A Blockchain EHR, Watson on Banks’ Case, and Open Source Rookies Award Winners

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all our readers celebrating Thanksgiving, Marcia wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!

And to our readers around our beautiful planet, thank you for being a FRAMEWORK reader. We are grateful for your support during our first year of publication. Please make sure you look for our special One Year Anniversary edition on December 2.


Tal Solutions’ FRAMEWORK newsletter presents you with a bi-monthly collection of curated, personally selected content and media focused on big ideas about and beyond Data Analytics—all with Marcia Tal’s insightful point-of-view and commentary.


FRAMEWORK : Voice of Consumer

Watson Examines Bank Employee Behavior and Customer Complaints

Only six years ago, Watson won the quiz show Jeopardy’s first prize and walked off with $1 million.

Today, Watson is IBM’s “AI platform for business” and is employed to “detect liabilities and mitigate risk.”

In “Big Brother has its eye on bank employees,” Penny Crosman explores how “large banks have begun using IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence to monitor employees for signs of misconduct.” 

Watson is currently looking for the kinds of “warning signals” and “tip-offs” that could have uncovered problems like the Wells Fargo fake account scandal. Watson’s mission is to look for multiple themes that point to risk—misconduct, discrimination, fraud, etc.

To avoid legal hurdles associated with employee monitoring, Watson is now listening to “customer complaints that arrive through call centers, text messages and emails to help banks identify serious risks.” Compliance experts from IBM’s Promontory Financial Group have been “teaching Watson to understand complaints” and to identify themes. Watson is also exploring performance and HR data as other sources to further identify potential misconduct.

Beyond identifying employee misconduct, many themes are revealed in customer complaints.

Customer dissatisfaction presents a range of risks not covered or explored in this article’s context. Examination and analysis of customer complaint data fuels many applications that can address the risks associated with customer dissatisfaction, i.e., attrition, account consolidation, franchise and PR risk, and law suits.

Even though Watson—or AI at large—may uncover “tip-offs” in customer complaint data that signal possible employee misconduct or systemic cultural problems, let’s recognize that data driven from the voice of consumers tells us much more about customer dissatisfaction.

And that dissatisfaction risk may pose an even greater threat to our businesses.


FRAMEWORK : Open Source

SNAPSHOT: Open Source Awards Point to Data Trends

Did you know that open source software makes up 60% or more of the code in today’s applications? *

In the 26 years since Linus Torvalds released the Linux kernel as “freely modifiable source code,” open source solutions have become core to today’s business needs.

To give you an “important snapshot of the industry trends,” the Black Duck Open Source Rookies of the Year Awards “have recognized the most innovative and influential open source projects launched during the previous year.” 

According to Black Duck, “in the past decade, open source has become the cauldron in which developers of all stripes cook up new technology.”

These eight recognized Rookies include open source projects sponsored by well-known tech giants Amazon and Intel, as well as small projects from Trireme, OpenCORD and Kolibri, among others.

Ranging from blockchain technologies…to machine learning… to big data. From software-defined networking… to network security…to learning equality… and more. In the Rookie of the Year slideshow, we see more and more solutions created by communities of developers and users collaborating with open source code.

As Tim O’Reilly comments: “Empowerment of individuals is a key part of what makes open source work, since in the end, innovations tend to come from small groups, not from large, structured efforts.” And once innovations are “freed,” broad communities thrive on more open source.

Core to today’s business needs, all these solutions contain new and evolving technologies driven by data ecosystems, machine learning, efficiencies, speed, and scale to market.

Take an eye-opening glimpse into the “cauldron” to see what these rookies cooked up last year—and think about what the open source communities are collaborating on right now.

*Black Duck Software, 2017


FRAMEWORK : Health Care Data

How Blockchain Technology and Financial Services Best Practices Can Help Transform Electronic Health Records

One of my passions for years has been to demonstrate the transferability of financial services data management best practices to the healthcare industry. I’ve spoken and written about specific opportunities—yet, it’s been hard for people to act upon this connection.

Now, Blockchain may offer the bridge.

In “The Potential for Blockchain to Transform Electronic Health Records,” John D. Halamka offers a look at how blockchain “has the potential to enable secure lifetime medical record sharing across providers.” 

Just as blockchain was conceived as a “ledger for financial transactions” and uses “public key cryptographically secured lists of all deposits and withdrawals,” a blockchain-based electronic health record (EHR) would “display data from every database referenced in the ledger.”

“The end result would be perfectly reconciled community-wide information about you, with guaranteed integrity from the point of data generation to the point of use, without manual human intervention.” 

In contrast to the existing EHR models, blockchain offers a “different construct, providing a universal set of tools for cryptographic assurance of data integrity, standardized auditing, and formalized ‘contracts’ for data access” – just like financial services’ data governance best practices.

The difference, of course, is that financial services uses blockchain for bank transactions, whereas in this case healthcare professionals and patients use blockchain technology for consumer medical records. Proven financial services data management best practices can be built into a blockchain-based EHR:

  • data integrity
  • data completeness
  • standardization
  • audits
  • privacy
  • security

As the author’s experiment and MIT research suggest, we are starting to seek innovations originating in different wide-spread industries that can then be applied across many domains.

Blockchain will be the common innovation applied across many unique industries.

In healthcare, adopting proven financial services’ data management best practices into blockchain technology makes a truly “universal” electronic health record possible in the not-to-distant future.