Archive for May, 2009

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-05-29

Friday, May 29th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Identity Resolution Featured in IAIABC Journal

“If you’re not familiar with the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards & Commissions (IAIABC), it’s a very active non-profit organization of government agencies that administer workers’ compensation programs in the U.S., Canada, and other countries. In addition to sponsoring a large number of industry events including conferences and training seminars, they publish an excellent journal twice yearly that provides educational articles about education, research, and management of workers’ compensation issues.”

Boston Globe: Electronic health records raise doubt

“Personal health records, such as those offered by Google Health, are a promising tool for patients’ empowerment - but inaccuracies could be “a huge problem,” said Dr. Paul Tang, the chief medical information officer for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, who chairs a health technology panel for the National Quality Forum.”

ITBusinessEdge: Master Data Management Can Pay off During M&As

“When companies begin mergers and acquisitions, the focus is always on the financial aspects of the deal first. Bloor Research found that 79 percent of M&A activity ignores IT integration outright. So, for many IT deparments, the real work begins after the ink has dried – a situation that some IT experts believe could contribute to the ridiculously high failure rate of M&As.”

Arizona Republic: Police agencies tout enhanced cooperation

“Just when it seemed there could be no good news about border security, law-enforcement agencies at a national conference in Phoenix engaged in a virtual group hug Wednesday, declaring that they’ve become a team.”

Identity Resolution Featured in IAIABC Journal

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

If you’re not familiar with the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards & Commissions (IAIABC), it’s a very active non-profit organization of government agencies that administer workers’ compensation programs in the U.S., Canada, and other countries. In addition to sponsoring a large number of industry events including conferences and training seminars, they publish an excellent journal twice yearly that provides educational articles about education, research, and management of workers’ compensation issues.

The April issue of IAIABC Journal includes an article authored by Infoglide’s Charles Clendenen. “Introducing Identity Resolution: A New Approach to Workers’ Compensation Fraud” discusses three types of workers’ compensation fraud and how identity resolution (aka entity analytics or entity resolution) is being applied to make the process of finding potential employer fraud easier and more cost-effective.

While medical fraud and employee fraud are significant problems, “employer premium fraud, while less publicized, can involve millions of dollars in unpaid or underpaid premiums and can cause much more damage to the insuring agency.”

Employer premium fraud can take several forms. In order to avoid paying premiums, a company’s owners may illegally classify permanent employees as contractors. Alternately, they may operate for some time without paying their premiums, and then when the insurer is about to take action, they simply shut down the company on paper and reconstitute it under another name. Companies also use this “going out of business” ploy in cases where their experience (or modification) rating has gone up due to multiple injuries, thereby resulting in higher premiums. By reopening as another company, they can effectively reset their experience rating. 

Clendenen goes on to introduce identity resolution technology and discuss its origins, then talks about how it can be applied to solve workers’ comp employer fraud.

While identity resolution technologies can be applied to employee and provider fraud, they are particularly effective at uncovering employer premium fraud. Finding companies who are not registered for workers’ compensation involves comparing databases where companies are advertising themselves as open for business to lists of businesses registered with state workers’ compensation programs. The results can highlight companies who have not registered or are not paying premiums, companies who have changed their name often, and companies involved in hidden contractor/ subcontractor relationships.

The rest of the article talks in more detail about how identity resolution can be applied and the potential return on investment (ROI) agencies can expect.

Click here to read the full article, and to learn more about IAIABC, check out their web site.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-05-25

Monday, May 25th, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

cnet news: Dragging health records into the Digital Age

“The Obama stimulus package provides $19 billion for hospital technology efforts, which could go a long way toward prodding penny-pinching hospitals and doctors to finally leap into the 21st century.”

FederalComputerWeek: GAO: Secure Flight improved IT security

“The GAO said the TSA since January has corrected deficiencies in information security. By March 20, the TSA had fixed all 60 high- and moderate-risk information security vulnerabilities associated with the final version of Secure Flight, the report states.”

Whittier Daily News: Two La Habra Heights residents charged with workers compensation fraud

“Kimberly Jane Soares, 43, and her husband, Joseph Perry Soares, 47, both of La Habra Heights, and two others were charged with committing more than $12 million in tax and workers compensation insurance fraud for their demolition company, Democo Corp. of Orange.”

Iowa Politics:   Iowa Lottery: All prizes properly paid

“In 2008, the lottery instituted two other security enhancements, requiring that tickets be signed on the back before they can be checked or cashed; and that receipts be printed for all lotto and instant-scratch tickets that are checked or cashed.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-05-22

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] The Growing Role of Identity Resolution in MDM

“There definitely seems to be a trend lately with small companies in the master data management (MDM) and data quality space being purchased (as in the asset acquisition of Exeros by IBM) or partnering with larger firms (such as Silver Creek Systems’ OEM relationship with Oracle).”

The CotoBlogzz: Four Charged With $12+ Million Tax Fraud

“In order to maintain insurance coverage, SCIF requires an annual audit of insured businesses. The defendants are accused of refusing to allow these annual audits, resulting in cancelation of their insurance policy. Over the course of eight years, the defendants are accused of opening eight policies with SCIF using different business names for Democo in order to avoid the audits.”

BeyeNETWORK: Mastering Data Management in Health and Life Sciences

“Think of MDM as a way to manage reference data so that it can help us understand the context of our transactions. Using Ralph Kimball’s terminology, MDM helps us contextualize our facts with dimensions. MDM helps us by providing processes for how we collect, summarize and cleanse our data to ensure consistency and appropriate governance in the ongoing maintenance and use of this data.”

Arkansas News: Arkansas lottery retailers to be policed for fraud, officials say

Dateline NBC reported recently that insider wins are common in the U.S. as well. According to the report, individual retailers in California, New Jersey and New York have cashed in hundreds of tickets apiece for winnings ranging from $160,000 to $500,000. In Illinois, four employees at one store and five of their relatives cashed 556 tickets for more than $1.6 million.”

The Growing Role of Identity Resolution in MDM

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

By Dan Power, President and Founder, Hub Solution Designs

There definitely seems to be a trend lately with small companies in the master data management (MDM) and data quality space being purchased (as in the asset acquisition of Exeros by IBM) or partnering with larger firms (such as Silver Creek Systems’ OEM relationship with Oracle).

I think this is a good thing. Using the classic “build, buy or ally” strategy, it isn’t surprising that sometimes companies will conclude that it’s faster and/or cheaper to buy a technology, or partner with another company that has that technology, rather than build it themselves internally.

A lot of companies do tend to suffer from the “not invented here” syndrome, where anything not developed inside their four walls tends to be regarded with disdain. But that tendency leads to a much slower pace of innovation. In very competitive industries like enterprise software, getting there faster is a very definite advantage.

Since I’ve been working with the identity resolution experts at Infoglide, I’ve become much more aware of the role identity resolution technology plays in our daily lives. Every time you get on an airplane, file an insurance claim, apply for a job / mortgage / credit card, or even shop in a retail store or on a web site, your identity is probably being evaluated by an Identity Resolution Engine.

A lot of people in the MDM space refer to this as “matching”, but there’s considerably more to Identity Resolution than the sophisticated pattern matching that most MDM hub platforms use today. The more robust form – Identity Resolution – is mostly used currently for sophisticated applications like terrorist screening and anti-money laundering, where big consequences or big dollar amounts are at stake.

But that technology is gradually filtering down to more routine commercial applications like master data management for customers. The large MDM vendors like Oracle, IBM and SAP – and the smaller vendors like Siperian, Initiate Systems and D&B/Purisma – will follow the “build, buy or ally” pattern, with some opting to create their own more sophisticated Entity Resolution capabilities, some buying smaller firms who already have those advanced products, or perhaps partnering as a middle ground between building and buying.

Either way, this trend is good both for specialized companies like Infoglide and for the general public. We’ll all be a little safer getting on a plane, a little less likely to suffer from identity theft or confusion, and perhaps save a little money through reduced incidence of various types of fraud.

Full-fledged Identity Resolution is a capability that most MDM hubs should plan on adding in the next revision cycle or two, as MDM customers become more discriminating and more demanding of their hub’s ability to identify individuals and businesses from an ever-growing stream of data.

Dan Power is president of Hub Solution Designs, a consulting firm specializing in master data management and data governance. He writes a popular blog and a column for Information Management magazine, speaks frequently at technology conferences, and regularly advises clients on developing & implementing high impact MDM and data governance strategies.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-05-18

Monday, May 18th, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

e-patients.net: Meaningful Use: The Elephant IS In The Room

“A recent NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that the American public is surprisingly more positive about the potentials of EHRs than most professionals. People already are familiar with computerized information and accept its risks.”

IT-Director.com: Trends in Master Data Management

“The interesting question is how much pressure this puts on the other MDM players with data quality solutions (like Dataflux and SAP/Business Objects) to build out their data profiling capabilities into the area of data discovery.”


“There are less than 400,000 individuals on the consolidated terrorist watch list and less than 50,000 individuals on the no-fly and selectee lists. Individuals on the no-fly and selectee lists are identified by law enforcement and intelligence partners as legitimate threats to transportation requiring either additional screening or prohibition from boarding an aircraft.”

OCDQ Blog: TDWI World Conference Chicago 2009

“TDWI World Conference Chicago 2009 was held May 3-8 in Chicago, Illinois at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and was a tremendous success.  I attended as a Data Quality Journalist for the International Association for Information and Data Quality (IAIDQ). I used Twitter to provide live reporting from the conference.  Here are my notes from the courses I attended…”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-05-14

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Let’s Be Reasonable

“A recent post, ‘Terrorist Watchlist, Troubling Flaws Revealed’, starts out by making a valid point. If the terrorist watchlist is flawed, then the name matching results against such a list will be flawed. The author then goes on to reach related conclusions through rationalization rather than reasoning.”

Acxiom: Prognostications for the New Year 

Identity resolution will get its due. Sure, you can call it infrastructure. Processing and rules intensive, customer identity resolution has been relegated to the underlying algorithms of third-party data providers, MDM, and data quality vendors. However, companies are recognizing that they may have unique customer data-matching needs-a bank we work with has more than 50 definitions of a household-and they’ll be looking at smarter, more specialized ways to automate them.”

Dallas Morning News: Dallas Police Department’s Fusion Center outsmarts criminals

“Chief David Kunkle, who championed the unit’s formation in January 2007, refers to it as the “brains” of a department that reported a 10 percent drop in crime last year and a nearly 19 percent decline in the first quarter of this year.”

datanomic: Fractured approaches to Sanctions Screening put UK Companies at risk, says new FSA report

“‘The use of multiple identities is common in the criminal world and Al-Qaeda’s own training manual requires its operatives to use false identities to hide their terrorist activities. Exploiting variations of a criminal’s real name is, perhaps, the simplest way of acquiring a new identity. Typical approaches are to use name variations or switching the order of names,’ added Pearson. ‘Other data, such as dates of birth are often manipulated simply by transposing digits.’”

Cloud Computing Journal: Experian QAS Launches QAS Pro On Demand

“‘By offering address verification in a SaaS model, we are enabling organizations of all sizes to maintain accurate contact data in a cost-effective platform,’ said Joel Curry, chief operating officer, Experian QAS. ‘As businesses change over time, our new infrastructure is able to adapt to shifting demands.’

Let’s Be Reasonable

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

By Charles Clendenen, Infoglide Director of Professional Services

A recent post, “Terrorist Watchlist, Troubling Flaws Revealed”, starts out by making a valid point. If the terrorist watchlist is flawed, then the name matching results against such a list will be flawed. The author then goes on to reach related conclusions through rationalization rather than reasoning.

To be fair, it helps to understand the technology behind the matching in order to reach a reasonable conclusion. The author assumes that using inexact matching to reduce false negatives will necessarily multiply the number of false positives. In the absence of other factors, that would be accurate. But it turns out that if in addition to the name you add additional attributes like date of birth and gender to the process, identity resolution technology greatly reduces the number of additional false positives during the initial screening to an acceptable and manageable level.

We’ve written often here about achieving a balance between security and privacy. In an early post entitled “Privacy and Security Advocates: It’s a Good Thing We Can’t All Get Along,” we addressed the tension between privacy and security:

Achieving a balance between privacy and security is critically important to the survival of our American democracy. At this juncture in our history, the threat of terrorism has caused us to restrict some rights to privacy for the sake of national security. Without a certain level of security then American lives will be lost. Conversely, without a certain level of privacy, the American way of life will be lost. And at times, we as a nation have made mistakes when the pendulum has swung too far either way. Fortunately, we seem to keep returning to a state of equilibrium. It’s the howls of protest that arise when proponents of one side earns a win over the other, the constant, never-ending debate that keeps both sides in check and ensures a perpetual balance.

The reason we confidently address the issue is because we’re backed by sophisticated identity resolution technology that can be configured to be amazingly accurate.  Sometimes people think that technology is the problem. In this case, identity resolution technology provides the solution.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-05-11

Monday, May 11th, 2009

By the Infoglide Team

BI Blogs: Business Intelligence - The Unconquered Territories

“Let’s face it - There are technology limitations. Operational BI (Lack of real-time data access), Guided analytics (Lack of comprehensive business metadata), Information as a Service (Lack of SOA based BI architecture) are some of those technology limitations that come to my mind.”

SecurityInfoWatch: RILA survey: Retail crime on rise

“Some 72 percent of respondents said they have seen an increase in organized retail crime (ORC), and 52 percent said they had experienced a rise in financial fraud. Paul Jones, vice president of asset protection for RILA, noted that the increase in ORC should set off alarms not only within the retail community, but also within the business and law enforcement community. Organized retail crime typically involves organized groups of criminals operating shoplifting rings which have networks to fence their stolen goods, which may also appear on Internet auction sites like eBay, as well as at flea markets.”

Fast Company: Work/Life: “Secure Flight” Takes to the Air in August

“So now is the time to examine your driver’s license or passport to see that your first name, middle initial (if you use one), and last name appeared exactly the same across all of your identification. If you need a new photo for your driver’s license, now is the time to get it. Being consistent with your name also means that all of your bookings - including air, hotel, and car rental - must be consistent.”

SmartDataCollective: Enterprise Data World 2009

[Jim Harris] “Enterprise Data World is the business world’s most comprehensive vendor-neutral educational event about data and information management.  This year’s program was bigger than ever before, with more sessions, more case studies, and more can’t-miss content.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2009-05-08

Friday, May 8th, 2009

[Post from Infoglide] Lottery Fraud by Retailers Is an Identity Resolution Problem

“Lottery Post ran a piece last week on suspicious winnings in the North Carolina Lottery. It seems a regular lottery player contacted NBC affiliate WCNC in Charlotte about a pattern of winnings that seemed unlikely. The station’s investigators used the Open Records Act to obtain information from the lottery and subsequently uncovered that ‘of the lottery retailers winning prizes, some are amassing significant jackpots repeatedly — $100,000, $300,000, and $500,000 prizes — dozens of times a year.’”

Orange County Register: How did $38 million scheme work?

“Just as auto insurance rises for drivers with poor records, individual companies reporting high injury rates can see their premiums soar. When workers’ comp rates peaked earlier this decade, premiums in the construction industry were sometimes double or triple the payroll. A key factor behind the high rates was fraud: Employers under-reported the number of insured workers to reduce their payments, thereby driving up premiums for the industry which looked like it had a high accident rate for a small pool of workers.”

Travel Management: Industry Prepares For Secure Flight Implementation

“‘Meanwhile, many corporate travel agencies–from the largest mega travel management companies to smaller entities–have been working to adapt their agent scripts and booking tools to include required Secure Flight data collection, and their profile systems to help reconcile name discrepancies. We have undertaken a large update and enhancement of our internal profile systems to accommodate the storage of this very valuable and confidential information,’ according to Robert Polk, CEO of Polk Majestic Travel Group in Denver.”

Greensboro News & Record: Editorial: Luck has its limits

“It’s happened in other states. In March, Minnesota lottery investigators charged five retailers and three accomplices with fraud after an undercover sting operation found them allegedly trying to cash customers’ winning tickets for themselves. California launched a series of sting operations last year, which resulted in charges against retailers in several cities. In Iowa last month, the state ombudsman reported that lottery officials don’t adequately protect customers from fraud and theft by retailers.”

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