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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 Approachand Business Intelligence: The Savvy Manager's Guide. He is a frequent speaker on maximizing the value of information. David can be reached at loshin@knowledge-integrity.com 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!

April 2006 Archives

I am actually writing this entry in real time during my (and Malcolm Chisholm's) DAMA/Meta Data Conference tutorial on Effective Management of Master Data. A question was asked about allowing updates of local copies of master data objects within operational applications. I immediately commented that allowing this introduces coherence issues between the application copies and the master copy, and that one must ensure that policies exist for coherence management if local updates are to be allowed. Of course, we have to realize that this issue is not a new one - it has been around for a long time, both in the data world (transactional semantics) as well as the compiler world (cache and memory coherence).

I would be surprised that there are any MDM systems that allow for local update without having some embedded transactional semantics incorporated.


Posted April 24, 2006 2:07 PM
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A recent study suggests the costs of poor data quality to Dutch business exceeds €400 million yearly. According to the article, the results of a survey of 20,000 Dutch organizations found that "the total amount of €400 million consists of costs that are calculated based on directly quantifiable aspects, such as wrongly addressed invoices and product deliveries which do not arrive at the right addresses."


Posted April 18, 2006 6:53 AM
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In last week's Newsweek, this article talked about the rejuvenation of Silicon Valley with respect to social networking web companies. The focus on sites such as myspace.com and flickr described the business value in terms of the construction of virtual communities, etc. For example, one comment discussed how many musicians and TV/Movie (and other assorted) celebrities are trying to use these kind sof sites (myspace, in particular) as self-promotion vehicles, making connections with fans and trying to grow that fan base.

I wonder whether the authors of this article are missing the forest for the trees. The value of a social networking site is embedded in the network - understanding how the network is configured, looking at the aspects of connectivity, seeking out those individuals whose network positions characterize their personalities or behaviors (e.g., rainmaker, connector, "center of attention," influencer). And that is just looking at the network connections, not even the context of the connections (e.g., music fan, TV star, etc.)

Check out my article on social networking - then let me know what you think.


Posted April 10, 2006 12:33 PM
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I often am tempted to read advice books and other related material that purports to provide simple, easy steps to success within some realm or another. Each time I do, I am both surprised at how straightforward success should be, as well as how easy it is to collect simplistic assertions into operational philosophy. If there are lists of rules for success in any arena, then there must be rules for being successful in presenting lists of rules. Here is what I think they are...

Rule #1: Do not exceed seven rules. Seven is a good number because most people can juggle seven ideas in their heads without too much mental calisthenics. If you are confident in your audience, you may go up to eight rules, but you might mask the eighth rule by just calling it a 1/2 rule, providing a total of 7 1/2 rules. Certainly don't provide fewer than five rules, or else your audience may feel short-changed. Six is doable, but odd numbers resonate more than even numbers, so your best bet is to stick with seven.

Rule #2: Provide a key failure event that justifies your expertise. Without having hit rock-bottom, you do not have the "chops" that demonstrate why your rules for success lead to success. Therefore, you must be able to demonstrate that the problem from which you have derived your success philosophy is identical in concept to your audience's, but is of much greater magnitude than any of your soon-to-be followers'. Make sure that your failure event not only affects you personally, but also causes grief to some larger collective (family, friends, company, etc.).

Rule #3: State your rules in kindergarten language. The concept that the secrets to success can be summarized in a list of rules presumes that your audience is looking for a solution that can be implemented just by following a series of simple instructions. The easier you make the rules sound, the more effective you will be at converting followers.

Rule #4: Secure a high-profile champion. The higher the profile, the better. By associating with a person in a position of authority, you implicitly demonstrate their support, even if they never have explicitly provided it. (see: scientology)

Rule #5: Finesse Challenging Questions. Invariably, someone may ask you why you are peddling your ideas in books, CDs, DVDs, courses, and workshops, instead of spending your time actually practicing what you are preaching. The best approach to this question is to promote your goodwill and beneficence in providing this life-altering advice to as many people as possible (who can afford the collateral material).

Rule #6: Include lots of stories. People are bored by formal processes and are afraid of spending time doing hard work to achieve their goals. Alternatively, people love to listen to stories and may be encouraged by the suggestion that the experience of others may directly provide them with positive impact. These stories may be enhanced to a greater degree when you substitute animals (especially cute, furry ones) as the protagonists in your tales as you demonstrate your kindergarten principles via anthropomorphization. (see: Aesop)

Rule #7: Exploit Licensing Potential. Once your rules have taken off, be sure to have an array of additional products available to your followers. First of all, they will have formed into their own community, and need insignias, etc. to recognize each other in alternate venues (i.e., ones you don't get paid for). Second, possible issues regarding failures need to be met with questions as to whether the program is being carried out to the letter of the law; missing some of the accompanying items may be contributing to the failure...

Rule #7 1/2: Take yourself very seriously. If you don't, how can you expect others to?


Posted April 1, 2006 1:03 AM
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