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Data integration software provider Informatica today released upgrades for its data quality offerings, Data Quality 3.1 and Data Explorer 5.0. The enhanced products, which arise from the nine-month-old acquisition of Similarity Systems, are meant to provide business users with pre-built data quality rules and allow easier control of data . This allows IT to focus on developer productivity in deployments of Informatica's PowerCenter integration platform, the company says.

"Through data quality workshops and talks with hundreds of customers, we received feedback that we feel has enabled both business and IT," says Ivan Chong, Informatica VP of product marketing. "The business is empowered to take control of data quality and create the rules that support customer, financial or product data. The second benefit is to make data quality an ongoing process, not just a one-off exercise."

Data quality fills out Informatica's lifecycle strategy of activities: access; discovery; matching/merging; integration; and transformation. Chong says the architecture delivers data to a user application in a timely way, tied together by metadata, drawn from a variety of mainframe, desktop and other structured and unstructured sources. Informatica's platform proposition versus best of breed is based on productivity, scalability and response time. Standard interfaces support the pre-built rules templates as well as competing data quality products.

Karen Hsu, senior product manager, data quality at Informatica tells DM Review that the company's number of deals and deal size both approximately doubled this year due to enterprise versus project-oriented investments. "We're seeing a number of large, million dollar-plus deals," Hsu says. "We've seen a lot of success in the combined PowerCenter/data quality deals, and both components have been leading drivers." Hsu attributes the gains to growing business-side focus on data quality combined with IT requirements for data integration infrastructure.

Forrester Research predicts the "Information Quality" market of software, services and data enhancement will top $1 billion in 2008.

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