Data quality is an elusive subject that can defy measurement and yet be critical enough to derail any single IT project, strategic initiative, or even a company as a whole. The data layer of an organization is a critical component because it is so easy to ignore the quality of that data or to make overly optimistic assumptions about its efficacy. Having data quality as a focus is a business philosophy that aligns strategy, business culture, company information, and technology in order to manage data to the benefit of the enterprise. Put simply, it is a competitive strategy. Just as our markets today expect operational excellence, rich product features, everyday low prices, high product quality, and short time-to-market, one day they will also expect data quality. In the meantime, each company has the opportunity to differentiate itself through the quality of its data. Leading companies are now defining what the marketplace data quality expectation will be.