"Garbage in, garbage everywhere." That's a twist on the old adage, "garbage in, garbage out," courtesy of Firstlogic Corp., a La Crosse, Wis.-based data quality software provider. "We say, 'garbage in, garbage everywhere' because so many systems share data that bad data in one spot can easily propagate across the entire organization," says Chris Colbert, industry marketing director, at Firstlogic.Bad data can also spread across organizations, as David Jokinen discovered when J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. identified him as deceased in its systems-instead of his mother, who passed away in April 2001.

For more than two years-as reported recently in The Wall Street Journal-Jokinen has been trying to correct J.P. Morgan's error and convince mortgage brokers, credit card issuers, car dealers and insurers that he is very much alive and deserving of their products and services.

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