Data quality has historically been related to data cleansing software. However, as interest in quality management solutions grows there is an increasing appreciation from quality managers that data profiling and analysis is as much a part of quality assurance as cleansing, matching and standardising the data. This report considers both of these aspects of data quality and evaluates and compares the various products reviewed under each of these headings separately. Major issues considered in this report are the convergence in the marketplace, the importance of understanding your data, the ability of the various products to support on-going quality assurance programmes, the advantages of different approaches to matching, including data cleansing within transactional applications, and the different requirements needed for dealing with data in situ as opposed to data that is being moved, amongst others.
The products included in this report represent a range of both single-purpose and integrated products and where the latter is the case, the products are sometimes integrated with ETL capabilities as well. In these cases our reviews cover the whole spectrum of capabilities provided by the product suite. In general, we have focused on products that are suitable for international implementation. The companies whose products are reviewed include Ascential (the Enterprise Integration Suite), Informatica (PowerCenter 7), SAS (ETLQ – incorporating DataFlux), Similarity Systems, Avellino, Evoke, Trillium, Datanomic, Innovative Systems, FirstLogic (and Identex) and KDI.