16 Data Governance Tools to Improve Data Usability and Security in 2020

If you googled “data governance tools” and had a brief feeling of being overwhelmed by the hundreds of products presented to you, you’re not alone.


In the last few years, as companies have focused more and more on collecting and using clean data, the market for these tools has exploded. And it’s hard to distinguish, at a glance, how they’re different and what they’re promising to do for your company.


We’re here to help.


Data governance tools should help your data management committee monitor and enforce best practices to optimize quality, architecture, modeling, and storage. They will streamline the collection and cleaning of internal and external data, and, in doing so, ensure better compliance, usage, and security (things every company should be striving for).


So what should you look for when wading through all your options?


First, consider three things:

  • Does the tool offer information and data artifact management to help you classify data based on use and manage relationships between elements?
  • Does the tool include versioning capabilities, including branching and merging, historical reports, and rollback capabilities, that allow you to go back to a previous moment in your data’s lifetime?
  • Does this tool offer metadata management to give your master data context?

Then, ask yourself, how, specifically, the features of each tool will help you deliver business value. Do this by outlining the pricing and features of each product and comparing those capabilities to your data committee’s needs.


To get you started, we’ve broken down our 16 favorite data governance tools for 2020 below.

1. Avo

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First, a bit of self-promotion (because we absolutely love what we’ve built 😍): Avo is a type-safe tracking library that allows you to easily implement analytics events to prevent human error and ship and test features faster. It works well with existing tech stacks and streamlines internal and external data collection.


Businesses can get started with Avo for free or work with data experts to build a growth- or enterprise-level plan that fits their unique needs.


We’ve included the following features to help you create and consume cleaner, better data:

  • Branched and reviewable workflows
  • Tracking plan version history
  • Standard events across platforms
  • Configuration of events per platform and destination
  • Configuration of properties per platform and destination
  • Inspection of the current and historical state of tracking
  • Roles and custom permissions
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • Audit logs

Avo helps the teams at companies like Sotheby’s, Patreon, and Trip Advisor build, track, and ship better products using clean, reliable product metrics from their existing analytics stacks.

2. RudderStack

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RudderStack is one of our favorite open-source alternatives to Segment for the management of customer data on an enterprise scale. It allows teams to route and process data in a secure and extensible way, whether you’re working with your apps, website, warehouse, or cloud.


RudderStack includes the following features:

  • Open-source
  • JS/iOS/Android, Unity, and server-side SDKs
  • Warehouse/S3 sync
  • Grafana Dashboards
  • Replay: Backfill archived data to new tools
  • Real-time event transformations
  • Kafka support
  • Ad-block resiliency
  • Cloud destinations
  • Kubernetes support

Leading brands like AskWhai, IFTTT, and Mattermost trust RudderStack to help them route and process data from their apps and website to improve business insights at extreme scale.

3. Oracle Enterprise Manager

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Oracle Enterprise Manager is a classic and for good reason. It improves data visibility and control for IT teams using an on-premise platform and a single dashboard that gives teams the ability to manage all Oracle deployments from a core source of truth.


Features include:

  • Application performance management
  • Database performance management
  • Exadata management
  • Fleet maintenance
  • Hardware, middleware, and virtualization management
  • Heterogeneous management
  • Installation and upgrade
  • Packaged application management
  • Real application testing
  • Real user experience insight

Oracle has created one of the best data governance tools around that companies such as Epsilon, The Link Group, and Mythics use to get the data they need to operate seamlessly today and tomorrow.

4. Egnyte

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Egnyte is a cloud-based platform that offers companies secure file sharing and data security to prevent data silos and reduce IT overhead. We like it because—in addition to awesome functionality—it has an approachable learning curve to streamline employee adoption. Plans for this platform start at $10 per user per month and increase based on team size and storage needed.


The Egnyte platform includes the following features:

  • Device syncing
  • File following and sharing
  • Simultaneous editing
  • Change tracking and audit logs
  • User and role management
  • Policies and controls
  • Storage limits
  • Single sign-on
  • Device management
  • Security

Egnyte’s full suite of data management features, low barrier to cost, and approachable learning curve make it an ideal tool for all kinds of teams in any industry, including construction, finance, media and advertising, and healthcare.

5. SAP Master Data Governance (MDG)

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SAP MDG is another giant data governance tool that fits within a well-established software ecosystem. It helps companies centralize their data from native and third-party apps to ensure better data hygiene. This platform supports all implementation styles and governance models to help companies drive data consistency, reduce the total cost of data use, and support faster business activities.


SAP MDG offers a lot of features that we love, including:

  • Data modeling
  • Workflow management
  • Recommendations from experts
  • Dashboards and visualizations
  • Sensitive data compliance
  • Training and guidelines
  • Compliance monitoring
  • Central data governance
  • Data preparation, unification, distribution, analytics, and consolidation
  • Mass processing

SAP MDG not only gives customers access to an impressive suite of tools to improve their data governance and management, but it also lets them tap into the larger SAP Partners network to get help simplifying and accelerating their digital transformation.

6. Informatica Data Quality (IDQ)

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IDQ gives companies and IT teams a way to build and apply data rules through a centralized app, making it easy to update and change processes over time to match company goals. The platform also ensures end-to-end support at scale using AI-driven automation. Plus, Informatica offers free trials for their entire suite of products.


The IDQ solution has a range of great features that scale with your team as you grow, including:

  • Role-based capabilities
  • Exception management
  • Intelligent data quality
  • Pre-built, reusable rules and accelerators
  • Flexible deployment
  • Enterprise discovery, search, and profiling
  • Rule building for business analysts
  • Data quality transformations
  • Support for Microsoft Azure and AWS

Hundreds of companies—including JLL, GuideSpark, and Rabobank—have used IDQ’s top-of-the-line functionality and support to manage data better, become more responsive, and reimagine how they do business.

7. Netwrix Auditor

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Netwrix Auditor helps data teams and stakeholders discover security threats and compliance issues before they cause problems. Their centralized platform enables IT teams to get the information on data when they need it to mitigate data management risks and control on-premises and cloud-based IT systems. Netwrix offers a 20-day free trial of their product, so you can try it out to see if their platform will work for your use case.


This tool helps you get visibility into your user behavior and mitigate risks with the following features:

  • Security analytics
  • Consolidated audit trail across multiple IT systems
  • Risk assessments
  • Data discovery and classification automation
  • Change, access, and configuration reports
  • Threat pattern alerts
  • Anomalous activity alerts
  • Google-like solution search

Netwrix Auditor helps your IT team stay on top of threats to your data and system by improving security, streamlining internal and external audits, and optimizing IT operations.

8. Melissa Clean Suite

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Melissa Clean Suite focuses on cleaning customer data records from third-party applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Oracle CRM to empower omnichannel marketing and sales strategies. We like it because it provides companies with an easy way to standardize, correct, and update customer data to improve existing and future data hygiene. Additionally, Melissa offers a free 30-day trial and a 120-day ROI guarantee.


Melissa Clean Suite offers a wide range of admin, compliance, management, and functionality features, including:

  • Data modeling
  • Workflow management
  • Dashboards and visualizations
  • Sensitive data compliance
  • Scheduled data checks
  • Reporting
  • Data cleansing, identification, normalization, and correction
  • Automation
  • International verification
  • Preventative cleaning

With their cutting-edge feature suite, Melissa Clean Suite gives companies like SunTrust, Lincoln Tech, and World Vision an easy, real-time way of updating their customer data.

9. Collibra Platform

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Collibra democratizes data to drive better governance and metadata management. Using automation, the platform helps companies create an accurate, central source of data to get the most out of their information, all through an open integration framework and easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI).


The Collibra platform includes a number of data catalog, governance, lineage, and privacy features, such as:

  • Contextual search
  • Intuitive workflows
  • Data stewardship
  • Data helpdesk
  • APIs
  • Flexible operating model

Collibra offers companies like Adobe, Cox Automotive, and Wolters Kluwer an open, scalable way to manage data smarter through collaboration from the ground up.

10. OvalEdge

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OvalEdge scans your data using machine learning to create a smart catalog and display relationships between your databases to give you a holistic picture of your internal and external user data. We love this tool because companies can spin it up to deliver value within weeks. IT and data teams can get access to OvalEdge starting at $100 per month.


OvalEdge allows companies to mark data relationships, understand indexes, organize and summarize information, and draw database lineage using the following features:

  • Data indexing from warehouses, relational databases, Hadoop distributions, and more
  • Machine learning capabilities to organize data
  • Customer tags for better data organization
  • Data summarization
  • Filters and joins for better insights
  • Native extract, transform, load (ETL) tool support
  • Excel skills and single query editor support

OvalEdge helps everyone, from the chief data officer to business analysts and data scientists, in industries from healthcare to consumer goods manufacturing understand and govern data better, faster, and smarter.

11. IBM InfoSphere Information Server

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A component of Information Server, IBM InfoSphere includes reusable rules libraries and rules records and patterns to help you to evaluate data at every level of your company. And, once you have your rules in place, it helps your data teams find exceptions and inconsistencies within your data governance framework.


IBM InfoSphere allows data teams to integrate information from multiple systems, understand and govern data, improve product and business performance, and monitor data quality through the following features:

  • Preventative cleaning
  • Reporting and built-in data analytics
  • Automation
  • Data compression, integration, identification, and governance
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) integration
  • Data lake integration
  • Business intelligence (BI) tool integration
  • On-premise and cloud deployment
  • Scalable performance

IBM InfoSphere is a great option for companies looking for a family of products to support all volumes of data, no matter how small or large.

12. Snowplow

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Snowplow is another open-source Avo favorite that offers a real-time, flexible way for you to improve data quality and richness to get more out of your information. This tool helps you build a true end-to-end data pipeline that will accelerate your business growth by flagging incomplete or inaccurate data.


Snowplow’s impressive feature set helps companies avoid bad or missing data across multiple channels. Their feature suite includes:

  • Trackers and webhooks
  • Event collectors
  • Data validation
  • Schema registry
  • Data enrichment
  • Real-time applications
  • Warehousing
  • Modeling and intelligence

Snowplow was built to run native on the public cloud, whether teams use Amazon Web Services or the Google Cloud Platform, and helps companies like Weebly, Capital One, Trello, and Gusto make the most of their data.

13. Talend

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Talend is an end-to-end data platform that helps you make critical business decisions. Using machine learning, you can automatically gather and maintain your data without manual intervention from your data teams, saving time and money.


Talend offers a free trial of their product, as well as a free, open-source version of the platform. Paid plans start at $100 per month and are dependent on usage.


Companies that use this tool can rest easy knowing that their data is in the right hands, thanks to the following features:

  • Reporting and analytics
  • Scalability
  • Data transformation, manipulation, visualization, and migration
  • Process various formats
  • Automation
  • No-code functionality
  • System failover
  • Service provision
  • Pay by usage

Thanks to big data integrations, cloud API services, and data preparation, Talend ensures your data is clean and easy to use at every layer of your operations.

14. TIBCO EBX

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TIBCO EBX is an easy-to-use, multi-domain platform for managing, governing, and consuming all of your shared data assets in one place. We love this data governance tool because it makes it easier for companies to integrate analytics plans and use data to make better, faster decisions.


The TIBCO EBX platform makes good data governance and management a breeze, thanks to features like:

  • Flexible data models
  • Collaborative workflows
  • Hierarchy management
  • Version control
  • Multi-platform integration and compatibility
  • Dashboard and KPI insights

Companies like Panera Bread and Netspend use TIBCO EBX to manage all their data assets and master data models in one place.

15. Alation

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Alation is a powerful AI-powered data catalog that focuses on metadata management, data governance, stewardship, and analytics to drive digital transformation. The company was named a leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Data Catalog Software 2020 Vendor Assessment, and for good reason.


Alation sets themselves apart from other data catalogs on the market by offering an automation-powered feature suite that includes:

  • Insights from their advanced Behavioral Analysis Engine
  • Collaboration features for teams
  • Guided navigation for finding data-driven answers
  • Active governance and analytics
  • Broad, deep data connectivity

Companies like American Family Insurance, Sydbank, Allegro, and College Board use Alation to improve analyst productivity, better govern and discover their data, and manage risks.

16. Cloudera Data Platform

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Cloudera is the industry’s first enterprise data cloud and considered one of the best Hadoop platforms around. Companies can use it to securely manage data across all environments, from on-premise environments to public and private clouds. The platform helps teams control cloud costs, optimize workloads, understand data lineage, and scale data across their entire company.


The Cloudera Data Platform feature suite supports better data governance and connectivity using features like:

  • Real-time data collection
  • Data lake
  • Governed discovery
  • Notebooks
  • Embedded analytics
  • Data integration, compression, and governance
  • AI/ML integration
  • Data lake and BI tool integration
  • On-premise and cloud deployment

Every day, companies like Thomson Reuters, FireEye, and ADP use Cloudera to unite their cloud systems and consolidate data to fuel better business decisions.

Choose the right data governance tools for your data needs

The right data tools will turn the chaos of a lack of data governance into strategic gold. This list includes only 16 of the amazing tools out there built to help you do just that, and we’re pretty partial to #1 on the list (hint: it’s us 🥑).


The team at Avo is dedicated to helping companies ship clean and functional product analytics, so the data they create and consume is useful and informative. We’ve worked hard to build an intuitive analytics tool that is compatible with many of the awesome platforms on this list and beyond.


Find out how Avo can help you grow your business faster and create a data-driven culture today.

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