• July 25, 2016
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

The 2016 CRM Market Leaders: Data Quality

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Poor data quality costs firms $8.8 million per year on average, spelling opportunity for the data quality tools market. Gartner estimated that the market hit $1.4 billion in revenue at the end of 2014, and forecasts it to grow 14.4 percent through 2017, to an estimated $2.1 billion.

Gartner also saw the number of vendors grow and merger and partnership activity in the space increase in the past year as demand shifts toward broader capabilities that span data management and information governance.

When evaluating tools, information leaders must consider not only the breadth of functional capability—data cleansing, standardization, merging, de-duplication—but also how easily it can be understood, managed, and exploited by staff in business roles, and not just IT staff, the firm cautions. Gartner also suggests looking for solutions that can scale, as the amount of data that companies collect continues to grow.


IBM revisits the leaderboard again this year on the basis of its 4.3 score in depth of functionality and 3.8 scores in company direction and customer satisfaction. Analysts caution, though, that there is a level of uncertainty circling Big Blue going forward: “IBM’s product is still solid, but a lack of marketing is hindering growth of mindshare,” warns Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research.

While Pitney Bowes has traditionally focused on customer data and geographic intelligence, it has stepped up its investment in other areas. Its introduction of Web-based data visualization and management tools in the most recent release of its Spectrum product no doubt contributed to its 3.7 in depth of functionality. Its 3.6 in cost was among the top scores. But while the company has a large customer base and is among the market share leaders in the United States, many analysts still see it hampered by limited market execution and mindshare outside of North America.

SAS has long been known for its solid set of data quality tools that integrate well with other tools and is often cited for usability and multidomain capabilities. It didn’t disappoint this year, scoring a 4.1 in depth of functionality. Cloud-based deployments are gaining traction with SAS customers, who are largely satisfied with its products (an above average score of 3.6 in customer satisfaction). Despite this, Andy Hayler, CEO of The Information Difference, warns that SAS’s “recent reorganization has caused some attrition and de-focus on data quality.”

Trillium Software, last year’s One to Watch, is back on the leaderboard. Its 3.7 in depth of functionality is only expected to climb as Trillium goes beyond focusing on data quality—with strong profiling, parsing, standardization, matching, real-time functionality, and handling unstructured data—to a broader portfolio that includes data governance and data preparation for analytics. With this year’s Trillium Refine, the company integrated self-service data preparation and data quality capabilities to optimize Big Data analytics. Hayler cautions, though, that the decision to spin Trillium off from Harte Hanks “may be temporarily destabilizing.”


Being taken over by private equity firms Permira and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board last April hasn’t done much to change Informatica’s position in the data quality industry. The company retains its position atop the leaderboard this year after racking up industry-leading scores of 4.5 in depth of functionality and 4.1 in company direction and customer satisfaction. It continues to show strong growth in market share, and this year it launched Big Data Management, which could accelerate the time to insight by at least 20 percent, says Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research.

One to Watch

Oracle has a solid set of data quality solutions, evidenced by its 3.9 in depth of functionality. This year, it extended its cloud-based data quality offerings in Address Verification and Oracle Sales Cloud and plans further expansion via the cloud. But Oracle continues to have problems building traction with solutions outside of the Oracle stack. “Oracle acquired two data quality vendors, but the field sales operation does not seem to put much emphasis on them,” Hayler states. Analysts also identify its pricing model as a cause for concern; Oracle scored only a 2.5 in cost.


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