Archive for the ‘Retail’ Category

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-03-02

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

Background Now: AG Seeks Injunction Against Contractors Asset Protection Association, Inc. (ConAPA) and Eugene Magre

“‘This company falsely promised its clients that if they gave their employees empty titles and worthless shares of stock they could avoid tens of thousands of dollars in workers compensation premiums,’ Attorney General Brown said. ‘But you can’t simply call a security guard a vice president and avoid complying with the law through a sophisticated and fraudulent scheme.’”

DailyTech: New Bills Target Stolen Merchandise Sold Online

“Under the new legislation, the brick and mortar retailers would score a major coup in that they could order eBay.com, Overstock.com, and Amazon.com to remove numerous goods without any proof.  Under the proposed laws, failure by the online retailers to ‘expeditiously investigate’ and remove the items would result in criminal penalties.”

BeyeNetwork: Business Drivers and Master Data

“Is the actual business need for a single version of the data, or just multiple versions, each of which is of higher quality? Drill down into this a little bit and you may need additional information from your business customers. What constitutes a requirement for master data? A situation in which two business processes need to have a fully shared view of the same representation of a data item?”

Web of Data: Report on Data Discovery by Bloor Research

“…there are now a number of products on the market that can discover data relationships that do not fall within the category of either data profiling or data quality. As a result, it is time to consider the importance of data discovery, and its requirements, as a market in its own right.”

The Human Element in Identity Resolution

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

By Robert Barker, Infoglide Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer

We’ve written quite a few posts here on the subject of identity resolution’s application to a broad range of problems that include terrorism, insurance fraud, crime, lottery fraud, sexual predators, workers comp employer fraud, and retail returns fraud. What we haven’t discussed very much is the relationship between the technology and the human beings that employ it.

We software marketers are sometimes tempted to make it sound as though our products solve problems automatically. The truth is that identity resolution software performs tasks that humans could do, but it does them at a level of speed and precision that significantly enhances the results accomplished through those tasks. In order for the software to achieve excellent results, however, human judgment is required both in implementing the software and in applying the results.

The specifics of a particular problem differ markedly, and every solution is different. A person of interest in airline passenger screening has very different characteristics from a person of interest in workers compensation fraud, for example. Solutions differ even within a single problem domain, e.g. Nordstrom and Walmart have very different philosophies for merchandise returns.

In simpler data quality applications, default configurations can address many problems, but in identity resolution, a little tuning by experts greatly increases the solution’s value.  A domain expert may not understand the technology, but they understand their problem, industry, application, and company. And because of their depth of understanding of their domain, they can tell great results from good results in a heartbeat.

For maximum benefit, human domain experts work with technology experts to tune the software during implementation to apply similar “judgment” as the experts themselves would use to resolve multiple identities, uncover hidden relationships, and minimize false positives and false negatives. Technology’s critical role is to automate the process of sifting through the data to find likely matches and non-obvious relationships and to prioritize the cases that require human intervention so that finite human resources can focus on the most important things first.

While it’s critical to have software that can produce results right “off the shelf,” it is the domain expertise coupled with the technology expertise that creates a solution that is perfectly matched to the needs of a particular industry, application, and company.

Identity Resolution: Taking Off in 2009?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

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

On February 2nd, the Wall Street Journal ran an article about IBM’s application of its identity resolution technology in government organizations, noting they expect it to generate $1 billion in the next four years. Just 18 months ago, Gartner initially identified entity resolution and analysis (aka identity resolution) as a technology “on the rise” in its analysis of the business intelligence (BI) market.  A year later in July 2008, it had moved from the bottom to near the top of the curve.  Moving into 2009, identity resolution is emerging as an independent horizontal market with multiple vertical applications, despite a challenging economy.

As with any emerging horizontal technology, the requirements for identity resolution solutions derive from needs articulated by early adopter organizations in a variety of vertical markets. Using identity resolution technology, these early adopters are developing and implementing vertical solutions for many fraud applications, including identifying employers who deceive workers compensation agencies, catching retailers who swindle winning lottery tickets, and detecting retail returns fraud and organized retail crime. Of course, the mother of all identity resolution projects is assessing terrorist risk of airline passengers before they board. On the surface these applications may seem unrelated, but they are driven by two significant common concerns – understanding more clearly who they are dealing with and discovering hidden, non-obvious relationships.

Until recently the identity resolution space was often overlooked, sometimes addressed by custom in-house applications, or inadequately served by cobbling together from products in adjacent and overlapping markets, such as data quality (DQ), master data management (MDM), customer relationship management (CRM), and business intelligence (BI), with existing systems and data sources.

As vendors from these adjacent markets tried to address the needs with existing products, customers found that they lack the combination of integrated capabilities needed to adequately build identity resolution solutions. Here’s a chart that highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each adjacent market’s approach to identity resolution.

From all indications, we expect continued acceleration of interest in solutions based on identity resolution technologies during 2009. We’d like to hear your thoughts.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-02-02

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

Benefit Fraud: Where are the deterrent sentences for benefit fraud?

“A repeat offender pedophile is on incapacity benefit [workers comp]. Why, one wonders. He seems to be well enough to assault 13 year old girls but not well enough to work.”

ebiz: While Business Intelligence Needs to Move from Passive to Active

“So, the difference is that you’re looking at information that tells you where you made mistakes, and perhaps how to avoid them in the future. Or, that you’re looking at information that tells you you’re about to make a mistake, perhaps in the context of historical information, and takes corrective action immediately without human intervention. Which seems more productive to you?”

Portland Press Herald: Hit-and-run thieves strike Maine stores

“Loss-prevention specialists say eBay, Craig’s List and other online auction and free advertising sites have fueled the increase in retail crime because they provide a new and anonymous way for shoplifters to resell stolen goods. ‘The best thing to happen to shoplifting is the Internet,’ said Strong.”

North Country Gazette: Self-Employed Plumber Nabbed For Scam

“While receiving benefits, Hogdin attested in signed statements that he had not returned to any form of work.  An investigation carried out by the New York State Insurance Fund’s Division of Confidential Investigations revealed that Hogdin, in fact, was self-employed repairing small engine machinery.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-01-17

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Does Data Matching Qualify as Identity Resolution?

“Any true identity resolution engine must not consist simply of a mathematical matching equation, nor must it rely upon data-deterioration processes such as ETL and data warehousing. Math cannot tell a user that Ian is an acceptable nickname for John, nor can simple mathematical equations point to similarities between the colors grey and charcoal.”

Fiscal Policy Institute: Building Up New York, Tearing Down Job Quality

“As buildings go up in New York City, more and more construction work has gone underground, signifying violation of several employment and tax laws. An estimated 50,000 New York City construction workers—nearly one in four—are either misclassified as independent contractors or employed by construction contractors completely off the books.”

SearchDataManagement: Enterprise-wide customer data quality still elusive at most organizations

“So why do so few organizations use data quality tools for customer data enterprise-wide? The reason, according to some, is that most companies collect and store customer data in numerous data sources spread throughout the organization with no way to connect them. Put another way, lacking a single view of the customer through a master data management (MDM) system or customer data integration (CDI) initiative, organizations lack any realistic way of applying data quality tools enterprise-wide.”

WorkersCompensation.com: Rome Man Accused Of Double Dipping

“A 58-year-old Rome man discovered working after he claimed a job-related injury prevented him from doing so was arrested Thursday on charges that he fraudulently collected $17,940 in workers’ compensation benefits.”

Multichannel Merchant: Retail Crime Up Thanks to Down Economy

“According to the National Retail Federation’s 2008 Returns Fraud Survey, released in November, retailers will see a total of about $219 billion in returns from sales made in 2008 – a 19% increase over the $178 billion in returns recorded in 2007. Of those returns, about $11.8 billion will be fraudulent – an increase of about 8% over last year’s figure of $10.9 billion.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-15-08

Monday, December 15th, 2008

By the Infoglide Team

Illinois Business Journal: Closing fraud loopholes would decrease Illinois’ workers’ comp costs

“Workers’ compensation costs for Illinois employers are higher than any of its bordering states, according to Jay Shattuck, executive director of the Illinois Chamber Employment Law Council. Illinois’ average total cost per claim, he says, is $21,335 - compared to Indiana’s $10,517, Wisconsin’s $11,342, Iowa’s $14,292 and Missouri’s $17,309.”

Hub Solution Designs: MDM: Buzz-Worthy But Not A Back-Breaker

“The software vendors who’ve flocked to MDM and put the MDM label on everything under the sun have certainly confused the market. Even so, the MDM software market grew 24% from 2007 to 2008.  In spite of the tough economic times we’re currently in, that rapid growth rate should continue for the next several years.”

Hi-Tech-Blog: Economy down = Employee theft up

Brian J. Mich, head of anticorruption compliance and investigations at BDO Consulting, says during tough financial times, ‘people have a tendency to give in to temptation to commit criminal behavior,’ and that employers tend to become more vigilant. Mich also observes that people viewed as the most trustworthy–those who have ‘access to systems and information’–often commit the biggest thefts.”

Crain’s New York Business: Shoplifting increases at retail stores

“According to the nationwide study, 84% of retailers, including department stores, specialty apparel companies, electronic stores and drugstores, have seen an increase in theft and amateur shoplifting over the last three months. More than 75% of stores report a rise in financial fraud, and 80% cite intensified organized retail crime.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-12-05

Friday, December 5th, 2008

By the Infoglide Team

[Post from Infoglide] Identity Resolution Daily: If Only Data Quality Were That Simple

“The most effective approach blends several best-of-class techniques, and it scales without compromising performance. A multifaceted solution combines an extensive rules base for nicknames and abbreviations, heuristics, semantics, and a large array of public and proprietary algorithms and other types of analytics.”

MarketWatch: Fraudulent Doctor Surrenders License, Repays $144K to Texas Mutual

“Between January 2003 and March 2006, Shanti and his clinic over-billed workers’ compensation carriers for pain management services in excess of hours actually attended by patients, according to the indictments.”

IT-Director: The problem with data quality solutions part 4

“A typical case might be where one application required a five digit numeric field and another application requires the same five numbers plus an additional two alphabetic characters. So, here’s a question for data quality vendors: can your software tell the difference?”

SecurityInfoWatch: Police, private security given access to ORCIN database

“‘Right now information sharing between loss prevention security and police officers is very limited to who you know,’ said ORCIN Founder Rudy Bravo ‘This way, if you go onto the Web site and post information (about a retail crime) and send it, it will be sent out to all our members.’”

KARE11.com: Retailers report rise in ‘organized’ shoplifting

“What isn’t clear is whether the apparent rise in organized shoplifting is due mostly to the Internet, where auction sites offer sellers an easy way to make money on never-before-used products, or if the shoplifting is rising as the economy gets worse.”

TravelAgentCentral: ASTA Alerts Agents to 2009 Secure Flight Changes

“ASTA said it is essential that travel agents take steps now to prepare for this new set of procedures and offered specific guidelines agents can use to comply with the new data collection rules.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-12-01

Monday, December 1st, 2008

By the Infoglide Team

Intelligent Enterprise: Master Data Management Adoption Going Strong

“Business units and IT departments collaborate, cleanse, publish and protect common information assets that are shared across the enterprise. Gartner, however, cautioned that there is no single technology that meets all MDM user requirements, and products vary by technology, industry, data domain and use case, and many span multiple domains.”

Insurance & Financial Advisor: New York man arrested for workers’ compensation fraud

“Queen is accused of accepting $3,000 in workers’ compensation benefits from the New York State Insurance Fund and stating that he was not working as the result of a job-related knee injury. He later collected $7,000 in workers’ compensation benefits from AIG insurance, claiming an injury to the same knee that prevented him from working.”

CIO: The Ugly Truth About “One Version of the Truth”

“‘Many organizations spend months and endure significant costs to obtain the reporting and analysis capabilities that BI promises,’ Hatch writes, ‘only to find that different ‘versions of the truth’ still exist without any definite way of determining which one is real or accurate.’”

Chronicle Herald: Flight rules raise privacy worries

“The name, gender and birth date of Canadians flying from Toronto to destinations such as Cuba, Mexico or even Europe will be transmitted by airlines to the TSA under its Secure Flight program, to take effect next year. The agency will then vet the names against security watch lists aimed at keeping dangerous people on the ground.”

DN/Online: Ask me about my panties

“Retail theft is on the rise and the National Retail Federation said in its 2008 report that 68 percent of retailers have been able to identify or recover stolen merchandise and gift cards on online auction sites, 61 percent more than last year. The report also indicated that 63 percent have seen an increase in e fencing selling stolen items on online auction sites - activity in the last year.”

Seacoastonline.com: Beware organized crime online

Organized retail crime involves the organized theft of retail merchandise that is resold to consumers through online auction sites and through other outlets, like local flea markets. These organized crime rings target over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, baby formula, tobacco cessation products, pregnancy strips, diabetic test strips, cosmetics and similar types of personal care items.”

bobsguide: Recession gives rise to online fraud fears

“Business Journal said the study by fraud detection specialist 41st Parameter and the Merchant Risk Council found that 84 per cent of respondents are concerned that internet retailers will face a ’slight or substantial’ increase in fraudulent activity.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-11-21

Friday, November 21st, 2008

By the Infoglide Team

NOTE: We will start posting again after Thanksgiving. Happy Turkey Day!

datanomic: Are we nearly there yet?

“In the 1990s, Customer Relationship Management promised, amongst other things, to provide us with a single view of customers, but the ideal fragmented into a number of different disciplines, largely dictated by technology vendors.  Instead of a single customer view, most organisations have multiple, often inconsistent views of their customers and prospects delivered through an assortment of Sales Force Automation, Analytical CRM and Campaign Management systems each propagating their own database.”

Scamtypes: 5 Types Of Social Networking Scam - #1 The Fake Identity

“Setting up a new profile on the major social networking sites is an incredibly simple thing to do. For criminals this presents a tremendous opportunity as it allows them to affiliate themselves with just about any identity, whether that is a real person or not. For some, a fake identity may just be a means of having fun online, however warped that intention may be. For others, far more sinister motives guide them, from arranging risky meetings to making abusable connections and many other shady reasons.”

Conde Nast Daily Traveler: Bush Officials Claim a Kinder, Gentler Airport Security

“And sometime in January, you will start giving your birth date, home address, and full legal name when you make an airline reservation–all part of a ’secure flight’ initiative that will reduce the number of innocent people who are falsely flagged as potential terrorists because their names resemble those of actual bad guys.”

The Bunker Blog: Macy’s Loss Prevention Agent Arrested For Assisting Shoplifters

“One of the alleged shoplifters was the sister of the loss prevention agent. The 24 year old LP agent had been working for Macy’s since February, and his manager suspected something was going on, so a surveillance was conducted on the LP agent by the manager.”

Evolution of Security: Why?

“More than 23 million passengers were screened at our checkpoints last year during the holiday season, and many of those passengers travel infrequently. Those are the travelers we’d most like to reach. Passenger feedback has shown us that people are more willing to comply with security procedures if they understand the ‘why’ behind the measure.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-11-14

Friday, November 14th, 2008

By the Infoglide Team

Windsor Star: OLG coughs up cash

“The insider policy is to guard against fraud, such as a retailer who tells a customer a ticket is not a winner and then tries to claim the prize. In the spring of 2007, a provincial ombudsman issued a scathing report on the OLG and said Ontario store owners and their families had collected tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims.”

MarketWatch: Worldwide thefts cost retailers US $104 billion annually - Survey

“This year’s survey, the most complete analysis of global shrink ever conducted, reports key findings on retail shrinkage and crime in 36 countries and on five continents, based on data from a confidential survey of 920 large retailers with combined sales of U.S. $814 billion and 115,612 operating retail outlets…’This sum represents a tax imposed on honest people by retail criminals of $229.73 per household or $71.12 for every single person in the 36 countries surveyed,’ said Professor Bamfield, Director of the Centre for Retail Research.”

Jackson Citizen Patriot: Kids learn online dangers

Internet predators lurk on networking Web sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, or in chat rooms, looking for young victims. ‘Everybody you meet online is an Internet stranger,’ Malik Williams, an Internet-safety presenter from the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative, told more than 50 fifth-graders Tuesday at Concord Elementary School. ‘That’s why it’s important to keep yourself safe.’”

Bucyrus TelegraphForum: Bucyrus experiences rash of break-ins

“‘There is a new trend in what we call e-fencing. Thieves are selling their stolen items on the Internet versus just selling them outright. They can get up to 70 percent or more of the value if they sell on the Internet versus selling them on the streets, where they only get about 30 percent of the value,’ Teets said.”

SFGate: Ex-S.F. firefighter’s workers’ comp problem

“Indeed, if Hijjawi were trying to hide her fitness quest, she wasn’t doing a very good job. Our own Google search turned up records showing her running in marathons in Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, Honolulu and elsewhere. From 2001 to 2006, according to records on the Web site Athlinks, Hijjawi ran in no fewer than a dozen marathons. And her biography on another site shows she was taking on even bigger challenges, including the Canada 2005 Ultraman super triathlon competition - in which competitors swim 6.2 miles, ride a bike for 170 miles and run 52 miles, twice the distance of a marathon. Completing it took her more than 33 hours.”

Bunker Blog: Update On Cops Involved In Major Shoplifting Ring

“Kevin Burchell and Clifford Barber, both police officers, worked with two others, one of them an employee at the Walmart the items were taken from; to get up to $200,000.00 worth of merchandise out of the store and onto an eBay site. According to the latest report, Barber was the mastermind behind the scheme, and sold the items on eBay and to friends and acquaintances.”

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