Integration Tools Help Push Data Quality, Integration to Business Users

Loraine Lawson

Informatica plans to introduce a new feature that will allow business users to rank data quality using “Amazon-style ratings,” according to a Diginomica article.

“… we can allow peer review of data, give other business users the ability to comment on top of the metadata,” says Informatica’s Director of Technology Operations for EMEA, Greg Hanson, in the article.  “Allow them to provide some commentary on data sources – were they fit for purpose? It becomes the Amazon shop of data.”

As I shared in a previous blog post, crowdsourcing data quality — both internally and externally — is a hot topic right now. It certainly addresses one of the harder “people problems” of data quality, which is how you involve business users in data quality without making it a full-time job.

It’s also part of a trend in the industry to shift marketing to end users, rather than IT. That’s a big shift from a decade ago, when vendors needed to coordinate with IT to sell data and BI tools. In the past, data quality, metadata, data integration — these were the domain of IT. While analysts have long promoted the idea of data stewards and data governance outside of IT, business users weren’t all that interested in adding to their to-do list.

As organizations become more data driven, though, that attitude is changing. Recent market surveys show business leaders, such as CMOs, are increasingly aware of and concerned about data access, data quality and governance issues. I suspect that IT may be evolving on the topic too, as new techniques such as predictive analytics shift data from something used for reporting to a tool for driving new business processes.

Master Data Management

There’s even support for “citizen integrators” with Big Data and the cloud: Programmable Web reports that SnapLogic will offer a new design tool that lets business users run data flows in the cloud.

If you’re interested in more on this topic, this week’s Inside Analysis Briefing Room webinar will explore how organizations can balance IT’s role in data management with providing faster access to business analysts. “The Analytic Platform: Empowering the Business,” featuring Dr. Robin Bloor with a briefing by Actuate, is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7, 4 p.m., ET.


If you’re in New York City, the Master Data Management and Data Governance Summit (MDM/DG) starts Sunday and runs through Oct. 7 at the Sheraton Times Square. The schedule is packed with prominent experts in the MDM and data governance space, including Forrester Principal Analyst Michele Goetz, TDWI’s Chief Research Officer Aaron Zornes, Information Asset Founder Sunil Soares and VP of SAS Best Practices Jill Dyche. You can find a complete conference agenda and register online.

Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 24, 2014 2:59 AM Alfred Alfred  says:
Nice post, Loraine. No doubt that Data Quality is becoming a BIG issue for many enterprises, that see Data Quality as a way to optimize the internal resources and being focus on what's really interesting. That's why I think this will more and more used, in fact there are a number of free initiatives already (last one I heard about is Denodo Express). This will boost the use of different technologies and also will make these tools easier to deal with. Reply
Dec 19, 2014 8:17 AM Linda Boudreau Linda Boudreau  says:
Good read. Data is also impacting another area: education. In addition to business, data quality tools are making a serious impact on the future of student achievement, especially with SLDS/P-20 initiatives. Data science can be applied to many domains of knowledge; in education, the ability to identify problem areas and link important data sets in order to make better decisions for the future of our students and teachers will be important. Linda Boudreau Data Ladder Reply

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