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Richard Hackathorn

Welcome to my blog stream. I am focusing on the business value of low latency data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse (DW) appliances, use of virtual world technology, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of business intelligence. However, my blog entries may range widely depending on current industry events and personal life changes. So, readers beware!

Please comment on my blogs and share your opinions with the BI/DW community.

About the author >

Dr. Richard Hackathorn is founder and president of Bolder Technology, Inc. He has more than thirty years of experience in the information technology industry as a well-known industry analyst, technology innovator and international educator. He has pioneered many innovations in database management, decision support, client-server computing, database connectivity, associative link analysis, data warehousing, and web farming. Focus areas are: business value of timely data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse appliances, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of BI.

Richard has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications, presented regularly at leading industry conferences and conducted professional seminars in eighteen countries. He writes regularly for the BeyeNETWORK.com and has a channel for his blog, articles and research studies. He is a member of the IBM Gold Consultants since its inception, the Boulder BI Brain Trust and the Independent Analyst Platform.

Dr. Hackathorn has written three professional texts, entitled Enterprise Database Connectivity, Using the Data Warehouse (with William H. Inmon), and Web Farming for the Data Warehouse.

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

June 2007 Archives

Today's WSJ contained an article on Human Computation - that right! Human Computation. This is the label that computer scientists give to system that incorporate low-level human judgments on a massive scale.

Prof. Luis van Ahn of Carnegie Mellon create a game called the ESP game. The apparent objective seems to be to guess what another person is thinking. It works by pairing two random persons and showing the same photograph to both. You are supposed to enter the phrase that you think the other person is thinking. If they match, then both are awarded points. You get 3 minutes to describe 15 photos.

Over 130,000 people have spent hours playing this game! The kicker is that the real objective of Prof. van Ahn is to categorize photographs with meaningful tags...all for free! As the WSJ article points out, he is pulling a 'Tom Sawyer' by enticing others to paint the fence of image recognition.

A more generalized effort is the Mechanical Turk by Amazon.com to be the eBay for services. It is named after a fake chess-playing robot popular from 1770 to 1880. Read the Wikipedia entry; it is fascinating! Amazon coined the term Human Intelligence Task or HIT. A requester defines the HIT, such as transcribing a podcast or finding a company on the web. SOmeone can accept the HIT, perform the task. When accepted by the requester, the fee (usually less than an dollar) is deposited in your Amazon account.

Another example is Rent-A-Coder, a marketplace with small but serious coding projects. The fees are typically around $100.

So, what? How does this relate to BI/DW in corporations?

There are a lot of HITs needed to maintain any BI system. The objective is to construct game that will leverage the intelligence of employees and even customers to categorize information, detect trends, and surface issues. Instead of limiting these tasks to the few having responsibility, open the task to a wider audience.

Posted June 27, 2007 5:04 PM
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In a recent article, I have argued that Virtual World technology can be a key enabler for the next generation of BI systems. I have also organized a group of local professionals to explore the potential of Virtual World technology at Serious Second Life Meetup of Boulder.

So, last night I was wandered NOAA Island testing the new 3D Voice. I get a message from a random avatar named Leinad Meriman. We started to chat, and I discover that it is Dan Power of DSS Resources! He is quite active in Second Life and shares my feelings about the potential of this technology

Shawn Rogers and I have created a group called Business Intelligence Network in Second Life. If you are registered in SL, please join our group. So far we have...

- Richard Hackathorn as Hack Richard
- Shawn Rogers as Otis Forti
- Dan Power as Leinad Meriman

Can I add your name (and avatar) to this list?

If you are interested in learning about SL, please contact me. I can help you through the initial hours of walking into walls as an avatar. :)

Posted June 27, 2007 10:14 AM
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