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  • August 26, 2019
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

The Best Data Quality Software and Solutions: The 2019 CRM Market Leader Awards

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THE MARKET

Data quality software analyzes stored information to identify incorrect, incomplete, inconsistent, or improperly formatted data. As the technology has matured, some vendors have added capabilities to cleanse or correct data by deleting, modifying, appending, reformatting, or merging faulty elements.

The market, which is valued at about $2 billion globally, is rapidly being changed by government privacy initiatives (like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, which will be taking effect in 2020), security concerns, and changing use cases. The market is also seeing a shift from purely back-office functions to more strategic, revenue-generating ones. Companies are looking for more robust software suites capable of performing valuable business intelligence and targeted marketing and transforming silos of individual touchpoints into integrated multichannel contact data.

THE LEADERS

Experian, last year’s one to watch, takes its rightful place this year on the leaderboard, propelled by scores of 3.7 in both depth of functionality and customer satisfaction. The company, which has long standing as a consumer credit reporting company and purveyor of information on more than 1 billion people and businesses worldwide, knows a thing or two about data.

Oracle’s strength has long resided in its data offerings, and 2019 was no different. The company finished strong on depth of functionality (4.1), direction (3.8), and customer satisfaction (3.8), and its position will only grow in those areas as the collaboration that it began in June with Accenture and Capgemini on customer data platform technology comes to fruition. A key element in this initiative is Oracle CX Unity, which launched in October to provide actionable insights in context, in motion, and in real time across customer experiences and data sources. “Oracle’s promise of Unity—much more than a common data platform—will make this a very interesting space to watch moving forward,” says Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research.

SAS, which has bounced on and off the leaderboard for the past few years, in 2019 again achieves a favorable rating from analysts, who especially lauded the firm for its depth of functionality (4.1), bolstered by the addition of artificial intelligence capabilities to its most recent Viya release. SAS struggles a bit in company direction, though, as evidenced by its score of 3.5. SAS has a “strong offering for clients, but customers will seek more hybrid options going forward,” says Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research.

Syncsort (Trillium) has long been an analyst and customer favorite in the data quality space, and 2019 was no exception. One of the main reasons for this is the company’s reputation for cost; its 4.1 score led the category in that area. The company also scored a high 4.1 in depth of functionality, where the company only gains steam following its June release of Trillium DQ for Big Data, an integrated solution that delivers profiling, cleansing, standardization, and matching, including strong entity resolution on distributed architectures, on premises, and in the cloud.

THE WINNER

Informatica far outpaced all competitors in the space with a 4.5 score in depth of functionality, made even stronger by a number of key integrations, including one with Silwood Technologies that allows Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog (EDC) users to import SAP, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and Microsoft enterprise resource planning (ERP) and CRM metadata directly into EDC, using Silwood’s Safyr metadata discovery software. The company also benefited from a 3.9 score in customer satisfaction, but its company direction has taken a hit in the past few years. “Private equity firm ownership has led to less reinvestment overall across the board, and key leaders have left,” Wang says. But, despite that, its “offering remains a strong contender,” he adds.

ONE TO WATCH

Information Builders this year emerged as our One to Watch, driven by a high 3.9 score in depth of functionality, though its real strength lies in customer satisfaction, where it scored a category-leading 4.0. “Information Builders continues to invest in driving more rapid time to value and usability for customers,” Wettemann says. 

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