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!
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 Approach and Business Intelligence: The Savvy Manager's Guide. He is a frequent speaker on maximizing the value of information. David can be reached at email@example.com or at (301) 754-6350.
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Last week, Stephen Warshall, a legendary figure in the field of computer science, passed away at his home in Gloucester, MA. Anyone who has taken a college course in algorithms will be aware of Steve Warshall's contribution to the field during its early days, as he is responsible for developing an efficient algorithm for finding the shortest path between two nodes in a network. Anyone who has followed some of my articles and blog entries will see how these kinds of algorithms are essential for BI techniques for social network and link analysis.
Early in my career I was lucky enough to meet Steve at my first employer, Massachusetts Computer Associates (also known as Compass). He had been a founder of the company 25 years earlier, as well as an employee (and board member) at its parent company, Applied Data Research, and had come up to Wakefield to visit the office. As a recent computer science graduate, I was excited about meeting a person who, for all intents and purposes, a "CS Celebrity." Steve tempered my excitement as well as encouraged me in the projects on which I had been assigned for the small compiler development firm.
Steve was a brilliant scientist, a seminal actor in developing field of computer science, and a good person, and will be missed.
I have had a series of interesting conversations with fellow-blogger Shawn Rogers regarding interesting ways to deliver information, especially as different varieties of content presentation emerge and alternate combinations of content-delivery mechanisms evolve. Here is one example: time-shifted information delivery.
Think about the popularity of the digital video recorder for watching television - three major benefits pop directly into my mind:
1) I can skip over the parts that I don't really care about (i.e., commercials)
2) I can watch selected programs in a limited "on-demand" way, recording it at one time and watching it when I choose
3) I can easily navigate across different parts of the program at will, perhaps to hear a character's line that I missed the first time.
These are all concepts of time-shifted entertainment, in which one can decide to enjoy the entertainment at his/her own schedule, instead of the one dictated by network executives.
Now, all of these concepts were available during the VCR age, so what is really different today? It is the scope and scale of the delivery. With videotapes, the person needs to be in charge of managing the content, moving items from storage to the operating environment (i.e., putting a tape in the machine). And while navigating was available, it is clumsy when compared to the DVR environment. Clearly, watching recorded programs that are managed from within a single user interface and are categorized by topic or genre (or whatever) is much easier than having to keep all those bulky videotapes indexed and organized on the shelf.
OK, so we should be able to do the same with content delivery, right? I expect that the "pull" aspect of web browsing provides that kind of capability. Well, sort of, but not really, of course, because I still have to do my own organizing. On the other hand, there are some different ideas that allow you to engineer your own organization. RSS feeds, for example, and an RSS reader will allow you to have content pushed out to you, and you can review it when you want. Google now allows you to wrap web pages within a "widgetized" API which you can then organized around your own directives. Crafted Flash presentations can be downloaded and played later.
So where are we going? What are the next ideas? Downloading flash onto your video iPod? RSS feeds through your radio? Post your ideas...