Here we are at the end of yet another year. Cliché, I know. Sadly, the year has also been a cliché - ­one of decreasing corporate budgets and gloomy outlooks for hiring and spending in general, but especially in information technology (IT). Despite the still-sputtering economy, all the chief information officers (CIOs) and IT managers I've talked with recently tell me that they have money to spend ­- as long as they can be sure that they will gain quick returns on their investments. I actually see an emerging trend in IT that will give CIOs exactly what they want. That trend is the move toward enterprise master data management (EMDM).

Data quality analysis and remediation is not a new concept.1 Most organizations have a data quality planning and control function in place. However, this function tends to reside at the business unit level. It doesn't translate to the enterprise level. For years, that approach worked pretty well.

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