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Compliance-crazy climate demands data profiling

Is it Dostoevsky or Dostoyevsky? Tolstoy or Tolstoi? In today's regulatory climate, such distinctions have become a chief concern of IT organizations. That's where Language Analysis Systems (LAS), a provider of multi-cultural name identification, profiling and cleansing software, enters the picture.

The driver, says CEO Jack Hermansen, is regulatory compliance--and not just of the SOX variety. There are several dozen federal and international watch list that enterprises must be aware of.

"Names of people, places and businesses--there are no dictionaries for them, there's no way to look up [a name] and say, 'This is wrong.' We run into very, very intractable problems [in transliteration from] other writing systems, so if somebody's looking for a name coming from the Korean culture, or the Cyrillic--for example, Tchaikovsky with a 'T' in front of it, because that's the French transcription of his name--we have to be able to match that," he explains.

That's where LAS has invested the bulk of its time and research. For example, Hermansen points out, LAS recently released a new name-profiling tool, dubbed NameInspector, that complements its existing name and non-name tools: NameParser, NameClassifier (which can identify names on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, etc.), NameHunter (a name search optimization tool), MetaMatch and others.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a contributing editor for Enterprise Systems. He can be reached at stephen.swoyer@spinkle.net.

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