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Claudia Imhoff

Welcome to my blog.

This is another means for me to communicate, educate and participate within the Business Intelligence industry. It is a perfect forum for airing opinions, thoughts, vendor and client updates, problems and questions. To maximize the blog's value, it must be a participative venue. This means I will look forward to hearing from you often, since your input is vital to the blog's success. All I ask is that you treat me, the blog, and everyone who uses it with respect.

So...check it out every week to see what is new and exciting in our ever changing BI world.

About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants (www.BBBT.us). You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

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

Three power houses, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Consumers League and Microsoft, have gone after alleged online identity theives -- those despicable people known as phishers. However, it appears that Microsoft is going one step further by filing 117 separate lawsuits against these creeps. I greatly approve of Microsoft's actions here.

What, you may ask, is phishing? It is those annoying and horribly misleading emails we all get in which the phisher tries to get you to give up personal information such as credit card and bank account numbers. The email directs you to a legitimate-looking website -- say for the Bank of America, complete with logos, corporate addresses, etc. -- and then asks you to fill in all your personal information.

According to Lydia Parnes of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, you have the power to stop these theives dead in their tracks -- by simply never responding to an email or pop-up asking for personal information. Just delete it. Sounds good but unfortunately 3 to 5% of the people getting these emails DO respond and give up some of their information. Gads! (For information on what you can do about identity theft, click here.)

The unforeseen consequence for our industry is that consumers will become even more reluctant to give any personal information to legitimate companies, seeking to be good CRM practitioners. This makes it even more difficult for these companies to better serve their customers through tailored service and product offerings.

Kudos to Microsoft and the others for trying to stop this scourge. By issuing the 117 lawsuits against these unidentifiable frauds (the defendants were all listed as John Doe), Microsoft hopes to "establish connections between the phishing scams worldwide and uncover the largest-volume operators", says Aaron Kornblum, a Microsoft attorney.

And good luck to those companies trying to get a better handle on their customers' needs and wants. While certainly a difficult thing to accomplish in today's environment, it will give your company bankable advantages over your competitors. Just don't abuse the knowledge you garner about your customers or you may find yourselves in a legal doghouse too.

Yours in BI success,


Posted April 1, 2005 10:06 AM
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