Monthly Archives: September 2013

Foolish consistency

“Justice Department Fights AMR Request in Lawsuit,” Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2013 B5

The Department of Justice is suing to block the merger between American Airlines and US Airways because the merger would allegedly stifle competition and raise costs to consumers.  American wants to know who Justice interviewed about the merger and what they said.  American also wants information about how previous airline mergers were analyzed.

[Disclosure: I received several Second Requests from the DOJ (it’s a huge information “request” that the parties to the proposed merger need to provide to the Government) in my prior life.  It’s truly amazing the information they ask for.]

Leaving aside the legal niceties and a review of the prior case law on the precise point, wouldn’t it make sense for the Government to disclose who it talked with before deciding that the proposed merger would be anticompetitive?  Were they for it or against it? Aren’t cases supposed to be decided on the merits?  And shouldn’t this proposed merger be evaluated the same as other proposed airline mergers, or the Government explain why this one is different?

It struck me that the Government might have a greater obligation to disclose how it reached its conclusions, not only to American but also to the rest of us (who might have an interest), or at least to those who might want to do a merger in the future.

Does information have a different value depending who “owns” it?  Why? Or why not?

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Filed under Definition, Knowledge Management, Ownership, Use, Value

Deadly failure to use available technology

“Tech Gap Cited in Fire Deaths,” Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2013

Commanders had no way of knowing where the firefighters were in relation to the fire and couldn’t warn them. Tragedy will likely lead to monitoring locations electronically.

Isn’t the technology to monitor location relatively inexpensive?  Cell phones do it.  An old case (In re T.J. Hooper) dealt with the failure to have radios on coal barges to monitor weather developments.  Some technology not required by law is so cheap in relation to the potential harm that it becomes a duty of care issue.

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Filed under Data quality, Definition, Duty of Care, IT, Requirements, Risk, Use, Value

“How to Handle All That Data”

Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2013 R4

Suggestions for the smaller business dealing with the flood of data:

  • Look beyond the current quarter to be able to see trends
  • Make the data visual
  • Look at it at least weekly, but not daily
  • Focus on local customers and markets
  • Think about which metrics mean the most and why
  • Solicit lots of information about your customers
  • Use software for predictions
  • Select influential customers to watch
  • Look for patterns

My only question: How is this different from how successful businesses have always looked at data?

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Filed under New Implications, Use, Value

Who’s zooming whom?

“NSA allegedly mapping social contacts,” Houston Chronicle, September 29, 2013 A6

Assume you had a large collection of unstructured communications data and could search it to find out who’s talking to whom, and how much, and where they were when they were communicating, and whether they were traveling together at the time (not the Metro card evidence mentioned in an earlier post)?  Add to the information pile other communications data publicly available, bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registrations, and property records.  Would that be valuable?

From a personal privacy standpoint, and a 1st and 5th Amendments standpoint, may be a bit troubling.  But look at it for a second from the knowledge management standpoint.  Would a social network analysis (a mapping of who’s talking to whom and how often and about what) (see in your company help you identify the people who are, or who are perceived to be, experts on a topic?  Or connectors between people seeking knowledge and people having knowledge?  Would it help you Connect and Collect, which Nick Milton says are two critical components of knowledge management?

Softwares can help perform this analysis.

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Filed under Interconnections, Knowledge Management, New Implications, Ownership, Privacy, Risk, Use, Value

Keep your receipt

Lumber Liquidators raided.  Investigators seek evidence on origin of wood to see if the wood was harvested from a protected forest.  Wall Street Journal, September 28-29, 2013 B3  10% stock drop.

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Filed under Controls, New Implications, Requirements, Risk, Uncategorized, Use, Value


A bit of a kerfuffle this week. CNN reported Iranian President Rouhani’s comments about Israel and the Holocaust one way, and other papers (e.g.. WSJ) and the Iranian FARS News Agency reported it another.,,

Leaving aside which translation from Persian is accurate, what does the dispute over its accuracy do to CNN’s brand?  And does Christiane Amanpour’s reputation as a journalist take a hit? What is the price of silence?


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Filed under Data quality, Risk, Use, Value

Job Market Embraces Massive Online Courses”

Employers are driving a market in Massive Open Online Courses.  Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2013 A3 Compare declining applications at Wharton. How to measure the cost-benefit calculation?

Does this transfer knowledge at least as well?

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Filed under Knowledge Management, New Implications, Risk, Use, Value

“What’s Wrong With Wharton?”

Reported drop in applicants at Wharton.  Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2013 B1

Is it a more selective era? Impact on reputation? Reaction to focus on financial markets rather than technology?  In a highly competitive market, was drives consumer selection?

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Filed under Definition, Use, Value

AIIM presentation on Information Governance

Departure from form.

While I don’t agree with all of this, AIIM has posted a presentation on Information Governance.  Also a blog post at

I define Information Governance differently and don’t think the Information Governance model goes far enough.  But it’s a start.


Filed under Discovery, Policy, Privacy, Records Management, Requirements, Risk, Security, Value

“Knowledge Equals Power at J.P. Morgan”

Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2013 C10

At the risk becoming myopic, I note again the case study of J.P. Morgan.

Despite possible settlement figures of $11 billion plus (a third of 2013 forecast net income), settlement may be good for the company’s investors. Stock went up 3% yesterday. Legal fees $1.5 billion for the quarter!  Or more.

The headline perhaps should be “Certainty Brings Calm to J.P. Morgan.”  But certainly, Certainty = Value, or it’s corollary, Uncertainty (e.g., risk) = <Value>.  Here, perhaps, the damage will have been monetized, or quantified, and the risk of variance mitigated.  Similar cases abound.

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Filed under Definition, Risk, Value