Ask Me is linked with Any Body and relates with Walther Von Stolzing

Weird subject, isn’t it? Quite obvious for everybody, the persons ‘Ask Me’ and ‘Any Body’ are artificial names. They will never belong to a real person. How they relate to ‘Walter von Stolzing’ will follow.

For over 25 years Human Inference has collected reference data, for instance on persons. Because of our reference set we immediately recognize that ‘Ask Me’ and ‘Any Body’ are fake names. People are using these either in test situations or to hide their actual names.

In the old days we only needed to test on ‘Test Test’, in more recent years we see great inventiveness on these fake names. A brief example can be seen in the following list.

Alpha Beta Any Body
Ask Me Best Friend
Blue Sky Cool Dude
Dress Code El Comandante
Guess Who In Cognito

In case you cannot rely on reference data and interpretation you need to provide a check list. Providing it is one thing, but since users tend to be really creative, maintaining it is essential. Continue reading ‘Ask Me is linked with Any Body and relates with Walther Von Stolzing’

What is equal? – challenges with sound and synonyms

What to do when basic string comparison (fuzzy search) techniques won’t give the right results? Fuzzy search helps to find matches in situations where people make typo’s (e.g. compare Human Inference with Human Inverence) or make up abbreviations (King str. with King street) or ignore diacritics (Sørensen and Soerensen). In case the ‘wrong word’ is not a real used word it becomes obvious that after correcting the typo we have a match.

More challenges appear if the typo has caused another existing word; now we need to make a decision on how equal the two entries are. In case you have some knowledge on the frequency of usage of words you can use that in the equation. How to get the frequency of usage for words is another ballgame – at least you can assume that a ‘wrong word’ is never used (bit of a paradox). Continue reading ‘What is equal? – challenges with sound and synonyms’

Has your name ever hurt you? – when nomen becomes omen

Addressing clients with the right data often means the difference between making a profit and not making a profit. Working with data quality experts has made me ever more consious of the value personal data represents for people. In this respect names are especially intriguing to me, as owners appear to identify with their name a lot. So I decided to do a little research and determine if people really are what their name tells you. Can nomen indeed become omen?

Your parents probably gave a lot of thought to the name they once gave you, and as it turns out they were right to do so! Research tells us a name can do wonders for its owner, as well as a lot of damage for that matter. Let’s have a look at some remarkable results.

Peter for President!
Recent studies show that in the US a student called Fred is more likely to fail his exam than a student who just happened to be named Andrew: people tend to indentify with their name and, in general, have a positive feeling about letters that correspond with their initials. Consequently Fred is far more likely to settle for a meager F, while Andrew will have an extra motive to strive for an A. Continue reading ‘Has your name ever hurt you? – when nomen becomes omen’

First Time Right – The customer perspective

One of the first things I will start working on this year is a paper on First Time Right. Naturally, my colleagues and I had discussed the content of such a paper before, but during my Christmas holiday I figured out what the line of thought for the paper should be. Next to the definition and the importance of the priciple and the approach in data quality solutions, I think that First Time Right is definitely about the business value and the advantages for the customers.

Let me give you a short preview:

Customer data plays a crucial role in the value chain of any business infrastructure. Whether purchasing, production, distribution, marketing, sales or service is concerned, the availability and the quality of your customer data is of great importance to these processes. A few examples? Continue reading ‘First Time Right – The customer perspective’

How being focused can blur your vision

sintmaarten 2

In our company we are all very dedicated to serving our customers with their business problems with bad quality customer master data. Aren’t we all?

A few days ago, one of our customer support desk engineers sought an answer to what happens with the addresses on the islands of the former Netherlands Antilles. See also my previous post The dissolution of a nation. Kids of my generation had to memorize the names of these islands at primary school: the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao – and the three islands with an “S”: Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten. My colleague, now fully internet savvy, wanted to look up an address on Sint Maarten. Why not use an internet map and type “sint maarten”?

Yes, here it is! They even have a Spar supermarket there (just like home), and the address of this supermarket shows a postal code! A postal code with the same structure as in the Netherlands (NNNN AA). Pleased with this catch, he started to compose an answer to the customer.

Just before sending it, I passed his desk and we started talking about this (the topic has my attention, you know). And he showed me the map proving his arguments: the coastline was near. But when we zoomed out, the picture became clearer: tunnel vision obscured that he had been focused on Sint Maarten near the Dutch coast!

Changing trend U.S. immigrants: sticking to their name is custom

“New Life in U.S. No Longer Means New Name”
That’s the title of an article published in The New York Times this week. In short it shows evidence of a declining need to fit in with Western standards.
“For the most part, nobody changes to American names any more at all,” said Cheryl R. David, former chairwoman of the New York chapter of the American Immigration.
(Source: The New York Times)
Mr. Steinway (the famous German-born pianomaker who abandoned the name Steinweg in pursuit of economic success) is a perfect example of the 19th and 20th century convention of immigrants adopting Anglicized names.
What used to be needed to blend in and speed assimilation is no longer required. Economic powers are changing, as shown in this article in The Financial Times: “Indian economy shows 8.8% growth.” The world’s population is moving around more than ever, settling temporarily or permanently in other regions and countries.
So what does this mean for people in the data quality playing field? Continue reading ‘Changing trend U.S. immigrants: sticking to their name is custom’