All of us have often faced the issue of name (inventor/assignee) standardization while working with large patent data sets. There is a new tool by Google (why am I not surprised!) which helps us resolve this. http://code.google.com/p/google-refine/
Google Refine: For those who often work with large data sets and use excel frequently to manage humongous amounts of data. Google Refine is a tool that helps clean up inconsistencies, transform data from one format to another and extend it with external data sets. Watch this shot video to understand what it does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNccGtn3Wb0&feature=player_embedded
Download it from: http://code.google.com/p/google-refine/wiki/Downloads?tm=2
Best of all, it is a desktop application and your super-sensitive data never leaves your laptop.