Migrating data from one database to another in order to build data warehouses or enable the transfer of data between disparate enterprise applications is one of the biggest headaches in an IT manager's life.
But while the market is awash with extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) tools to help automate the data migration process, there are few tools that enable developers to examine the source data beforehand to see how
accurate, or 'clean', it is.
This lack of understanding can have a severe impact on the speed of implementation and ultimate cost of major IT projects, says Avellino co-founder and CEO Tony Rodriguez. Without data analysis tools, he says, IT staff may just be migrating so-called 'dirty' data from one repository to another.
Avellino's flagship product, Discovery, automatically analyses source databases to find redundant or duplicate data; discover data 'joins', 'keys', and 'dependencies' in the database; and to identify data parameters, such as minimum and maximum length.
The data is then transferred to MetaBase, Avellino's associative database, which presents the nuances of the source data, and describes how it is structured and how it inter-relates in a far more flexible manner than a standard relational database.
This makes it easier for the developers to analyse data, cleanse it of inconsistencies and out-of-date information, and to prepare it for migration to the target system.
Avellino has clearly hit upon a need and has signed up around 25 customers, including BT and Ford. It has also forged partnerships with systems integrators, including Accenture, Cap Gemini and EDS.
Now, Avellino is tentatively expanding its international operations. Tentatively, because despite growing to forecast revenues of £5.5 million (€8.7m) in the year to the end of June 2002, it has not raised a single round of funding. VC investment, however, is not ruled out in the future.