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Software // Information Management

In Brief

High-level intelligence at a glance

In this Issue:

Irrational Outrage?

After a recent U.S. General Accounting Office report that the government is involved in numerous data mining projects, the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern that private-sector data was being used. News reports about the GAO findings also raised the hackles of some citizens who don't seem to think twice about using store loyalty cards or applying for credit. Citizen fears, while not baseless, are probably disproportionate to the threat.

Jesus Mena, author of Homeland Security Techniques and Technologies (Charles River Media, 2004), reports the government can use privacy and security measures to:

  • Anomalyze the data with hash encryption
  • Restrict and audit access
  • Communicate findings in the form of encrypted pointers (by utilizing new network-centric analytic systems that don't move any data).

Humans inspect only 0.0001% of the analyzed records, to follow up on leads. Mena comments, "Terrorists are using technology to their full advantage; why should we go back to the Stone Age?"

SAS Seeks Category Ownership.

In continuing efforts to expand its reputation beyond the back room and into the boardroom, SAS outlined plans to become the dominant provider of performance management (PM). The existing view of PM that focuses on strategy, planning, and finance is too narrow, said CEO Jim Goodnight at SAS Forum International in Copenhagen. SAS will leverage its SAS9 Intelligence Platform, released in March, to provide other products important to PM, such as SAS Activity Based Management and SAS IT Value Management. Performance-based approaches to operations and IT management are typically available only separately from niche players. Vendors classified as corporate, enterprise, or business PM tend to focus on financial metrics. SAS struggles for broader recognition of its capabilities because it's privately held and therefore can't appear in many business publication rankings.

IE Index

HOT — On the upswing
FileNet is in the sweet spot. Basel II and straight-through processing initiatives are keeping it busy in the financial services sector, and other verticals are just as interested in its ability to unite content with process. The stock has doubled since last year.

Computer Associates
STATUS QUO — No change
With Kumar (and for that matter, Wang) having departed, the company's management can get back to concentrating on meeting customer needs and — who knows? — CA might get a hot rating before long. Yogesh Gupta is a good choice for CTO; he has long been one of CA's brighter lights. It's a good sign that the Sonar vaporware announced at CA World 2003 — which links IT management to business goals — took shape in several GA products before CA World 2004.

NOT — Possible trouble ahead
Despite steady gains and a major release of statistical modeling software being used for drug discovery, Insightful suffered a double whammy that may be the only reason its fledgling stock was sent hurtling downward: The CFO quit and the auditor (Ernst & Young) dumped the company.

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