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Cognos Links Up With Data-Quality Firm

Customers will be able to use Similarity Systems' data quality tool with Cognos 8. Similarity's tool, called Athanor, is designed to let users tackle data problems at their source.
Business intelligence software firm Cognos struck a partnership with Similarity Systems, a maker of software designed to let companies manage the quality of the data they feed into analytics engines.

The firms announced Monday that they'll make it possible to view Similarity Systems' data quality metrics via Cognos 8, the business intelligence vendor's flagship software. The tool Similarity Systems lends to the partnership, known as "Athanor," is designed to let users monitor data quality within data warehouses and tackle data problems at their source.

Data quality remains a serious challenge for many BI practitioners. Most surveys of business intelligence professionals find poor data to be a top impediment to the generation of meaningful analytics.

Similarity Systems says Athanor enables data-source profiling and analysis, data cleaning, the eradication of duplicate data, and data consolidation.

Also Monday, Cognos debuted a "Performance Blueprint" designed to help retail chains build budgets and performance reports that let them handle profit and loss management in stores or on the regional level.

The blueprint includes pre-defined models related to data, processes and policies based on "best practices" culled from the retail industry, Cognos says. The blueprint includes financial-planning capabilities specific to retail, including planning for key revenue and expense lines; functionality built around store promotions, and headcount planning. Calculated data is tied to built-in scorecards and reports.

Such Cognos blueprints were formerly known as "plan-to-perform" blueprints. In its product announcement, the business intelligence firm didn't divulge any information related to how much the new blueprint costs.

Cognos' announcement coincides with the ongoing National Retail Federation show in New York.