Archive for the ‘Business Intelligence’ Category

The Big Story: Evolution

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Technology writer Chris Calnan’s story opened with a comment about Infoglide that nicely sums up the evolution of the broader market for identity resolution and entity analytics: “The market may have finally caught up with Infoglide Software Corp.’s technology.”

While identity resolution technology has evolved rapidly over the past decade, its market visibility only emerged fairly recently. It was barely two years ago in mid-2007 when Gartner analyst Mark Beyer dubbed it “entity resolution and analysis” and pointed out that it “was previously an obscure, but gradually developing, technology that has come to the forefront as a result of world events and market forces.” Gartner singled it out as an “On the Rise” technology within operational business intelligence.

That first Gartner “hype cycle” showed entity resolution and analysis entering at the earliest stage. A year later in mid-2008, a broader report on data management  depicted it significantly higher on the curve in the opinion of the Gartner analyst team. In both reports, its estimated time to “mainstream adoption” was 2-5 years, the second fastest category.

At the end of 2008, noted consultant and speaker Jill Dyché of Baseline Consulting issued her predictions for 2009. Along with predictions about SaaS, data governance, BI, and MDM, she said that “Identity Resolution will get its due.” Then on April 17, 2009 Rob Karel of Forrester wrote about Informatica’s acquisition of one of the two closest Infoglide competitors (IBM EAS being the other one). Identity Systems was acquired from Nokia for $85 million.

As we progressed further into 2009, the most meaningful indicator of identity resolution’s growing importance surfaced: an escalating identification with the space by other companies. IBM, Infoglide, and Informatica were joined by Initiate Systems, Intelligent Search, and Netrics, each of whom began incorporating messaging around identity and entity resolution.

For our customers and for us, this is all good news.  Our evolving space becoming better known and more highly valued will provide more alternatives for customers while increasing our own visibility. The future of identity resolution looks bright, and we all win.

[Distributed earlier this week in our quarterly publication, Identity Resolution Quarterly]

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-11-02

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

Come by and see us at TDWI World in Orlando Nov. 3 & 4, Booth 405

The Emculturated World: Unmanage Master Data Management

MDM breaks down in the moment it becomes divorced from a practical, immediate attempt to capture just what is needed today. The moment it attempts to “bank” standard symbols ahead of their usage, the MDM process becomes speculative, and proscriptive.”

Governing: Can I Say No to an Electronic Health Record?

“In some instances, patients don’t even know their information is being shared. For example, if consumers turn over prescription drug records when applying for life insurance, the insurer will sometimes hand off the information to business partners who then hand it off to data miners. To keep a tighter grip on privacy, Deven McGraw, director of health privacy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, would like a set of rules that all organizations in the health IT world would have to follow.”

Related post: “Applying Identity Resolution to Patient Identification Integrity”

San Antonio Express-News: McManus recalls 9-11 at GEOINT summit

“Bart Johnson, acting undersecretary for intelligence and analysis with the Homeland Security Department, said cooperation is improving, although problems remain with security clearances and interdepartmental connectivity. ‘The federal government can only do so much in getting it down to the street level,’ Johnson said. Homeland security and Justice Department officials have formed 72 “fusion centers” — terrorism prevention and response centers where federal agencies work with the military, local law enforcement and private partners. Three are in Texas: Austin, Dallas and Collin County near Dallas.”

information management: From Search to Explore

“It’s no surprise that people are looking at more and more internal and external resources for informed decision-making. In the internal case, data integration is a foundation of master data management as well. But integration for BI to common visual tools is increasingly taking place in subsystems, relational databases and cubes, and the visualization layer itself.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-08-24

Monday, August 24th, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

CRMBuyer: The BI Outlook: A Bright Spot of Growth in a Gloomy Economy

“Investing in business intelligence is important for a company now more than ever, agreed Bill Barberg, president of Insightformation and an expert in Balanced Scorecard methodology. Sound business intelligence helps companies make fact-based decisions as they try to navigate in today’s stormy economy, he told CRM Buyer. “Business intelligence can help companies make much better decisions,’ he said.”

OCDQ Blog: Adventures in Data Profiling (Part 3)

“In Part 3, you will continue your adventures by using a combination of field values and field formats to begin your analysis of the following fields: Birth Date, Telephone Number and E-mail Address.”

SearchSOA.com: SOA with MDM prevents messaging confusion

“Increasingly, organizations are designing SOA into the MDM architecture from the beginning, says Dan Power, president and founder of consulting firm Hub Solution Designs Inc. in Hingham, Mass. This creates challenges in meshing the real-time realities with the need to keep the data accurate.”

iHealthBeat: Privacy and Security: Experts Focus on Legal Issues Surrounding EHR Use at AHIMA Summit

“Linda Kloss, AHIMA CEO, said many vendors have not focused on developing legally defensible EHR systems. In addition, health care providers have not created a demand for such functionality.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-08-21

Friday, August 21st, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Walking the Privacy/Security Tightrope

“In a post last April, we talked about the privacy/security balance issue for fusion centers and for vendors with supporting technology. Now an article in the Austin Sunday paper about a proposed fusion center again highlights the tension between security and privacy. Each time a fusion center is proposed, the story goes like this…”

information management: MDM for Tough Times: 5 trends to strengthen organizations during recession

[Aaron Zornes] “Enterprise MDM solutions are steadily but rapidly evolving away from data-centric hubs into full-blown application stacks. In other words, MDM is becoming less of a standalone technology infrastructure as the emphasis is increasingly on relationships between domains, user interface and integration with other emerging and adjacent technologies such as RFID, entity analytics and business intelligence.”

InformationWeek: Healthcare Tech: Can BI Help Save The System?

“Healthcare IT is a good place to be these days. While IT budgets in many verticals have been tightly reined, healthcare is enjoying multiple government mandates. This has resulted in an infusion of funds to modernize and integrate IT infrastructure, applications, and data. However, we aren’t starting from a high ground. There are multiple challenges to attaining a 21st century-grade IT environment.”

OCDQ Blog: Adventures in Data Profiling (Part 2)

“The adventures began with the following scenario – You are an external consultant on a new data quality initiative.  You have got 3,338,190 customer records to analyze, a robust data profiling tool, half a case of Mountain Dew, it’s dark, and you’re wearing sunglasses…ok, maybe not those last two or three things – but the rest is true.”

VIDEO: Interview with Secure Flight

TSA Secure Flight Program Director Paul Leyh is interviewed about recent developments.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-07-17

Friday, July 17th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] iPhones, Identity Resolution, and Cloud Computing

“A personal favorite saying for years has been “invention is the mother of necessity” (a twist on the original saying, of course). It aptly conveys what has driven the high tech industry for the last several decades. Principles like Moore’s Law and its equivalent for the internet have created unanticipated waves of computing and networking power. All that available power has released the combined creativity of tens of thousands of engineers and marketers who dreamed up ways of interacting and managing our lives and businesses that were inconceivable 30 years ago…”

Liliendahl on Data Quality: Match Destinations

“When matching party data – names and addresses – very often it is not just only about hitting similar records, but also about performing some form of transformation with the data before, during and after the hitting.”

Tech Law Notes: Health IT & Open Source

“Repeatedly, I hear the refrain that this stimulus money is going to go to systems that can be put to a “meaningful use,” and that is going to exclude rogue open source Health IT developers from being funded, squelching innovation in the market place.  I imagine that complying with the security regulations under HIPAA probably hinder innovation, too, but they increase the reliability of the system vendors that remain in the market place and reduce the risk to the data of patients that might be in their computer systems.”

The Data Doghouse: People, Process & Politics: Integration Portfolio

“Existing IT projects may be under the label of: Corporate Performance Management (CPM), Master Data Management (MDM), Customer Data Integration (CDI), Product Information Management (PIM), Enterprise Information Management (EIM), Data Warehousing (DW) and Business Intelligence (BI).”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-06-02

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

cnet news: What you need to know about e-health records

“Supporters say electronic medical records will boost the quality of medical care, reduce duplication of services, and limit errors, all of which could save money and lives. The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine estimates that between 44,000 and 98,000 people in the United States die each year because of errors such as being prescribed medicine to which they are allergic.”

tricityherald.com: Travel restrictions to get tighter June 1

” Beginning June 1, travelers will need either a U.S. passport, a state-issued enhanced driver’s license, a U.S. passport card or a trusted traveler card to enter the country through land or seaports. Passports were made mandatory for air travel in 2007.”

Las Vegas Sun: Fusion center’s attention on prevention

“The trio appeared to be doing the kind of photographic surveillance terrorists might do before they strike a target, the officers concluded. So they contacted the Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Center. The center is run by Metro Police and houses investigators and analysts from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Southern Nevada.”

Destination CRM Blog: Tom Siebel Sends His Regrets

“Our customer data is now more siloed than it ever was, it doesn’t match, and the owners of the respective systems that process it don’t talk to each other much. The single version of the truth has eluded us. We’re still trying to sell customers products they already have.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-05-14

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Let’s Be Reasonable

“A recent post, ‘Terrorist Watchlist, Troubling Flaws Revealed’, starts out by making a valid point. If the terrorist watchlist is flawed, then the name matching results against such a list will be flawed. The author then goes on to reach related conclusions through rationalization rather than reasoning.”

Acxiom: Prognostications for the New Year 

Identity resolution will get its due. Sure, you can call it infrastructure. Processing and rules intensive, customer identity resolution has been relegated to the underlying algorithms of third-party data providers, MDM, and data quality vendors. However, companies are recognizing that they may have unique customer data-matching needs-a bank we work with has more than 50 definitions of a household-and they’ll be looking at smarter, more specialized ways to automate them.”

Dallas Morning News: Dallas Police Department’s Fusion Center outsmarts criminals

“Chief David Kunkle, who championed the unit’s formation in January 2007, refers to it as the “brains” of a department that reported a 10 percent drop in crime last year and a nearly 19 percent decline in the first quarter of this year.”

datanomic: Fractured approaches to Sanctions Screening put UK Companies at risk, says new FSA report

“‘The use of multiple identities is common in the criminal world and Al-Qaeda’s own training manual requires its operatives to use false identities to hide their terrorist activities. Exploiting variations of a criminal’s real name is, perhaps, the simplest way of acquiring a new identity. Typical approaches are to use name variations or switching the order of names,’ added Pearson. ‘Other data, such as dates of birth are often manipulated simply by transposing digits.’”

Cloud Computing Journal: Experian QAS Launches QAS Pro On Demand

“‘By offering address verification in a SaaS model, we are enabling organizations of all sizes to maintain accurate contact data in a cost-effective platform,’ said Joel Curry, chief operating officer, Experian QAS. ‘As businesses change over time, our new infrastructure is able to adapt to shifting demands.’

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-05-11

Monday, May 11th, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

BI Blogs: Business Intelligence - The Unconquered Territories

“Let’s face it - There are technology limitations. Operational BI (Lack of real-time data access), Guided analytics (Lack of comprehensive business metadata), Information as a Service (Lack of SOA based BI architecture) are some of those technology limitations that come to my mind.”

SecurityInfoWatch: RILA survey: Retail crime on rise

“Some 72 percent of respondents said they have seen an increase in organized retail crime (ORC), and 52 percent said they had experienced a rise in financial fraud. Paul Jones, vice president of asset protection for RILA, noted that the increase in ORC should set off alarms not only within the retail community, but also within the business and law enforcement community. Organized retail crime typically involves organized groups of criminals operating shoplifting rings which have networks to fence their stolen goods, which may also appear on Internet auction sites like eBay, as well as at flea markets.”

Fast Company: Work/Life: “Secure Flight” Takes to the Air in August

“So now is the time to examine your driver’s license or passport to see that your first name, middle initial (if you use one), and last name appeared exactly the same across all of your identification. If you need a new photo for your driver’s license, now is the time to get it. Being consistent with your name also means that all of your bookings - including air, hotel, and car rental - must be consistent.”

SmartDataCollective: Enterprise Data World 2009

[Jim Harris] “Enterprise Data World is the business world’s most comprehensive vendor-neutral educational event about data and information management.  This year’s program was bigger than ever before, with more sessions, more case studies, and more can’t-miss content.”

Solving the False Negative Problem

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

By John Talburt, PhD, CDMP, Director, UALR Laboratory for Advanced Research in Entity Resolution and Information Quality (ERIQ)

In my March 25, 2009 post “The Myth of Matching,” I discussed the confusion between entity resolution and matching as in record de-duplication.  Matching is a necessary part of entity resolution, but it is not sufficient.  In particular I brought up the issue of “false negatives,” cases where records don’t match, but are in fact references to the same entity.  I used the example of Mary Doe living on Elm Street who married John Smith living on Pine Street resulting in two references “Mary Doe, 234 Elm St” and “Mary Smith, 456 Pine St” that don’t match, but are never-the-less references to the same person.  Let’s discuss a couple of approaches to solving this problem - enlarging the scope of identity attributes and utilizing asserted associations.

The Mary Doe - Mary Smith case might be resolved if the scope of identity attributes were increased, i.e. if additional information such as date-of-birth, drivers license, or social security number were available in both records.  But as anyone acquainted with information quality understands, acquiring and maintaining additional information can create as many problems as it solves.  It also brings up a number of questions that the information custodians and collectors must answer.

Is this information available? Is it costly? Is use for this purpose permissible/legal?  Even if expanding the number of identity attributes is an option, it is not necessarily a panacea.  Increasing the number of identity attributes also increases the complexity of the matching.  What if some values are missing?  What if some values agree, but others disagree?

A second approach is to collect and use asserted associations.  The fundamental problem is that if Mary Doe and Mary Smith do not share any matching identity attributes, you cannot know that they are the same person without some separately acquired knowledge that they are in fact the same person.  Moreover, because not all Mary Doe’s are the same person as Mary Smith, you also need additional context such as the address to make the connection clear.  The upshot is that you need to possess the explicit knowledge that “Mary Doe at 234 Elm St is the same person as Mary Smith at 456 Pine St.”

If Mary lives in the United States and Mary registers her change of name and address with the US Postal Service, then you might be able to resolve this through the USPS Change of Address file.  Besides the fact that this is only helpful in the US, relying on the USPS COA file has other disadvantages, not the least of which is that Mary may have decided not to register with the USPS.  For this reason, some companies choose to maintain their own knowledge by acquiring information from other public and private sources.

For example in the US, marriage records are publicly available and are a possible source of this associative information.  It may also be true that while Mary didn’t register her change of address with the USPS, she may have wanted to avoid missing any issues of her Modern Square Dancing magazine subscription and promptly registered her change of address with the publisher.  There are potentially many other data sources, such as changes in utility service, cable service, or required licensure notifications.

Even though the application of external association information can alleviate the false negative problem, it comes at a cost.  The collection and maintenance of associative information can be a monumental task for some types of entities. For example, at least 20% of the US population moves each year.  Because it is too large a task for most organizations to take on by themselves, companies that aggregate large amounts of associative data sometimes offer the application of this knowledge as a product.

In the next installment, I will discuss another common confusion, the difference between entity resolution and identity resolution.

Identity Resolution in These “Interesting Times”

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

By Robert Barker, Infoglide Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Judging from recent remarks by Dr. Leonard Schaefer and Edward Lull Jr., the need for identity resolution is heightened by the turbulent economic circumstances of the “interesting times” we find ourselves living in.  While specifically referring to name analytics in a recent article in Bank Systems and Technology, the point applies equally to the identity resolution solutions which encompass name analytics. The authors state that:

As big enterprise applications such as CRM are no longer the center of the IT universe, more attention is being focused on the information itself. Banks today have now become more reliant on customer information—independent of applications and business processes to make faster and smarter business decisions in response to changing market conditions.

They go on to detail four factors in international financial service organizations that drive the use of new software technologies to resolve identities using name information: compliance, customer data consolidation and quality, CRM assets review, and continuity of service.

Compliance – Key banking initiatives are anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) compliance that seek to prevent money that flows into financial institutions from ending up in the hands of prohibited groups.

Customer data consolidation and quality – The prevalence of large mergers between multi-national banks is driving requirements for name-validation “at the moment of capture” to prevent bad data from entering business systems.

CRM assets review – Combining millions of accounts from more than one bank risks overwhelming existing CRM systems, so resolving identities early in the process can mitigate the risk of future problems.

Continuity of service – Not anticipating the impact of merging large customer databases can interrupt customer service, leading to negative consequences from customer dissatisfaction all the way to losing large blocks of customers.

In Identity Resolution Daily, we’ve often written about the growing market requirement for sophisticated identity resolution technology, and we like to share relevant information from other sources. The referenced article is worth the read.

As always, let us hear your thoughts and comments.

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