Quest Software adds new Marketplace as part of new version of erwin GRC-focused Data Intelligence solution

Quest also makes some other enhancements to erwin Data Intelligence 13.0, which is the part of the erwin business that is much less well-known than their decades-old modelling solution, but they are hoping this release will change that.

Today, erwin, a business unit within Quest Software, is announcing the launch of erwin Data Intelligence by Quest 13.0. The main new feature is what they are terming a Marketplace, but it is not a marketplace in the way in which the term is usually used in the IT business, Instead of being focused on transactions, this is a data marketplace platform with enhanced search and data discovery capabilities, where anyone in the company can share data being used within the organization in a secure manner.

erwin – formerly stylized erWIN – was originally an entity relationship modelling business created in the late 20th century. That business still exists and is what is still commonly associated with the company. The data modeller was the erwin business when it was originally created, when it was first acquired, when the acquiring company was acquired soon after by Computer Associates in 2001, and during a decade and a half long run with Computer Associates, when erWIN and backup vendor ARCserve were really the only major channel-relevant parts in a company whose hundreds of products were generally sold direct.

Then in 2016, erwin was spun out of then-renamed CA Technologies, and sold to a venture capital firm, which in turn sold erwin to Quest in 2021. Heath Thompson took over management of the Information and Systems Management [ISM] business within Quest, which includes erwin, but also other solutions like Foglight and KACE.

During the latter years of this period, erwin also began working on an entirely new solution from the Business Modeller software.  erwin Data Intelligence first went into beta in 2009.

Bharath Vasudevan, Quest Software’s VP of Product for Information and Systems Management

“erwin Data Intelligence is a companion to the erwin data modeller, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year,” said Bharath Vasudevan, Quest Software’s VP of Product for Information and Systems Management. “It is our best kept secret. erwin Data Intelligence augments erwin Data Modeller with more soup to nuts capabilities, anything that services data governance.”

erwin Data Intelligence combines data catalogue, data quality, data literacy and data marketplace capabilities, to help users discover, understand, govern and share high-value, trusted data across their organizations.

“This has become increasingly more important over time,” Vasudevan said. “Knowing where all your sensitive data is critical for GRC, which has made the use case become more and more prominent. It boosts confidence in the ability of an organization to know what they are protecting.”

Vasudevan said that growing market for this type of protection has expanded Data Intelligence’s addressable market.

“It’s bought by both enterprise and SMB, although things are trending more enterprise now because of the prevalence of data governance issues there.”

He indicated as well that while alternative solutions exist on the market, they are basically data catalogues.

“The challenge is explaining to the customer and explaining this is the level of maturity needed to solve your business catalogue challenges,” he stated. “Data catalogue is one key point to solving the problem, but by itself it isn’t the be-all and end-all.

Marketplace is a new innovation which adds to these broader capabilities. This Marketplace is not about facilitating transactions, but by facilitating easier use within the same company by different parts of the organization.

Kartik Sridhar Director of Product Management, erwin Data Intelligence

“Marketplace is primarily a platform where anyone within a company across the business unit can share data being used within the organization,” said Kartik Sridhar who leads product management for erwin Data Intelligence. Every user can look up what has been set up for ordinary users to consume – things like Data Quality Score. They can look at ratings and rankings of available data sets and compare them side by side. Once you have visibility into the data sets available and know which is best for your use, you request access, and the owner gets notification.” This is something that can be used by both technical and non- technical users.

In addition to the addition of Marketplace, Vasudevan emphasized that the Data Intelligence solution has been made much more data-friendly.

“We have made significant improvements in the user experience,” he said. “We have taken the idea of catering to the business user to heart. The old version had a much more traditional look and feel.”

Other enhancements to erwin Data Intelligence 13.0 include new data lineage search and filter options for more focused data lineage visibility, enhanced asset discovery with keyword search recommendations and an ability to save searches for future use, expanded data tagging capabilities, including tagging assets in bulk, and additional bi-directional integration abilities with other systems through new REST APIs.

A new erwin Smart Data Connector for the Databricks Unity Catalogue was also announced.

“We do have several of these already, but this is effectively a bigger smart connector,” Sridhar said. “It broadens integration and gives better value because  all of the data from the Databricks Unity Catalogue can now be brought in.”

Vasudevan noted that the Data Intelligence solution suffers from a problem in that many people aren’t even aware that it exists, referring to a meeting with SIs, who said they had no idea that the Data Modeller did all these things, not realizing it was a separate, parallel product.

“We are trying to get the word out that erwin is more than the data modeller they’ve known for the last 30 years,” Vasudevan said. “This is something completely different. We are working to get the word out and it is our biggest opportunity.”