RESEARCH & RESOURCES

DataFlux Revamps Data Quality Suite

DataFlux 8 features new project acceleration and geocoding enhancements, along with bread-and-butter data profiling improvements

DataFlux, a subsidiary of SAS Institute Inc., last week announced version 8 of its DataFlux Data Quality Integration Platform. The revamped DataFlux features new project acceleration and geocoding enhancements, along with improvements to its bread-and-butter data profiling capabilities.

Project acceleration improvements come by way of new DataFlux Accelerators, which consist of pre-built workflows, templates and best practices designed to support the most common data-quality and identity-management tasks. The first batch of DataFlux Accelerators address customer data quality, product data quality, and watch-list compliance requirements.

“With DataFlux Accelerators, we package that experience and provide our customers with the ability to speed their implementation time—and see immediate results from complex data-driven initiatives,” said DataFlux president and CEO Tony Fisher, in a statement.

Also new in DataFlux 8 is dfPower Explorer, a metadata-friendly addition to the dfPower Studio development suite. dfPower Explorer lets users analyze the metadata associated with existing applications and data sources. As a result, DataFlux officials say, analysts can determine which data sources contain similar records (e.g., customer records or product data) and more quickly identify which data sources should be part of a data quality effort.

Elsewhere, DataFlux 8 introduces improved support for business rules, which should improve the way in which it handles data that does not meet corporate standards for data quality and data integrity. Finally, version 8 includes a bevy of other enhancements, such as improved international standardization, parsing, matching and verification features. DataFlux 8 supports an expanding number of regions and languages—including Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

SAS purchased DataFlux more than five years ago. Since then, write Gartner analysts Ted Friedman and Andreas Bitterer, “DataFlux has been consistently moving into the ‘major league’ of the data quality market”—in part, they argue, by emerging from the shadow of its parent company. “DataFlux is investing higher percentages of revenue than its competitors into R&D, and it is establishing key relationships with large systems integrators that built practices around the DataFlux products,” they write. “The vendor has expanded its functionality beyond the core competency areas of data cleansing and matching, particularly into data profiling, internationalization and SOA support, and it has also added data-monitoring tools, such as trending, auditing, and data alerts and controls, which is still somewhat unique among the competition.”

More to the point, the Gartner duo write, DataFlux—like statistical-analysis-cum-BI-giant SAS—is continually expanding its vistas. “DataFlux has been seen mostly as a stand-alone data quality technology provider; however, through a newly announced customer data integration… solution, DataFlux will increasingly address needs beyond its core market into the world of [master data management],” Friedman and Bitterer write.

While expansion of this kind is encouraging—to DataFlux customers and DataFlux principals alike—it could have epiphenomenal effects, too, at least with respect to DataFlux’s partner universe. “[T]he dfPower Studio product can be integrated well through the DataFlux integration server with its connectors to most relevant application providers and major technologies, the vendor relationships [e.g., Informatica] to that effect are likely to disappear, because many of those vendors have started to acquire data quality solutions themselves, and being owned by SAS prohibits partnerships with other BI vendors still lacking data quality capabilities.”

About the Author


Stephen Swoyer is a technology writer with 20 years of experience. His writing has focused on business intelligence, data warehousing, and analytics for almost 15 years. Swoyer has an abiding interest in tech, but he’s particularly intrigued by the thorny people and process problems technology vendors never, ever want to talk about. You can contact him at evets@alwaysbedisrupting.com.

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