Update (Jan 2011): DFDL is now an official proposed standard. See www.ogf.org/dfdl.
So this standard is no longer languishing in the slow efforts of devoted committee members working extra hours outside their day jobs. People are really being paid now to make this reality.
I am frankly thrilled to see this finally happen. DFDL is important to interoperability, high performance computing, and bridging the very rich legacy of computing to the future where the data will be everywhere providing new value to businesses!
Just extracting data from many systems is HARD. That's where DFDL comes in.
Reality: most businesses need to give data over to outside organizations who will give back to them information providing valuable business insight. Many organizations simply have failure of imagination - you can't anticipate everything that can be learned from your data.
Warning/Caveats/Alert: Keep data privacy rules and security in mind....but outside of that, let the data go!
GMTFD is my new acronym. By analogy to the now legendary (at least on T-shirts) acronym RTFM, my acronym stands for "Give Me the Freakin' Data".
Given data, smart outside organizations can provide businesses with just incredible insights that would simply be unavailable if they tried to do this work in-house. (www.oco-inc.com)