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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!

July 2007 Archives

As a by-product of some of our current activities in data governance, I was interested in looking at ways that people model performance metrics. Interestingly, half an hour's worth of web searching turned up surprisingly few artifacts that describe ways to model a performance metric. Perhaps my search term vocabulary is artificially limited to the phrases I believe should provide some hits, since I am confident that every BI tool vendor has embedded models for performance metrics.

However, the failed search exercise has triggered the dreaded next step: having to think about it myself. My first thoughts revolve around "metric basics":

- who are the stakeholders,
- what are the performance objectives,
- what is being measured,
- what are the units of measure,
- how is the measurement performed,
- how often is the measurement done,
- is the measurement process automated or manual,
- how is the result reported,
- how are individual measurements rolled up into more comprehensive scores,
- what are the benchmark values,
- what are the critical thresholds,
- who is notified of a low score,
- how are issues forwarded into the issues tracking system.

Any other suggestions?

Posted July 31, 2007 7:23 AM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

In my article this month, "Connected Communication and Establishing Communities – Tween-Style," I talked about the growth of social networks aimed at pre-teenage children. One of the questions I asked regarded their business model - how do these companies make money? Well, I did a little investigation of one site, Neopets.com. The site features fantasy creatures interacting, with lots of games for younger kids. One of their main approaches to revenue is through product tie-ins: dolls, figures, hand-held games, all featuring the same set of creatures from the web site.

However, I found this interesting tidbit on their press kit web site:

"Because participation on Neopets.com is free, Neopets generates revenue through family-appropriate screened banner ads (shown primarily to users age 13+), as well as through user-initiated brand integrated advertising, which incorporates a sponsor's message into existing or customized activities and games within the website."

Basically, the site embeds brand advertising within the activities and games in a way that is customized to the user. The CEO of the company, Doug Dohring, is reported to have started a firm that within five years "became a top-100 market research firm in the United States, and the largest provider of custom market research to the retail automotive industry."

In other words a market research executive drives the growth of an online gaming community into a multi-million dollar concern through directed, embedded advertising. Would it be safe to conjecture that data analytics and business intelligence is supporting this process? Then you probably also wouldn't be surprised that the company was bought by Viacom in 2005 for $160 Million. Not bad...

Posted July 20, 2007 7:39 AM
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Just finished reading Shawn's latest blog entry referring to the Computer World article on IT people who mattered. It made me start thinking about my own list of key IT people

Too bad they limited this list the way they did. I can think of a bunch more influential IT people whom I am sure most people have never heard of. Here is a list - google away:

Nathan Goodman - influential researcher who collaborated on the aspects of database transaction synchronization. His work largely contributed to the ability to serialize database transactions, thereby enabling the effective multi-transaction use of databases possible. Later became a founding member of MIT's Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Leslie Lamport - algorithmist extreme, his insights on coordination between computers within a connected distributed system paved the way for the development of concurrent and parallel programming.

Steve Warshall - Influential participant in the National Software Works, the BBN project that led to the development of the Internet.

John Backus - The IBM pioneer that led the development of FORTRAN.

Got to get back to work - more to follow.

Posted July 10, 2007 7:01 AM
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