I have been spending my time exploring Data Quality components which can be used as part of the Master Data Generate phase. With a few MDM projects under our belt, Data Quality tools have become a must have.
For the Microsoft platform, there are plenty of options. We love Melissa DATA’s Data Quality Components for SSIS – a full suite of Data Quality components for real-time data cleansing, priced for the Mid-Market.
A less expensive option (if all you need is Customer Address Normalization): \n software has a number of Address Verification components which can be used inside of SSIS.
Having said that – have you seen what you can do with Out-Of-the-Box SSIS components?! It’s true that you will need to become quite familiar with the Script Transformation component (which requires .NET Development skills), but if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves, you can do some very powerful things. SQL Server 2011 is expected to include Data Quality Services to augment these SSIS tools.
Meanwhile, my colleague Michael Pelletier has written a superb article on assessing the viability of Master Data Management in your organization. Michael continues to lead the way in defining how to begin thinking about MDM in your organization.