Monthly Archives: November 2018

It’s not free; it’s included

“When ‘Free Trading’ Isn’t Really Free,” The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2018 B5.  You can avoid commissions when trading stock by using an app.  But if the price you pay or get paid for the stock is more or less, is the trade really free?  It depends on how much price improvement is involved.

Interesting study of how the benefits and cost savings on high frequency trading are divided among the various parties.  And who knows what.

Isn’t this type of “information imbalance” inherent in every transaction?  Do we know how much a tomato or an iPad costs the store that sells it?  Or whether the salesperson gets a commission?  How do we manage that imbalance?  Or do we just accept it, whatever it means?

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Filed under Access, Accuracy, Data quality, Definition, Information, Management, Use, Value

Management of change

How do you make sure that your policies are keeping pace with law and society?

“Google Changes Harassment Rule,” The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2018 B4.  Following an employee walkout over how the company handles/handled sexual harassment claims, Google will no longer require that such claims be subject to arbitration.

This ties to Governance (what rules do you have in place, and when do you update those), Compliance (how do you handle claims of policy violations), and Information (a claim is one type of information).

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Filed under Communications, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Definition, Governance, Information, Oversight

More of your data for sale

“Wall Street Analysts Are Selling More Data,” The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2018 B11. Analysts are searching and make available a bunch of information on your information, including “social media sentiment … and geospatial mapping.”  Think of it as expanded research reports.

Well, they are in the business of reviewing data and offering opinions (for a price).  Is it much of a disintermediation for them to start selling the information directly?  I guess there’s money in it.  Or service.

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Filed under Access, Analytics, Collect, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Information, IT, Management, Operations, Ownership, Security, Third parties, Use, Use, Value

Technology controls

“Wells Fargo Technology Under Scrutiny,” The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2018 B11. Questions being raised about the technology the bank uses for cybersecurity and risk management.

Do you have the right technology to effectuate the controls you have placed around information?  Will your regulators agree?  If you are already on the regulator’s radar screen, will your controls measure up?

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Filed under Controls, Corporation, Duty, Governance, Internal controls, IT, Oversight, Protect, Protect assets, Risk assessment, Security, Technology

Too much sharing

I’m a bit of a knowledge management wonk, having been involved in the then-nascent KM movement within the inhouse legal community in the early 2000s.  But there can be too much sharing.

“Sinclair Settles With U.S. on Ad-Sales Data,” The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2018 B2.  A media group settles lawsuit over alleged sharing of information among television station owners, that may have led to higher advertising rates.

An interesting side note is that this all came to light when Sinclair proposed to buy another company and had to undergo a government investigation.

Are there restrictions on how much information can be shared between and among competitors?  Yes.  They are call “antitrust laws.”  And is there a risk of making a deal that subjects you to government scrutiny?  Yes.  The may discover all manner of minor and major sins.

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Filed under Access, Communications, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Discovery, Duty, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Knowledge Management, Oversight

Crisis information

How do you protect information in the event of an Event?  Is this part of your business continuity plan?  You do have a business continuity plan, right? Do you have a process to safeguard information you will need to resume operation?

“Second Black Box Eludes Search Teams,” The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2018 A6.  Divers are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder following the crash of Lion Air flight 610 in Indonesia.

Planes carry two “black boxes,” one  a flight data recorder (which captures a lot of equipment operating data) and the other a cockpit voice recorder (which captures conversation in the cockpit).  The information on these two boxes (which are actually neon orange) is used to determine the cause of a crash.

What information does your company generate that you would need to run your business following an “Event,” such as a computer crash or a hurricane, or whatever?  Is that part of your normal operating policies and procedures?  If you can’t get to that information, can you restart or run your business?

Is this an Information point (protecting information) , or a Governance point (having processes and procedures to protect mission-critical information), or a Compliance with policies and procedures?

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Filed under Access, Business Case, Collection, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, Protect, Protect assets, Risk, Use, Value

Pesky little emails

Hard to believe that people are still tripping over emails.

“Emails Raise Doubts on FBI Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2018 A3.  Emails surface contradicting White House claims that moving the FBI from Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.  (as proposed by the prior administration) would cost more than leaving it where it is (down the street from the Department of Justice and across the street from the Trump Hotel).

Perhaps there were “soft costs” involved in the move than weren’t considered, or there were other reasons for not moving the FBI from its current location, notwithstanding the higher cost.  But it is embarrassing when emails coming to a different conclusion are discovered.

How transparent is your decision-making process?  Do you allow for some contrary information in your final decision?  Is that proactive information management of negative information?  Do you have a policy or a procedure on this?  Should you?

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Filed under Controls, Duty, Governance, Government, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, To report

Tracking

“Technology Puts Pinch on Oil Smuggling,” The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2018 B6.  Smugglers of Iranian crude will be challenged by satellites and big data.

Smugglers had in the past “hid” their ships, but that will now be harder.  Certain companies find a business opportunity in helping to track these vessels.

What controls do you need to have in place to make sure your policies are followed?  How have people tried to avoid your controls?  How did you/will you respond?  Is there a market opportunity for others to help you enforce compliance by collecting other information?

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Filed under Analytics, Collection, Compliance (General), Controls, Governance, Information, Oversight, Third parties, Use, Value

Better than nothing?

Have you ever misused your company credit card?  How about used a company asset for your personal business?

“Gulfport CEO Exits Following Review,” The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2018 B2.  CEO resigns after investigation into his use of his company credit card (he had paid the charges back, eventually, without interest) and the company plane.

On departure, he gets $400,000 and 6 months of health care coverage.  I don’t know whether that’s better than nothing.

The ground troops learn from their “betters.”  Seeing the CEO get canned for policy violations firms up the perception of the seriousness with which the company treats violations of policy or procedure.  More so than a ground troop getting canned.

Does your company publicize these stories?

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Filed under Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Employees, Governance, Internal controls, Oversight, Policy, Protect assets

Information economy

“Alternative Data Is Valued on Wall Street,”The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2018 B1.  Companies mine different types of available information to help traders.

Is information is worth so much, won’t someone start a business to provide it?  Apparently.  What should you be monitoring to understand how your customers make their purchasing decisions, or what your competitors are doing?

Drones looking at parking lots and where are the iPhones coming from and going to and how many construction permits were issued?  What’s your metric?  How do you measure it?

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Filed under Access, Analytics, Collection, Data quality, Definition, Information, Use, Value