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Comparison with other products

(Many of the DQ Now features described here are still in beta test. Current features are listed on the products page.)

DQ Now's feature set overlaps with products in three different categories: Data Quality (cleansing), Data Profiling, and ETL. Here's a quick guide to cases where our product is the best choice, where another product is more appropriate, and where both can be used together.

General Issues

Why buy from us?

  • Far more productive.
  • Much less expensive ... and, we actually publish the price! (Since DQ Now is so much more productive, why do we charge less? Simple: we want to reach more projects at more companies.)
  • GUI is 100% web-based, providing intranet access to data analysts, end users, and management.
  • We're a small company, so we work harder to make sure every customer is happy.

Why buy from them?

  • You need some of the high-end features that we don't offer. (Details below.)

Why buy BOTH?

  • Our product reduces the time required to use their product: we help you understand the data on the front end and understand their changes on the back end.

Data Quality

Why buy from us?

  • The only comprehensive profiler.
  • The only comprehensive review.
  • We bring the changes to you; they make you hunt for them.

Why buy from them?

  • The entire name/company/address in your data is stored in a single field. (Our target is fielded data ... recognizing of course that some values will end up in the wrong field.)
  • You want an "off the shelf" solution to cleanse & dedup data within Siebel as each record is entered. (We would be happy to develop it under contract, which may actually cost less than their per-user fees.)
  • You need street-level address verification against postal service data. (We will add that before too long.)
  • You need to cleanse millions of records per day.
  • You want to run on a mainframe.

Why buy BOTH?

  • Use our profiler to understand your data and identify quality problems (then adjust parameters in their cleansing engine to fix them).
  • Use our review tools to see what changes they made to every field in every record.
  • If you need additional visibility into their match/dedup, contract with us to import their reports so you can use our highly-productive match review tools.

Naming names (in alphabetical order)

  • DataFlux, a SAS company.
  • Group1.
  • Innovative Systems: i/Lytics.
  • Firstlogic.
  • Trillium Software, a division of Harte-Hanks.
  • Vality/Ascential: Integrity. (The company was purchased by Ascential in March 2002.)

Data Profiling

What the products have in common

  • "column analysis" -- verify the data and derive accurate meta data.

Why buy from us?

  • The only product that uses domain knowledge for the profile: they just show you generic reports, we help you understand what the data means.

Why buy from them?

  • You need to check database design (e.g. normalization, referential integrity).

Why buy BOTH?

  • Our profiler will give you additional insight since we use domain knowledge.
  • You need our additional modules: transform, cleanse, match, and review.

Naming names (in alphabetical order)

  • Ascential MetaRecon (purchased from Metagenix in April 2002).
  • Ascential Quality Manager (also sold by Firstlogic as IQ Insight).
  • Avellino Discovery (also sold by Innovative Systems as i/Lytics Data Profiling).
  • Evoke Software: Axio.

ETL: Extract, Transform, Load

Why buy from us? One or more of:

  • You only need the T (transformation), i.e. already have tools for E & L (e.g. extract using SQL if you have direct access to the database; load using SQL or the target's built-in load/import facility).
  • You already know regex (e.g. from Perl) ... or appreciate that it's the most powerful AND standard way to transform text.
  • We have the only profiling tool that uses domain knowledge to help identify data issues that require transformation.
  • Every transformation is traceable.
  • We bring the changes to you; they make you hunt for them.

Why buy from them?

  • Your data is locked up in a way that's not easy to access and for which the ETL vendor has a pre-configured solution.
  • You don't have the time or expertise to extract data.
  • You have a multitude of diverse data sources; a clear sign to "buy not build" the extract code.

Why buy BOTH?

  • Use our profiler to understand your data and identify required transformations.
  • Use our regex transformation for the type of changes at which it excels.
  • Use our review tools to see every change made to every field.

Naming names (in alphabetical order)

  • Ascential Software.
  • Business Objects (acquired Acta Technology in July 2002).
  • Cognos.
  • Data Junction.
  • DataMirror.
  • Embarcadero.
  • ETI.
  • Hummingbird.
  • iWay Software.
  • Informatica.
  • Sagent.

We intend this outline to be honest and informative. (How many other vendors even mention their competition, much less give you reasons to buy their products?) Whether you agree or disagree with our analysis, we welcome your emailcomments.


Next step: read our take on why you should buy a data quality solution instead of building one (or doing nothing).