META Group, Inc. announced the availability of its newest Vendor &Technology Evaluation report, covering the data quality (DQ) software tool market. Managing data quality and consistency across the enterprise is a critical and growing issue for many organizations faced with integration challenges fueled by initiatives such as CRM, ERP and data warehousing. Based on its findings, META Group expects DQ adoption rates to expand 20-30 percent annually during the next three to five years. The report evaluates vendors that offer solutions used in the identification and remediation of problems with enterprise information assets.

"Information should be considered part of the IT portfolio, and data quality solutions should be seen as a means to increase the value of that portfolio, in addition to reducing business risk and identifying business opportunity," said Doug Laney, vice president and director with META Group's Technology Research Services, and lead author of the report. "The data quality market will increasingly intersect with the data integration solution, compliance solution, business application, and e-commerce market. However, DQ solutions will mature independently, improving their openness to integration with solutions in these other markets."

The significant breadth and depth of business rules used as a basis for data quality offerings are considerable barriers to entry, preventing vendors proffering ancillary data management technology from building competitive offerings from scratch. Since several of the leading DQ vendors are already subsidiaries of a parent company, users should not expect much consolidation within the DQ market during the next few years. Instead, niche players will come and go, continuing to chip away at the market by focusing on specific core functionality or introducing related niche capabilities.

The Data Quality Tools report evaluates eight vendors in this market. These vendors offer various technologies for profiling, standardizing, matching, cleansing, and enriching data to help ensure its accuracy, completeness, and integrity. The analysis found:

  • DQ buyers will demonstrate a preference for market leaders, which continue to be those with the strongest presence-oriented strategies combined with the broadest array of capabilities.
  • Leaders have stable, mature products with a deep, expanding knowledge base of data matching and cleansing business rules. There is not much room for new market leaders to emerge through 2005/06. Challengers are mainly characterized by their focus on a narrower scope of capabilities than the leaders. Legitimate challengers are able to offer core capabilities at attractive prices.
  • Followers strictly focus on Windows/NT platforms, offer only a small subset of overall DQ capabilities, target small enterprises, and price their offerings to slip beneath budget radar sreens.

To learn more about META Group Vendor & Technology Evaluation reports or the METAspectrum methodology, visit or call (800) 945-META.

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