A Tough Sell

Study shows that 31 percent of companies use in-house data cleansing and enhancement tools

Arlington, MA  May 28, 2002  IT consultancy Cutter Consortium released the results of its recent survey of 130 companies on their data warehouing and business intelligence practices.

The study, called Data Quality in the Data Warehouse Environment: Part II, written by Senior Consultant Curt Hall, reveals that 31 percent of the companies surveyed indicate they are using their own data cleansing and enhancement tools  as opposed to commercial products  to meet their data cleansing and enhancement needs.


According to Hall, companies have several options for using data cleansing and enhancement. They can buy and install tools onsite, or they can license one of the online data cleansing and enhancement services. The study, which was analyzed by Hall, asked participants whether they were using these tools to cleanse and enhance the quality of their customer data. 


Reported Hall: "According to our findings, 23 percent of companies surveyed indicated that they are using specialized tools to cleanse and enhance the quality of their customer data.  Of those companies using the tools, nearly a third prefer to build their own data cleansing tools, rather than purchasing commercial products. Clearly the supplier community has not penetrated the market."


Online data cleansing and enhancement services are available from several suppliers. "These outsourced services are useful for cleaning up customer information files, eliminating duplicate records and enhancing customer data with additional information," said Hall.  Basically these services provide data cleansing techniques that deliver supplement content on a record-by-record basis in near real time over the Internet.


However, the use of online data cleansing and enhancement tools is limited among survey participants, with only 6 percent using such services to cleanse and enhance the quality of their customer data. 


Hall concluded that the number of companies taking advantage of this outsourcing option is small, and early adopters are having mixed experiences  54 percent give the service they receive a satisfactory rating and 46 percent indicate some degree of dissatisfaction. "Time will tell how this marketplace will fare," Hall said.


To receive a copy of Data Quality in the Data Warehouse Environment: Part II, e-mail lstclair@cutter.com.

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