Category Archives: Data quality

Falsely shouting fire

The news media has an obligation to verify its reports.  Is YouTube “news media”?

“YouTube Mistakenly Promoted False Video,” The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2018 A4.  YouTube apologizes and removes video suggesting an alleged witness to the Parkland shootings was an actor and not a student.

Is YouTube merely a carrier of content provided by others or does it’s role in curating content make it liable if the curating yields misleading results?  Does YouTube have the protections available to The New York Times?  Should it?  Who decides?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Accuracy, Communications, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Duty, Governance, Internal controls

Masks

“‘Success Theater’ Masked Rot at GE,” The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2018 A1. GE’s CEO may have been too optimistic.  “This culture of confidence trickled down the ranks ….”

If the top boss has rose colored glasses, that view apparently permeates the organization. If he or she reacts badly to bad news, do people stop bring bad news?

One principle of compliance is that the tone at the top matters.  Does the CEO’s tone build filters that prevents him/her getting the facts?  Are the resulting wounds self-inflicted?  Where was the Board?

Leave a comment

Filed under Data quality, Governance, Communications, Controls, Internal controls, Culture, Board, Oversight, Oversight, Access, Duty, Employees, Accuracy, Managers

What do you have and where do you have it?

The title of this post is a common question asked in the Information Governance arena.

“Freight Tracker Adds Funding In Hot Market,” The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2018 B4.  Expansion at company that tracks where shipments are and when they will arrive.

Clearly, this information on a real-time basis is valuable to shippers and customers.  Is there a difference between the value of the information (where the shipment is) and who owns that information?  Or is it just who can profit from collecting and reporting the information?  Who would have thought an entrepreneur would monetize this, rather than the companies handling the shipments?  Did the shipping companies not realize the value of an asset they had?

Leave a comment

Filed under Access, Data quality, Information, Operations, Use, Value

Information quality

The quality of information is largely based on its accuracy.  Excluding others from using that information can also be valuable, such as trade secrets, patents, or copyrights.  An additional factor is the information’s timeliness: getting information before someone else allows you to use that information first.  Even fractions of a second can matter.

“CME Defect Aids Speedy Traders,” The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2018, B1.  Five years ago, some high-frequency traders took advantage of the small time gap between (a) when they received confirmation of trades and (b) when those trades were reported to the market.  Based on this information, they deduced the direction of market movements and sold or bought, as appropriate, before that information was in the market.  The exchange fixed this.  Sort of, as the problem has reappeared, albeit much smaller.  But microseconds matter, when it’s the computers that are doing the trading.

What’s the point?  Well, what information would you pay more for to get it sooner?  Do you rely on getting information at the same time as (or before) your competitors, allowing you to use your superior skill, foresight, and industry to profit from it?

Leave a comment

Filed under Access, Accuracy, Controls, Data quality, Information, Internal controls, Third parties, Value

Vendors

“U.S. Probes Supplier to VW,” The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2018 B2.  Engineering firm under criminal investigation for alleging helping VW cook the emissions tests – altering the nature of the information provided to the government.  See also, “Robert Bosch Workers Face Probe,” The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2018 B3. (Similar allegations, but involving Chrysler).

Are you concerned about your vendors?  Do you make sure they comply with law?  Do you appreciate the data that confirms your own compliance?  What’s it worth to have that data be accurate?

Were this a blog about Crisis Management and Emergency Response, there would be an entry here about what you should do when you hear that someone else in your industry has been doing something bad.

Leave a comment

Filed under Accuracy, Board, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Definition, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, Oversight, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Third parties, Value, Vendors

Snoopy cried

“Shares of MetLife Plunge on Big Charge,” The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2018 B16. MetLife needed to increase its reserves after “losing track of possibly tens of thousands of retirees owned monthly pension payments.”  Loses 9% of share value (and this was before the big drop this week!).  This was after they reduced their reserves earlier, resulting in increased revenues.  The day earlier, “Pension Snafu Hits MetLife Results,” The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2018 B1. A “records mistake.”  Huh?

People have been and will be fired.  Will any senior executives take the hit?  What exactly is the company’s business?  Where was the Board on this?  Do they refund any of their fees?  At least the company admitted a material weakness in its financial systems.  Is the CFO nervous about what he/she signed?  Did the boost affect anyone’s bonus?  Did this affect the market?

This was not a records mistake.  It was a conscious decision.  Who decided to reduce the reserves and just forget about the pensioners who weren’t easy to find?

1 Comment

Filed under Accuracy, Board, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Internal controls, Investor relations, Oversight, Oversight

Risk versus cost

“Investors Turn to ‘Drive By’ Home Appraisals, Adding Risk,” The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2018 A1.  A method that is illegal when used for a single home is used to quickly and cheaply (quick and dirty?) value large collections of houses, which are then used as collateral.

These values are then used as collateral on billions of dollars of bonds.  Isn’t that comforting?  Think of the money they are saving!

For now.

Do you know what information underpins your decisions?  Does the Board?  Does the market?  What could go wrong?

Leave a comment

Filed under Accuracy, Board, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Duty, Governance, Information, Oversight, Oversight, Protect assets, Value