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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!

Apparentyly, the same issues that plagued competing US intelligence agencies immediately after the 9/11 bombings have not yet been resolved. According to this Time Magazine article, President Obama's summarized the failure to prevent terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding a Detroit-bound plane was that "The U.S. government had sufficient information to have uncovered this plot and potentially disrupt the Christmas Day attack, but our intelligence community failed to connect those dots."

Yet again, we see that despite being flooded with data, there was a failure to turn that data into actionable knowledge. Apparently, according to the article, inteligence agencies knew that the suspected bomber Abdulmutallab had traveled to Yemen, a spot of brewing anti-US terrorism plots, that his father had contacted the US embassy in Nigeria to notify them of his son's activities, that no one asked whether Abdulmutallab had a US visa, or whether he should have been added to the no-fly list. Also, the fact that he purchased a one-way ticket and no checked luggage might have raised some concern as well.

Any of these events should have triggered some action, but the fact that they didn't potentially raises a different question: how often do we miss events that should trigger a security response? I am sure a lot more frequently than we'd like to believe, and that might raise your level of anxiety.

And that raises another different question: what is the probability/risk that a missed event is a critical one like the Dec 25th situation? Of course, a low probability might alleviate some of the anxiety.

However, from a data perspective, the issue is a matter of data sharing and integration - protocols for capturing the key semantic aspects of logged events could be published to a common repository that could be continuously monitored, mined and evaluated to determine when some proactive action should take place. Is MDM the answer? Maybe, or perhaps a master repository published to a cloud environment with layered data services for rapid identity resolution...

Oh, check out this interview to understand a little more about national security.


Posted January 6, 2010 6:57 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |


Excellent post, David. The Initiate team has a related 2-part post on using entity resolution to create such a system. You can read it here: http://blog.initiate.com/index.php/2010/01/05/connecting-the-dots-before-boarding/

Thanks, Crysta, I actually saw Larry's great entry after I had posted my own, but I guess great minds think alike ;-)

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