Data is the lifeblood of any organization. In fact, there isn't a single company in the Global 2000 that would be able to function if you removed the data from their applications. However, the vast majority of these companies and large government organizations are grappling with how to properly manage their data.

The state of data management and data assurance can best be classified as abysmal. Most organizations are overrun with needless data redundancy, very poor data quality and minimal data understanding. Often, these same companies need to establish accountability for the information about their business to meet various constraints placed upon their industry by government regulations, international standards or industry-specific codes of practice. These regulations make data and data assurance everyone's business. Examples include: the ACORD Life standard in insurance for consistency in life, annuity and health products; HIPAA in healthcare for accurate identification of private patient information; and Basel II in banking for accurate enterprise risk analysis. In many cases, bad data equals noncompliance.

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