Posted October 12, 2009 7:58 AM
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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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An interesting article about people leaving facebook caught my eye because it resonated with some of the same issues I have had with it - inspired nosiness, misrepresentations of the concept of a friend (vs. connection), the way some people become obsessed and absorbed into it, and other observations.
After I had signed up (prodded by an old friend with whom I had fallen out of touch), I started to see others from my (growingly hazy view of the) past contact me asking to be connected. I guess I just said yes, and ended up with some connections, which led to other requests, etc.
So facebook is a little different than my other social network, linkedin.com, which is valuable to me as a business tool. Facebook does not provide that value, although it is interesting to see what people I used to know a long time ago are doing (hmm, a little nosy there, eh?).
The problem is that there are reasons that I stopped being in touch with a lot of former acquaintences, and getting back in touch with people that I no longer have much in common with is interesting at first but benign moving forward. And despite the few situations in which I am connectede with someone I regret losing touch with, it makes me have to actively ignore people that I have been able to passively ignore for a good twenty years or so.
On the other hand, there are some folks (like my friend Jeremy Epstein) who are building careers out of exploiting social marketing, and from an information perspective, there seems to be a lot of opportunity (check out Stephen Baker's book Numerati for some good examples as well).
I am interested - what is your experience with Facebook - as a connectivity tool, as a business tool, as an entertainment forum? post your comments!
As part of working with a client on some technical aspects of their master data management program, I recently participated in a review of some of the record matching and linkage strategies being applied to consolidate data from a collection of source data systems. While listening to the conversations during the meetings, it occurred to me that without a reasonable understanding of how record linkage works, it is difficult to assess the suitability of an algorithm, business rules, or blocking strategies associated with any of the major duplicate analysis, matching engine, or MDM tools.
I suggested to the client that it would be worthwhile to know as much about linkage as the vendors do, and recommended Herzog, Scheuren, and Winkler's recent book on record linkage, "Data Quality and Record Linkage Techniques." This book is a really good resource to get an understanding of what record linkage is, how it works, and why it is important to a master data management activity, and the authors are well-known reserachers in the area of record linkage. Definitely worth reading, let me know what you think.
Certain kinds of technologies are interesting in the way that their existence motivates changes in the way people behave. Good examples include the fax machine or mobile telephones, both of which modified the way that people work.
Search is one of these technologies, but curious in the ways that different people (do or don't) engage web searching as part of their daily routines. In one instance, a person I know was tasked with developing documentation on a particular subject, but the first draft of that material showed a lack of understanding of the concept. However, a simple google search of the topic provided numerous resources from which to draw. My reaction was to assume that this person didn't even attempt to employ search as part of the process.
Yet in conversation with others, I am beginning to see dividing lines in the way that people employ the availability of indexed or searchable information. For some, the effort is apparently too much - the web search returns too many hits, there is difficulty in distinguishing relevance, the choices are either too complex or too simplistic - to the point where the person is overwhelmed. Others embrace these issues by modifying the way they search. And that is where web searching changes the way that (some) people behave.
The simplicity of a web search embodies its beauty for adaptability. Conceptually, presume that all words and terms in all web sites have been parsed, analyzed, and indexed and are ready for your review. All you need to do is to use your knowledge of what you are looking for to pinpoint the desired content. So you start with a gross level, say a single term, multiple words. Many hits come back, but you can screen the top level result summaries to see if there are other relevant terms that are of greater (or lesser) interest, then incorporate those into your next search iteration. Each iteration provides some more information that can be used for the next iteration until you have narrowed the focus enough to find what you are looking for.
This has worked for me, and goes back to my original comment, since web searching really has changed a lot of the way that I do things, escpeially when trying to attack problems and find solutions. I expect that someone out there has had similar experiences and is willing to share them. Whether I am diagnosing network issues, trying to learn more about my kids' viruses, looking for a software solution, or research personnel background, track down a lead, etc., I use my web search tool as my guide.
Sounds obvious, right? You might think so, but having observed the way that people ignore or misuse search tools, it makes me curious as to whether there are specific search strategies that people use, don't use, or ignore when tackling problem-solving.