• August 27, 2018
  • By Leonard KlieEditor, CRM magazine and SmarCustomerService.com

The Best Data Quality Software and Solutions: The CRM Market Leader Awards 2018

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THE MARKET

Data quality tools exist to analyze company records to find and correct inaccurate or incomplete data and cleanse it by removing abnormalities, duplicate information, and formatting errors. The market for such tools has been fragmented for some time, but it is starting to come together and grow. In fact, Zion Market Research recently valued the global data quality tools market at $505.7 million in 2016 and expects it to reach $1.3 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual rate of 16.8 percent. 

Fueling a good deal of that growth is increasing demand from midsize firms. With that will come a greater emphasis on self-service, user-friendly design, cloud-based solutions, mix-and-match options that allow companies to buy only the capabilities they need, and more customizable suites of products.

Analysts expect the buzz around machine learning and artificial intelligence to continue, especially as momentum continues to build for predictive analytics. Those in the market for these types of solutions can also expect data quality software to start sharing features or coexisting with master data management, data integration, and Big Data solutions.

THE LEADERS

Melissa, which has dropped the “Data” from its name, has been around since 1985 but is new to the leaderboard. Beside the rebranding, it underwent a number of changes in the past year that made its solutions more robust. “We have steadily broadened our solutions to drive better overall business intelligence from every point in the data chain,” said Ray Melissa, its CEO, in a statement. But where the company really shines is cost (4.2) and customer satisfaction (4.0).

Pitney Bowes continues to quietly impress, as analysts gave it high marks across the board. Benefiting from its postal businesses, the company has expanded its U.S. Master Location Database to more than 190 million addresses. A recent partnership and integration with FullContact added key descriptive information for contacts associated with those addresses, instantly turning contact data points like email addresses, social profiles, or domain names into more complete profiles.

Since being acquired by Syncsort in late 2016, Trillium Software has slowed a bit, as Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, observes: “The Syncsort acquisition has left [Trillium] short of resources, and market perception remains mixed.” At the same time, he and other analysts were particularly impressed with the launch of Trillium Precise, a data-as-a-service solution for validating, verifying, and enriching customer and prospect contact information, which has significantly extended the value of its offerings. 

Talend first made it to the leaderboard last year and stays there in 2018 by virtue of its scores in cost (a very high 4.2) and customer satisfaction (3.9). “Talend remains a darling among new prospects and customers given its support for multiple styles of data integration,” Wang observes.

THE WINNER

Informatica, a perpetual favorite of analysts and users alike, didn’t disappoint this year. The company scored a category-high 4.6 in depth of functionality, eight-tenths of a point higher than its nearest competitor. “Informatica continues to innovate in the space, driving higher value for customers,” observes Rebecca Wettemann, vice president at Nucleus Research. Wang says its acquisition by private equity firm Permira in 2015 might have hurt Informatica a bit in terms of speed of innovation, but just barely. “The rationalization of the portfolio has come at a cost, but it remains a market leader in the space,” he says. 

One to Watch 

When Experian launched the Experian Marketing Engine to help automobile marketers identify prospective car buyers and deliver content that resonates with them, some questioned its commitment to the data quality space. It removed all doubt a few weeks later with the launch of Marketing Connect, an identity resolution solution that lets marketers connect offline and online identifiers to create a single customer view, build custom audience segments, implement cross-channel advertising campaigns, and measure campaign results, all via a consolidated platform from a single vendor. And that is sure to be the basis of every marketing initiative for a long time to come. 

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