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And Then There Were Two

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

By Douglas Wood, Infoglide Senior Vice President

IBM announced today that it plans to buy MDM vendor Initiate Systems.  As hypothesized here in this blog last week, the move was not entirely unexpected, but on the heels of last week’s announcement by Informatica to purchase Siperian, it certainly creates yet another wave in the marketplace.  More moves are certain to take place as competing companies align – and realign – their Single Entity View (SEV) strategies.  The key to this realignment will be for current industry players to maximize their functionality beyond “playing with matches”.  That dated view of fuzzy matching is no longer enough.  Not for the large data quality vendors.  Certainly not for the customer.

The question of when companies like Oracle, SAP and Microsoft react – and how – will keep the blogosphere humming for awhile.

From the perspective of identity resolution – technologies that go well beyond simple matching - the IBM announcement creates a very interesting scenario.  Let’s be honest… there are three organizations have been truly positioned as leaders in providing SEV functionality that helps organizations expose fuzzy matches and non-obvious relationships across data sources.  IBM and Initiate are two;  Infoglide Software Corporation is the third.  IBM’s Identity Insight (formerly EAS), Initiate’s entity resolution, and Infoglide’s Identity Resolution Engine (IRE) all  deliver the promise of SEV or “who’s who… and who knows whom” technology, and all three answer considerably more than “yes it’s a match” or “no it’s not a match”.

In the case of Initiate Systems, the entity resolution product is new, and frankly came about as a basic repackaging of their successful MDM product for the Healthcare market.  IBM’s product, like Infoglide’s, was built from the ground up as an identity resolution engine by Jeff Jonas and the old SRD organization.  Now, with today’s announcement, IBM seems to have created some painful duplicity in their offerings.  It occurs to me that IBM has not become a global technology leader by mismanaging its products and messaging, so something’s gotta give!  Which product goes away, and when, will be interesting to see.

Either way, there are now effectively two players left standing in the SEV market – IBM and Infoglide.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines (and don’t play with those matches)

Monday, February 1st, 2010

By Douglas Wood, Infoglide Senior Vice President

Much is happening these days in the Data Quality space.  Customers are embracing MDM strategies at a record pace, M&A activity has picked up from an industry perspective, and the various players in the data quality marketplace are expanding their offerings like never before.  It matters little if the objective is to vet fraud or to master data. The race to deliver the dream of an enterprise-wide single-entity-view (SEV) is on.  Gentlemen (and Danica Patrick)… start your engines!

The key word here, naturally, is ‘engines’.  An engine moves things forward, and performs considerably more than one basic task.  As has been well-documented here at IdentityResolutionDaily, a true identity resolution engine plays a vital part of any SEV initiative.  Technologies that can look at data across disparate silos and return results that point to both matches AND non-obvious relationships are in high demand…  and set to grow even further in 2010.  The simplicity of “yes it’s a match” or “no, it’s not a match” is no longer sufficient for most organizations as they seek the single-entity-view.  Remember, an entity is not merely made up of attributes… but also relationships.  A true ‘engine’ points to those relationships, and moves the entire data quality initiative forward.

An engine cares little what the car looks like, and ought to drive a multitude of vehicles.  Similarly, an identity resolution engine ought to be built to solve a multitude of problems.  SEV for exposing risk and fraud, SEV for Healthcare Patient Matching, SEV for Law Enforcement, SEV for customer relationship management, SEV for data disambiguation, SEV for house-holding, and so on and so on.  The engine should perform the same functions… while only the domain (or body type) changes.

It also occurs to us that the engine ought to be flexible in terms of what is mounted to the chassis – and how.  Do you want the 2.2L engine?  4 cylinder or 6 cylinder?  In the case of an identity resolution engine, customers ought to be able to pick how the functionality is delivered.  Full enterprise software license with professional services to build the car?  Done.  Functionality on demand a la Infoglide Software’s Identity Resolution as a Service (IRaaS TM) offering?  You got it.  A SEV appliance that sits behind a customer’s firewall to alleviate privacy-in-data concerns?  No problem.

The need for an SEV engine that provides a powerful library of matching and relationship capabilities, delivered in a variety of customer-friendly methods is now more critical than ever.  With the increase in activity lately around the MDM space, one thing is clear:  the race is most definitely on.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2010-01-29

Friday, January 29th, 2010

[Post from Infoglide] Master Data Movement

“I read with interest yesterday’s article at SeekingAlpha which discusses rumors swirling around the MDM software industry.  According to the article, sources suggest that two deals are very near completion.  The first of those rumored transactions would see Informatica picking up MDM provider Siperian.  On the heels of their acquisitions of Identity Systems and AddressDoctor, the Siperian purchase could not be totally unexpected – but would most certainly create some ripple effect worth watching.”

[Post from Infoglide] Connecting the Dots: We May Be Closer Than We Think

“Paul Rosenzweig, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, recently posted an intriguing piece on Harvard National Security Journal about connecting the dots regarding the Christmas Bomber. He makes a strong case that a decision to stop research on data analytic tools in 2003 has contributed to the problem analysts face today in making sense of the massive and manifold data sources they sift through.”

Forrester Blog: Introducing The MDM Market’s Newest 800lb Gorilla: Informatica Acquires Siperian!

“In the short term, I’m sure Informatica will be more than happy to continue to collect revenue from Oracle while keeping this partnership alive, but don’t expect future negotiated contracted terms to remain very reasonable as Informatica gains traction with its MDM strategy. No matter how often Oracle says how happy they are to maintain a friendly state of co-opetition with strategic partners, I don’t anticipate they will want to run the risk of a competitor pulling the rug out from under its aggressive MDM strategy.”

News8Austin: Community forum poses questions about Fusion Center

“According to department officials, sharing information with neighboring jurisdictions as well as state and federal agencies ensures that crime history and other information is shared outside the city limits. The department said it the center will be one that ‘analyzes information in order to best detect, respond and hopefully prevent criminal and terrorist activity — as well as other public safety hazards.’”

Ramon Chen: Informatica + Siperian Acquisition = Premier MDM Platform

“As expected, Informatica has announced that it has acquired Siperian (disclosure, my former company) for $130M… If predictions are correct, this will be a relative ‘bargain’ when compared with the upcoming IBM and Initiate Systems tie up which is expected to be 4 to 5x Initiate’s $90M annual revenues.”

Master Data Movement

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

By Douglas Wood, Infoglide Senior Vice President

I read with interest yesterday’s article at SeekingAlpha which discusses rumors swirling around the MDM software industry.  According to the article, sources suggest that two deals are very near completion.  The first of those rumored transactions would see Informatica picking up MDM provider Siperian.  On the heels of their acquisitions of Identity Systems and AddressDoctor, the Siperian purchase could not be totally unexpected – but would most certainly create some ripple effect worth watching.

The first thing that springs to mind is what Oracle would intend to do with Informatica.  A long-time business partner of Oracle, strengthened through the 2008 purchase of Identity Systems, Informatica could now only be classified as a true and direct competitor to Oracle.  Can Oracle continue to OEM technology (SSA Name3, for example) from what would instantly become a major competitor?  Sleeping with the enemy is one thing… leaving money on the nightstand afterwards is another thing altogether!  It will be interesting to see what happens here, to say the least.

The other rumored acquisition is that of Initiate Systems by IBM.  Thought to be roughly twice the size of Siperian, Initiate would tend to give further credibility to IBM’s vast – and growing – presence in the Health Care industry, where Initiate has become a recognized industry leader.  What muddies the waters, however, would be the question of what IBM would intend to do with Initiate’s entity resolution engine.  In a nutshell, Initiate has been one of two software vendors doing an excellent job of providing technologies applicable for both MDM and fraud/risk related implementations.  Infoglide Software Corporation is the other.

Marketed in an eerily similar fashion to Infoglide’s earlier-released Identity Resolution Engine (is imitation the most sincere form of flattery?), Initiate’s offering in this identity resolution space could become short-lived given IBM’s large and ongoing investment in InfoSphere Identity Insight Solutions (formerly Entity Analytics Solutions).  How soon that would happen, of course, is anyone’s guess.

One thing is certain, however: the need for technology that is applicable to both MDM initiatives and that exposes risk and fraud through matching and linking of entities is very real and growing.  How the other major industry players react – should either or both of these rumors become reality – will define the industry for years to come.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2010-01-22

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

[Post from Infoglide] Healthcare Identity Resolution Confusion

“Confusion about medical records can lead to chaos. We’ve all heard horror stories about hospital tragedies caused by misidentification of a patient, such as applying an unnecessary surgery. It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of correct, unambiguous information in the practice of medicine. Knowing as much as possible about a patient enables a practitioner to reach a correct diagnosis and the proper treatment regimen in the least amount of time.”

NewsandSentinel.com: Local officials do their part to fight terrorism

“Tom Campbell, a consultant on terrorist issues who has worked with Sandy in the past, has been in the field of counter-terrorism for 14 years. We do not profile based on ethnicity and race, what we do is profile behavior,” said Campbell. “Terrorism is evolutionary. Terrorists are always changing their behavior, appearances and tactics. What we try to do to prevent terrorism is focus on the behavior. That’s how we disrupt it before it happens. The emphasis is on prevention.”

intelligent enterprise: Predicting BI Highlights for 2010

Cloud computing and SaaS will become less niche as both BI heavy weights and vertically-focused vendors recognize that the infrastructure side of BI offers little competitive advantage; instead, it’s the time-to-value and agility. IT owners who don’t want to give up any control are in for a bruising.”

ISRIA: Testimony of Secretary Napolitano before the Senate Committee on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, “Intelligence Reform: The Lessons and Implications of the Christmas Day Attack”

DHS uses TSDB data, managed by the Terrorist Screening Center that is administered by the FBI, to determine who may board, who requires further screening and investigation, who should not be admitted, or who should be referred to appropriate law enforcement personnel. Specifically, to help make these determinations, DHS uses the No-Fly List and the Selectee List, two important subsets within the TSDB. Individuals on the No-Fly List should not receive a boarding pass for a flight to, from, over, or within the United States.”

Healthcare Identity Resolution Confusion

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

By Robert Barker, Infoglide Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer

Confusion about medical records can lead to chaos. We’ve all heard horror stories about hospital tragedies caused by misidentification of a patient, such as applying an unnecessary surgery. It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of correct, unambiguous information in the practice of medicine. Knowing as much as possible about a patient enables a practitioner to reach a correct diagnosis and the proper treatment regimen in the least amount of time.

Underscoring the importance that accurate information plays in effective treatment, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) passed in 2009 includes incentives for hospitals and doctors to adopt and support certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. In fact, the Act set aside $20 billion to encourage health care organizations to improve their recordkeeping through healthcare information technology.

Today’s hot healthcare industry topic, therefore, is electronic health records. While an EHR can create the potential for interoperability, it can’t deliver interoperability without robust identity resolution. High-quality health care depends on complete, unambiguous patient information being available at all times, so identity resolution technology has become a crucial component of a well-designed healthcare identification infrastructure.

By applying identity resolution to patient identification integrity, identity resolution can prevent common medical errors:
Duplicates are a simple example, where the two records exist for the same person within a single facility. More complex types of errors can easily start to mount up, including overlaps where more than one record exists for one person within two facilities within a single organization, and overlays where information for two people are integrated under a single record.

The rush to respond to ARRA resulted in overstatements of the identity resolution capabilities of many products. For example, most master data management (MDM) systems include matching and de-duplication capabilities that have become labeled “identity resolution” while in fact they lack the critical requirements for identity resolution. Dan Power of Hub Solution Designs has pointed out the growing role of identity resolution in MDM and the need for MDM vendors to move beyond “not invented here” thinking to incorporate true identity resolution into their offerings.

Confusion about medical records can lead to chaos. Clearing up confusion about identity resolution clears a path out of the chaos that will lead to better solutions.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2010-01-18

Monday, January 18th, 2010

By the Infoglide Team

hrtools: Workers’ comp anti-fraud and compliance program saved $128 million in FY 2009

“The fight against fraud in the workers’ compensation system brought in $128 million last year, according to a new report from the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I)… L&I also referred 25 fraud cases for criminal prosecution, including 18 workers, four employers, and three health care providers — with a 100 percent success rate.”  [Link to Full Report]

Connecticutplus.com: Governor Rell directs State Homeland Security officials to review summary of NWA 253 failures

“‘Connecticut is home to a state and local ‘fusion center‘ – a place where we share the information with our federal homeland security partners,’ Governor Rell said… Connecticut’s proximity to New York, its number of high-profile locations and its importance as a transportation hub mean that fusion center is a critical – and very busy – place. We want to make sure there are no avoidable breakdowns.’”

FierceEMR: CDC: More than 40 percent of docs have EMRs

“Breaking down the numbers leads to a little more sanity. About 20.5 percent of respondents say they had a basic system capable of recording patient demographics, problem lists, clinical notes, medication orders and of viewing test results. Just 6.3 percent had fully functional EMRs, with medical histories, electronic order entry, drug interaction checking, highlighting of abnormal readings and reminders for guideline-based interventions, the CDC says.”

The Server Room: Cloud Computing and the Hype Cycle

“Hence we’d like to claim that the recent interest in cloud computing, taken in the context of prior developments on grid computing, the service paradigm and virtualization and over the infrastructure provided by the Internet, is actually the slow climb into the Slope of Enlightenment.  Experimentation will continue, and some attempts will still fail.  However the general trend will be toward mainstreaming.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-12-21

Monday, December 21st, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

Citizen-Times: Lawmakers to mediate spat over Iowa Lottery security

“The investigation began after questions arose about a northwest Iowa store clerk who won the lottery six times in 12 months, collecting $264,000. The ombudsman’s report, called ‘Taking Chances on Integrity,’ included 60 recommendations for changes in lottery procedures and policies.”

Cheap Mommy: EHR Savings Go Beyond Time and Money

“The national government will pump billions of dollars into the transfer of medical records to electronic data in order to improve medical care and communications. Doctors, drugstores, hospitals and insurance companies will be more efficient with the utilization of electronic medical information. They will be able to exchange data instantaneously through electronic health networks, saving time and reducing the frustration of patients. Having electronic files can also guarantee greater privacy than hard-copy records. E-files can monitor exactly who has access to your medical data and log when it is accessed.”

SFGate: Forecast calls for more clouds in computing

Cloud computing certainly had mindshare and now, for many people, it has credibility,’ said Ray Valdes, analyst with Gartner Research. ‘A lot of the initial anxieties have faded.’ Gartner ranks cloud computing its top strategic technology area for 2010 and forecasts that revenue will grow from about $56.3 billion in 2009 to $150.1 billion in 2013.”

[Wes Richel] Gartner:Simple Interop: The Health Internet Node

“The goal here is to establish a framework for secure communications among healthcare organizations and between healthcare organizations and patient/consumers. Although we propose some specific uses (protected email and transactions among EHRs) our premise is that the framework will support a much broader set of use cases and Internet technologies.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-12-19

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Data Fatigue

“Four years ago this week, a small aircraft lifted off from Watson Island in Miami. It was the plane’s 39,743rd flight. And as the tiny craft first vented white smoke and then lost its right wing in an explosion, it became clear that this was its last. All twenty people in the Grumman G73-T, including three infants, perished. The National Transportation Safety Board later determined that the culprit was metal fatigue.”

ovum: BI, EPM and EDW trends to watch out for in 2010

“For the mid-market and those new to BI, open source and BI software as a service (SaaS) will offer attractive alternatives. In the case of BI SaaS, increasing deployments of enterprise applications in the cloud by SMEs will act as a further driver for take-up of this option.”

destinationCRM.com: Electronic Health Records Get a Check-Up

“Hildreth references a 2009 New England Journal of Medicine survey indicating that close to 4 percent of physicians have a fully functional EHR system. About 13 percent of physicians’ offices have a basic EHR system in the works. Many organizations, Hildreth says, currently have bits and pieces of EHR, but not the full thing.”

insurancenewsnet.com: Hard-up Investigators Battle Against Rise In Comp Fraud

“While prosecution of various forms of insurance fraud is affected by budget constraints, the prosecution of underreporting of workers comp premiums by unscrupulous employers, or their outright failure to purchase the mandated coverage, may take the biggest hit, depending on each state’s priorities, Mr. Jay said.”

intelligent enterprise: Survey: BI Still Hindered By Technical Problems

“Specifically, the 2009 survey found that 29% of BI deployments were slightly successful and 47% were moderately successful. Only 21% of the respondents rated their deployments very successful.’A number of technical factors continue to contribute to — or hinder — stronger BI impact,’ the report said. ‘Data quality, reliability of the BI system and access to relevant data are the most important technical factors.’”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-11-20

Friday, November 20th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Entity Resolution Metrics

“In the last post we looked at the problem of measuring the accuracy of entity resolution processes.  As with any accuracy measure, comparing to a known standard of correctness or benchmark is required.  However, even without a benchmark, other measures are also important in evaluating ER outcomes.”

SmartData Collective: MDM: Build or Buy?

“In the paper, I describe five core MDM functions that should drive a deliberate MDM strategy:

1. Data cleansing and correction
2. Metadata
3. Security and access services
4. Data migration
5. Identity resolution”

New York Times: The Rules on Names Could Bend a Little

“Given more precise information at booking, the T.S.A. expects to be able to match more precisely a passenger’s identity against those on the watch list. This should reduce the number of false positives — people who are flagged at security until it can be determined that they are not the person with a similar name who is on a watch list. ‘The Secure Flight watch-list matching process occurs before a passenger even gets to the airport,’ Mr. Leyh said. ‘So if you get a boarding pass, the Secure Flight watch-list matching process is done.’ In other words, you are clear once you get that pass.”

O’Reilly radar: Health gets personal in the cloud

“A Personal Health Record (PHR) is one way that patients can have some control of their own health data, while providing an interoperable platform for sharing relevant clinical data between providers. Healthcare is changing rapidly and there are some important trends worth watching. Healthcare in the near future will be quite different than it is today. Web enabled technology is already changing the way medicine is practiced. As the digital nation comes of age we will see new opportunities, and new challenges, bringing healthcare in America into the 21st century.”


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