Trillium Software today announced general availability of the Trillium Software System version 13, the latest release of its flagship data quality software. Trillium Software (which is owned by Harte-Hanks) is a major data quality player with a very large deployed base of customers, so this in itself is significant. This software release reflects a major trend that we see in the market, namely the increasing update of master data management and data governance programs by large organizations. Data governance, which has long been seen as an important pre-cursor to a successful master data initiative, has nonetheless taken time to really gain widespread acceptance, but recent market research that we have conducted shows a significant up-tick in such activities compared to research that we did two years ago. The significance of this is that most data governance initiatives are either business-led or joint business and IT programs, so there is a significant business user and analyst involvement in projects that used to be more usually driven by the IT department. Hence there is more demand to provide functionality that supports business people in their work on data, especially around workflow and collaboration of business and IT staff.
Trillium Software System version 13 responds to this trend by providing a significantly different user experience from prior versions, driven from an over-arching methodology. Staff with different roles, such as data stewards, now see a set of tasks and activities that they are set up to be engaged with, with IT staff given separate profiles that are more suited to their roles. Trillium Software has, for a long time, had a rich range of data quality functionality, but perhaps did not have the most cuddly user interface. TSS version 13 uses visualisation much more than before, so that instead of a data profiling exercise presenting columns and rows of results, a graphical representation of the same results can be seen in another panel, for example. This is more intuitive and allows users to more easily home in on areas that require attention.
Additionally, TSS version 13 enhances the deployment and testing capabilities for projects, such as the introduction of a match rule analyser module that allows a simulation of matching results to be tried without hitting the production database. Although such testing and deployment capabilities may not be the sexiest areas of a product, my own experience suggests that they actually take up a considerable amount of effort, and are often neglected by vendors, so this is a welcome area of improvement in the new release. There are various other enhancements, such as the native implementation of Global Locator geocoding (an acquisition) address data for the 189 countries not covered in-depth by Trillium Software’s own data (which extends to 49 major countries), and a web site providing customers with access to some common useful pre-built reusable data quality objects (rules, process steps and process flows), performing tasks such as email validation, US social security code validation, and fixes for common data quality entry errors.
As data governance starts to draw together master data and data quality initiatives in more and more organisations, it is important for “best of breed” data quality solutions such as Trillium to continue to enhance their core products and distinguish themselves from the platform vendors that offer combined master data, data quality and data integration offerings. This new version of the Trillium Software System represents significant R&D investment and adds genuinely useful features to an already highly functional product.
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