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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!

Recently in Reflections Category

In the past week, we have had a number of conversations with folks struggling with specific aspects of data integration for master data management. The main issue is that secondary users of what will eventually be master data do not always necessarily bound to abide by the primary users' data definitions. For example, the concept of "customer" means something different to the sales department than it does to those in customer support.

The upshot is that as data element definitions are reinterpreted, the results of sums, counts, and other aggregations start to be skewed. Ultimately, resulting reports are inconsistent, leading to a need for reconcilations, then loss of trust in the master data asset.

One way to address this is a concerted effort to normalize semantics prior to executing the data consolidation. This may shake out semantic inconsistencies and reduce the need for reconciliations.

More importantly, it implies the need for best practices in developing master data models. To that end, I will be presenting a talk on Accelerating MDM Initiatives with Master Data Modeling at a webinar sponsored by Embarcadero on July 28th. Lots of folks have already signed up, and I hope that it will provide an open forum for discussing some critical issues regarding master data modeling.

Posted July 21, 2010 4:52 PM
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About a year ago I came across a very good book by David Parmenter called Key Performance Indicators that provided a nice breakdown of the concepts and processes associated with articulating performance measures in relation to business objectives. One nice feature was a taxonomy of measures with a great organization.

Well, I recently got my hands on the recently revised version of the book, and am definitely looking forward to reading through it. If you get a chance to read it, please share your thoughts!

Posted April 8, 2010 1:52 PM
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Not really a surprise, and one that we discussed over at this blog note, but apparently the data reported regarding stimulus money spending is not immune to data flaws. This article over at cnn.com discusses some of the simple types of errors appearing in the jobs data, such as hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in Arizona's 52nd, 15th and 86th congressional districts, despite that sparse state's only having eight congressional districts.

I especially like dthe quote from Wisconsin representative Dave Obey: "Credibility counts in government, and stupid mistakes like this undermine it."

Posted November 25, 2009 6:26 AM
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I am stepping a bit out of my area of comfort to reflect on some thoughts regarding today's inauguration pomp and circumstances. Last night I was leafing through James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds
(which is a really good book, I highly recommend it) and a passage described criticism of the United States' early concepts of democracy in which Europeans mocked the notion that the general public was empowered to vote for and elect the leaders of the nation. But, contrary to this haughty noble's opinion, the power vested in the people by the United States Constitution not only has withstood the test of time, it, along with the Bill of Rights and the other accumulated amendments have allowed this glorious experiment in "forming a more perfect union" to thrive.

This day we experienced the transition of one presidency to another. Although the context of President Obama's assuming the nation's highest office is historic, while I watched the new president taking the oath of office, there were tears in my eyes. This was not just because of today's history, but it was compounded by the simple fact that I, along with every other citizen, live in a place where our constitutional rights allow us to make the creation of history a reality.
And in the spirit of patriotism that we all share on this inauguration day, it is each and every American citizen's duty to exercise those constitutional rights:

- To freely practice the religion of your choice;
- To not just speak freely, but scream loudly when criticism is warranted, (or even if it is not!)
- To a free press that demands transparency from those elected few who lead our nation, as well as those millions who willingly serve the nation as employees in the public sector; and
- To join with others in a peaceable assembly to exercise these rights.

There are people who wish to quiet those who criticize the office of the president. But recall what George Washington said: "If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." And to those people willing to yield any part of their liberties to the government in the name of security, the sixth amendment to the constitutional grants the right for people to be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." Recall the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

There have been many changes in our collective lives over the years of the previous administration - turmoil, pain, loss, growth, success, failure, more success, even greater failure. Times not only change, but the speed of change seems to increase as well. Hopefully our new leaders will apply consideration and thoughtfulness as they plan programs to move us all forward into the future.

Posted January 20, 2009 8:36 PM
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For some reason, I have acquired a habit of buying books at the airport. It could be that due to some lingering guilt about limitations on my personal productivity as I spend time getting from one place to another, I feel compelled to buy books that have some business relevance to read at the gate while waiting for all the business class and premier travelers to board the airplane.

I am finding, though, that I am building up an interesting set of books that provide value to the way I look at the use of information, so I thought I'd share a list of books that I have recently read, am currently reading, or plan to read some time in the near future. Each one deals with aspects of how we can learn from what we know, learn from what we don't know, then exploit what we can learn:

"The Wisdom of Crowds," by James Surowiecki
"Freakanomics, " by Steven Leavitt and Stephen Dubner
"The Tipping Point," by Malcolm Gladwell
"Blink," by Malcolm Gladwell
"The Black Swan," by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"Fooled by Randomness," by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"The Long Tail," by Chris Anderson
"Fortune's Formula," by William Poundstone
"Linked," by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
"The World is Flat," by Thomas Friedman
"Collapse," by Jared Diamond

Posted March 7, 2008 12:37 PM
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