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David Loshin

Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK Blog. This is going to be the place for us to exchange thoughts, ideas and opinions on all aspects of the information quality and data integration world. I intend this to be a forum for discussing changes in the industry, as well as how external forces influence the way we treat our information asset. The value of the blog will be greatly enhanced by your participation! I intend to introduce controversial topics here, and I fully expect that reader input will "spice it up." Here we will share ideas, vendor and client updates, problems, questions and, most importantly, your reactions. So keep coming back each week to see what is new on our Blog!

About the author >

David is the President of Knowledge Integrity, Inc., a consulting and development company focusing on customized information management solutions including information quality solutions consulting, information quality training and business rules solutions. Loshin is the author of The Practitioner's Guide to Data Quality Improvement, Master Data Management, Enterprise Knowledge Management: The Data Quality Approach and Business Intelligence: The Savvy Manager's Guide. He is a frequent speaker on maximizing the value of information. David can be reached at or at (301) 754-6350.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in David's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

October 2005 Archives

I just read Shawn's last blog post about hotels that offer free Wi-Fi internet service with interest. I agree, and have found that it is typically the higher-end hotels that charge for it, with the more accomodating lower-end ones willing to open up their networks. I do appreciate those smaller hotels that offer free Internet, although my preference for most other aspects of a hotel stay (e.g., "clean" sheets) trend towards the same ones that charge you (lots) for Internet + Long Distance.

Yet clearly, we have become dependent on connectivity, especially when you must be in contact with your staff/customers/partners. My dilemma was compounded by my compulsion for early airport arrival for business travel, which resulted in hours sitting around the airport unconnected unless I was willing to pop for the Wi-Fi fee.

So I bit the bullet and signed up for wireless broadband service. On the one hand, there is a monthly cost, but on the other, I rarely worry about being out of touch. Hoepfully, by the time my service contract runs out in 2 years, some beneficient organization (Google?) will have installed free Wi-Fi in the major cities. One can only hope...

Posted October 31, 2005 11:56 AM
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In an press release from a few days ago, Microsoft announced that in its next version of Office ("Office 12"), Business Intelligence capabilities would be built in and made available as part of the popular software suite. This development consists of incorporating additional BI capabilities within Excel, as well as a new component called "Business Scorecard manager," which will allow for managing and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Microsoft's down-migration of BI componentry to the (potential) masses (potential because the new component has a price of $5000.00) is an encouraging step in creating value out of data. However, are the masses ready for it? For the most part, a large amount of "desktop BI activity" is currently done using Office (mostly Excel). But more challenging is the human factor - getting people to "buy into" the use of KPIs, scorecards, and analytics is more of a hurdle than getting a manager's signoff on a $5000 purchase. Heck, I have come across resistance when trying to sell the simple concept of tracking actual performance against stated objectives...

Posted October 26, 2005 7:03 PM
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This morning, I read a very interesting story about how there must have been some apparent interactions between government folks and printer manufacturers that resulted in the embedding of encoded information on printed pages. This message, embedded as a series of yellow dots only visible using a magnifying glass and blue light, was determined to be a digital signature used by the US Secret Service to "prevent illegal activity," (probably money counterfeiting).

From a privacy point of view, it is always jarring to hear about ways that activity is being tracked without the target's awareness, but those of us in the Business Intelligence world know that there are many ways that individual activity may be (and probably is) being tracked. And sometimes, people even are happy to "be tracked," if it results in money savings or better efficiency. I am sure that there are many sideline privacy "activists" that participate in supermarket "clubs" or frequent flyer programs.

The question I want to throw out to the blogspace is: where is the line between beneficial tracking and invasive tracking?

Posted October 19, 2005 7:56 PM
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I just composed what I thought was a clever little entry on the Sun-Google announcement when my thick fingers inadvertently dumped me into a different web page, whereupon all of my cleverness evaporated into thin air. However, the general theme of the note was this:

Despite the apparent pre-announcement buzz expecting a major declaration on behalf of the two companies, apparently some folks seemed to be less than overwhelmed.

Perhaps the disappointment stems from the never-ending hopes of the Microsoft haters that Google will ride in on its white horse and freely distribute software that will eliminate the dependence of desktop jockeys on Microsoft's suites.

However, the surprise at the lack of apparent depth of the announcement that Google will distribute Sun software while Sun will promote Google's toolbar reflects a tactical, short-term view of the future of computing. The fact is that it is natural for these two companies to be playing together in the same sandbox. To me, the partnership is indicative of potentially greater value down the road, as both organizations represent the history of network computing (remember "The Network is the Computer"?).

Give the relationship a chance to grow, and I hope that we will start to see the kinds of innovations that we should expect from this kind of arrangement.

Posted October 10, 2005 8:07 PM
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When you begin a business intelligence project, make sure that you have properly identified the actual client within the organization. One problem we have recently come across is that while our BI task has been supported at the highest level of the organization, no one specific person has stepped up to the plate as the one who is the main "consumer" of the BI capability we are providing. Consequently, there is constant confusion as to who is the target of our deliverables.

Here is a lesson to be learned: Identify the key consumers of the BI capability and make sure that the senior manager championing the project agrees. That way, success criteria can be designed to meet the key consumers' needs and ensure ongoing acceptance.

Posted October 6, 2005 5:48 PM
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