The market for managing data assets through data quality, data integration, master data management and federated data access continues to grow as more organizations evaluate and deploy these technologies. This demand has generated a rapid evolution of technology solutions to automate these necessary activities for ensuring access to consistent, high-quality data across the enterprise.

Competing in this data-centric technology area is DataFlux, a wholly owned SAS company, which in the past has focused on data quality for a range of activities from MDM to data governance. Now, it has significantly expanded its products and resources with the announcement of a new generation of technology built on its DataFlux Data Management Platform. Parent company SAS accelerated this push by reassigning some of its key data-related technologies and products to DataFlux so it can offer a broader set of data management requirements that span business and IT. (Let’s be clear that offering data management in this context does not mean selling an actual database but tools to manage the data going into, circulating within and going out and into the enterprise.)

This expanded focus gives DataFlux a technology portfolio with which to compete more fully against other major providers; IBM, Informatica, iWay Software and Oracle all directly match up with this range of new capabilities. DataFlux now can help organizations across a range of data management areas including data governance, data quality, data integration and consolidation. The DataFlux Data Management Platform includes tools that blend SAS Data Integration Studio and DataFlux Data Quality technologies into a set of products that interoperate and are available directly from DataFlux. These products include DataFlux Data Management Studio, DataFlux Data Management Server, DataFlux Federation Server and DataFlux Connect.

DataFlux already offered MDM products specifically for customer and product data. MDM is an integral part of product information management, and our benchmark research on that topic found MDM and data quality essential in streamlining the consistency of product data across the enterprise and the business-to-business supply chain. In this area, DataFlux now can deepen its ability to address the challenges of MDM, which must be closely managed from a process and technology perspective, as I have already written (See: “Can Master Data Management Deliver Results or Headaches?”). In addition, DataFlux has also gotten from SAS its technology that provides virtualized access to data across the enterprise; it’s now called DataFlux Federation Server and can provide significant points of data access across platforms and sources.

This is a big step forward for DataFlux, and it comes at a time when business and IT departments are looking for a common provider of integrated technology for data management that can help them gain operational and performance improvements involving cost savings, revenue increases and even governance, risk and compliance (GRC).

Our research continues to show the challenges of integrating disparate tools for organizations and the need to automate key data-related activities; DataFlux now can be a viable choice for addressing these issues.

Other technology suppliers have been actively creating new data management technology suites through acquisitions. Through its own organic development and the inclusion of data-related technology from SAS, DataFlux has an integrated suite with which it can immediately step into the market for products and services. I have already written about the importance of data integration (See: “Data Integration – Using Technology to Manage your Data Assets Efficiently”) and predict that DataFlux will be a key provider of that technology. DataFlux is also advancing its capabilities for data archiving, data privacy, data services and other domain-specific data models.

All of this makes DataFlux a strategic provider of data management, which underlies what we at Ventana Research call Information Management. The company will need to publicize the expanded scope of its data management offerings and try to gain new channels of opportunity through its parent company, SAS who I recently assessed (See: “SAS Simplifies the Science and Use of Analytics Again in 2010”). That will require new investments in marketing and sales to ensure that DataFlux is included in a range of business opportunities where previously it was not considered. The upside is large for DataFlux, and in 2010 it could become a much larger supplier of data management tools.

Mark Smith also blogs at