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Identity Resolution Daily Links 2010-02-20

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

[Post from Infoglide] Identity Resolution Still On the Rise

“We’ve noted several times over the past couple of years how the market visibility of entity resolution has been evolving. Now the consolidation of the master data management (MDM) market is causing even more conjecture about the crucial role of this technology.”

SIGNAL ONLINE: Good Guys Share, Bad Guys Lose

“Lindsey adds that personnel on Joint Terrorism Task Forces, in fusion centers or in other counterterrorism-related positions could benefit from the system by accessing the more complete data source and incorporating information found there into their own analyses and evaluations. ‘We’re out there for the crime fighters, but we’re also out there to prevent terrorism activities,’ he states.”

Claims Magazine: Fraud Triage Programs 

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that the total cost of insurance fraud (excluding health care) exceeds $40 billion per year. That means insurance fraud costs the average U.S. family between $400 and $700 annually in the form of increased premiums. In California alone, the Department of Insurance (CDOI) identified the potential loss from fraud in the 2007/2008 fiscal year at $1.2 billion, according to the 2008 Annual Report of the Insurance Commissioner.”

FoxNews.com: Flight Diverted to Florida Over Passenger’s Mistaken Identity

“Some airlines already have moved to a new identification program, called Secure Flight. All domestic carriers are expected to move to the new program by March. The government system will include more details about the passenger in question, including the passenger’s sex, birth date and full name as it appears on a government identification document.”

Precision Document Imaging: What is EMR?

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides significant cash incentives to physicians who implement electronic health records. However, in order to qualify for these incentives the physician must not only have the proper software but must engage in “meaningful use” of the software. The government plans to publish the criteria for meaningful use in February 2010. ARRA incentive reimbursement to physicians will begin in 2011.”

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.”

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.”

Actionable Identity Intelligence from Identity Resolution

Friday, January 8th, 2010

By Brian Calvert, Infoglide Senior Software Architect

The recent “Christmas Bomber” incident incited many posts about applying technology to address the gaps that allowed it to happen. For example, David Loshin wrote about a piece for BeyeNETWORK about a “master terrorist system” while Lawrence Dubov suggested improving the watch list process using entity resolution. While technology is a critical component of any solution, some specific issues about the technology are important to understand.

In an address this week, President Obama outlined the shortcomings in people, processes, and technologies that gave the now infamous Christmas Bomber the opportunity to take down a Detroit-bound flight.

President Obama identified three major problem areas:

It’s now clear that shortcomings occurred in three broad and compounding ways. First, although our intelligence community had learned a great deal about the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen called al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — that we knew that they sought to strike the United States, and that they were recruiting operatives to do so — the intelligence community did not aggressively follow up on and prioritize particular streams of intelligence related to a possible attack against the homeland.

Second, this contributed to a larger failure of analysis — a failure to connect the dots of intelligence that existed across our intelligence community, and which together could have revealed that Abdulmutallab was planning an attack.

Third, this in turn fed into shortcomings in the watch-listing system which resulted in this person not being placed on the no-fly list; thereby allowing him to board that plane in Amsterdam for Detroit.

CNN highlighted one additional failing that’s relevant to the topic of Identity Resolution (my emphasis):

A timeline provided by the State Department officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, showed that an initial check of the suspect based on his father’s information failed to disclose he had a multiple-entry U.S. visa. The reason was that AbdulMutallab’s name was misspelled. “That search did not come back positive,” said one official, who called it a quick search without using multiple variants of spelling.

What are the specific technology issues?

While the details of the technologies used by the State Department are not identified, the story is typically the same for government and industry. Simple equivalency lookups are not enough. “John Kennedy” will not match “Jhon Kennedy” with standard database lookups. Furthermore, some technologies rely on strategies that actually destroy the forensic integrity of the data. They force it into pre-existing molds in a variety of ways to perform similarity matching. We’ve addressed the many challenges to matching names in this blog in the past, especially in “Playing the Name Game with Terrorist Watch Lists and Shoplifter Databases”.

Indexing is one approach that can fail. It tries to turn common names and known variations and nicknames into identical easily matched tokens. So John, Jack, and Johnny might all translate to “F12391″, facilitating a quick match. But what happens when John’s name — like AbdulMutallab’s — is misspelled? “Jhon” will fail to be matched to the common code and, thus, the match will quickly fail. Encoding is another common example that we addressed. Algorithms like “soundex” attempt to translate words into a fuzzy phonetic equivalent. But the promise of these algorithms falls short, especially when they encounter misspellings, nicknames, and cultural variations.

So while merging all information into a common view or improving watchlist management might be part of the solution, they will still fail if the technology used to merge or search is not up to the task.

Not all identity resolution technologies are the same. Ours can be configured using a number of strategies to fit particular customer performance requirements, sensitivity to false positives or false negatives, and Similarity Search behaviors, including specialized name algorithms that catch misspellings, nicknames, and ordering variations.

Although the consequences are grimmer in homeland security situations, the challenges are the same for financial, healthcare, gaming, state and local government, and marketing applications. While it remains to be seen what improvements the US government will apply to the people, processes, and technology used to secure the country, it’s easy to see that simple misspellings need not break the system or, for that matter, any other system.

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.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-12-14

Monday, December 14th, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

San Francisco Examiner: San Francisco workers’ compensation claims seize millions

“The city and county of San Francisco employs approximately 26,000 people, and 3,406 workers’ comp claims were filed last fiscal year — which ended June 30 — costing The City $41.85 million. The payouts were 8 percent less than the previous year, in which $45.5 million was spent on compensation. This year, city officials say they aim to reduce claims by 5 percent as a projected budget deficit of $522.2 million looms.”

ICIQ 2010: 15th International Conference on Information Quality

“The International Conference on Information Quality (ICIQ) attracts researchers and practitioners from the academic, public and private sectors. Originally held on the MIT Campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the 2010 conference will be hosted by the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), the first university to offer graduate degree programs in information quality.”

WIRED: FBI: 19,000 Matches to Terrorist Screening List in 2009

“A subset of this list, the No Fly list, includes people considered a threat to aviation or national security and contains about 3,400 names, of which about 170 are U.S. persons. The list is used, among other things, to screen visa applicants and gun buyers as well as suspects stopped by local police. It’s also used by airport security personnel to single out some travelers for extra screening or interrogation.”

ChannelWeb: The 10 Biggest Cloud Computing Stories Of 2009

“Even as some pundits continued to debate the definition of cloud computing, virtually every IT hardware, software and service company sought to define (and in many cases redefine) itself as a cloud-computing vendor. That’s not surprising, perhaps, when Gartner puts the 2009 market for cloud computing services at $56.3 billion, growing to $150.1 billion by 2013.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-12-04

Friday, December 4th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Fusion Centers: Enthusiasm and Apprehension

“Identity resolution is a vital technology for law enforcement fusion centers, and we’ve often followed developments with links to stories in this area. When overlapping and adjacent jurisdictions share data with each other, uncovering hidden identities and linkages greatly accelerates the detection of criminal activity. This map shows current and planned deployments of state and local fusion centers.”

dataqualityPRO: Data Quality Blog Roundup - November 2009 Edition

“These three posts formed an excellent blogging debate between Jim Harris, Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen and Charles Blyth on the subject of Single Version of the Truth, a common term in our profession - but what exactly does it mean?”

USAToday: Opposing view: Program keeps fliers safe

“Initially, the Secure Flight program was part of a larger debate about how to identify terrorists consistently while maintaining the privacy of fliers in the post-9/11 world. Once watch list matching was determined to be the correct mechanism, TSA designed the program with privacy and security embedded into its foundation. Secure Flight now uses advanced watch list matching technology and has taken the time to get it right.”

The EHR Effect: 8 Health Stocks Set to Benefit in 2010

“In addition, with some EMR/EHR providers offering as Software As A Service solution (SaaS), the initial fears of implementation costs and backup/disaster recovery planning can be significantly decreased. These SaaS providers have already worked through those issues, and through a web interface, can offer full functionality.”

Business Intelligence News: Master Data Management: Building a Foundation for Success

“Complexity occurs when the subject details being mastered have more variables, and variables that can be vague—such as a person. In the instances of complex subject areas, mastering the reference value requires more sophisticated analysis [i.e. identity resolution] of the numerous attributes associated with the individual reference value such as their name or address.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-12-01

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

WPRI.com: State police crackdown on lottery scams

“‘The clerk opened the cash register and paid our undercover officer $100 dollars,’ said Capt. David Neill of the Rhode Island State Police. ‘On another occasion, our undercover officer presented the $1,000 winning scratch ticket and was told that in fact it was not a winning ticket.’”

naplesnews.com: Editorial: Law enforcement … expanding cooperation, increasing public safety

“The fusion center program aims to make the most of intelligence and technology. That’s collaboration, making teamwork routine rather than something out of the ordinary. That recognizes the age-old truism that crime and criminals know no city or county lines. They move freely to opportunities and hiding places.”

National Terror Alert: Secure Flight Improves Safety And Passenger Delays

“Initially, the Secure Flight program was part of a larger debate about how to identify terrorists consistently while maintaining the privacy of fliers in the post-9/11 world. Once watch list matching was determined to be the correct mechanism, TSA designed the program with privacy and security embedded into its foundation. Secure Flight now uses advanced watch list matching technology and has taken the time to get it right.”

Health IT Buzz: The Evidence for HIT

“Many health care organizations, big and small, public and private, have installed electronic health record systems and are reaping their benefits daily.  Examples include not only national systems like the Veterans Administration and Kaiser Permanente, but regional groups like Geisinger Health System, and individual hospitals like the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, and Lakeland Hospital, a 77-bed facility outside of Omaha Nebraska.  These organizations show that the vision is feasible – health care can be made higher in quality and lower in cost through the best existing HIT.”

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.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-11-06

Friday, November 6th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] The Other Half of Entity Resolution

“In a recent post, Jonathan McDonald quotes one definition of entity resolution: ‘According to Gartner, entity resolution is ‘the capability to resolve multiple labels for individuals, products or other noun classes of data into a single resolved entity when pseudonyms, alias names or other synonym-style constructs exist.’ …While the definition nicely captures the value of ‘first degree’ entity resolution, it falls short by omitting non-obvious relationship detection.”

iHealthBeat: Study: U.S. Lags Behind Many Other Countries in EHR Use

“The study found that 46% of U.S. physicians use electronic health records, up from 28% in 2006. The researchers found that 99% of doctors in the Netherlands use EHRs. Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the U.K. also reported EHR adoption rates of 94% or higher. “

data quality PRO: Profit by Data Quality Best Practices

“Insurers use data to manage litigation, detect fraudulent claims and limit financial exposure to claims through reinsurance, but this practice works only when the data is credible. It is no overstatement that sound, profitable property / casualty operations begin – and end – with quality data.”

Federal News Radio: What airline passengers need to know about TSA’s Secure Flight program

“The information is then used ‘behind the scenes’ to match against the No-Fly list. ‘It’s a behind the scenes process,’ said Leyh. ‘If you get to the airport and you have your boarding pass, the Secure Flight part of it, and the watch list matching part of it, is over. It’s done with.’”

information management: Inefficiency as a Standard in Product Information Management

Managing product information across a large organization consists of much more than making sure prices and descriptions are accurate and consistent. Large manufacturers and retailers employ teams of people tasked with the job of cross checking product data. While the deployment of these teams is a good idea in theory, the process is loaded with inefficiency and errors are all but guaranteed.”


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