Technical literature abounds with facts and testimonials on data quality issues. There are many books, methodologies and tools on the market to facilitate data quality analysis and cleansing. However, most current techniques focus on the assessment of single systems in succession. What is needed instead is a data quality methodology that enables analysis of subject areas across the systems of an enterprise so that organizations can perform an analysis of entities such as customer, vendor or item across all relevant enterprise systems including sales, services, manufacturing and regional enterprise resource planning (ERP).

In many organizations' information systems, master data -­ data on vendors, materials/items/products and customers - ­ has been identified differently across the company, either structurally or literally. Many of these companies do not have the ability, or time, to look at simple procurement or sales figures across the enterprise. This is especially true in companies that have a "decentralized" management culture.

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