Microsoft Zips Up Zoomix

July 15, 2008

Data are a problem. Microsoft, despite some of its resellers’ and cheerleaders’ assurances, lacked data cleansing tools. No longer. On July 14, 2008, Microsoft bought Zoomix, a company with a system that “uses guided self-learning technology to easily build a knowledge of how to parse, match, classify and clean data, and applies what it has learned to every new piece of information fed into the system, even if it has not encountered similar data before.”

Why is this important? Fiddling with data–normalization, clean up, transformation, and other arcana–can consume more than 30 percent of an information technology budget each year. You can read the Zoomix news release about the deal here. The company says that it delivers a software-based self-learning data quality engine.

Zoomix’s management has buzzword fever. You will have to do some careful reading to figure out what a PIM Accelerator, a BI Accelerator, MDM Accelerator, and UNSPSC Auto Classification do. Hint. Eliminate most of the manual intervention required in traditional data cleansing processes.

Ars Technica has a useful description of the Zoomix technology here.

My research suggests that Zoomix technology will make SQL Server licensees happy. The auto classification technology could bring much needed robustness to the current versions of SharePoint. Zoomix technology can improve some of the native Fast Search & Transfer processes as well, but that use of the technology will take longer to deploy.

Stephen Arnold, July 15, 2008


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