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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 2008 Archives

Over the past few years we have been evaluating issues, practices, techniques, and proceses for justifying, planning, designing, and managing a successful master data management (MDM) program. Recently, my book, Master Data Management (The MK/OMG Press) was published by Morgan Kaufmann, and is now available.

Now that MDM has been around for a few years, I believe that in order to make MDM programs successful, we need to jump off the hype curve and start considering the real issues that will be faced when attempting to build a reasonable business case and initiate the program. In this book, I look at the business drivers, identify key stakeholder archetypes, review management processes such as data governance and organizational change, and then look at the techniques and tools to make MDM work. I hope that this book sounds intriguing and that you'll geta copy. If youy get a copy and you like it, I would be thrilled for you to post a review at amazon as well!

In addition, I have put together a companion web site to continue the MDM discourse and to provide extra insights as more case studies and success stories emerge. I have the support of a number of great technology sponsors to build the content, and I am definitelty interested in hearing about your MDM ideas also. Please visit the site ( and let me know what you think!

Posted October 28, 2008 8:05 AM
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I just got a phone call from a telemarketer telling me that my company had a free listing on the "yellow pages on the internet." I told this person that I thought this was kind of a silly idea, and she said, "you know, you go to google and do a search to come up with the listing." I replied, "of course, anyone can go to google and find the company web site, so what do I need a yellow pages listing for?"

By the way, for those of you youngsters: the "yellow pages" used to be a book with many really thin pages, with telephone and address listings sorted by industry category. When someone had a specific need, he or she would take the book off the shelf, leaf through the pages trying to figure out what category their need fit into, and scan down the listings to find an appropriate match. Lots of advertisements on the nearby pages might have helped in that search also. Today those books are still occasionally distributed to your home, and are largely deployed as door stops, contributions to the municipal paper recycling effort, or (in a pinch), toilet paper. I have seen many deployed as soggy rotting piles at the end of a driveway, although I am not sure of that approach's specific utility.

Web pages with telephone numbers, though, can come in any color, and really clever ones might allow you to direclty connect to a provider directly through instant messaging or IP telephony.

Posted October 24, 2008 7:25 AM
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As a data quality practitioner alsways seeking ways to communicate the value of data integrity, it is always a pleasure when you wake up in the morning and the Washington Post hands you a juicy data quality-related story. This past Saturday, the lead story describes how the process of transitioning voter registration from local governments to state-wide management is surfacing "discrepancies between their registration information and other official records, often because of errors outside voters' control."

In other words, identity information used to qualify voters is being called into question in a number of states, some of whom (such as Ohio) are political battlegrounds that can make or break an election. As the Supreme Court gets involved, and as more discrepancies crop up in the next few days, one can suddenly see that yes, Virginia (and Maryland, Alabama, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, etc.), poor data quality can actually have worldwide impact.

Posted October 20, 2008 6:01 AM
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I am trying to go back to basics in order to better understand some of our clients desires for increased governance and for master data management (MDM). That ever-elusive golden 360-degree view of the customer is the perennial holy grail, and I keep seeing those phrases bandied about in consulting RFIs and RFPs, with the objective being better cross-sell and upsell potential.

OK, so here is a good definition of upsell, which refers to selling higher-priced products to customers already committed to a purchase. For example, when you fo to the kwik-e-mart and buy a 32-oz. soda, you may be told that for just an additional twenty-five cents, you can get a 64-oz. "multi-gulp." That seems like a pretty good deal, since you are doubling your original amount for just a small cost increase.

This is a great deal for the kwik-e-mart, since the bulk of their cost is already sunk in the cup, cover, and straw, so their cost increase is incredibly minimal in terms of additional carbonated water and a squirt of syrup. It is also a relatively painless execution - the sales person usually already has a customer committed to a purchase, the offer presents a good value proposition, and it can be executed without a significant amount of training.

But in that case, how does MDM make it easier to do upselling? (Note that I am being careful in segregating the discussion about cross-selling, but I will get to that one sometime in the near future.) Perhaps if we are using our mster view to assess whether the customer is predisposed to taking the upsell offer, that might provide the benefit. In most simple situations, that is prpbably not the case, since the standard upsell offer is pretty painless for both sides (a simple "no thanks" provides the customer declination).

So perhaps we can limit this to the big ticket items, like buying replacement windows, life insurance, or a new car. There the question might involve whether the request for the upsell might jeopardize the existing deal. Maybe, but it would be interesting to hear some real examples of how increased customer knowledge led to increased revenues purely as a result of an upsell that would not have happened in the absence of that customer knowledge.

Posted October 13, 2008 10:37 AM
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I just got back from a few days at the DataFlux IDEAS 2008 Users conference, and it looks like there are some interesting things going on in Cary.

First off, I was invited to provide a tutorial on Data Governance on Monday afternoon, and there seems to be (as expected) a growing interest in operationalizing the data stewardship roles and monitoring more than just the quality of data, but also the performance aspects of the data stewradship activities as well. The ability to define and execute against data qualtiy service level agreements is an aspect of oversight that is gaining momentum.

These ideas were validated at yesterday's keynote talk by Ted Friedman from Gartner. In displaying the data management "hype curve," it seems that we are seeing the ascendancy of two data management activities that I covered: data quality dashboards and scorecards, and active metadata driving business processes.

Another interesting announcement was that SAS has opted to transition its data integration technology (and a significantly-sized support team) to DataFlux under the nom-de-plume "Project Unity" to unify the data integration and data quality/governance offering. This probably enhances DataFlux's ability to compete against those data integration vendors that have acquired data quality technologies.

Lots of good customer case studies also, which, in comparison to last year's set, seems to show maturation among their customer community's approaches to data quality management. Good show!

Posted October 8, 2008 10:21 AM
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