Data Value?

When I was attending the ECCMA Data Quality Solution Summit in October 2012, I got in an interesting discussion on the quality of a  specific customer data item. The actual point of the discussion was whether an address has quality when you are not aware of what the intended use and value of that particular address was. Intended use? Intended value?  Yes indeed!

As the importance of data quality management is becoming more and more obvious to organizations, the question is no longer “should I manage my data?”, but “how do I manage my data?”. In other words: What is the value of data in the context of the customer’s solution? How is the customer going to use the data? And what is the consequent value of the data for that particalur customer? Is the address mentioned in the discussion above going to be used for a geocoding solution or will it be a delivery address for a postal item?

I think that this is a very interesting way to look at data quality and data management. In his summit presentation, Walid el Abed of Global Data Excellence said that the value of data should be derived from the current or future outcome of the activities accomplished by using the data. In this context, he refers to a paradigm shift from KPI (key performance indicators) driven organizations to KVI (key value indicators) driven organizations.

I like that. At Human Inference we strive to enable organizations to benefit from personal and relevant interactions, based on trustworthy information. It is our “translation of bringing value to the customer’s data.  

Know Your Customers – improving your Corporate Social Responsibility

It’s not only what you achieve, it’s also how you behave. Some small organizations can still behave somewhat undetected way to achieve successful results. For medium and large organizations that is not what governments and customers expect from them. Transparency on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are key in this and therefore a significant number of countries agreed on these in, amongst others, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

This week, the latest results have been presented in The Netherlands on Transparency in the Banking area. And although some institutions score really good, others really need to take it at least one mile further to get a good or even fair score.

We agree with the recommendations of the report that compliance regulations can help/force in being more transparent, e.g., the SEC in the USA is enforcing more detailed information than their Dutch peer, the AFM. And also for Basel II the financial institutions need to know who they are dealing with in the end. The phrase – in the end – makes it even more difficult for the CSR, because not only the ultimate legal entity is now needed, but additional details per region and per sector are required. Continue reading ‘Know Your Customers – improving your Corporate Social Responsibility’

6-year old girl on no-fly list of suspected terrorists

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When the Thomas family from Ohio embarked on a recent trip from Cleveland to Minneapolis, they were in for a huge, but unpleasant surprise. It appeared that 6-year old Alyssa Thomas’ name was on the Homeland Security no-fly list; a list that is used to prevent individuals with known or suspected ties to terrorism from flying. The girl’s father, Santhosh Thomas, states that the worst thing his daughter has ever done, is probably been mean to her sister, but that this should hardly be a matter for the Department of Homeland Security.

The Thomases were eventually allowed to fly that day, but they were told to contact Homeland Security to clear up the matter. Now Alyssa just received a letter from the government, notifying the six-year-old that nothing will be changed and they won’t confirm nor deny any information they have about her or someone else with the same name. Continue reading ‘6-year old girl on no-fly list of suspected terrorists’

Attempted bombing Christmas Day could have been prevented!

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Lack of understanding of the complexity of international names caused a near-accident successfully prevented by the Dutchman Jasper Schuringa.

On Flight 253, on its way from Amsterdam to Detroit, a passenger tried to explode the airplane. This passenger was not called John Smith, or Peter Johnson. No, his name was a little more complicated: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Easy to misspell, and that is exactly what happened. A misspelling of the name of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab resulted in the State Department believing he did not have a valid U.S. visa.

We love damage control, not prevention

Continue reading ‘Attempted bombing Christmas Day could have been prevented!’

Your name is too “common”….

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A major bank in Dongguan (China) refused a potential customer because his name is Li Jun. Apparently, there were already over 300 bank accounts assigned to the name Li Jun. Not that this particular Li Jun was responsible for opening all these accounts, there were just too many men with exactly the same name. The bank states that the refusal is nothing personal, since nobody with the name Li Jun will be accepted as customer in the near future….. In the meanttime, Li Jun is taking legal action against the bank. Continue reading ‘Your name is too “common”….’

Any close encounters with the FBI terrorist watchlist?

tsc080105aJust before this summer the U.S. Department of Justice filed a report about the FBI Terrorist Watchlist. This watchtlist serves as a critical tool for screening and law enforcement personnel for alerting them when they come across a known or suspected terrorist. It is used by personnel at airports, harbours and the borderline. Also when you apply for a visum you are matched against this watchlist. The Terrorist Screening Center, a subsidiary of the FBI, is responsible for maintaining the watchlist.

This watchlist was created in 2004 from several other lists and at that time it consisted of about 68.000 entries. I use the word entries, because in the years after it became fuzzy if one record is the same as one individual. By the end of 2008 the list had grown to over 1,1 million entries. In 2008 after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) mentioned that the list had passed the 1 million, the government came with an explanation. Although we have recorded over 1 million entries in the database, the net result is that these records correspond to about 400.000 individuals. Terrorist often use different and thus multiple identities, use several (falsified) passports etc. But adding entries with only the first initials and last name, while an entry of the full first names and last name already exists will result in unwanted side-effects. Continue reading ‘Any close encounters with the FBI terrorist watchlist?’