on the volume of data cataloged or processed.
  • Subscription-Based: Monthly or annually recurring fees.

Which is the cheapest data catalog tool?

The pricing landscape is always changing, but as of my last evaluation, tools like "Dataedo" offer competitive starting prices.

Which is the most expensive data catalog software?

Enterprise solutions like "Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog" tend to be on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, especially when catering to large organizations with expansive data needs.

Are there any free data catalog tools available?

Yes, some tools offer free versions or tiers, but they often come with limitations in terms of features, data volume, or number of users. AWS Glue Data Catalog, for example, provides a certain number of free monthly crawler runs, and beyond that, users are charged.

Why is there such a significant price difference between various data catalog tools?

The disparity in pricing often stems from the depth of features offered, scalability, the complexity of integration capabilities, support services, and the intended audience (small businesses vs. large enterprises).

How do I determine which pricing model or tool is right for my organization?

Start by assessing your organization's specific needs, the volume of data, the number of users, and the required features. From there, you can match these requirements with the pricing models and tools that best align with your budget and objectives.

Other Data Management Tool Reviews


Navigating the intricate landscape of data catalog tools can initially seem daunting, but by honing in on key criteria and understanding the nuances of each software option, you can make an informed choice.

From discerning the primary functionalities and unique features of each tool to comprehending the vast pricing models available, it's essential to align your organizational needs with what each tool offers.

Key Takeaways

  1. Determine your needs first: Before diving into the various tools available, it's paramount to define what you expect from a data catalog tool. This could range from specific features like efficient data discovery to more nuanced requirements like collaborative capabilities or extensive metadata management.
  2. Understand pricing models: The cost of these tools can vary significantly. Whether they charge per user, by feature, or based on data volume, it's crucial to match the pricing model with your budget and anticipate future scalability needs.
  3. Usability matters: Beyond core functionalities and pricing, the tool's design, ease of onboarding, interface, and support structure can profoundly impact user experience. Look for tools that cater to your user's specific interface needs and ensure a smooth onboarding process.

What Do You Think?

Lastly, the world of data catalog tools is vast, and while I've endeavored to cover the most commendable options, there are undoubtedly many more out there. If you've come across a tool that you believe deserves mention, or if you've had a particularly notable experience with one not listed, I'd genuinely appreciate your input. Please feel free to share your recommendations and insights so I can make this resource even more comprehensive for everyone. Your feedback is invaluable.

Paulo Gardini Miguel
By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.