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Archive for April, 2008

Are Name Matching and Entity Resolution Equivalent? No.

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

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

The rumble about Informatica’s acquisition of Identity Systems continues. Vincent McBurney’s recent post from Australia illustrates the global impact of such industry events and makes some interesting points that deserve a response.

First of all, I take issue with the comment that entity resolution is “a fancy name for name matching.” Name matching is necessary but not sufficient for entity resolution, i.e. entity resolution (aka identity resolution) includes name matching analytics plus quite a bit more.

In fact, we talk about four layers that constitute a complete entity resolution engine - similarity searching (in our parlance), identity resolution/relationship detection, decisioning and rules processing, and business processing. In a recent post, we pointed out that Ovum, Bloor Research, and other bloggers note that the number of vendors possessing a complete solution is small.

Informatica’s move to add Identity Systems’ products to their data quality suite of capabilities looks like a good one, and I’ll bet they quickly integrate it in a way that will benefit their customers. Adding name matching to enhance de-duping, however, does not equal introducing a complete entity resolution solution. Name matching technology has existed for some time. Entity resolution and analysis is a wholly new area of business intelligence (and we think Gartner would back us on this since they recently added it to their hype cycle as a separate category), which has important implications for both government and commercial markets.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-4-28

Monday, April 28th, 2008

b-eye.com - Business Intelligence Network - Blog: Dan Power: Business Intelligence Big 4

“The cover story for the April 14, 2008 InformationWeek focused on business intelligence. The article titled ‘Then There Were Four’ is by Mary Hayes Weier (pps. 33-41). The overriding question of the article is: “Are the big 4 making BI better?” She never really answers the question. My answer is MAYBE.”

Intelligent Enterprise: Informatica Plans To Add Identity Software To Integration Platform

Informatica, which is set to acquire Nokia subsidiary Identity Systems, plans to add the company’s technology within Informatica’s integration software to help customers resolve identity data about a variety of objects, including people, companies and products.”

b-eye.com - Business Intelligence Network: Your Business Intelligence Program - Managing Spin with a Common Vocabulary

“A large part of this is simply the vocabulary we use to communicate with our business constituents. That means you, Mister IT Spin Meister. The table in Figure 1 reflects an example of the ‘before and after’ language of a typical IT shop when it comes to business intelligence:”

ONN: Stores Want Protection From Large Thefts

“Grocery and retail store owners want Ohio lawmakers to help crack down on organized crime that does large-scale shoplifting. State senator Bill Seitz says it’s more than petty shoplifting than prompted him to support the legislation. Teams of crooks that police call organized retail thefts have been caught on tape sweeping the shelves of valuable goods.”

DataFlux Community of Experts: Clarification on Defining Master Data Management

“I was reviewing some material I had written about 1 1/2 years ago on MDM and it struck me that I have gone through some revisions on my opinions regarding the definition of master data. At first my perception was that master data, by definition, should be extracted from its numerous source systems and consolidated into its own data repository, to be accessed by downstream applications.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-4-25

Friday, April 25th, 2008

[Post from Infoglide Software] Identity Resolution Market “on the Rise”

“In case you missed it, leading data quality vendor Informatica announced last week that they are acquiring Identity Systems from its parent Nokia for approximately $85M in cash, validating a recent prediction by Gartner analyst Mark Beyer that “entity resolution and analysis” (aka Identity Resolution) products provide valuable benefits to user organizations, are part of a market space that’s “on the rise,” and will move fairly rapidly through the hype cycle to implementation.”

IT-Director.com: Informatica to acquire Identity Systems

“Of course the other point is that this gives Informatica a distinct lead in this area over everybody else in the data quality space (Trillium, Dataflux, SAP et al) with the exception of IBM. Which leaves one final question: who is going to buy Infoglide?”

PogoWasRight.org: Wacky Canadians Still Believe in Privacy (commentary)

Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff caused a little ruckus up north a couple weeks ago as he was pushing his plan to share databases of international air travelers’ fingerprints with the Canadians, Brits and Aussies.”

Content Matters: Informatica Acquires Identity Systems

Identity Systems is among the leaders in the identity resolution space, competing against IBM, which acquired Language Analysis Systems (LAS) and System Research & Development (SRD), and Austin-based Infoglide Software.”

Kotaku: Man Swaps Garbage Filled 360 For Cash

Wal-Mart has long been known for its liberal return policy, but one Xbox 360 owner took it too far.”

Gartner: Informatica Expands Data Quality With Identity Systems Buy

“Identity Systems’ tools can conduct cross-language matching — for example, matching ‘Robert’ in English with the Chinese character equivalent. Matching has long been a part of data quality management, but Informatica will now be able to offer other options beyond traditional matching approaches, which support many marketing, sales support, fraud detection and intelligence applications. This will be of interest to master data management (MDM) and business intelligence program strategists.”

Identity Resolution Market “on the Rise”

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

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

In case you missed it, leading data quality vendor Informatica announced last week that they are acquiring Identity Systems from its parent Nokia for approximately $85M in cash, validating a recent prediction by Gartner analyst Mark Beyer that “entity resolution and analysis” (aka Identity Resolution) products provide valuable benefits to user organizations, are part of a market space that’s “on the rise,” and will move fairly rapidly through the hype cycle to implementation.

What’s fueling the Identity Resolution space? Interestingly, it’s being driven by and in parallel with growth in some of the hottest enterprise software markets: Data Quality, MDM, BI, and CRM. Apparently in each market there’s an increasing recognition by commercial as well as government and law enforcement organizations of the need for Identity Resolution.

Commercial customers need to identify customers and increase their loyalty, drive profits, and gain competitive advantage, but most existing systems are unable to resolve multiple customer records into one without losing valuable data. Poor data quality costs U.S. businesses over $600 million annually, so the demand is growing rapidly for products that can bring together and resolve identity information from multiple disparate data sources in real time.

Likewise, investigators of commercial fraud in areas like organized retail crime and insurance claims fraud as well as government agencies like the Department of Homeland Services (DHS) need to combat fraudsters and criminals who are continuously trying to subvert existing software applications.

Almost immediately after Informatica’s announcement, market analyst firm Ovum issued an analysis of Informatica’s move. Then this morning, Phillip Howard at Bloor Research posted his thoughts regarding the impact of this acquisition on MDM and data quality players that include Oracle, Purisma, Siperian, Siebel, Trillium, Dataflux, and SAP, among others.

With all that’s happening in Identity Resolution right now, we’d like to hear what you think.

Identity Resolution Market “on the Rise”

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

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

In case you missed it, leading data quality vendor Informatica announced last week that they are acquiring Identity Systems from its parent Nokia for approximately $85M in cash, validating a recent prediction by Gartner analyst Mark Beyer that “entity resolution and analysis” (aka Identity Resolution) products provide valuable benefits to user organizations, are part of a market space that’s “on the rise,” and will move fairly rapidly through the hype cycle to implementation.

What’s fueling the Identity Resolution space? Interestingly, it’s being driven by and in parallel with growth in some of the hottest enterprise software markets: Data Quality, MDM, BI, and CRM. Apparently in each market there’s an increasing recognition by commercial as well as government and law enforcement organizations of the need for Identity Resolution.

Commercial customers need to identify customers and increase their loyalty, drive profits, and gain competitive advantage, but most existing systems are unable to resolve multiple customer records into one without losing valuable data. Poor data quality costs U.S. businesses over $600 million annually, so the demand is growing rapidly for products that can bring together and resolve identity information from multiple disparate data sources in real time.

Likewise, investigators of commercial fraud in areas like organized retail crime and insurance claims fraud as well as government agencies like the Department of Homeland Services (DHS) need to combat fraudsters and criminals who are continuously trying to subvert existing software applications.

Almost immediately after Informatica’s announcement, market analyst firm Ovum issued an analysis of Informatica’s move. Then this morning, Phillip Howard at Bloor Research posted his thoughts regarding the impact of this acquisition on MDM and data quality players that include Oracle, Purisma, Siperian, Siebel, Trillium, Dataflux, and SAP, among others.

With all that’s happening in Identity Resolution right now, we’d like to hear what you think.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-4-21

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Softpedia: Nokia Sells Identity Systems to Informatica

“‘After thorough consideration, Nokia decided that Identity Systems’ business has a much bigger potential as part of Informatica since identity resolution is a key part of many data quality and data integration initiatives,’ declared Tom Furlong, SVP, Services & Software, Nokia.”

The Eagle-Tribune Online: Court document alleges how auto fraud scam worked

“Ortega noted that Kaplan had his own guidelines pertaining to the accidents: His rate was $250 apiece. He didn’t want more than three people in any accident vehicle. He also instructed runners to avoid certain insurance companies because their accident investigators tended to be more thorough than other insurers.”

delaware online: Police seek man suspected in DVD theft

“A 24-year-old Wilmington man is wanted by state police for allegedly trying to sell $600 worth of stolen DVDs to a retail store in Brandywine Hundred. State police said Joseph W. Nester, of the 200 block of N. DuPont St., will be charged under a recently enacted statute, ‘Organized retail crime with 2+ previous convictions,’ which makes it a felony for someone with at least two previous convictions to ’steal quantities [of merchandise] that would not normally be purchased for personal use with the intent to re-sell it.’”

Enterprise Systems: Ten Lessons from MDM Early Adopters

MDM Insight 2008 featured an intimate atmosphere that fostered a rich dialogue among participants and highlighted numerous valuable lessons. Here is a recap of the 10 major lessons learned during our two-day immersion in MDM in Savannah.”

Insurance Journal: Seven Arrested in Calif. for Automobile Arson, Fraud Scams

“‘Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime,’ said Commissioner Poizner. ‘Every Californian pays the equivalent of a $500 tax per year because of insurance fraud. Criminals beware: purposely destroying your vehicle will not result in a paycheck - it will result in jail time.’”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-4-18

Friday, April 18th, 2008

[Post from Infoglide Software] Mistaken Identity Resolution Part IV: Identity Resolution vs. Data Warehousing

“Thus far this series of posts on ‘Mistaken Identity Resolution’ has contrasted Identity Resolution with Master Data Management (MDM) and Data Integration. What about one of the more established data concepts - data warehouses? How are they different? And how do they work together? If at all?”

Ovum: Informatica gets new identity, reports steady Q1 growth

Informatica has agreed to buy Identity Systems, a subsidiary of Nokia, for around $85m in cash. . . . Informatica believes that Identity’s software will give it a ‘differentiated’ cross-language identity matching capabilities. That said, InfoGlide and IBM (from its SRD acquisition) also have identity resolution engines. Arguably these two products are more complete in that they use rules engine and workflow processes to automate decision making.”

Vindy.com: Organized retail theft to equal racketeering

“A Cincinnati lawmaker introduced legislation Tuesday cracking down on organized retail theft rings that target stores for everything from baby formula to small appliances. Republican Sen. Bill Seitz said such crime is costing retailers billions of dollars annually in lost sales and state and local governments some $88 million in sales tax revenues. Seitz’s SB 320 would add ‘organized retail theft’ to the list of offenses Ohio law categorizes as ‘corrupt activity,’ ranking it with racketeering.”

b-eye.com - Business Intelligence Network - Blog: Shawn Rogers: The stack is moving….

“Generally when we use the term stack in the business intelligence world we are talking about the big 4: IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP along with all their recent acquisitions Cognos, BO etc. All of these companies claim to provide a platform to enable every type of business intelligence you might need to have. It’s interesting to me that one of the largest platforms out there is often ignored but continues to grow into our business world through the internet. Google is much more than a search engine. Over the past couple years the company has branched out to become a business solution platform. Some of the players in the BI space are already taking advantage of it.”

KNXV-TV: Website tells you how long security lines are at Sky Harbor Airport

“The next time you fly you may want to click on the TSA website in order to save some time or prepare to wait a little longer in security lines. . . . The government owned site allows a user to click on various airports, terminals, and security checkpoints to see how long you should expect to wait in line before making it to the gate.”

DataFlux Community of Experts: Master Data Discovery and Data Mapping

“In my experience, if you follow processes associated with customer data you start to discover master data residing in other unexpected places, e.g. Access databases, Excel spreadsheets etc. . . . Having discovered disparate master data, you will most likely find that even if copies of master data reside in different systems the data may be named differently across those systems. So, the next challenge is for each master data entity (e.g. customer, product, employee, asset etc.) to map disparate master data in identified systems to commonly defined master data described using the shared business vocabulary. This is a difficult and time-consuming exercise to do manually. Fortunately, there are tools now available to help explore systems looking for master data and to automatically map that disparate data to commonly defined enterprise wide definitions of master data.”

Homeland Security Watch: Homeland Secretary Offers 10-year Vision, in 4 Parts

“Last week DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff delivered a speech at Yale University entitled ‘Confronting The Threats To Our Homeland.’ Citing the five-year mark for DHS and the three-year mark for his tenure as its head, he explained that such an occasion warrants not just one speech, but four. And the first — the one he delivered at Yale — offers insight into the way he views the ‘challenges and threats that we face over the next five and ten years relating to homeland security in the broadest sense.’”

Mistaken Identity Resolution Part IV: Identity Resolution vs. Data Warehousing

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

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

Thus far this series of posts on “Mistaken Identity Resolution” has contrasted Identity Resolution with Master Data Management (MDM) and Data Integration. What about one of the more established data concepts - data warehouses? How are they different? And how do they work together? If at all?

The differences are pretty simple. In 1990 Bill Inmon defined a data warehouse as “a subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant and non-volatile collection of data in support of management’s decision making process.” What was a new concept in 1990 has passed through Gartner’s hype cycle to become an expected component of IT infrastructure for most large- and many medium-sized organizations. Data is transferred into a data warehouse and is expected to reside there indefinitely (and without changing) to support mostly analytical, but increasingly operational, activities. So a data warehouse is a repository for data. Identity resolution technologies are software that operate on data.

So is the relationship between identity resolution and warehousing complementary, beneficial, or problematic? At times the presence of a well-managed data warehouse can ease the identity resolution process by providing one reliable data source that can be similarity searched with other “dirtier” data sources. At other times, the cleansing methodology that is often used to prepare data for warehousing is problematic because it can hide or even obliterate data variances caused by fraudsters. These data variances are exactly what identity resolution uses to resolve multiple identities into one and uncover hidden relationships.

To further confuse the matter, in certain cases, identity resolution technologies like our Identity Resolution Engine(tm) (IRE) operate on data in remote, disparate databases, acting as a virtual data warehouse by combining data “on the fly.” In other cases, IRE works perfectly well on existing data warehouses.

So the answer to our previous question about identity resolution and data warehouses is the famous one you often get from consultants: “it depends.” However, by carefully determining the right points in existing processes to implement identity resolution, data warehousing and identity resolution can be both complementary to each other and beneficial to existing systems.

Make sense? Or maybe not? Let us know what you think.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-4-14

Monday, April 14th, 2008

DataFlux Community of Experts: Could Master Data Have A Much Wider Remit?

“There seems to be a lot of debate around about data governance and MDM, return on investment on MDM etc. going on at present. . . . So I thought I would look at what MDM could potentially do for an enterprise and see if it implementing MDM might have wider implications. I was amazed at how long my list of what MDM could potentially integrate with started to get.”

Fraud, Phishing and Financial Misdeeds: eBay/Craigslist praised by Congressman for efforts to curb sales of stolen military equipment on their sites (?)

“Given the organized effort on a lot of auction sites to fence stolen merchandise via some pretty sophisticated methods, it’s not surprising that the GAO found military equipment for sale on the sites. Many have speculated that these sites are used as a means of fencing the proceeds of what is known as organized retail crime. . . . Anne Broache (CNet) writes: By calling Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and eBay government relations chief Tod Cohen to Washington for the hearing, the subcommittee seemed to be preparing to place those executives in the hot seat. But the tone of that questioning was actually quite cordial. At the end of the panel, Tierney even praised the companies for ‘trying very hard’ to keep sensitive military goods off their sites and acknowledged the rules of the road aren’t the most clear.”

philly.com: Former W.Pa. chiropractor sentenced in insurance fraud

“Prosecutors say Detelich submitted fraudulent claims to Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield for services not rendered. He then split the payments from those claims with some patients.”

b-eye.com - Business Intelligence Network - Blog: Jill Dyche: Reminder: Fabulous MDM Webcast on Tuesday

“In which Jill reminds her peeps about the webcast she’s doing with TDWI’s Wayne Eckerson, where they’ll recall Lessons Learned from the MDM Insight conference.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-4-4

Friday, April 4th, 2008

[We’re going to take a short break so there will not be any posts next week. We’ll return on Monday April 14th.]

[Post from Infoglide Software] Thoughts From the Floor of the Business Intelligence Summit

“As Gartner’s BI Summit moves ahead this week, it’s interesting to note how thoughts about master data management (MDM) and business intelligence (BI) interact. It’s apparent that MDM is high on the ‘hype cycle’ right now and, given the power of its main premise, rightly so. Yet it’s also true that current levels of Chief Information Officer (CIO) interest in applying powerful BI concepts to improve business processes have never been higher.”

The Sun: Victoria Gardens looks at crime

“Speaker Jim Leen, regional organized retail crime manager for Albertsons, said recent trends have included street gangs - he mentioned the Bloods - stealing large quantities of liquor.”

b-eye.com - Business Intelligence Network: Business Intelligence Culture Shock: Is Your Organization Ready for Analytics?

“No organization has a pure culture throughout, but if you peel back the layers of any organization, you will find one of 4 core cultures. These 4 cultures are Control, Collaboration, Competence and Cultivation. There is not one ‘right’ culture. However, BI alignment to one of these 4 core cultures is central to successful adoption.”

Homeland Security Watch: Chertoff-Blogger Roundtable Candid and Contemplative

“This and following posts are quick squibs about subjects HLSWatch.com discussed with Secretary Chertoff today in a small roundtable of four homeland security bloggers. The session was an informal setting in the old DHS International Affairs digs: Four bloggers, a cabinet secretary, and the press staff leadership.”

HometownAnnapolis.com: Shoplifting could rise during weaker economy

“Tom Saquella, president of the Maryland Retailers Association, said the growth of organized shoplifting rings has also become problematic. ‘People have discovered that stealing from retailers is a low-risk, high-reward crime,’ he said. ‘I think a lot of people still see it as a “catch-the-kid stealing the candy bar,” but it’s gone way beyond that in the last five or six years.’”


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