About Alation

Funded by A16Z and Costanoa, Alation is the first data catalog built for collaboration, using big data to achieve faster, more accurate insights.

When a company purchases Alation, all of their desired company databases, ETL tools, BI tools, and APIs are connected to the data catalog so that metadata around those underlying data sources can be ingested and tracked over time. This allows the platform to build models to make recommendations that improve user outcomes, e.g. suggesting frequently used queries, or placing warnings on tables that have broken upstream ETL processes.

Alation’s data catalog provides a search and accessibility layer for all of a company’s data, while their companion SQL IDE provides an interface to best leverage the metadata and suggestions of the platform.


  • Industry leading data catalog, founded 2012
  • Allows for faster, more trustworthy data analysis
  • Usage metadata and manual stewardship are used to train platform recommendations
  • Used by 40% of Fortune 100
  • alation.com

My Role at Alation

I was Alation’s second designer, joining the series A company in 2016 as the ~35th employee. 

Together with co-founder Aaron Kalb and Colin Glover Poindexter, we designed and honed early versions of Alation’s flagship web data catalog, SQL IDE, branding, and design systems.
Product Designer
Responsible for data catalog, query editor, and design system
Product Design Intern
Product and brand design

My Work at Alation

Below are a few brief examples of what I worked on at Alation.

Fabric Design System

The core of our frontend development and design at Alation was done using Fabric, our React-based component library and design system.

While at Alation, I was responsible for documenting, extending, and maintaining our design system.

When I started, Fabric was in its infancy. With our frontend team, we refactored our primary web app to use fewer, more rigidly applied components and patterns to create a more consistent user experience and more efficient development process.
documented components and design patterns
reduction in unique components

Universal Data Table

Tables in the Alation Data Catalog were previously implemented using six distinct components without UX consistency or development simplicity. But, as a data-focused enterprise application, tables were a critical part to almost every page.

Serving as designer and PM, I led an initiative to simplify our table components to speed development and create a more consistent and efficient user experience. A single implementation of a previous table could take as much as two weeks, which we reduced to two days.

I ran multiple rounds of usability testing and customer validation of the table iterations and its six key feature flows. The end result was a vastly more user-friendly and reliable user experience throughout the Data Catalog.
6 → 1
consolidated 6 unique table components
faster to implement new tables

Data Catalog

I worked on numerous early revisions and additions to Alation's flagship Data Catalog product over the years.

Some highlights include: new user onboarding and home page experiences; updated navigation; a new search experience; dataset curation; and much more.
Screenshot of an Alation Data Catalog home page with example data from BMW.