Evoke Partners for Data Quality

Data profiling stalwart taps Similarity Systems to provide much-needed data quality capabilities

Earlier this month, data-profiling pioneer Evoke Software Corp. partnered with data quality specialist Similarity Systems to deliver what the two companies call a “universal” offering that addresses both data profiling and data quality.

Analysts say the partnership highlights the growing convergence of data profiling and data quality technologies, which are typically tapped to cleanse data for data warehousing, CRM, and other applications. “The demand for the combination of data profiling and data quality is increasing, and the two companies should be able to leverage their solution to reach prospects in ways that they may not have been able to reach them individually,” writes Robert Lerner, a senior analyst for application infrastructure with consultancy Current Analysis Inc.

The partnership should be a boon to Evoke, which needed to make a move because the market for its Axio best-of-breed data profiling solutions has contracted—spurred to a large degree by the convergence of data profiling and data quality. “[T]he major data profiling vendors are now the data quality companies,” Lerner says. “Evoke … needed the data quality side of the equation.”

Lerner thinks that Similarity Systems’ ATHANOR data-quality offering is a good fit for Evoke’s technology. ATHANOR consists of three products: ATHANOR Designer, ATHANOR Runtime engine, and ATHANOR Realtime. “Among the strengths of the suite are its integrated data-profiling component … and its data monitoring capabilities,” he writes. “The suite was designed for continuous data quality processes, not one-off deals, and it is geared essentially for end users.”

At the same time, he says there’s bound to be some confusion about just how the partnership benefits Similarity Systems.

“Similarity Systems claims to provide data profiling as an integrated part of its suite of products. This will doubtless be confusing to prospects, especially to Similarity Systems' prospects and customers, who will wonder whether the data profiling it claims to provide is really data profiling,” he says.

There’s really no mystery, however, according to Lerner: "Similarity Systems provides content profiling, not the deeper sort of profiling that Evoke offers”—which includes profiling for column dependencies and redundancies, along with creating and/or identifying business rules. “The companies, however, have not stated what they plan to do about any overlapping capabilities.”

Further muddling the picture is the fact that Evoke’s technology is not Unicode- enabled, while Similarity Systems’ is, says Lerner.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.