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Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-09-28

Monday, September 28th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Social CRM, CDI, and Identity Resolution

“In her well-read book on CDI, Jill Dyché offers a definition of CDI that also seems to describe social CRM. Try reading her definition of CDI, replacing ‘CDI’ with ’social CRM’: CDI is a set of procedures, controls, skills and automation that standardize and integrate customer data originating from multiple sources.”

Concord Monitor: Don’t play games when giving your name

“What do they want? Your date of birth, your gender and your middle initial. This information will be relayed to the TSA, and the TSA will match the information against information maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center (an arm of the FBI that gathers and consolidates watch lists). The theory is that a 12-year-old boy named John X. Doe can more easily be separated from John Z. Doe, who happens to be a 37-year-old man with a history of making bombs, if additional information is collected during the booking process. Once TSA has cleared you, you’ll be issued a boarding pass.”

pressdemocrat.com: Achieving paperless health care

“Medical record-keeping, until recently, relied on rooms full of paper files that were easily misplaced and filled with hurried, handwritten entries that could be hard to read. Electronic records hold orderly, keyboard-entered data that never leaves a hard drive and have the potential to move seamlessly from a primary care provider’s office to an emergency room or specialist’s suite.”

ebizQ: MDM Becoming More Critical in Light of Cloud Computing

[David Linthicum] “We’re moving from complex federated on-premise systems, to complex federated on-premise and cloud-delivered systems.   Typically, we’re moving in these new directions without regard for an underlying strategy around MDM, or other data management issues for that matter.”

Homeland Security: I&A Reconceived: Defining a Homeland Security Intelligence Role

“There are currently 72 fusion centers up and running around the country (a substantial increase from 38 centers in 2006).  I&A has deployed 39 intelligence officers to fusion centers nationwide, with another five in pre-deployment training and nearly 20 in various stages of administrative processing.  I&A will deploy a total of 70 officers by the end of FY 2010, and will complete installation of the Homeland Secure Data Network (HSDN), which allows the federal government to share Secret-level intelligence and information with state and local partners, at all 72 fusion centers.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-9-25

Friday, September 25th, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

[Post from Infoglide] Social CRM, CDI, and Identity Resolution

“In her well-read book on CDI, Jill Dyché offers a definition of CDI that also seems to describe social CRM. Try reading her definition of CDI, replacing ‘CDI’ with ’social CRM’:  CDI is a set of procedures, controls, skills and automation that standardize and integrate customer data originating from multiple sources(1).”

Charleston Daily Mail: Former owner of WVa trucking company sentenced

“Leonard Cline formerly owned H & H Trucking. The insurance commissioner says he defrauded the old state workers’ compensation system of more than $500,000 in unpaid premiums, penalties and claims for benefits over about 10 years.”

WTVQ: Eight People Indicted for Insurance Fraud

“The US attorney’s office says the suspects intentionally damaged insured automobiles owned by other conspirators then filed claims.”

KansasCity.com: Push for electronic medical records picks up steam

“With or without health care reform this year, electronic medical records are picking up steam. Recent technological advances are easing the transition for doctors and hospitals, and there’s the little matter of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. The act, part of last spring’s stimulus package, included billions of dollars to ‘advance the use of health information technology.’ There’s plenty of advancing to do, with one group estimating that less than half the hospitals and only one in five physicians are equipped to fully use electronic records. ‘The United States is far more advanced in grocery store technology than in medical records technology,’ said Steve Lieber, president and chief executive officer of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in Chicago.”

pnj.com: Man charged with workers’ comp fraud

“Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced the arrest today in a news release. In the release, Sink said her Division of Insurance Fraud said Soto is charged with falsifying employment numbers with the intent of avoiding higher workers’ compensation premium payments.”

Federal News Radio: Update: Identity management in the Obama administration

“The alphabet soup of identity management programs from the Bush administration — HSPD-12, TWIC, Real ID, and many more — have gotten little attention publicly during the first nine months of the Obama presidency. But that doesn’t mean identity management has been ignored totally, says one senior administration official.”

London Evening Standard: Lloyd’s chief warns of more insurance fraud

“Lloyd’s of London’s chief executive Richard Ward today warned the deep recession would increase the number of fraudulent claims being made against the insurance market.”

Computerworld: Laptop searches at airports infrequent, DHS privacy report says

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s annual privacy report card revealed more details on the agency’s  controversial policy involving searches of electronic devices at U.S. borders. . . . For instance, numbers released in the report indicate that warrantless searches of electronic devices at U.S. borders are occurring less frequently than some privacy and civil rights advocates might have feared. Of the more than 144 million travelers that arrived at U.S. ports of entry between Oct. 1, 2008 and May 5, 2009, searches of electronic media were conducted on 1,947 of them, the DHS said.Of this number, 696 searches were performed on laptop computers, the DHS said. Even here, not all of the laptops received an ‘in-depth’ search of the device, the report states. A search sometimes may have been as simple as turning on a device to ensure that it was what it purported to be. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents conducted ‘in-depth’ searches on 40 laptops, but the report did not describe what an in-depth search entailed. . . . The report chronicled similar efforts to monitor the privacy implications of a range of projects that privacy groups are also watching. Examples include  Einstein 2.0 network monitoring technology that improves the ability of federal agencies to detect and respond to threats, and the  Real ID identity credentialing program. The DHS’s terror watch list program, its numerous  data mining projects  and the secure flight initiative were also mentioned in the report.”

Social CRM, CDI, and Identity Resolution

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

By Robert Barker, Infoglide Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer

In her well-read book on CDI, Jill Dyché offers a definition of CDI that also seems to describe social CRM. Try reading her definition of CDI, replacing “CDI” with “social CRM”:

CDI is a set of procedures, controls, skills and automation that standardize and integrate customer data originating from multiple sources(1).

In fact, Ray Wang of A Software Insider’s Point of View suggests that social CRM initiatives could be more effective by leveraging MDM technology. In a recent post he listed key questions that social CRM and other relationship management initiatives like CDI have to answer:

1.    Do we know the identity of the individual?
2.    Can we tell if there are any apparent and potential relationships?
3.    Are they advocates or detractors?
4.    How do we know whether or not we have a false positive?
5.    What products and services have been purchased in the past?
6.    Have we assessed how much credit risk we can be exposed to?
7.    What pricing and entitlements are customers eligible for?

So how exactly can social CRM systems resolve identities of individuals across multiple disparate data sources? How can they rationalize multiple variations and errors and anomalies that block finding existing customers within their systems?

The obvious answer is identity resolution. We highlighted in an earlier post that Dyché declared that identity resolution supports and enhances five of the eight core MDM functions enumerated in her book with Evan Levy. Similarly, identity resolution is critical in accurately answering key questions about identity in social CRM.

Ray’s list of questions can be divided into two sets. Accurately answering the first set related to identity and relationships (questions 1, 2, and 4) is critical to answering the rest of the questions. If we blow it on identity, it is impossible to make sense of social CRM data.

Social media marketing and social CRM are becoming more and more mainstream. If you want to get more familiar with social media marketing and social CRM, Paul Gillin’s recent book is a great way to get started.

If you’re already familiar and want to comment or take issue with this post, let us hear from you.

(1)Dyché, Jill and Levy, Evan. Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2006. Page 274.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-08-31

Monday, August 31st, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

SearchDataManagement.com: Poor data quality costing companies millions of dollars annually

“The average organization surveyed by Gartner said it loses $8.2 million annually through poor data quality. Further, of the 140 companies surveyed, 22% estimated their annual losses resulting from bad data at $20 million. Four percent put that figure as high as an astounding $100 million.”

A Software Insider’s Point of View: Monday’s Musings: Why Every Social CRM Initiative Needs An MDM Backbone

“Despite the massive scale of collected, fragmented data, Social CRM initiatives complement other relationship management initiatives in asking and answering key questions such as:
* Do we know the identity of the individual?
* Can we tell if there are any apparent and potential relationships?
* How do we know whether or not we have a false positive?”

azcentral.com: East Valley Fusion Center on cutting edge of law enforcement

“And since coming online Sept. 1, 2007, Mesa Police Sgt. Lance Heivilin said the capabilities of the center and its ability to search and manipulate various crime data have only grown.’Our first year we were involved in about 200 cases,’ Heivilin said. ‘In 2008, it was 800 investigations. This year we passed our 2008 numbers in July.’”

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 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.

TDWI Interview: Identity Resolution Reveals

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

This post is based on a March 31 interview with Infoglide Senior Vice President Douglas Wood by Linda L. Briggs for TDWI (The Data Warehousing Institute), March 31, 2009. Click here to read the entire interview.

In a comprehensive discussion, Doug Wood of Infoglide Software spoke about an area of confusion that exists when people discuss identity resolution. He pointed out that the term is sometimes misapplied to describe software that performs data matching alone.

[An identity resolution engine is] software that allows organizations to connect disparate data sources in order to understand possible entity matches and non-obvious relationships. It boils down to this: Providing capabilities for organizations to understand “who’s who” and “who knows whom” across multiple data silos. Occasionally, when we introduce the concept of identity resolution technology to a new customer, their immediate response is “I see, but we already have a data matching engine.” The truth is, identity resolution engines have data matching at the core, but [they] provide much more functionality and flexibility than that.

So if identity resolution incorporates data matching, what really differentiates it from data matching products?

Perhaps the key element of an identity resolution engine is the ability to take the entity match and relationship results, then apply domain-specific rules to them. How does the enterprise treat Customer A by virtue of the fact that he or she has some non-obvious relationship with Customer B? The answer to that question is specific to the domain.

Most of us are familiar with the use of data matching for removing duplicates from databases and in cleansing input for data warehouses and master data management, but identity resolution is used in unique ways.

With identity resolution technology, data isn’t subjected to deterioration processes such as cleansing or record merging. Rather, the data can remain in its original state and in its original location.

What this means is that identity resolution is especially adept at uncovering risk, fraud, and conflicts of interest since the “forensic value of individual records is preserved for ongoing analysis.” While government is a key market for identity resolution engines, a growing number of commercial applications are emerging in financial services (e.g., PATRIOT Act compliance, detection of loan fraud and credit card fraud), retail (e.g., uncovering organized retail crime activities by comparing shoplifters with employees or frequent merchandise returners), workers compensation (e.g., finding employers that change attributes to avoid paying premiums), lottery corporations (e.g., compare winning ticket holders against lottery retail employees to discover potential fraud), and customer relationship management (e.g., keeping two similar records unmerged until birth date attribute uncovers a father/son relationship).

What prevents traditional data matching products from addressing these problems?

There are no problems with matching engines per se. They just aren’t identity resolution engines. Matching engines typically use one or two algorithms, perhaps mathematical in nature, that examine structured data looking for name matches. They provide an improvement over Soundex, but little more. What they do is say “Yes, this is a match” or “No, this is not a match.”

Common requirements for solving identity resolution problems include connecting to more diverse data types and formats, handling higher volumes, and delivering deeper insight into non-obvious relationships from existing uncleansed data sources.

If identity resolution engines have existed for years, what has caused the recent rush to employ them?

As part of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, the Department of Homeland Security began a robust search for identity resolution technology that could keep terrorists off airplanes by comparing passenger attributes against terrorist watch lists, no-fly lists, and other types of threat-related data. Through a few iterations, the selection and implementation process evolved into the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight Program, which ultimately thrust identity resolution technology into the limelight. Secure Flight is now widely recognized as the pre-eminent use case for identity resolution technology requirements today, and a number of companies are involved in delivering that solution.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-03-30

Monday, March 30th, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

data quality PRO: Identifying Duplicate Customers (Part 1)

[Jim Harris] “What is sometimes overlooked is that although technology provides the solution, what is being solved is a business problem. Technology sometimes carries with it a dangerous conceit – that what works in the laboratory and the engineering department will work in the board room and the accounting department, that what is true for the mathematician and the computer scientist will be true for the business analyst and the data steward.”

Correction Officers Going Wrong: California Correctional Officer Arrested for Fraud

“Each insurance fraud count carries up to five years in state prison. Also, California workers’ compensation fraud statutes require restitution of double the monetary amount of the fraud; the suspected loss on this case is more than $150,000, not including more than $1.6 million in disability retirement from the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) that would have been paid out on this suspect claim.”

TwinCities.com: What if your lottery sales clerk said your ticket was a loser … and lied?

“‘(We) really need our retailers to be honest and to have their employees do it right every time,’ said state lottery director Clint Harris. The stings took place last December and January at 186 randomly selected metro stores, Harris said. Undercover agents would ask clerks to verify the specially constructed crossword game scratch-offs as winners. The prizes ranged from $7,000 to $21,000.”

Register Herald: Fusion center helps fight war on crime

“Kirk is handling a new mission in life, directing West Virginia’s fledgling fusion center, a new tack in the war on terrorism and crime in general. Put simply, it acts as a clearinghouse so data can be analyzed and the proper law enforcement agency put on notice for immediate, or long-range, investigations.”

Dashboard INSIGHT: The increasing convergence of MDM and data governance

“The concept of data governance is simple.  The Data Governance Institute (datagovernance.com) defines it as ‘a system of decision rights and accountabilities for information-related processes, executed according to agreed-upon models which describe who can take what actions with what information, and when, under what circumstances, using what methods.’”

Entity Extraction: The Flip Side of Entity Resolution

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

By John Talburt, PhD, CDMP, Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Research in Entity Resolution and Information Quality (ERIQ) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

John Talburt - smallUnder our working definition of entity resolution as locating and merging references to the same entity, the last installment focused on the merge problem, and how matching is often used as a stand-in for ER.  Now let’s take a look at the locating problem.

First we should note that information comes to us in two forms, structured and unstructured.  The traditional world of IT has been built around structured information based on the discipline of relational database schemas.  In essence, data is structured if it is ready to be loaded into a relational database, i.e. all of the entities and their attributes are clearly delimited or tagged in a way that a computer can correctly read the entire data set by following one simple, repeating pattern.  In the good ole days, the flat-file format gave us this by requiring that every record must have a fixed length and every attribute must occupy a fixed position in the record.  Inspired by the spreadsheet paradigm, a friendlier version came along only requiring that all of the attributes be presented together in a fixed order, each separated from the other by a specially designated character, the delimiter.  Now XML has brought us yet another discipline of explicitly tagging the start and end of records and attributes with a consistent naming convention.

So in the structured world, locating is easy, you just follow the pattern.  The problem is that we are now beginning to realize that there is a tremendous amount of information in unstructured formats such as free-form documents, photos, videos, audio files, sensor data, and other formats, formats that are not easily mapped into an entity-attribute schema.  Even if we just focus on information encoded in character (text) format, the total amount of unstructured information in most organizations often exceeds the amount of structured information by a considerable amount.  What’s more, we now realize that some of this information could be important, i.e. that processes like customer relationship management (CRM) could be transformed if the company only knew what their customers were saying in their emails to the company or in the comment they gave to telemarketers or technical support personnel who typed those comments into a free-form, notes field.

So how did we end up with so much unstructured information? Did good information go bad?  No, the reason is that the information age operates on four channels –  people to computers, computers to people, computers to computers, and people to people – and it is the latter generates the unstructured information.  Person-to-person communication is inherently complex and often carries a tremendous amount of implicit and explicit context that people understand, but computers don’t.

Early in my career, I worked with a professor on the problem of disambiguation of homographs using thesauri (a fancy way of asking if a computer can understand the difference in meaning between two words that are spelled the same, but mean different things, just by looking at the synonyms of the words around them., e.g. “I can open this can.”)  His favorite test was “Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.”

But getting back on topic, if you want to resolve whether references are to the same or different entities, you must first have the references.  So if the information sources are unstructured, the locating side of entity resolution is about finding the entity references.  This process is variously referred to as “named entity recognition”, “entity identification”, or “entity extraction”.  In the next installment we will discuss some of the strategies for entity extraction from unstructured text documents.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-02-13

Friday, February 13th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Shocking Behavior

“This will rock you to your core: bad guys who are the targets of law enforcement investigations try very hard to hide their identities whenever possible. OK, so maybe that isn’t so shocking. There are very few of us who have not heard the acronym ‘AKA’ (Also Known As). We associate such terms – AKA, alias, assumed name, handle, etc. – as signaling devious intent. Formal studies have shown that nearly a third of criminals have used false names for the purpose of intentional deception.”

nextgov: ‘Fusion center’ privacy fears persist

“As the program matures, the DHS Privacy Office anticipates discovering new privacy challenges that need to be addressed and the PIA will be updated whenever necessary, the document said. Additionally, the Privacy Office called for ‘a regular and ongoing examination of privacy issues within the fusion centers.’”

Toronto City News: OLG Bans Staff From Buying Tickets

“The move follows scathing criticism by ombudsman Andre Marin, who also suggested including lottery retailers in the ban. ‘If retailers, insiders, prove they are an ungovernable lot, then we should ban them from playing the lottery,’ he noted.”

North Country Gazette: Charter Bus Operator Accused Of Workers Comp Fraud

“According to investigators, DiPaolo failed to provide workers’ compensation insurance for the 25 employees of his school and charter bus service between 2006 and 2008, thereby avoiding payment of an estimated $130,000 in premiums.”

CIO: Data-Management Danger: Less Than Half of MDM Plans Are Effective

“So while many companies acknowledge their data problems and resultant poor decision-making processes, less than one-third of businesses have taken steps to remedy the situation with a data-governance program, according to the results. Thirteen percent of respondents said they were unclear as to what data governance was.”

Destination CRM: Megavendors Look Smart in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence

“The report calls 2008 ‘a year of transition’ following ‘the vendor merger and acquisition turbulence of 2007′ — a reference to the major acquisitions of Business Objects by SAP, Cognos by IBM, and Hyperion Solutions by Oracle.”

NOTE: Our next post will be on Wednesday, February 18. Happy President’s Day!


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