Eight Recommendations for International Data Quality
When your data spans the globe, be it names, addresses, places, money, dates, product names and descriptions, or whatever, you have to build in data quality checks at the source. I like his statement, "Data quality is enough of a challenge in an idealized mono-cultural environment, but it is inflamed to epic proportions in a flat world."
First time I encountered street addresses for Ikea, I knew what he meant. Take this address as an example: "8-7-1, Minatojima, Nakamachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Kobe City." It's in Japan, but that's about all I could guess out at first glance.