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Collibra Governance OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Collibra Governance is the #1 ranked solution in our list of Data Governance tools. It is most often compared to Informatica Axon: Collibra Governance vs Informatica Axon

What is Collibra Governance?

Collibra Data Governance Center is an enterprise-wide data governance solution that puts people and processes first, automating data governance and management to quickly and securely deliver trusted data to the business users who need it.

Collibra Governance is also known as Collibra.

Collibra Governance Buyer's Guide

Download the Collibra Governance Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Collibra Governance Customers

Ministry of Economy Science and Innovation, Aspen Insurance, Barry Callebaut, Colt

Collibra Governance Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Collibra Governance pricing:
  • "I would say it's probably in line with what other vendors charge for licensing."
  • "I think they have a trust issue. I did not like the way they recently went through the process. They were like, "Finish this SOW first, only then will we sign the other SOW." Or, "Finish this code." I didn't like that much."
  • "It is substantial, and we do pay yearly."
  • "I am not so much aware of price details. Initially, there was an add-on NuSoft license to use the DVC connector that NuSoft gives to create integrations, but Collibra is now phasing out of it slowly. Collibra is cutting ties with them is what we have been led to believe, and we have started developing on Spring Boot, which is open source."

Collibra Governance Reviews

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Chris Allen
Technical Product Lead at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Offers many features for the best relative price.

Pros and Cons

  • "Collibra is very good at talking to modern database systems like a normal RDBMS, a DB2, or a SQL server or an Oracle."
  • "Where it isn't great is on older technologies that you'll typically find in finance or insurance industries, such as older types of data with VSAM or ISAM, or those types of older technologies. It just doesn't connect with them very easily."

What is our primary use case?

Our use cases include connecting a lot of legacy data systems to our logical components. For example, if somebody has a question that they post to us and say, "Tell me everywhere in our organization where we have a policy stored?" the primary use case is to logically define what a policy is, and then we use Collibra to tie that logical construct to a technical implementation. We may have six or eight, however many, different admin systems. We bring in the schemas of the way that those systems look, and then how a policy exists in this database and this table and this column, for example, in that legacy system. 

The second use case that we implement is the ability to track the provenance or the lineage as to how something changes over time. For example, if we bring data in from a legacy system and we use some tool set (e.g. Azure Data Factory) to extract the data into a Hadoop data lake, and then perform some transformations on it, we want to be able to track it; "It came from the source system here, and this field got changed to this name, and we applied this transformation on this field and it eventually shows up on this report here."

We use it to track where a policy exists and also how it got there: it exists on this report and here's how it got on that report, here are all the steps that it took getting through to that particular report from the actual source system itself. Because quite often what we're finding is that our business users will get a report and they'll say, "I think your report's wrong. How did you get that value on that report?" That provenance or lineage is what helps answer those questions.

We have data stewards who are the resources that if somebody proposes a new logical asset based on what they think the customer means, these data stewards are the ones that would get together and look at what's being proposed and make sure it works across all of our business units for a generic implementation, or create business unit specific terms if required. They're the ones that say a particular system or term or logical construct is ready for consumption by end users.

Another group we have is the end users. We try to have people use Collibra by asking, "Don't tell me what system you want to get access to, tell me what you're looking for in business terms/constructs." In our example, it would be the question, "Tell me about all the policies in our system." They would go to Collibra and "shop" for that data and pick a policy and put it into the shopping cart basket that Collibra provides as part of their interface. Then they would submit that request for approval/access to the underlying data.

We also have data stewards who approve the use of new/updated business terminology and end users who are looking for their data to make business decisions. We also have some power users who are the resources who are setting the direction for the application of where we want to go with it, (e.g. new workflows or new functionality within Collibra).

For us, the Collibra application is an on-premise installation (although we use IaaS VMs to host it on cloud); it is not their SaaS implementation.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the biggest questions that we had was we didn't know what to with the our tons of legacy systems. The company I work for is a fairly old company, it's over 120 years old within the insurance industry. There are lots of systems that have been around for upwards of say 40 or 50 years, so we're trying to consolidate and bring those down to target, to go from say 15 systems down to three. But not knowing what's in those other systems makes it difficult to do that rationalization. It's enabled us to first understand what we have and then to figure out how we get down to the target state architecture with a reduced number of target systems.

What is most valuable?

Out of box ingestions of technical metadata as well as ease of use for setting up new business metadata for users to represent their business terms

What needs improvement?

Collibra is very good at talking to modern database systems such as a normal RDBMS (e.g.DB2, SQL server or Oracle). Where it isn't great is with older technologies that you'll typically find in finance or insurance industries (e.g. VSAM or ISAM, or those types of older technologies). It just doesn't connect with them very easily. They do provide an ability to use a separate product called MuleSoft, which they used to license (as a bundle) up until last year until Salesforce bought MuleSoft, and that division is happening in 2021. With this 'bolt-on', you could go and get that data, but you had to write that code and maintain it yourself. It wasn't an out-of-box (OOB) feature, which is what we really liked from the Collibra offering. Our only way to access these older technologies was to create a MuleSoft flow, maintain, and deploy it. This leaves us with technical debt which will need to continually be maintained. In fact, we built all our custom Mulesoft flows using Mule 3.x and will soon be pushed to upgrade to Mule 4.x. This will not be a simple upgrade and will likely result in additional cost to bring in consulting resources more familiar with the technology. Since we do have a lot of older legacy systems, things that aren't greenfield, if you will, it adds a lot more overhead than what we were originally led to believe when we originally purchased the product.

We're not that deep into the Collibra product yet because it's only been a couple of years. We do like their ability to automate the workflows, such that, for example, if somebody comes in to say, "I want to request access to this data," you can build your own workflows to automate the approval process. There are some that are out-of-box, I think they could go a little bit further with some of their out-of-box workflows instead of having to create a workflow manually, get somebody to code it, and implement it. I think they could offer a bit more in that respect.

The second item that I think they could do better at is to have other products, or have things where they have a set of taxonomy per industry that says, "Here's what a policy is. Here's what a customer is," that kind of thing. They don't implement that out-of-box in Collibra, you have to do that yourself, whereas other products bring that to the table. Informatica, I believe, has their own insurance industry or industry specific taxonomy that would come with the product.

It makes adding the new logical constructs to Collibra a more manual workup to take care of. The classification becomes more manual because you don't get that out-of-box to say, "Hey, I recognize that that's a policy, because I know that about that and the taxonomy." You have to manually make that connection.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Collibra Governance for about two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Collibra Governance's stability is quite good. It doesn't take a lot of maintenance to deal with it, it just runs. It doesn't cause a ton of issues and it doesn't require a lot of upgrades (we usually upgrade once/year). In the couple of years we've done, I think, two upgrades on it. The one thing that we're disappointed with is that 5.7.7 is their last on-premise implementation that you can do. You have to go to a SaaS offering by Collibra, after it's just been released end of November.

Being the industry that we're in, we're very risk averse, so our use of SaaS offerings isn't that large, and our company isn't prepared to put a lot into the cloud, especially when it comes to personally identifiable information (PII). We're very nervous about that. With that limitation, we would have preferred that Collibra would have extended the timeline of their on-premise offerings beyond this.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't have a lot to say about scalability because we haven't had the system pushed that hard. I think we started out with an initial 25 users, and we might have a couple of hundred now. We haven't had any complaints from end users in terms of not returning information in a timely fashion or the system isn't working as good as I would expect. We haven't had enough experience to comment on that. Our current installation is approximately 175 users with about 15-25 concurrent usage. We went with the vendor recommended VM sizings although we did put all services for Collibra on one VM (except JobServer and Connect as recommended). For larger implementations, Collibra will recommend that you split out services (e.g. DGC, Search, Repository) onto separate VMs to allow performance tuning but our implementation hasn't come to that yet. 

How are customer service and technical support?

In my experience technical support is pretty good. They're fairly responsive. If I enter a case, I'll usually hear back either later that day, so maybe a five or an eight hour turnaround, or definitely within two business days. I find if it's beyond a basic question, it takes a little bit to get it pushed to another level, to their second level support. Sometimes it takes a while for them to say, "I don't know the answer, now I'll ask second level to assist me with that." Getting past the first level, like most vendors, is a bit difficult because they want the call answered there, but it is not unreasonable in any respect

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used the IBM Information Governance Catalog, IGC. We had used that as part of the whole suite (e.g. Information Analyzer, InfoSphere, etc.). We went out and did vendor assessments and had demos from the vendors come in to set a strategic direction. We determined what our strategic platform was going to be in terms of a data catalog. IGC just quite frankly wasn't anywhere in the realm of what Collibra could offer in comparison. It felt like comparing Windows 3.1 to a Windows 95 interface. Collibra is known as the 'Cadillac' offering from a user perspective. There are some things that it is not as technically good for, such as Alation is quite good at crowdsourcing or crowd approval approach. But in our opinion, Collibra offered the most features from one product overall. It's a bit on the pricier end, but when we looked at the Gartner Quadrants and Forrester Waves, it was always consistently either one or two up there with, say, Informatica or other tool sets like that.

How was the initial setup?

That's actually what my role is, as the technical lead. I'm the one who did the installation, and is responsible for patching and that kind of stuff. I'm not an end-user of it as much, I don't go into it every day to do workflows or create the data, but if there's a technical request or something, that's where I would get engaged.

The initial setup is fairly straightforward. I found the Collibra pre-sales and their support pretty helpful. They got back to you in a timely manner to be able to do the setup. It wasn't a difficult implementation by any stretch. It was about what I expected in terms of the timeline that they had provided for us and what we needed to do.

In terms of the actual installation process, it was maybe a couple of days start to finish once the hardware and everything was there. Then you continue to do your configuration as time goes on to connect to different systems and whatnot.

Most of that was put forth on advice from the vendors. We said here's the usage count that we plan to have, here's how many systems we're targeting originally. We looked to Collibra to give us the recommendation as to VM sizing and implementing. We didn't really create our own, we used theirs and customized it slightly for our environments, but it was mostly a vendor-provided plan of implementation.

What about the implementation team?

We used in-house resources to build/deploy the IaaS environment and complete the installation of Collibra. We have used 3rd party firms to develop custom Mulesoft flows for connecting legacy systems and custom workflows

What was our ROI?

We've had good ROI, because when we look at the amount of time invested, it's not necessarily dollars out the door; it's more about manual work avoidance. Instead of having somebody have to manually enter all of these different systems and characteristics, we can do integrations between our source systems and Collibra to get that automatically and refresh it. As people make changes to source systems as time goes on, we can automatically bring those into Collibra. It has allowed us to do one of the projects that we had on the books for this year, which was to understand what our critical systems were. Not only for disaster recovery, but where is our most important data about our customers? Where does that reside and how can we take that data and join it to understand more about our customers and their needs?

In our scenario, we have different business units with the same customer, but we can't make that realization that it's the same customer in different business units because of the way the systems grew separately over the years. Collibra is the one that's allowing us to tie that together. It opens up additional revenue streams with the ability to say, "Hey, I noticed you bought a product for this business unit from us. Did you know we also sell this product for this other business unit?" It allows us that cross-selling opportunity or upselling if you will (aka Revenue generation). That's a bit difficult to articulate or quantify in hard dollars, because there are so many steps going from a lead all the way to a sale. But we certainly believe that the information that Collibra has been able to provide us has helped or augmented our revenue generation streams. In a way it is a sales enablement tool.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In terms of pricing, it's not bad. You pay more money for the author licenses, which is where you do most of your entry and whatnot. Whereas consumers are basically viewing information and using the tool to say, "Hey, I want to look at this data." I think what we would like to get to eventually might be an enterprise license, rather than having to say, "I'm going to pay for 50 authors or 100 authors." At some point in the future, I could see us wanting an enterprise license.

They may offer that now, but it wasn't at a price that was palatable for our company at this point. Plus, we needed a few years to get uptake in it to justify going to that high level. It's just more money licensing wise, but not unrealistic, in my opinion. The money is well spent for the product and the services we're getting.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We just found that IGC was way behind the times. IBM had not really put any money into their product, it didn't connect with any of the systems that we wanted to do. It simply just didn't fill our needs.

We did look at the Informatica product and we did look at Alation.

I think what we found with Alation is that it was good. The user interface was impeccable, but it was not what we would consider the whole package. It was very good at the catalog portion, but in terms of interconnectivity with different systems, it did not have workflow, which was a key characteristic that we were looking for. Alation was a fairly new company. It was only maybe three or four years old at the time when we looked. There was concern about the staying power for that particular vendor. Not that their product wasn't good, it just wasn't as full a product as we would have had with Collibra but built on something for workflow, which we weren't interested in. We were looking for one product to do that.

The Informatica offering was quite good as well, but in our investigations and interviews with other companies in our industry, Informatica is quite a complex product to get up and running and to maintain. It's not cheap either, but when we looked at what it would take to care and feed our maintenance on the Informatica side of the house, in comparison to what we could do with Collibra, we chose Collibra.

What other advice do I have?

Everything seems to be going the route of software as a service these days. It does take away somewhat your ability to customize like you want. Some products allow you to do that better with their SaaS offering than others. I would say that the data catalog space changes quite rapidly. When we did our investigation a couple of years ago, Alation hadn't been in business that long, they've continued to grow and maybe their offering has become better. Just because we chose something two or three years ago, doesn't mean that we shouldn't re-evaluate that in another couple of years to say, "Is this still the strategic product for us?"

There tends to be a lot of vertical integration going on. We once thought, "Well, let's just buy IBM because everything works with IBM." That doesn't seem to work any more. There seems to be a lot of best of the breed. But when you do that, there can be a lot of interoperability there that just doesn't work out. That people who like the IBM's of the world say, "We'll just buy our product because everything integrates." It truly doesn't in our experience.

You have to do your homework and definitely interview other customers to understand their experience for what is good and bad, because of course, sales isn't going to tell you that. But do your homework and make sure that you're talking to people who have not only installed the system, but have been able to use it for a few years, to see what's good about it, what's bad, and what they might have done differently. We talked to a number of different customers in the insurance field, in Canada, the U.S. and in Europe, and learned different things that we would have never considered on our criteria had we not talked to them.

On a scale of one to ten, I would peg it at a seven and a half, eight. I would put it higher, only except it doesn't connect as well to our legacy systems without additional programming and a separate tool, which they used to license as the whole product, but when MuleSoft got bought out by Salesforce, that business relationship was severed. Now we have to buy that MuleSoft product separately from Collibra. Now we have a data governance product that used to include MuleSoft (but does not now,) and now we have to deal with a second vendor to get that. It was nice when it was all one product. If they're going to say, "Use MuleSoft to get at your legacy systems," fine, sell me that product. But they won't do that anymore because Salesforce owns it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Peggy McCoy
Stewardship Coordinator at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Transformed our cross-functional business teams into one enterprise-facing view

Pros and Cons

  • "As far as the functionality of the tool is concerned, it's pretty slick."
  • "There's a lot of things available in their Data Intelligence Cloud that are not available on-premise."

What is our primary use case?

Previously, I was in high-tech, now I'm in healthcare. In both instances, we used this solution to increase data literacy and business literacy. In short, we were building out business glossaries, coming to an agreement on term definitions, understanding what reports mean, what the metrics and calculations mean — essentially getting it all documented in an enterprise-facing view. That was the bulk of the focus in my prior company — along with some reference data. At my current company, we are focused heavily on bringing in data dictionaries, including schema tables and columns, and understanding what data is in which database. We also look at what data is flowing from database to database and how it's used in Tableau reports or in a business or archive.

Currently, we're on-premises, but we're planning on moving to the cloud later this year.

Over the last 12 months, we've had 643 unique new users. Most of our users tend to be what I would call "data geeks". They are the ones that understand the value of and/or the aspect of leadership to catalog their metadata for their data dictionaries, etc. The business users have not had as much adoption at my current company because that's not the particular strategy at this time. At my prior company, that was the singular strategy — to increase business literacy.

In regard to my previous company, for eight years, our primary customers were business users, not technical users. They just wanted to come in and say, "What does it mean? Who do I talk to if I have questions? Where do I go for more information? How does this relate to that, and how do those things affect me in my business world?" That was a fantastic use case at my prior company. In my current company, we're utilizing the tool specifically to support our data management strategy. Our technology risk office is very much supporting us in the effort to do the cataloging of all of the metadata for all of the systems that we're utilizing, cross-functionally.

Maintenance must be defined. As with any software product that exists, there are regular maintenance upgrades that occur that the company pushes out. If you're on-prem, you can choose to do it sooner versus later. In the Cloud, they push it to you unless you state that you wish to wait. From a maintenance perspective, I have talked to other customers who are in a cloud environment. They say that the maintenance has basically dropped to nil. For on-prem customers, it does require a little more maintenance because obviously, you've got to make sure that the servers are up and running, etc. In my prior role at my previous company, I was responsible for the business IT side of it, which meant I kind of managed the platform. I just didn't manage the server.

I took care of the customers, etc. I'm not even a technical person at all, but still, it was not difficult for me. From a maintenance perspective, I don't feel that it is difficult.

If you have custom integrations that have been created, then it will require a little bit more maintenance because those integrations need to be monitored. Some customers require a lot of integration, and some customers don't. It really depends upon the use case. Custom integration is really where it gets more challenging. Depending on whether it's a one-way integration or a two-way data feed, it can get pretty complex. Two-way data feeds are always custom. But that's something that will be on the customer anyway, not Collibra.

We've only just relaunched this solution within the last 15 months. Currently, we only have about 240,000 assets in the tool, but we have a roadmap and plan to onboard a number of our customers. We'll probably double or triple our users over the next 12 months. 

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has brought our very diverse cross-functional business teams to one enterprise-facing view, where they can see business glossaries that have been compiled by other teams. From here, they can leverage and understand what reports have been created. If the report exists already, why recreate it? 

Our data management strategy is to start cataloging our data dictionaries and our business glossaries to ensure that we have a common platform across the company. This is helpful when a database is being retired or being converted over to another one. A lot of work goes into documenting what that data attribute means, or what that field name means in regard to a particular report, or in a particular database.

What needs improvement?

I'm always putting in enhancement requests because we want everything to be perfect for us. We understand that there are thousands of companies that use the tool and many of them use it in different ways. They should allow the customer to have some additional flexibility.

Take Microsoft for example. Sometimes companies do something cool because their software programmer thinks it's cool, but for the user experience, it stinks. Something as simple as "Why did you decrease the font size from 12, down to nine on every page? Now eyes over 40, can't read it". As it relates to this specific software, I think that getting more feedback from users on changes to the software before implementing it would increased value for them. Overall, they're really great. We meet with our Collibra rep every other week. We talk about what's working, and what's not working. They're a fantastic company to collaborate with. Still, when they just go ahead and implement new things, a bunch of new tickets open, wanting it to go back to the way it used to be. 

As far as the functionality of the tool is concerned, it's pretty slick. It's very comprehensive. Still, sometimes they create an interface or an integration without thinking about how the business is going to use it. Virtually all software companies do this. Oracle does it, Informatica does it — every tool does it. They make changes and then they're like, "Oh, I didn't know you were going to use it like that". Why? nine-tenths of their customers use it like that. I think it's a common business challenge that any company has. They're just trying to appeal to a vast audience of customers.

They should consider that what makes a financial institution happy will not necessarily make a healthcare institution happy, which will not necessarily make a high-tech vertical happy either.

There's a lot of things available in their Data Intelligence Cloud that are not available on-premise. For me, if they could boost the search functionality so that if somebody types in a word, it automatically will pull up similar terms first — that would be nice. For business users, instead of what is just the most common volume of content in your tool, now they have a very cool faceted search. It would be very similar to Amazon. You can refine your search down to a fly's eyelash if you'd like. I see a lot of people in the community commenting that this would be a big help.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution every day for the last eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a pretty stable tool. In the last year, we've only had one time where there was a significant issue. We found out that it was simply because during an upgrade it required more server memory than the prior version did. Overall, that was a minor hiccup and it was quickly resolved.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Collibra has roughly half a dozen different products with which you can buy additional licenses for that will do amazing things. If you're interested in GDPR, you can buy that software — a module. If you're interested in what I would call a significant data lineage, you can buy that product, get a catalog, and it's available for data ingestions automatically. In today's world, this is pretty much essential. There's a lot of capabilities as far as scalability and expanding usage across the business.

It's easy to do that if the business users are being encouraged by their management to use it. I think you might agree that no matter what company you work for, nobody's going to use the tool unless their leadership tells them to — they're comfortable in their own box. It's like, "I'm busy. Don't bother me unless I have to do something." That's the case for what we have done both at the company I'm at now and my prior company. It's that leadership gained, cross-functionally that we have as one enterprise united under one tool. That's a pretty powerful thing to encourage people to do. The implementation of a tool like Collibra is far more effective if you have leadership executive sponsorship. I think that's hands-down, one of the most important things to ensure the healthy adoption of a solution.

Sure, you can use it without embracing it, but the teams that have embraced it are the ones that have leadership that says, "I understand the value of it, let's do this and get creative with it." These are the teams that are the most robust at using it; they have really learned how to use the tool and are constantly pushing the limits of it. From a scalability standpoint, the workloads come out of the box, but a lot of the workflows are made for the most common use case. As such, most customers customize the workflows. From that standpoint, it's very scalable.

I always recommend to anyone who is considering going with Collibra, to ensure that they have someone that will be trained on building the customized workflows — you're going to need them. Sure, you can pay Collibra to do that; you can pay the professional services to do that and they'll do a fantastic job, but it's expensive. It's a lot cheaper to invest in somebody in your own company to get some training. You can really scale quickly if you have somebody in-house that can create customized workflows and manage them.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. 

As with any vendor, you can get out-of-the-box support, or you can buy additional support. Both at my prior company and at my current company, we have engaged with professional services and we meet with them once a month just to say, "Hey, I've got this weird thing I'm trying to do and I ran into this problem." Although it's not required, if you really want to accelerate the usage of the tool and the adoption of it, I always advise other people to talk with users at other companies and to consider paying for some coaching services or professional services. Even if it's just one call a month for an hour, it's still worth it, especially when you're trying to do very creative things, as most customers want. You gave me Mickey Mouse and I want to make it Donald Duck — a lot of companies do that.

The Collibra Professional Services guides are great — they're fantastic actually. I've never had a bad experience in the eight years I've been using this solution. I've never had a bad experience with their support staff, both on the technical side and on the business side.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not that difficult. I cannot speak to moving to the cloud because we have not done that yet, but I hear that it's not very difficult. It's been a couple of years since I have set up the platform, but as far as upgrading to a major new version, it's actually pretty straightforward. Collibra has actually done a fantastic job over the last few years to make this whole experience a lot easier. Years ago it was not as easy as it is now.

It's matured a tremendous amount over the last few years. absolutely tremendously. The company has been around for over 12 years now. When they first launched, it was a completely different animal. Now, it's a very robust metadata management and data governance tool.

One and a half, full-time employees are required for maintenance. 

I am not sure how long deployment took at our current company. I have heard from other customers who use the platform that it can take anywhere from one to three months, depending upon the complexity and how much testing they want to do. It also depends on the amount of customization they want to do. That's one of the great things about this tool — you can customize the heck out of it. If you go with everything out of the box, it's pretty straightforward and doesn't take very long. I would say deployment takes less than a month.

What was our ROI?

It's more of a soft benefit versus a hard benefit. What is the value of saving someone time? I did a cost analysis at my previous company. Our CFO used some vocabulary and some acronyms that I had never heard of — and I'd been with the company for 13 years. It took me 20 minutes — and I'm really good at sleuthing — to figure out what those things meant. I added those into our Collibra instance so that other users could quickly find out what those things meant. If you look at it from that standpoint, right after an "all-hands", our usage of our Collibra solution always spiked.

Everybody was like, "What did he mean when he said that? If it took me 20 minutes to find out what X, Y, Z meant, and it took me two minutes to get it into Collibra, then if a hundred people saved time because it took them only two minutes to find out, too — can you put a value on that? Yes. You can say, X dollars per hour, FTE, and how much time that saves. I did that very briefly just for one use case and my boss said, "Nevermind, they get it." 

I think that's the biggest value — how do you save employees time? Because everybody's too busy to waste time.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think all software is expensive, but that's just me. Still, I would say it's probably in line with what other vendors charge for licensing. I would just say it's probably comparable. I have not done a side-by-side comparison in about three years, so I can't speak as to what's going on currently.

There's a baseline product called Data Governance Center. That is what I would consider their baseline product. You can choose to purchase other licenses, whether it's the data catalog, their privacy module for GDPR, or their Data Lineage modules — there are plenty of different licensing options. Some of them are user-based, and as with any company, the more you buy, the more of a discount you get.

You can buy as little or as much as you want. It just depends upon what your budget is. I've talked to some financial institutions that have just thrown so much money at the tool. It just makes my jaw drop to the floor — it's insane. We're doing almost what they're doing at a third of the cost. It really just depends upon your strategy.

What other advice do I have?

The question is how do you help new users understand and leverage this solution to get people to come in, start using it, and understand what they're doing? Well, we've got three people that help onboard our business users.

Every use case is different because every business team wants to use the tool in a different way. It's all about business consultation, but Collibra doesn't have anything to do with that. I used to run a users meetup group for Collibra in the Bay Area. I've talked to many customers who have used Collibra, and all of them experience the same challenges — how do I get my business users? Even technical users that are on the business side want to know how to get them to onboard and adopt.

That's the piece that will really make or break in your implementation. So, make sure you have some type of stewardship team in place, whether it's on the business side or the technical side, just to help onboard new users. This is absolutely critical because as with any tool, it takes some adoption and some communication and collaboration.

When you first buy the software, you could just buy it and figure it out yourself, or you could buy their Coaching Services and their Quick Start packages. I would strongly recommend investing upfront. There is a Quick Start package, which is basically paying Collibra to help you, whether it's standing it up, whether it's your initial implementation, etc. I think it takes 10 days. I highly encourage taking this route. It will really accelerate your installation and decrease frustration. Make sure you've got leadership or executive support regarding what you're trying to do for your strategy.

The biggest lesson I've learned is that you can never assume what somebody means when they use a word. I've got 35 years of business experience under my belt. I've come to coin the phrase "What's your operational definition of that word?" You can be 45 minutes into a meeting with 10 people using the same word and find out halfway through the meeting that you're talking about four different things or two different things and everybody's frustrated and walks away.

You need to understand the meaning of the vocabulary, whether it's data vocabulary or business vocabulary. Doing so will absolutely accelerate your business and save people so much time. That's one of the things I really like about the Collibra platform. From talking to other companies, other people, and friends of mine, I know that other companies that use tools similar to Collibra — even they say the same thing. You need a data catalog, that will allow your business to quickly find what they're looking for and help you understand what that means in the context of the conversation they're having.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give Collibra Governance a rating of eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Collibra Governance. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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SS
Group Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Massive benefits to be reaped, but serious knowledge is required to operate it properly

Pros and Cons

  • "In terms of data governance, as I mentioned, it can be a one-stop solution for all of your data governance needs."
  • "Recently, I find that the default process of issue management in Collibra is really complex — It wasn't really helpful to us."

What is our primary use case?

We're a very large pharmaceutical organization so it's difficult to quantify exactly how many users are using Collibra.

Within our organization, there is a data governance team that we had set up. I am the person in charge of that team. While working on the data governance processes, we thought of leveraging Collibra for things like data dictionaries, developing data lineage, ensuring that business artifacts like KPI catalogs and board catalogs can be built within Collibra itself. 

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has done a lot for our organization and the trust amongst the data that we've been using has definitely improved. Earlier, these things were happening in silos, there were people who were doing manual documentation. Now, things are centrally available on Collibra, so it is more of a centralized platform. People are now able to track what is happening in the background of the data that they are using. Essentially, it has provided us with more trust and transparency — this is the real benefit that we've got out of Collibra.

Also, connecting the dots — things that used to be done in silos, now we have a centralized platform. Every team is aligned with what others are doing. It is not as if I am reporting a KPI, which has an "A" definition and somebody else is reporting a KPI with a "B" definition. When things are consolidated from a country level or a regional level and you're trying to present it to the leadership team, then there is a different picture to it. You're not using consistent calculations and definitions. This ability has been really effective for our organization.

It's a one-stop solution for all of our queries related to data that we are leveraging for our reporting. Pharma is totally dependent on what people are turning out as a report and what analysis or analytics they can derive out of it. From there, leadership accordingly makes a decision. It gives us more confidence in having a go-to platform that acts as a one-stop-shop solution for all of our queries.

What is most valuable?

Due to technological advancement and data becoming more critical for all reporting and analytics purposes, we are no longer restricted to primitive tools like Excel, etc. Earlier, we were leveraging these tools because we used to source data directly from data sources, but now, things have moved to the Azure platform and we have much more freedom in the cloud.

It's now really important for technical people to have some kind of lineage for these data sources because currently, we are not just leveraging data from the source and reporting it somewhere. We have thousands of reports with some transformation that occurs in between. Data is moving from one layer to another — all types, including raw, curated, and rich.

When our technical team works on it and our business demands new modifications, it becomes difficult for them to track that lineage and what impact it's going to have on the upstream and downstream system. This is one functionality of Collibra that we have leveraged extensively. 

We are in the process of migrating all our data sources towards the data lake — some has already been done and more is on the way. We want to connect all of our reports, which are either based on ClickView, Tableau, or PBA, directly to Collibra, as our data platform. If a business user wants to track down a KPI in a report to the rawest data from which we are sourcing it, there are a number of layers and transformations happening in between.

It is important for business users to track what is happening in the background. Are we leveraging the right thing? Are we applying the right kind of transformation or the right business-logic to arrive at a certain KPI? At the same time, the IT team needs to be able to know what kind of lineages there are. For example, If I make a change to one of these things, what impact will it have on the backend? This is one of the powerful functions of Collibra which we as an organization think is really useful — as an organization, we have been reaping the benefits thanks to this solution.

What needs improvement?

I am a business person — I am a team leader. My duty is to ensure that the data governance processes are set up; that's how I started to use Collibra. There are certain limitations I have observed in Collibra. With regards to our data lake, Collibra doesn't give us direct connectivity to the Azure Data Lake. We have to establish data lineages. We have to browse those files manually and then connect them via Collibra — that's how data dictionaries get published. Overall, it's quite a manual type of process which needs a lot of human intervention.

I've been hearing that tools like Talent are going to be available soon, which we hope to leverage in the near future. Talent is similar to other ETL or Informatica-type tools. It directly connects to the source system, captures all the transformation tools, and provides you with a spreadsheet that talks about data lineage, which can be fed into Collibra. If this functionality could be improved, it would be a great time-saving solution. It would require less effort and it would be a more automated kind of system, less dependent on human operation, which means that it would be less prone to errors as well.

We create and issue the management of workflows with Collibra. In regards to workflows, I find that they can be made very simple. For example, a request goes directly to the person who is in charge of that particular asset and some simpler workflows can be assigned to it. Recently, I find that the default process of issue management in Collibra is really complex — It wasn't really helpful to us.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Collibra Governance for one and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If deployed correctly and leveraged properly by the people, if the commercialization of the product within your organization, post-deployment, is good and you're able to transfer that value to people, then this solution definitely has huge power. In terms of data governance, as I mentioned, it can be a one-stop solution for all of your data governance needs. 

If commercialization, onboarding, and value from Collibra are conveyed properly to the teams, then definitely it's a powerful data governance tool.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No. Things were happening in silos. Everybody had their own way of doing data governance. There wasn't any connection or central platform to do that. Everybody was using their own method, platform, files, etc.

How was the initial setup?

We have one person from our leadership team who has experience in data governance — 20 years of experience. Similarly, we had certain technical team members as well. The initial setup was a collaborative effort. Overall, I found the process to be a little complex. 

You actually need to get into a lot of theory to be able to understand the backend of Collibra and then be in a position to be able to implement it. Initially, it's a little complex but now that I've spent one and a half years working on it, I find it a little easier, but at the time of initiation, we found it to be a little complex.

Deployment took us roughly nine to ten months. 

What about the implementation team?

Our data governance lead oversaw the initial deployment. In my team, there were around five team members who were supporting us through deployment. There were two technical members from the same organization that I worked for who were actually involved in the technical assessment. Then there were onshore business people, too. This was all new to our company — we just made decisions and then we started to go ahead with them. 

There was one expert from Collibra that our organization has partnered with because it was a new thing for us. That person actually acted as a guide and mentor, leading workshops and assessments — showing us what should go into Collibra. In a nutshell, these were all the people who were involved.

From a technical perspective, maintenance is required after deployment. We have a dedicated team who looks after this, we don't have to do anything. From an operation perspective, for the maintenance of the asset, you have to ensure that your information is real-time and updated on a regular basis. You cannot just feed this information once and then never look at it — in the data world, things keep on changing. You need to ensure that those dynamics are being catered to. From an operational perspective, yes, there are monthly processes in place that are there to ensure that whatever we have posted on Collibra is up to date and relevant.

From a technical perspective, I cannot contribute much because there is a dedicated team that makes all of the decisions. If we are upgrading Collibra, they are the ones who get the notification, they work with the team and then they agree on the next steps and then we just get notified that new features are going to be available. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I was not involved in the licensing of this solution. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated the pros and cons of another tool (I forget the name of it). From a forward-looking approach and long-term perspective, I think Collibra is far more powerful than the other tool.

What other advice do I have?

Before you deploy or implement Collibra, just ensure that you have certain use cases that really qualify for leveraging Collibra. Assessment and evaluation are really important, first. Benefit analysis is the most important key.

What are the transformational changes that Collibra is going to bring? If it's going to improve your ROI by deploying it, then migrate over to it; just don't do it because everyone else is doing it — that's not a good enough reason. 

There are certain tools out there that can analyze data and generate reports with a few simple clicks. Collibra doesn't work like that until you have the ground knowledge of the metamodel — how the backend works and how your assets should be categorized. You cannot expect to directly deploy Collibra. You need certain experts in that area who do extensive research and understand the backend of Collibra, only then can you proceed with it. Once you are pro with it, it becomes much easier, but initially, it does require some research and hard work.

From what I have leveraged out of Collibra thus far, on a scale from one to ten, I would give it a rating of seven.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SuChatla
Sr Manager - Enterprise Data Office at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Shows the whole history of data elements, though connectors could be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the lineage feature the most because I don't think there's any other tool that actually depicts the data flow from multiple sources and the connectivities between every data element inside those sources."
  • "The connectors are not very sophisticated. They can do, for example, Informatica and Tableau, but the connectors themselves could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

I've been working with multiple companies, but with two of the companies we have been using Collibra mostly for data governance. With these companies, our use case is all about metadata governance, lineage, and data-related policy management. We're doing policy management directly inside Collibra and we're also using it for issue management on the analytics side.

If someone has a data concern, they just call me in and then put that concern into Collibra as a front-end UI for the data stewards and data scientists, and we start processing them.

How has it helped my organization?

We have benefited greatly from Collibra's data governance reporting. If we want to know more about a specific data element, we can use Collibra to get a picture of the whole history of it.

For example, who is the business owner for it? Where is the data coming from (especially when you have different sources which come through) and who was all touching it? And if I wanted to add a rule, like a business rule or a data quality rule for that particular data element, how or where do I keep it? It's like one central place, but for all these items.

What is most valuable?

I like the lineage feature the most because I don't think there's any other tool that actually depicts the data flow from multiple sources and the connectivities between every data element inside those sources.

I don't think there's any other solution where you can view multiple systems and multiple sources and data places and you can just write it down. It's a lot of work to initially organize but there's no other tools to do lineage like Collibra does it.

What needs improvement?

The connectors are not very sophisticated. They can do, for example, Informatica and Tableau, but the connectors themselves could be improved.

I recently got a subscription for another 600K for Collibra for one more year, so the author licenses are not used much. And they keep changing the UI platform; that can also be improved.

From an administration perspective, I like the white-glove onboarding part of Collibra. That was actually nice and I really liked that. For administration in general, I like that you can use Collibra however you want. It's more raw and easily adaptable.

So you can cook it or you can steam it or you can make changes to it in a lot of different ways, but it would also be nice if there were an already available analytics tools like Tableau at hand. Though it is easily adaptable and you'll have a completed end product which you can really leverage.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Collibra Governance for five or six years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, it's more like adopting; it's more like a shark. You have to keep feeding it and then it will grow. It depends on how many systems you're using. I worked for a union bank earlier when we set up Collibra and we were able to push in 3000, 30,000, 30,000 data elements. It's great when all the data is available because the team had been doing data analysis for more than a year prior to getting onto Collibra.

At my current company, the data analysis started at the same time along with the data governance and I think I hardly have 300 data elements. So it works on however much you feed it.

And if you have a huge data dictionary and business glossary already available, well and good. Instead of putting it in an Excel sheet, you can put it on Collibra and then you can actually walk through it. But if not, then you have to start feeding it, and it might take at least two years until you get proper food for the tool.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is okay, definitely not bad. I think they have a 24 hour SLA, but again, it's a data governance tool, so if it breaks and it's not available for a day or so, it's not going to create any business loss. It's more of an understanding kind of tool, and if the SLA is a bit delayed it won't be much of a problem.

The only comment I have is that some of the technical support teams in privacy, security, infrastructure, etc., could be more available during US timezones. That would have made our onboarding process easier.

How was the initial setup?

We went through setup with the white-glove onboarding program. I actually gave feedback to Collibra as well, because the process is a little unusual, but I appreciate it.

The one thing I found a bit difficult when properly onboarding with Collibra and setting it up is that some of the Collibra teams we're working with, like in the security, privacy, and infrastructure teams, are in the European timezone and not the US timezone. Because of this, it becomes a little uncomfortable. It would be great if they could change things around so that there's also somebody available in the US.

It's not just one single technical support team when you are setting up Collibra; you have a lot of different puzzle pieces to work with. That's what the white-glove onboarding is all about. So it actually takes five to six weeks to completely set up, from starting with the solution to getting the software installed and all the nodes set up.

Whether it's on-premises or online, in both cases the whole setup takes five to six weeks and in this time frame I also need to have the company-related IT support people available. And it's just hard for me because most of Collibra's support teams are on Europe time. It could even take up to eight weeks.

What about the implementation team?

Regarding implementation, we need to have the role-setting, we need to have the workspace in the UI in the front end, we need to build the communities, the groups, etc. So it's more like a whole structure that you have to build, and it's a lot of work.

It's more raw, so you can change it however you want. But the thing is, there's not much of a guideline and it depends on your company and organization as well. So you have to ask, how do you want to do the structure? Then you first have to find the communities, and you'll have to set up the groups and the UI, and what comes back, and it's just more about adopting the software to your needs.

Our data officer was very interested in doing it. So she's fully on. And we had an administrator, a developer and the business. We had around three or four business owners to set up the first part before we adopted the rest of the businesses. Of course I was there, too, and there was one more project manager. All in all, we implemented Collibra with only about eight people. As for ongoing maintenance, we only require one administrator.

What was our ROI?

We have not seen ROI yet. Again, it's more like a dictionary. You buy a dictionary at home, so whenever you want it, you use it. What is the value of getting the dictionary? I don't know. It depends on your talent. If your team does not have good talent, then the dictionaries are more useful. It gets easier to navigate. And if you don't have the dictionary, it's going to be hard.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think they have a trust issue.  I did not like the way they recently went through the process. They were like, "Finish this SOW first, only then will we sign the other SOW." Or, "Finish this code." I didn't like that much.

And they're also very hard. They don't negotiate much: The first price is the first price. We tried our vendor management team contracts that our negotiation people use, but they did not negotiate at all, nothing at all. The very first price they quoted, they almost always stuck to the same price, within 95-98%. Always the same price; hardly anything went down. So that's one thing. They shouldn't do that.

Generally, when all the vendors quote, first they quote and then we start negotiating it. They might then reduce the quote or just provide a different way of getting around. Collibra were very rigid cost-wise, so they should improve that or maybe come up with some plan on how to negotiate.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I think we considered Informatica and one or two others that I can't remember off the top of my head. Informatica was the actual challenger to Collibra before we finalized the cost and everything.

It was cheaper, and it was another good one from an analytics perspective. But we know that, industry-wise, Collibra is number one from a data governance perspective. That's one of the reasons why we went with Collibra, even though the rest of the tools' setup cost and maintenance were cheaper.

What other advice do I have?

It's a very niche product. It's nice to use and easy to promote. You don't have to have all the user licenses - you can also get the author licenses. If you have 10 author licenses, you can get up to 50,000 consumer licenses. It's nice to know you have a mobile component in that regard.

If you're doing a lot of training as well, you need to do proper training with your data team, and with your business team, try to use it as a business tool instead of a technical tool. Employ it as much as you feed it, because then it's that much more useful.

And then having the business rules, the data governance and data quality rules, everything in one place, is nice to have. If you try to utilize it, the data lineage is number one, because there's awesome capability in it. So just try to use it and you'll start loving it.

I would rate Collibra a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
KF
Sr. Systems Analyst, Master Data Governance at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good data lineage and surrounded by a helpful community, but takes a lot of up-front planning

Pros and Cons

  • "There is a good community setup around the solution that can provide insights."
  • "The licensing is one area that could get improved."

What is our primary use case?

The solution that I had worked on was related to the technical implementation of metadata for capturing analytics. That said, that particular implementation missed the bus with using it for business use and getting a proper buy-in from the users.

What is most valuable?

We learned some lessons on a past implementation, and with the new implementation, we're going beyond the data catalog and looking at the OwlIQ, data quality, as well as data lineage. We're really selecting some of the best modules within Collibra's toolset.

Right now, we're just implementing it. We're still in the purchasing process, however, having experience with it, I would say a great feature is its usability on the engagement with enterprise functionality. The crowdsourcing and just making it very accessible is foundational. At the end of the day, it always comes down to terms. For example, we might be saying the same exact term, however, have completely different meanings. It brings to light just the nuances, especially within a larger enterprise organization, a global organization. In organizations of this size, we've realized just how different our terminology views are. It sheds a good light on this and helps clarify. 

The data lineage piece is very useful for us. The ability to understand data flows, where systems and changes originate, is great. A lot of time you might have something on paper that isn't necessarily working in real life. This product brings about the right visibility to have the right conversations between business and IT.

There is a good community setup around the solution that can provide insights. 

What needs improvement?

It's not necessarily a tool specific, however, with any sort of application, there's an investment as far as the way in which you need to use it. There is a lot of upfront work that has to be considered. That's just a common reality with any software implementation. There's a lot of pre-work. You just don't turn on the lights assume it's going to work exactly as you envisioned. There is input and planning required.

If anything, I would say that the licensing is one area that could get improved. We have basically three roles: an admin, an editor, and a view-only role. It is limiting. For example, we want view-only, however, if we want users to be able to approve workflows, they need editor rights. That makes sense, except it doesn't necessarily meet all the business cases we have. In some instances, you might just need proper approvals, and you are not necessarily asking anyone to edit things. Yet in order for them to approve, they must have edit rights.

The last implementation was very much focused more on IT and capturing more of the IT view of data and even data definitions really focused on data standards, such as how we're going to name the technical fields or how we're going to name the entities. This new deployment is really much more focused on not just the IT side but on the business side and the operational side. It's based more so around analytics and operational governance. I'm hoping to use more of the modules and have a better, more favorable opinion of the solution's capabilities. While overall I have the sense it's good, the last company I was with didn't have the right business partners and it really just became another IT tool, which wasn't helpful to the company as a whole.

The initial setup requires more of a trial and error approach and there isn't too much documentation available to help you figure things out. There needs to be more online support around the sharing of best practices. There are a lot of use cases and people like the tool. That said, you hear a lot of pain points around large amounts of data being ingested and creating backlogs of data that need to be cataloged and there's really no way to prioritize it. 

Ultimately, it's a tool that should help to coordinate a lot of efforts and it would be nice to be able to look at something and understand how another experience could be similar or you can get a lesson learned before you actually make it your own lesson to learn.

This is more of a data governance tool, not necessarily a centralized tool for data cleansing. However, with the data quality module, that's the next evolution that's possible. Looking at data quality issues and then ultimately not necessarily being able to correct them, there's a lost opportunity. Data changes all the time. We're measuring it all the time. It would be advantageous to build this into more of a data quality tool in which users could cleanse data that could go back to source systems. That said, that's encroaching on more of the MDM solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about two years or so at this point. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's largely a good, stable solution. This is not an MDM solution. From a governance standpoint, there are some things that Collibra does better than some of its competitors, however, there's always something about having multiple tools and getting users to accept the multiple tools. It would be great if they could partner with an MDM solution provider to give more of a seamless look and feel.

In the last implementation, I do not recall dealing with bugs or glitches. In this new implementation, it's still too early to tell. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability potential is all around the framework that's specific to the company. It'd be good to have some general best practices from Collibra's standpoint. That said, is scalable, however, first and foremost, you need to implement it and really look at how the tool is functioning out of the box before you put your own strategy on it. 

Many times though, projects as they go, you're really not afforded that freedom. You might have a specific use case and you're trying to get that implemented so you'll get a quick win from a governance standpoint and so you can continue to incrementally add value. It's a balance due to the fact that, as we're trying to provide a solution, governance is an investment for sure. While there's certainly scalability potential there are structures that need to be in place from a foundational standpoint for it to scale as you need it to.

In the last implementation, there were about 20 users on the product. In that case, it was not that extensively used. Doing a data warehouse migration from Cloudera to Azure, things were collected, however, what was missing was the business definitions and the scenario-based understanding. Due to the implementation the last time, it offered a very flat view of the data. You didn't understand how everything was related or how things were scenario-based, et cetera. You couldn't get a sense of how fields are ultimately connected, and the KPIs that they ultimately built didn't help with understanding. The intention was that it was going to be an enterprise data catalog and it missed that chance. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't been in touch with technical support. I can't speak to how helpful or responsive they are. 

How was the initial setup?

The implementation is not that easy. All the sell sheets and everything makes it seem as though it's more structured. Here you have this catalog, however, in reality, you have to define the structure including the data that you're going to be collecting, how you're going to define it, what those workflows are, what the user groups are, et cetera. There's a whole change management initiative even beyond just turning it on. 

With any application, whether it's cloud-based, but especially if it's on-prem, there is a level of pre-work that needs to be done. It's not just a turn-it-on type of event. Overall, that's sometimes lost in the process.

Getting it installed and all that is pretty straightforward if you can get a system integrator, or maybe if you have the in-house knowledge, however, it's really the strategy that's behind it that makes for an easy or difficult rollout.

The community is pretty good, however, I haven't necessarily found anything that's like user groups that can help guide implementation. A lot of it is you make a mistake and you have to go back and try to remedy it. There is a lot of trial and error involved.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the entire implementation ourselves, in-house. 

What other advice do I have?

While I do not have a sense of the version number, I would say that we are not on the latest version of the solution at this time. 

I would advise new users looking at getting it implemented to really use the out-of-box features before you overlay your specific strategy on it. Upfront investigations and creating a repeatable framework of how this will ultimately operate are important to the success of the solution. One of the crucial early factors is to get this as part of an operating fabric within your company. There's a lot of pre-work and pre-thought that needs to be in place in that sense. Having well-engaged business folks as part of it will help with the level of success as well. This is not necessarily a big bang type of development and release. It's very incremental. You've got to think backward as far as the user experience - of how things are going to be searched and located - and bring that back to your IT process.

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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IS
Consultant II at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Top 20
User friendly and easy to set up with good documentation

Pros and Cons

  • "It's not a complicated product."
  • "While connecting with the data source, it's not very easy. If there's a firewall, it is difficult to connect with the database. It's not easy when you are configuring on the database."

What is our primary use case?

We have a client that was planning to do a digital transformation. They came up with the use cases and they have a couple of departments. They are mainly based on legal systems including corporate trust, etc., that they want the data to govern. Their requirement was basically if any new person is hired, they would have everything in Collibra, including all of the business glossary or the tables or the reports. Basically, everything for their onboarding process was available there. It was also necessary to give that to anyone that wanted to know about their department.

How has it helped my organization?

We only just started with this project and have only started learning Collibra.

On the client-side right now, any onboarding or any seminars or any training they are conducting, they can just pull the data from Collibra and show it to anyone. Every single data source, we can connect with the Collibra and we can pull out any data. We can create our traceability diagrams or trace any connections, like end-to-end connections, and link the data to the report. Some will be encrypted data, however, we will know which is related to each business term.

We can create our own policies, and we can link with the data quality rules. Collibra can even provide some validation rules. If there is a business term that exists without a description, the validation result will show as false. It is pretty customizable and pretty user-friendly so far.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is mainly on the report side. They have a couple of reports in finance and we can connect with Tableau or Power BI, or even SSDT. We have connected with Power BI and Tableau right now. Once we connect with the source, we can pull all the data, and we can create a hierarchy based on that, and then we can link each attribute in the report with the table name and the column name. After that, we can link it with the business terms as well. It's like an end-to-end flow. We can create even traceability diagrams, views inside the system.

The reporting is very good. The solution offers a good business glossary. The diagrams are also pretty easy to understand for everyone. We had to link with the IT department, which had some difficult workflows, and they want to automate everything. The solution can do that for them. It's still a work in progress, however.

The solution is quite customizable. If I took a business term account, I could link it with the table account, and then I could link it with the account ID, and then there'd be some account receivables report. Each attribute in this report account ID, I can link to and create a linked diagram. This can be shown to the business users. The business users need to see the glossary and the attributes and if we can link anything we can create relationships with the data. There are some out-of-the-box attributes, which are present in Collibra, however, in addition to that, we can also create our own any.

If you compare the solution to something like Axon, it's pretty user-friendly. Anyone can come and understand the tool very easily. Axon isn't as user-friendly compared to Collibra. 

It's not a complicated product. Collibra also has Collibra DG and Collibra Console, but in Informatica Axon, everything is all together. Everything, including the backup schedule and all these things, has another web application in order to maintain all that information. 

What needs improvement?

While connecting with the data source, it's not very easy. If there's a firewall, it is difficult to connect with the database. It's not easy when you are configuring on the database.

Right now, the client is decommissioning the MuleSoft integration and they're moving to APIs. Collibra Connect and MuleSoft integration were there before, however, now there's a move to API. Within a year or two, they will all move to API. Whoever is using it now with MuleSoft and Collibra Connect needs to find another way for connecting with the API. 

I don't think they are providing additional software for MuleSoft integration. Primarily, they are telling us, okay, we will decommission this and move to API. The only thing that's lacking in terms of the change is when connecting to database. Sometimes the connection causes issues if the data is breaking the firewall and ingesting the data.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I'm currently using the solution. I've been working with the solution since March of 2020.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been good. We haven't had any complaints. It seems to be quite reliable. We've deployed into production and until now we haven't had any page loading issues or refresh issues.

We had around 100s of business users using collibra, we never faced any performance issue. And we had SSO configuration enabled for all users. Performance wise collibra is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. If a company needs to expand, they should be able to quite easily.

How are customer service and technical support?

In terms of technical support, they have documentation from Collibra University. They have subcategories that you can search through. That can help with a lot of troublshooting.

However, if we are facing an issue in production, they will reply in a short span of time, usually within half an hour or 15 minutes. They will connect with us to resolve the issue.

If it is in our working environment, it will lag by four or five hours. They try to prioritize service and get to you as quickly as they can only in critical situations.

Our client has taken some Collibra hours as well. We can schedule some sessions with the Collibra team to learn the system. We have taken around 36 hours approximately and have utilized the service alongside purchasing the product.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

While I've seen Axon, I haven't worked much with it. From the look and feel, and from my navigation, I find it's very difficult compared to Collibra, which seems to be rather straightforward.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup and I did not find the implementation overly complex.

Once we started setting up the Collibra tool, they provided a pretty detailed user guide. Along with that, there are so many videos available in Collibra University, which is pretty self-explanatory. We just needed to go through that and understand it all. 

You will get all end-to-end details of what software can connect, what data sources it accepts, etc. Lately, they have changed a lot of the certification levels. Earlier, it was level one, level two, level three. Now, they changed in each area. There are certifications for solution architect, business analyst, workflow manager, etc.

We had three people from our organization that assisted with the initial setup. One person was the cloud administrator. He set up everything with the cloud. Another person was doing the console setup, it was a single sign-on, so he was adding all the AD directory. We had two environments, actually, one production and one dev. The third setting up the environments. In the console only, we needed to mainly set up all these things, add all the data sources, JDBC drivers, SSN configuration, email configuration, all these things needed to be done in the console. That was the primary setup.

Deployment took, in total, about two weeks. Post-deployment, there really isn't any maintenance necessary. We can schedule backup, either on a weekly or daily basis. Whatever changes we make, we can take to the backup. If we make a mistake the backup will be available to override it.

What was our ROI?

The client is pretty happy with the Collibra work so far. They have achieved their digital transformation goals for 2020 and therefore they were pretty satisfied with the tool. We can connect with IDQ or anything we need to. It's been a successful project.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are two license types - author and consumer. The author has all of the rights. He can edit and catalog anything. The consumer has limited access. We have around 10,000 consumers and 40 author licenses.

Professional training costs are in addition to licensing costs.

The pricing is pretty high if you compare it to other governance tools. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't evaluate other options before choosing this product.

What other advice do I have?

We are Collibra Partners. We have a business relationship with the organization.

If we have a Collibra expert on your team, it will be easy. Otherwise, new users should expect a bit of a learning curve. ANyone working closely with it should take some Collibra training alongside the product purchase. Professionals will help you and guide you in creating an organization level or department level unit with a glossary and everything. They can give you more insight. I'd also advise users to try to take the certification, which is free of cost in Collibra University, or try a partner training certification.

Overall, I would rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Richard Monk
Knowledge Manager at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Real User
Top 10
Allows us to modify things for our own use and helps us to do our work easier, faster, and better

Pros and Cons

  • "I like Collibra's flexibility. I like to be able to modify things for our own use. For example, we've chosen to use Collibra also as a knowledge management tool, even though it is not designed to be a knowledge management tool. That's the beauty of it. It can serve as a knowledge management tool by creating some custom assets specifically for knowledge management."
  • "The UI is good if you happen to be an administrator and are familiar with the technical side of the administration. If you're a business user, the UI is not good. It is hard to learn. It is hard for those who are administering it to teach to end-users and it can take hours of training to do it. Because it is difficult and non-intuitive, business users resist using it. It is a battle to get them on board and to keep them engaged because of the UI."

What is our primary use case?

We are focused primarily on the Data Governance Catalog (DGC) for our data dictionary use. We are not using it for information governance in terms of regulatory compliance, etc. We are focused on business glossary, data catalog, data dictionary, and some workflow processes to help with metadata management and other things.

We are fully updated, and we are using its latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the workflows that we're just finishing and rolling out is a certification process. Collibra DGC has an attribute in there called "certified," and it is basically a yes/no choice. We wanted a lot more information about the certification of data sets, so I wrote this workflow, which is probably 30 or 40 steps long. We have a series of criteria that we have to meet in order for a data set to be considered certified. I was able to create attributes for all those and create a workflow that goes hand in hand with data set development so that when somebody competes their work, he or she can pop into Collibra and say, "I have finished this." It logs it and it becomes part of a trust score. It is really nice, and it is making our certification process more robust and the documentation easier to collect and maintain.

What is most valuable?

I like Collibra's flexibility. I like to be able to modify things for our own use. For example, we've chosen to use Collibra also as a knowledge management tool, even though it is not designed to be a knowledge management tool. That's the beauty of it. It can serve as a knowledge management tool by creating some custom assets specifically for knowledge management. I have a knowledge base domain and a knowledge base article asset type- along with a few other things. I really like the flexibility to be able to extend it in those non-traditional ways.

On the flexibility side, I've created some really nice and very useful custom workflows that have really helped with work processes and productivity. They've really helped us do things easier, faster, and better.

What needs improvement?

The UI is good if you happen to be an administrator and are familiar with the technical side of the administration. If you're a business user, the UI is not good. It is hard to learn. It is hard for those who are administering it to teach to end-users and it can take hours of training to do it. Because it is difficult and non-intuitive, business users resist using it. It is a battle to get them on board and to keep them engaged because of the UI. On the other hand, Collibra just hired a person specifically to revamp the UI. So, they're dealing with it, but it isn't there yet.

They're working on the lineage harvesting for technical lineages. I don't know this for a fact, but my feeling is that this is new to them. So, they're still developing it and it feels awkward.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for eight months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very good. Out of 10, I'd probably give it a nine. We've had a couple of little glitches where something happened, but they were minor and we were able to create tickets and get issues resolved within a week and usually within just a day or so.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, we haven't had any major problems. We're ingesting metadata from AWS Redshift. We've also got connectors built for S3 but we haven't used them yet. We're importing from Oracle and working on lineage harvesting from DBT, Data Services, and few other places. So far, everything has been really good. We're importing metadata from Tableau, and there are no problems there, either.

In terms of the roles of its users, we've got product managers and solution managers. (A solution manager is the IT coordinator who works with the product manager.) We've also got analysts, engineers, reviewers, editors, data stewards, and data coordinators or custodians. We also have technical stewards, admins, and a group of people we call "normal" who are business users that have read-only access.

In terms of Collibra's usage, I would love to have it used 10 times more than it is, but because of the difficult UI, I am getting resistance from the users. It is hard for them to navigate and learn the interface. Once you know it, it is easy to get around and find what you need. It is just about learning the interface and dealing with some poor choices of how to use the screen real estate. So, right now, the user engagement is lower than I would like it to be. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. On a scale of one to 10, I would give them a seven. We've probably had four or five tickets open and were able to get them resolved quickly. 

It feels like they may be sensitive--possibly they've had some bad reviews regarding their customer service--so it seems like they may be going overboard there. For example, they have scheduled a meeting every month for our team to meet with what they call a customer success manager.  I feel like this is too often.  They're responsive about stuff, but it feels like they're trying too hard.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to this and strictly for our data dictionary, I used Dataedo. They are very good at what they do, but have a much more focused solution.

For knowledge management, I used Confluence and really liked it, but we came up against the issue of access levels for for non-registered users; we didn't want to pay license fees for a large number of "read-only" users. Basically, it is either full (paid) access or free access to "the world" and like everyone else, we have information that we don't want to expose to the world.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was really straightforward. Collibra was very good with holding meetings and being responsive to requests. I was pleased with the setup and configuration process. They were really good at the initial stages of learning and understanding what we were doing.

Those of us who are working on this project also have "day jobs" so we were not focused solely on this. The focused time on it among members of the team was probably less than a hundred hours extended over a period of several weeks.

In terms of maintenance, we have a small, three-person team of people who are actually working on the technical maintenance side. All told, the actual time that we spend in administration at this point is very low--perhaps 20 hours a month spread between three people.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house with direct interactions with the Collibra team. Our experience with their team was very good. They have an onboarding process and a roadmap they like to follow. We were just one department with a small team working on the actual setup and use case. Several of their steps didn't apply to our use case so we skipped these and even took some of the other steps out of order simply because it made sense for us. The onboarding team at Collibra was 100% supportive of making those changes and doing things the way we needed instead of the way they ordinarily would have done.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is substantial, and we pay yearly. 

What other advice do I have?

The thing that made our onboarding really simple was that we understood beforehand our use case and our needs. We understood what our roles were and who needed to be involved. We also understood our communities and our setup structure. We had all of that from the beginning. They mentioned several times that we were extremely well-prepared. So we learned that the more users know about the needs of the department or the company, and the more advance prep work they can do, the easier the onboarding process is.

When we started, the Collibra team sent us two huge Excel files that were basically questionnaires that they wanted us to go through to prepare for onboarding. We already had all of that done. It was finished but wasn't in the same format.  We wrote back and asked, "Do you really want us to fill out these Excel sheets? We've already gathered this information." They said, "Oh, great. We will skip the first two steps of onboarding because you've already got it." That really accelerated the process.

I'd give Collibra a nine out of 10. I am really happy with it though there are few things that I wish were different, especially in the UI.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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VB
Technology Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
A developer-friendly solution that lets you easily ingest the metadata and is good for documenting DPIAs

Pros and Cons

  • "The catalog feature is definitely valuable because it makes ingesting the metadata of any application quite simple. You don't have to do things manually. You can just schedule an import, and it will just refresh the metadata of whatever application you want. That's what I like. I usually work on the technical side, and other than that, I usually create integrations. I integrate Collibra with different environments or applications. I'm a developer, so I cannot vouch for the business, but for me, it is quite developer-friendly with the Java API interface and the REST API interface that they have provided. It is good for creating dashboards based on the needs of each and every role. It can be user-specific or group-specific. We usually create dashboards and give them to our business users, and they are quite happy with that."
  • "It should have more integrations with things like CyberArk because its main purpose is GDPR implementation. We have to have more scope for things that implement more privacy. CyberArk makes sure your credentials are vaulted and your things are secure when you're creating your integrations or connecting to an application. I do believe that they are working on this feature."

What is our primary use case?

I am using it essentially for the GDPR implementation over here in Europe. This is my second project on Collibra. Before that, I have worked on the CCPA part for a US-based project.

I have worked on an on-prem solution and a solution on the cloud. I was the one who had created all the components on AWS because our client was not ready to move onto Collibra's cloud solution, but I believe they will be moving to SaaS soon.

We are on version 5.7.5. Version 5.7 is the latest, but because we're not on SaaS, it's quite tedious to upgrade each and every environment. We have four environments or five if you include what the developers work on, so it is a bit tedious to upgrade. 

How has it helped my organization?

In Europe, it is quite good for documenting your DPIAs, and you have to do that if you have to be compliant with GDPR. That's one of the main use cases that I see over here.

What is most valuable?

The catalog feature is definitely valuable because it makes ingesting the metadata of any application quite simple. You don't have to do things manually. You can just schedule an import, and it will just refresh the metadata of whatever application you want. That's what I like. I usually work on the technical side, and other than that, I usually create integrations. I integrate Collibra with different environments or applications.

I'm a developer, so I cannot vouch for the business, but for me, it is quite developer-friendly with the Java API interface and the REST API interface that they have provided.

It is good for creating dashboards based on the needs of each and every role. It can be user-specific or group-specific. We usually create dashboards and give them to our business users, and they are quite happy with that.

What needs improvement?

It should have more integrations with things like CyberArk because its main purpose is GDPR implementation. We have to have more scope for things that implement more privacy. CyberArk makes sure your credentials are vaulted and your things are secure when you're creating your integrations or connecting to an application. I do believe that they are working on this feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with Collibra for almost two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It usually is stable. It doesn't really require maintenance, and it doesn't go down. The only maintenance that is required is the upgrade, which is not that frequent. However, after our latest upgrades, when we ran some of the workflows, the form doesn't respond. Even if you open developer options on your browser and if you try clicking next or back, it doesn't work, but if you close it and then you open the form again, it works. I don't know why that's happening with this version, but because we are planning to move to SaaS, I'm not really bothered about it so much for now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pretty new for this client, and we are in the initial phase. All the applications are not even on board yet. We are slowly trying to move towards the ideal scenario where we have things from your catalog to even integrations with Denodo and Feebo. These are the standard things for virtualization and everything.

We definitely know the capabilities of the tools. I have been working on it technically for almost a couple of years now, and we also have business users and consultants who have implemented a proper governance structure for the entire organization including everything from your roles and responsibilities to the line of businesses and how they should be. We have people who are experts at that, so it's slowly evolving. Our users are data stewards, business stewards, subject matter experts, IT owners, data owners, and stakeholders.

How are customer service and technical support?

Most of the time, as soon as I raise a ticket, they revert back, and I get the correct thing. However, sometimes, for things like the workflow issue that I just mentioned, they aren't that good, but usually, they're good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have worked on SAS DataFlux, Ab Initio Express, and Ab Initio Metadata. All of them are data governance tools. Some of them are data quality engines. Collibra is not one. 

Collibra Governance is totally different from Dataflux. DataFlux usually is just for your data quality. That's the data quality engine that will run your data quality rules and store the data in a place, just like Trillium or exPress IT. After that, you have to integrate it with something like Ab Initio or Collibra to govern the data quality results that are coming from it.

I have also used the Collibra Privacy & Risk. It is the GDPR Accelerator. In fact, we cannot call it an accelerator after 5.7.

How was the initial setup?

If you have someone who knows what they're doing, then it is pretty straightforward, but you have to get the business on board as well, and then you have to show them how to use the tool. That's usually a challenge for any new data governance tool that you get into place. 

If you're on-prem, then the setup is pretty straightforward, but if you're deploying on the cloud, it becomes a bit tricky because usually what happens in banks is that each line of business has its own AWS account. You use your servers to scan their metadata, but then you have to establish some connectivity between different accounts and all those things. That part is usually a bit complex, but if you're on-prem or if you're on SaaS, then it's going to be pretty straightforward.

I have actually created a Jenkins pipeline that works with the latest installable file that Collibra gives. It just does everything by itself. It is pretty straightforward for me now, but reaching that point took a while and a decent amount of effort. We have a DNS resolver using Route 53, which will then go to a load balancer, and the load balancer essentially is then connected to your receive tool that has the tool hosted on that. We take care of security groups and make sure that no unauthorized access takes place. We have implemented Azure AD authentication. Our client uses Azure AD for all their authorization, so we implemented that using the SAML functionality that's available in Collibra.

What about the implementation team?

If there is any change in the asset models, then we have a team that does that. As of now, if we need someone who will deploy the actual tool or upgrade it, then I'm the one who currently takes care of that.

What was our ROI?

Most of our clients have seen ROI from using Collibra. Some of them are still getting up to speed. Usually, financial institutions have legacy systems where people will just use Excel for their DPIAs. It is somewhat of a drastic change for a lot of them, so it sometimes takes time to see the ROI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not so much aware of price details. Initially, there was an add-on NuSoft license to use the DVC connector that NuSoft gives to create integrations, but Collibra is now phasing out of it slowly. Collibra is cutting ties with them is what we have been led to believe, and we have started developing on Spring Boot, which is open source.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others, and I would ask them to directly go for SaaS instead of going for on-prem because you get a lot more features. I believe the license is the same or similar, but I'm not really aware of the price points.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using Collibra is that being compliant is important, and we are helping our clients do that. You must have read about H&M and Citibank. They got charged a lot.

I would rate Collibra Governance an eight out of ten. Because I'm not involved with SaaS, I am keeping two points away for that. After using SaaS for a year, I can say more, but for now, it is eight.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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