Category Archives: Use

Moneyball 2

“The Mariners; Big Data Experiment,” The Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2018 A14. Data leads to moving a star player from shortstop to the outfield.

Maybe not a big Information Governance or Compliance piece.  But interesting use of information.


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Filed under Analytics, Collect, Data quality, Information, Management, Operations, Use, Use, Value


“A Hot Startup Misled Advertisers,” The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2017 A1.  Outcome Health apparently misled advertisers as to how many units their ads were appearing on.  The investigation continues.

How would your employees react if ask to provide inflated numbers to potential customers?  How would your investors react after a story appears on page one, above the fold?  Probably reflects in the valuation of the company.  And what about your company’s extensive political contacts?

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Filed under Accuracy, Board, Communicate, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Controls, Corporation, Culture, Culture, Data quality, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Inform market, Inform shareholders, Information, Internal controls, Investor relations, Managers, Oversight, Oversight, Policy, Protect assets, Protect information assets, Use, Value

Using information

This blog focuses on the intersections of compliance, governance, and information.  Most of the postings are about failures to govern appropriately,  non-compliance, or the misuse of information.  This one is different.

“Hospitals Use Alerts to Curb Unnecessary Care,” The Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2017 R2.  Digital alerts embedded in patients’ medical records used to prevent or reduce medical errors (or lapses in the treating physicians’ memories).  See also several other articles in the same report, many of which describe the use of technology to solve some of the information problems in the practice of medicine.

The problem with information is that we have so much, it’s hard to access what we need to when we need to.  Having it is not enough; you have to use it to get value.

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What will you (or they) need twenty years from now?

How do you forecast what information the company will need twenty years from now, long after your retirement?

“First Job of Dismantling Nuclear Plants: Find a Russian Speaker,” The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017 A1.  Dismantling engineers encounter problems when trying to decontaminate and tear down an old nuclear facility.  The engineering drawings are not necessarily accurate as-built diagrams, and a lot of the language is Russian.

An organization needs a lot of information.  One area is “What information will we need when it’s time to dismantle this great thing we just built?”  Is this information governance, records management, or knowledge management?  Does it matter?  Who owns this problem?  This same problem  came up in my prior life when looking at the information requirements to shut down and dismantle a North Sea oil platform – a lot of that information needs to be captured at the front end and during the life of the facility, and maintained until the facility is removed.

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Filed under Accuracy, Collect, Controls, Governance, Internal controls, Knowledge Management, Management, Oversight, Use

You manage what you measure

If the Board asks how much the company paid for something, “I don’t know” isn’t a good answer.  Neither is “We can’t track that today.”

“Algorithms Help Calpers Tally Fees,” The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2017 B1. The question was how much the pension plan had paid private-equity managers in performance fees.  It turns out the answer was $3.4 billion, over 25 years, with $490 million last year.  Answer was derived using algorithms.

“It took five years to develop a new data collection system that requires private-equity managers to fill out various templates describing their various fees.”

How comforting – a self-graded exam for $3.4 billion in fees.

What’s information worth?  How can you manage without it?  How did they?

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Is the use of algorithms to set prices a subterfuge to facilitate price fixing?

“To Set Prices, Stores Turn To Algorithms,” The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2017 A1. Use of algorithms to establish prices for a wide range of products, from Staples to gas stations based on “big data.”

But what if everyone uses the same algorithm?  Or if the algorithms are wrong or the data upon which they are based is wrong?  Can anyone explain what they do and how they do it?  The ultimate black box.


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Filed under Analytics, Business Case, Collect, Compliance, Data quality, Governance, Information, IT, Management, New Implications, Operations, Oversight, Use, Use

Tending to fences

When talking about cybersecurity, the analogy is made to castle walls.  Like most analogies, it’s true and it isn’t.

Hackers Found Holes In Bank Network,”The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2017 A1.  Security at the SWIFT network buildings is really tight, as one would expect for a large company whose business is the electronic transfer of “money” across national boundaries.  But apparently, some of the national banks using this service are not as diligent in managing their own security.

Pesky users!

Providing, and denying, access to information are key parts of information governance.  But how do you do that for third parties?  And how do they do it for themselves?

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