REVIEWER: Mike van Thiel, vice president of Product Development and CTO at

BACKGROUND: launched in 1996 as an online automotive portal designed to facilitate the research and purchase processes for consumers. provides objective third-party information along with best-in-class research tools. provides a platform for both private and professional automotive sellers to showcase their vehicles to a broad national audience and has been designed to provide a truly one-stop automotive shopping experience. represents more than 1,500 dealers in over 50 markets, hosting a real-time, online inventory of over 350,000 new and used vehicles. It is one of the most trafficked automotive resource Web sites on the Internet. also powers the automotive section for

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Dell Server Class hardware running Microsoft Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Every day, processes hundreds of thousands new and used vehicles from automotive dealers across the country. To ensure a consistent user experience, all records must be accurately standardized and enhanced before they get listed on our Web site. To achieve this, Vehix needed a tool with the ability to quickly and efficiently profile and parse hundreds of thousands of vehicle records and enhance them with our extensive automotive specification and automotive VIN databases.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: For this particular problem, focused on DataLever's parsing and profiling capabilities. By using these powerful components, we were able to create a specialized process to complete this complex task accurately and quickly. The token and symbol creation tools as well as the pattern recognition and assembler components allowed us ultimate flexibility in creating a state-of-the-art automotive VIN decoder to accurately standardize each vehicle displayed on the Web site. Recently, DataLever added even more functionality by way of their advanced matching, profiling and parsing macros. These macros will allow us to increase our overall data quality even more.

STRENGTHS: Ease of use, depth and speed remain DataLever's core strengths. Its visual interface and powerful macro capabilities allow implementation of extremely complex transformations. In recent months, DataLever has started to release powerful advanced macros, using their core components to enhance their offering. This allows novice users to immediately perform very complex transformations and will make the product usable to a different segment of users. Add to that the fact that DataLever offers a host of other components, from CASS certification and spatial components to the ability to execute external processes and implement sophisticated multithreading jobs. You end up with a world class tool that can serve almost any data need you may have in your organization. Being a professional in this space for over 15 years, I feel confident stating that DataLever is still one of the best data quality and profiling tools on the market today.

WEAKNESSES: DataLever could use some improvement in the area of monitoring process flow between jobs. However, this can be overcome by using their command line utility in combination with a third-party process flow tool.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We evaluated several third-party VIN decoders and tools. DataLever offered all the features we needed in one tool and offered us ultimate flexibility to specialize our process. Although the others players have some features DataLever does not yet have, most of them require partnering with other third-party tools to round out the feature set we needed.

DELIVERABLES: DataLever is used to populate our transactional system with accurate data as well as supply our dimensional data warehouse with analytical data.

VENDOR SUPPORT: One of the best parts of working with DataLever is their incredible support staff. They are very responsive and always ready to help answer any questions.

DOCUMENTATION: DataLever's documentation is complete and thorough. It includes many examples that cover almost every feature the product has to offer.

DataLever Enterprise Server
DataLever Corporation
1515 Walnut Street, Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 541-1515

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