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Identity Resolution Daily Links 2010-02-09

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

By the Infoglide Team

ovum: Informatica finally plugs MDM gap

MDM now creates another competitive front for Informatica against rivals and complicates some partial relationships - notably Oracle, which includes Informatica’s identity resolution software as part of its Siebel Universal Customer Master (UCM) MDM engine, as well as some parts of its data quality software. Informatica also has OEM relationships with IBM and DataFlux for address cleansing that might need revisiting.”

ovum: IBM acquires Initiate Systems to strengthen healthcare solutions

“Being acquired by a large player such as IBM also raises the question of whether Initiate will be able to unfold its potential under the large IBM umbrella, or whether it will wither and sink into oblivion alongside the multitude of applications in IBM’s broad portfolio. This will be a test of how well IBM integrates small but high-performing companies.”

TMCnet Healthcare Technology: ECRI Guides Hospitals on Electronic Health Record Implementation

“Electronic health records, or ‘EHRs,’ are the future of medical record keeping. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or “ARRA,” includes incentive payments for hospitals that adopt an EHR, but the timetable for implementation is tight. To qualify for the full payment, hospitals will require proving ‘meaningful use’ by October 2012.”

2010 TDI Fraud Conference: Texas Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Workers’ comp fraud indicators… Frequent additions and cancellations of coverage, especially if several business entities appear to be owned or controlled by the same person or group”


Identity Resolution Daily Links 2010-02-05

Friday, February 5th, 2010

[Post from Infoglide] And Then There Were Two

“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.”

Information Week: Global CIO: IBM Data Strategy Is Flawed, Say Kalido And Informatica

“Noting that Initiate’s product is spefically designed to handle only certain types of data—customer data and product data—Kalido CEO Hewitt says, ‘Where they have struggled is in mastering multiple domains, even though they advertise their products as such. The problem is that as you add domains, the complexity of the data relationships expands exponentially. So one domain might have 100 relationships, two domains 300 relationships, 10 domains 3,000 relationships. So when one master data element changes, hundreds of relationships could change, which requires a governance process to manage it.’”


Columbia Daily Tribune: Networks advance child-trafficking investigation

“Watson called up a contact at the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), a fusion center that combines intelligence from federal law enforcement and state and military sources. Watson also called a friend at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and asked him to prepare a ’serious incident report.’ ICE mobilized an officer specializing in human trafficking within minutes, Watson said.”

ITBusinessEdge: How Big Deals Affect MDM Competitors, Customers

“But the general upheaval in MDM aside, the IBM deal is interesting in another way. IBM has downplayed this as an MDM acquisition, positioning it more as buying into two verticals, health care and a government. Gartner’s Andrew White writes that at one point during the briefing, IBM was asked what the Initiate acquisition meant for MDM. IBM responded it reflects a ‘verticalization of MDM.’ White writes that’s good news for health care customers, but ‘troubling for IBM MDM product strategy.’”

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.

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.

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 2010-01-15

Friday, January 15th, 2010

[Post from Infoglide] Entity-Based Integration Model

“From a business standpoint, entity resolution (ER) is really the first step of a two-part process of integrating information about entities.  Entity reference records usually carry two types of attributes describing the entity, identifying attributes and informational attributes. Although the line between the two can be fuzzy, identifying attributes are those that describe the entity’s ‘characteristics,’ information that tends to persist over time and helps to distinguish one entity from another of the same type.”

Healthcare Technology Online: 10 Healthcare IT Trends To Watch In 2010

“According to the latest statistics from HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), only 0.5% of U.S. hospitals currently have a complete EMR (electronic medical record) system that provides data continuity throughout the institution. Hospitals and healthcare systems will install, integrate, and enhance EMR systems at an accelerated pace in an effort to demonstrate ‘meaningful use’ and capitalize on ARRA incentives.”

InformationWeek: Airline Security: The Technical Task Of Connecting Dots

“Pulling those data streams together–from federal agencies, law enforcement, foreign governments, and private sector companies–and getting that information to the right people quickly and in useable format are huge technical challenges. While there were obvious missed opportunities in the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, including failure to take action with information in hand, it would be a mistake to underestimate the end-to-end data integration effort required as one of, simply, ‘connecting the dots.’”

ChannelWeb: Gartner: Cloud Computing Contributes To Mass IT Asset Exodus

Cloud computing will take such a stranglehold on the market as companies try to reduce hardware spending that Gartner has made the bold proclamation that one-fifth of all businesses will own absolutely no IT assets come 2012.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-01-05

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

By the Infoglide Team

Center for Advanced Public Safety: SHARE & PUSH

“While SHARE is strictly for communications between law enforcement and the state’s Fusion Center, a companion portal, called the Portal to Uphold a Secure Homeland (PUSH), was also developed as part of the USDHS ITEP project to support private sector security personnel who oversee critical infrastructure.”

HealthNewsDigest.com: Medical/Healthcare Privacy and Fraud Outlook for 2010

“You may not be aware of this, but medical-related fraud and identity theft are growing problems in America. With the exploding cost of healthcare, increasing bureaucratic administrative healthcare systems, and a large, aging Baby Boomer population requiring increased medical care, it would seem that we are entering into a kind of ‘perfect storm’ for medical fraud.”

Aerospace News & Views: Business Travel Association Calls for Greater Attention to Aviation Security

NBTA has long supported risk-management programs that enhance aviation security. TSA’s Secure Flight helps to enhance domestic and international travel through the use of improved watch list matching, while the US-VISIT program collects biometric information from international travelers, both of which help to protect travelers and our nation. These programs should be used as readily available tools to improve the system that protects our global aviation security.”

[Wes Richel] Gartner: Simple Interop: Why We Don’t Seek a Top Level Domain Name

“Should anyone need a demonstration of the difficulties that delay reaching global agreements, consider that the term “EHR” has an idiosyncratic definition in the U.S. when compared to most of the world. In the U.S. the term refers to the record of patient information that is kept by an individual care delivery organization (CDO), with the proviso that there be some degree of interoperability. In most other countries that use the term it refers to some specific sharing of information that may be sourced from many places including but not limited to the electronic patient records of individual CDOs.”

State Agencies Adopting Entity Resolution

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

By Robert Barker, Infoglide Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer

Fresh out of grad school, I initiated a career in software development by writing software for state agencies. Although I migrated to work for software companies several years later, lessons learned in those beginning years were a great platform for later challenges.

Significant opportunities to apply identity resolution and entity analytics exist at the state level. State agencies interact with citizens and corporations across many domains, including collection of tax revenues (e.g. oil and gas – I’m from Texas!), licenses (e.g. motor vehicles, hunting, fishing), housing programs, lotteries, child protective services, health care, workers’ compensation, the court system, law enforcement, and homeland security.

In most of these areas, it’s important to know exactly who you’re dealing with and who their associates are. For example, we’ve partnered with a state workers’ compensation organization to help them detect employers trying to defraud the state by paying lower premiums than they rightfully should. These employers try to foil the state by dissolving and reforming under different company names, but identity resolution is adept at uncovering such unlawful maneuvers.

New entity resolution applications that deal simultaneously with multiple sources of data residing at multiple agencies promise to make state government more efficient and effective. For example, an agency that requires a citizen to supply information during an application process can augment that process with incremental real-time services that find linkages to other data, thus making it possible to stop payments and/or deny licensing to “dead beat dads”, people who have unpaid taxes, etc. until they meet their legal responsibilities.

While using entity resolution in commercial and federal applications is moving rapidly, states have only just begun to exploit this new technology. If you know of areas that need to be addressed, we’d like to hear about them.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-12-07

Monday, December 7th, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

Insurance Journal: Dallas-Area Employer Ordered to Repay Nearly $1M to Texas Mutual

“Texas Mutual Insurance Company reports that Donna Iverson, owner of C&D Business Services Inc., and Carol Wiesman pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. The 299th District Court in Austin sentenced Iverson and Wiesman to 10 years’ deferred adjudication and ordered them to repay $949,702 to Texas Mutual. Iverson and Wiesman were involved in a scheme from April 2003 through March 2006 to conceal business relationships and payroll records from Texas Mutual for C&D Business Services Inc. and C&D Services.”

CMAJ: Canadian physicians playing “catch-up” in adopting electronic medical records

“The Survey of Primary Care Physicians In Eleven Countries, 2009: Perspectives On Care, Costs, And Experiences found that only 37% of Canadian family physician respondents used electronic medical records in their practices, the lowest rate among the countries surveyed.”

public intelligence: Intelligence Fusion Centers

“These entities work under the auspices of local law enforcement, often integrating with the state’s police force, Department of Justice, or Office of Emergency Management… The following list is believed to be accurate at this time.”

Liliendahl on Data Quality: Santa Quality

“Santa Claus versus Saint Nicholas is an example of the use of nicknames which is a main issue in name matching in many cultures. It’s also important to observe that the German and Danish name is one word versus two words in English and French. Many company names and other names in respective languages shares the same linguistic characteristic.”


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