UDEX, the world's leading provider of product data quality (PDQ) software and services, and Ventana Research, the leading performance management research and advisory services firm, announced the findings from a report detailing the consequences of poor data quality for retailers and manufacturers. The report, titled "Utilizing Bad Product Data - A Recipe for Disaster," specifically points out that initiatives such as global data synchronization (GDS) and radio frequency identification (RFID) will fail if product data quality is not addressed.

The Ventana Research report shows that many companies incorrectly believe they can eliminate product data quality issues by implementing GDS. This misperception is clearly contradicted by a data quality survey conducted by UDEX. UDEX analyzed a massive sample of 3.8 million attributes from 91,000 new and changed products processed between April 2005 and March 2006. Much of this data was received from the global data synchronization network (GDSN) and had already passed the GDSN validation checks. The company discovered that close to two-thirds (63%) of the items required correction. More than half of the consumer items and more than one-third of traded items contained incorrect data. In addition, the Ventana report states that as the adoption of GDS extends, especially with the introduction of RFID, the volume of data errors will become so great that the entire GDS system will fail.

"Manufacturers and retailers require education about the importance of product data quality and must take steps to raise the quality of their product data before considering any GDS or RFID initiatives," said David Waddington, VP and research director of Ventana Research. "We recommend that companies implement two overarching policies that are supported by information technology - data governance and master data management (MDM). Data governance is the creation of a governing body which establishes a policy that manages how data is stored, reconciled, defined, deployed and enforced across all aspects of the business. Master data management is a single, top-level assemblage of business objects, definitions, classifications and terminology that describe business data. The combination of data governance and MDM will reconcile the 'multiple versions of the truth' that typically proliferate across most organizations."

"In addition to eliminating the ROI from GDS and RFID initiatives, the consequences for manufacturers and retailers of poor product data include lost sales, misleading business intelligence and unnecessary costs related to logistical errors in the supply chain," said Ira Zalesin, chief executive officer of UDEX. "Resolving product data quality issues in a programmatic, sustainable manner is the only way to ensure the success of the many initiatives that utilize product data."

"Utilizing Bad Product Data - A Recipe for Disaster", authored by Ventana Research and sponsored by UDEX, discusses the issues surrounding product data quality and offers seven practical steps for improving data quality. The report can be accessed for free at http://www.udex.com/ventana_research.php.

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