Data intelligence software provider Alation on Monday launched a new offering, called Connected Sheets, designed to help business users extract governed data from data sources in spreadsheets, including Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.

The company's effort to deliver an application designed to provide data control for spreadsheets stems from its realization that many companies continue to use spreadsheets for business information, even though 90% of these files contain errors, Raj said. Gossain, Alé's product manager.

A report on data and analytics by market research firm IDC estimates that around 78 million users still work with advanced spreadsheets.

“So most of the CEOs and CIOs we spoke to see spreadsheets as a necessary evil and, frankly, more of a liability than an asset in their organization,” Gossain said. “They know that their business users need the power of the spreadsheet, but they are terribly concerned about the risk exposure due to the errors in it.

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The new product, accessible through Alation's Data Catalog Service, grew out of the company's acquisition of data integration tool provider in March.

Businesses use a data catalogue, typically consisting of metadata, data management and search tools, to find the appropriate data for analytics needs. Metadata lists all the data assets within an organization.

Alation's connected sheets use a no-code interface that allows business users to query data without having to learn a new language, the company said, adding that the offering also helps import and update data.

Unlike typical spreadsheet practices where data is copied and pasted into these files, Alation Connected Sheets uses control features such as TrustFlags when integrating with Alation's data catalog to provide controlled or trusted data.

TrustFlags marks data as approved, warned, or stale, Gossain said, adding that Connected Sheets can also leverage existing security credentials to allow only authorized access and import of data.

Alation Connected Sheets is available immediately as a Google Sheets add-in and will be available for Microsoft Excel in early 2023, the company said.

Although pricing details were not immediately available, the company said Connected Sheets will follow the company's data catalog pricing model, per instance, per user.

The company, which competes with Microsoft, Informatica, Oracle, SAP, Collibra and Dataedo, raised €123 million in November in its Series E financing round, led by Thoma Bravo, Sanabil Investments and Costanoa Ventures, with the participation of new investor, databricks companies

The company, which has raised €340 million to date, said its latest financing will drive strategic product innovation in the data intelligence market.

The data integration and intelligence software market is valued at more than $7.900 billion, according to IDC. This market is expected to grow to €11.6 billion by 2026, the market research firm said.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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