Strategi kuantitatif-trading-strategy-harnessing-the-power-of-quantitative-techniques

Strategi kuantitatif-trading-strategy-harnessing-the-power-of-quantitative-techniques

Trading-journal-spreadsheet-online
Manajemen sistem-risiko-trading
Stock-options-private-company-taxes


Bagaimana-untuk-belajar-tentang-online-trading Stock-options-given-and-exercised The-range-trading-system-v2 0 Uk-option-trading Nq-stock-options-tax-reporting Trading-forex-adalah

RINGKASAN DATA INOVASI Apa yang akan Anda pelajari Konferensi Inovasi Data adalah acara satu hari tahunan yang menyatukan pemikiran paling inovatif, praktisi perusahaan, penyedia teknologi, pemula dan akademisi, bekerja dengan Data Science, Big Data and Analytics. Dengan lebih dari 40 pembicara domestik dan internasional dalam tiga tahap dan banyak kegiatan belajar dan berjejaring di area pameran, KTT 2017 adalah tempat bagi semua profesional dan organisasi yang bekerja dengan pemanfaatan data untuk meningkatkan keuntungan, menemukan kembali model bisnis dan meningkatkan pelanggan. kepuasan. Apa yang akan Anda pelajari - Pelajari dari pembicara paling inovatif tentang Inovasi Data, Inovasi, dan Ilmu Data-driven - Dengarkan kasus bisnis yang menjelaskan berbagai cara menggunakan data dan analisis sebagai driver untuk pengembangan dan inovasi bisnis - Pelajari cara menyiapkan Analytics Center of Excellence - Pelajari tentang Ilmu Data, Keuntungan Data dan Pengalaman Klien yang Besar - Pelajari bagaimana menemukan, menangkap, menyimpan, mengamankan, mengatur, menganalisa dan menyajikan data Siapa yang harus menghadiri Konferensi Inovasi Data dibuat khusus untuk profesional atau organisasi yang bekerja dengan , Atau tertarik untuk belajar, bagaimana cara mengubah data menjadi wawasan yang berharga. Jika Anda bekerja dengan disiplin berikut, maka ini adalah acara wajib-hadiri. - Ilmu Data - Analisis Bisnis - Analisis Pelanggan - Intelijen Bisnis - Analisis SDM - Intelijen Keuangan - Transformasi Digital - Manajemen Data - Pemodelan Prediktif - Data Besar - Pergudangan Data - Kualitas data - Arsitektur Data - Keamanan Data - IOT - CxOsOwners - Pemodelan Statistik Data Innovation Summit membawa data profesional di bawah satu atap untuk presentasi inspiratif dan wawasan sehari-hari, diskusi interaktif, lokakarya, demo dan banyak lagi. Sebagai tindak lanjut KTT, Hyperight akan menyelenggarakan seminar sepanjang tahun untuk mendukung pembelajaran yang mendalam dan berbagi pengetahuan tambahan. Puncak Inovasi Data sekilas Tahap Inovasi: Tahap Inovasi akan berfokus pada contoh Inovasi Data yang jelas dan dampaknya terhadap bisnis dan masyarakat. Semua presentasi berlangsung 15 menit. Ini akan memberi para pembicara kesempatan untuk terjun langsung ke topik dan fokus pada pembelajaran kunci. Sebelum acara tersebut, para delegasi akan memiliki kesempatan untuk belajar lebih banyak tentang presenter dan sesi mereka, di sini, di situs ini dan melalui aplikasi acara resmi. Melalui aplikasi acara para delegasi akan berkesempatan mengajukan pertanyaan kepada pembicara sebelum acara dan di puncak. Tahap Analisis Bisnis dan Ilmu Data: Tahap ini akan berfokus pada studi kasus praktis mengenai penerapan kemampuan dan teknologi analisis dan data ilmiah dalam sebuah organisasi. Semua presentasi pada tahap ini adalah 18 menit. Sebelum acara tersebut, para delegasi akan memiliki kesempatan untuk belajar lebih banyak tentang presenter dan sesi mereka, di sini, di situs ini dan melalui aplikasi acara resmi. Melalui aplikasi acara para delegasi akan berkesempatan mengajukan pertanyaan kepada pembicara sebelum acara dan di puncak. Tahap Pengelolaan Data: Seiring presentasi di Tahap Pengelolaan Data Analytics Inovasi dan Bisnis, kami telah memesan lagu tambahan untuk presentasi teknis dan demo yang lebih banyak. Di sini Anda berkesempatan mendapatkan wawasan tentang praktik terbaik dan teknologi terkini mengenai penyimpanan dan penanganan data, pengumpulan data, integrasi data, pengelolaan data master, keamanan data dan Analytics. Sebelum acara tersebut, para delegasi akan memiliki kesempatan untuk belajar lebih banyak tentang presenter dan sesi mereka, di sini, di situs ini dan melalui aplikasi acara resmi. Melalui aplikasi acara para delegasi akan berkesempatan mengajukan pertanyaan kepada pembicara sebelum acara dan di puncak. Area Expo Interaktif: Di wilayah pameran, Anda akan memiliki kesempatan untuk bertemu dengan penyedia dan pakar global dan teknologi informasi dan analisis lokal dan global. Beberapa dari mereka akan mempresentasikan alat dan layanan mereka untuk pertama kalinya di Swedia dan di Skandinavia. Ruang Pers Media Sosial: Anggota pers akan memiliki ruang pers mereka sendiri untuk melakukan wawancara dan melapor langsung dari acara tersebut. Henrik Gothberg memiliki latar belakang yang luas dalam bidang Sales, Marketing, Product Life Cycle Management dan Analytics. Dia telah bekerja dalam kapasitas konsultan Manajemen dan Perubahan untuk Telco, Utilitas, Perbankan, Manajemen Fasilitas, Pharma dan MedTec, Dia bekerja di industri TI sebagai Sales Executive untuk Anlytical CRM Solultions, dan juga Brand Manager, CRM dan DWH Manager Di Industri Medtec. Henrik bergabung dengan Vattenfall pada tahun 2012 dalam perannya sebagai Direktur BI dan Lead Management untuk Vattenfall B2B Retail Operation. Dalam peran ini, dia telah mendorong dan menjadi co-driver untuk beberapa inisiatif terhadap Digitalisasi termasuk melakukan operasi Penjualan dan Pemasaran Nordik B2B ke awan dan menerapkan Gudang Data baru untuk Distribusi BU, Layanan Pelanggan dan Ritel (B2C B2B). Pada tahun 2015 Henrik telah mendukung fungsi Keuangan untuk mengambil topik Managing Information sebagai Strategic Asset untuk mendukung keseluruhan tujuan Vattenfall dalam mempercepat dan menyederhanakan digitalisasi, meningkatkan kedewasaan di bidang Analytics dan mendorong Manajemen Kinerja Kelas Dunia. Dari bulan Juli 2015 dia melakukan ini dari peran barunya Director Group Financial Systems. Henrik telah menjadi pembicara penting beberapa kali tahun terakhir mengenai topik pembuatan Visi Operasional untuk Digitalisasi dan Analisis pada beberapa konferensi. Kepemimpinan Digital: mengangkat kemampuan analitis Anda dengan bootstrap Digital Leadership telah disorot sebagai inti prasyarat untuk kesuksesan di masa depan. Ini melibatkan usaha simultan untuk skala dan cakupan ekonomi dan secara langsung bergantung pada kemampuan analisis korporasi. Pada saat yang sama, kemampuan analisis bergantung pada kepemimpinan digital, menciptakan situasi di mana perusahaan mengalami bahwa mereka perlu mengangkat diri dengan bootstraps mereka sendiri agar berhasil. Sesi ini dibangun berdasarkan temuan penelitian terkini dan membahas pertanyaan-pertanyaan berikut: Bagaimana seharusnya perusahaan bekerja dengan membangun kepemimpinan digital Model saat ini dalam banyak kasus usang, dan perlu diubah Jika kita gagal berinovasi dalam hal model, konsekuensinya akan sangat mengerikan Johan Magnusson PhD, Associate Professor Universitas Gothenburg Chalmers Universitas Teknologi Johan Magnusson (PhD) adalah Associate Professor di University of Gothenburg dan Chalmers University of Technology. Dia juga merupakan Wakil Direktur Penelitian untuk Persaingan pada Visualisasi - sebuah program penelitian yang bertujuan untuk meningkatkan efisiensi dan efektivitas baik sektor publik maupun swasta dengan merancang visualisasi data interaktif yang memungkinkan manajer membuat keputusan yang lebih baik. Sinar hitam dalam ilmu data industri: Mitos dan Perangkap Konsep angsa hitam telah mendapat banyak perhatian baru-baru ini dan merupakan topik hangat di banyak forum yang membahas ilmu data industri. Sebuah quotBlack Swanquot didefinisikan sebagai kejadian oleh kelangkaan dan dampak ekstrim. Data industri adalah domain dimana lebih banyak kejadian ini dapat terjadi dan kejadian semacam itu memiliki efek yang jauh lebih besar, daripada yang biasa kita duga. Oleh karena itu, penting untuk mengetahui apa itu angsa hitam industri dan bagaimana mengurangi dampaknya secara lebih luas saat keputusan merupakan hasil analisis. Seberapa penting memperbaiki metode identifikasi kita untuk angsa hitam Sejauh mana ketahanan dan ketahanannya menjawab untuk bertemu dengan angsa hitam Dapatkah kita menarik wawasan dari daerah lain, agar lebih kuat dan tahan terhadap angsa hitam yang muncul Dr. Diego Galar Adalah Profesor Pemantauan Kondisi di Divisi Teknik Operasi dan Pemeliharaan di LTU, Lulea University of Technology di mana dia mengkoordinasikan beberapa proyek H2020 yang berkaitan dengan berbagai aspek sistem fisik maya, Industri 4.0, IoT atau Data Besar Industri. Dia juga terlibat di pusat SKF UTC yang terletak di Lulea yang berfokus pada bantalan SMART. Dia juga aktif terlibat dalam proyek nasional dengan industri Swedia dan juga didanai oleh badan-badan nasional Swedia seperti Vinnova. Dia juga peneliti utama di Tecnalia (Spanyol), memimpin kelompok riset Pemeliharaan dan Kehandalan. Dia telah menulis lebih dari tiga ratus jurnal dan Makalah konferensi, buku dan laporan teknis di bidang pemeliharaan, bekerja juga sebagai anggota dewan editorial, komite ilmiah dan ketua jurnal dan konferensi internasional. Demokratisasi data Selama sesi 30 menit ini, Anda akan berkesempatan untuk meninjau dan menguji beberapa teknologi terbaru di bidang Analytics, Ilmu Data dan Manajemen Data. Demonstrasi akan berlangsung di Area Pameran. Anda dapat memilih langsung di tempat teknologi mana yang ingin Anda pelajari lebih lanjut atau Anda dapat memilih dari daftar solusi dan penyedia layanan menggunakan aplikasi acara. Dalam acara aplikasi Anda juga dapat mempelajari lebih lanjut tentang teknologi dan layanan yang diwakili sebelum acara, mengajukan pertanyaan atau memesan pertemuan dengan perwakilan saat ini. Peramalan penjualan gadget adalah masalah yang menantang: bagaimana memprediksi penjualan item yang tidak memiliki riwayat penjualan Dalam pembicaraan ini, kami akan menyajikan gambaran tingkat tinggi tentang bagaimana Zalando menggunakan model pembelajaran mesin untuk menangkap nuansa pasar konsumen dan juga perilaku pelanggan. . Menantang masalah: memprediksi penjualan barang tanpa sejarah Zalando Research: cara baru untuk memanfaatkan data baru, memecahkan masalah teknik keras Kinerja dalam memprediksi jutaan produk Pemodelan pengguna dan perilaku influencer fashion Kashif memiliki gelar PhD. Dalam Matematika dari Freie Universitt Berlin dan telah menjadi pendiri sejumlah pemula di bidang penyimpanan dan analisis data geospasial. Dia sangat menyukai komputasi kinerja tinggi dan telah hadir di NVIDIA GTC pada tahun 2009 dan di StrangeLoop pada tahun 2012, dan juga berkontribusi pada sejumlah proyek sains dan database data Open Source. Sebelum menyelesaikan gelar PhD-nya. Dia bekerja di Max-Planck-Institute di Golm, Jerman dan di Visage Imaging GmbH di Berlin sebagai pengembang perangkat lunak. Saat ini dia memiliki posisi di grup Database di Freie Universitt Berlin dan juga bekerja sebagai Ilmu Data dalam kelompok Peramalan Penjualan Pasal Zalando di Berlin. Dari perubahan iklim dan data hingga hasil bisnis yang berkelanjutan Didukung oleh Komisi Eropa, lebih dari 7000 kota di Eropa, penandatanganan Kovenan Walikota, memimpin masyarakat kemudi menuju ekonomi rendah karbon yang sejahtera dan menarik. Namun, kota-kota merasa sulit untuk mengidentifikasi dan memprioritaskan cara paling efektif untuk menghemat biaya dan karbon. Yang lebih sulit lagi adalah mengkomunikasikan kemajuan dan melibatkan warga untuk mengubah kampanye menjadi tindakan iklim. Bagaimana jika pemerintah kota memiliki akses ke alat online berbasis data dan kolaboratif untuk mengembangkan, memantau dan menerapkan rencana aksi iklim kota Pembukaan mata, presentasi visioner dan praktis untuk mengubah data menjadi wawasan dan wawasan akan tindakan. Dari data ke tindakan. Tantangan karbon dan energi yang kita hadapi sangat hebat, namun peluangnya adalah Kota yang belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya berada pada posisi utama untuk bertindak dalam kesempatan ini namun berjuang untuk mengubah rencana iklim menjadi tindakan dan melibatkan warganya. Resolusi yang lebih tinggi, data frekuensi tinggi, analisis dan kolaborasi online Alat dapat membantu mempercepat transisi ke Kota-kota dengan karbon rendah yang menggunakan dan berbagi data dunia nyata tentang ukuran iklim apa yang bekerja dan memposisikan diri mereka dalam ekonomi global untuk abad yang akan datang. Serge de Gheldere percaya bahwa tantangan hebat yang kita hadapi membawa peluang yang belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya untuk membentuk ekonomi bebas melingkar, melingkar, berkelanjutan sementara pada saat yang sama memenuhi kebutuhan energi, material, makanan dan air dunia. Serge adalah ceo dan salah satu pendiri Futureproofed, sebuah konsultan yang berfokus pada inovasi bisnis berkelanjutan yang bekerja dengan perusahaan visioner yang melihat manfaat dari pindah ke ekonomi rendah karbon dan berkelanjutan seperti ING, Nike, Colruyt, Deme, Ecover, Recticel Dan dengan pemerintah daerah yang membayangkan dan membangun kota-kota yang cerdas, berkelanjutan, dan menarik (Leuven, Antwerpen, St. Niklaas dan Mechelen.) Dia juga merupakan pendiri dan presiden Klimaatzaak, seorang nirlaba yang memulai proses hukum melawan 4 () Belgia Pemerintah, menuntut semua tindakan yang diperlukan untuk memastikan bahwa Belgia memberikan kontribusi yang diperlukan untuk mencegah perubahan iklim yang berbahaya. Serge dilatih sebagai insinyur di Leuven (B) dan di Delft (NL) dan bekerja untuk Baxter Healthcare selama 7 tahun - termasuk 15 bulan di Chicago. Serge memberikan ratusan ceramah di seluruh dunia termasuk - Stanford, Yale, Tsinghua Beijing, India, Dubai, Togo. Budapest - pada pilihan yang kita hadapi terkait perubahan iklim dan peluang ekonomi yang berkelanjutan. Serge de Gheldere memimpin di Futureproofed (wortel) dan Klimaatzaak (tongkat), duta iklim untuk Al Gore, ayah, kiter, biker dan snowboarder Mengemudi Sekolah Peningkatan melalui Data Dewan Sekolah Internasional akan berbagi inisiatif dan studi kasus yang berhasil yang mendorong Penggunaan data objektif dan sesuai konteks untuk mendorong pembelajaran siswa dan keputusan strategis di sekolah internasional. Doronglah penggunaan data di sekolah untuk mendorong pembelajaran siswa. Kami percaya bahwa ketika data objektif digunakan oleh sekolah internasional secara sistematis, penerima manfaat utama adalah siswa dan komunitas yang mereka layani. Sekolah internasional memiliki banyak data yang mereka miliki, namun seringkali gagal dalam analisis karena ini bisa menjadi tugas yang rumit dan memakan waktu. Sesi ini menyajikan contoh nyata dari inisiatif berbasis data bahwa setiap sekolah dapat terlibat untuk mendukung pembelajaran siswa tanpa memperhatikan anggaran atau alat teknologi. Dewan Sekolah Internasional mengumpulkan data dalam jumlah besar yang sekarang berbagi kembali dengan Komunitas CIS melalui Power BI. Data ini dapat digunakan untuk mendukung keputusan strategis dan programatik. Analis Data Alejandra Neyra Dewan Manajer CRM Sekolah Internasional Alejandra Neyra adalah Analis Data dan Manajer CRM di Dewan Sekolah Internasional. Alejandra bertanggung jawab untuk menyediakan analisis dan pelaporan data yang relevan di seluruh organisasi yang menerapkan teknik kuantitatif dan kualitatif yang berbeda. Dia juga menerapkan inisiatif untuk mendorong sekolah menggunakan data untuk pengambilan keputusan. Pengalaman sebelumnya juga termasuk bekerja sebagai Analis Data untuk Sekolah Amerika Doha dan sebagai Asisten Program untuk Departemen Keuangan A.S., Kantor Bantuan Teknis. Alejandra memiliki gelar Master di bidang Ekonomi Pembangunan Internasional dari Hochschule fur Technik dan Wirtschaft (Universitas Sains Terapan untuk Teknologi dan Ekonomi), Jerman, dan gelar Sarjana Ekonomi dari Mount Holyoke College, AS. Memanfaatkan data lapangan dari pekerja konstruksi digital yang terhubung Sesi ini akan menyoroti bagaimana Skanska UK memanfaatkan dan memanfaatkan data lapangan dari pekerja konstruksi digital kami yang terhubung untuk memungkinkan pengambilan keputusan yang cerdas di semua tingkat di perusahaan. Kami akan menunjukkan bagaimana pekerja konstruksi menggunakan perangkat keras yang mudah dipakai dan Perangkat mobile untuk menghasilkan, mengumpulkan dan menerima data. Kami kemudian akan menunjukkan bagaimana data lapangan diproses dan divisualisasikan untuk memberi wawasan guna memungkinkan pengambilan keputusan yang cerdas di semua tingkat perusahaan. Bagaimana data lapangan menciptakan tempat kerja yang lebih ramping, lebih hijau dan lebih aman. Bagaimana pekerja yang terhubung memungkinkan informasi yang tepat, kepada orang yang tepat, pada saat yang tepat. Contoh visualisasi data lapangan. Henrik Faumllldin Spesialis Data Analytics, Teknik Digital Skanska Inggris Saya adalah anggota inti dari tim Teknik Digital Pusat di Skanska UK. Saya memiliki pengalaman lebih dari 15 tahun di bidang Business Improvement and Data Analytics dan memiliki pemahaman yang luas tentang teknologi Business Intelligence dan aplikasinya. Saya memimpin pengembangan dan implementasi Analytics mendukung proses Digital Engineering di Skanska UK. Saya terutama bertanggung jawab untuk menerapkan teknologi dan proses Digital Engineering baru untuk mendukung kegiatan bisnis dan konstruksi Skanska UK. Di tahun-tahun mendatang, data yang dihasilkan oleh sensor dan komunikasi M2M di tepinya, pada akhirnya akan mengisi sistem penyimpanan pusat data hampir di setiap industri karena kemajuan teknologi dan kasus penggunaan membuktikan manfaat terukur. Monitor kesehatan pribadi melacak kebugaran Anda. Tempat sampah memantau kepenuhan mereka. Mesin industri memprediksi kegagalan. Its Internet Things (IoT). Dan, yang jelas, lebih banyak hal offline yang online, berpindah dari keterkaitan untuk terhubung ke IoT. Tetapi sebagai produsen produk atau penyedia layanan, bagaimana Anda membuka nilai dari hal-hal yang terhubung ini dan transisi dari eksperimen sains ke inisiatif yang berbeda Bergabunglah dengan kami untuk mengetahui bagaimana HPE Vertica dapat memungkinkan Anda mengelola data volume yang belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya dengan sangat cepat dalam skala ekstrim. Untuk memenuhi berbagai jenis penggunaan analisis, seperti pemantauan kondisi, perawatan prediktif, metering cerdas, dan banyak lagi. Chris Selland Wakil Presiden Aliansi Seluruh Dunia, OEM UKM HPE Software Chris Selland adalah Wakil Presiden Pengembangan Bisnis untuk Perangkat Lunak HPE, Platform Data Besar. Dalam peran ini, dia memimpin aliansi strategis global untuk Platform Data Besar HPE, termasuk kemitraan HPE Vertica, HPE IDOL dan Big Data Ecosystem. Chris memiliki pengalaman lebih dari 20 tahun dalam mendorong inisiatif pasar yang inovatif, dan memimpin aliansi strategis dan pengembangan perusahaan untuk bisnis dengan pertumbuhan teknologi tinggi. Sebelumnya, Chris adalah VP Marketing untuk HP Vertica, di mana dia memimpin peluncuran inisiatif utama seperti platform HP Haven, Konferensi Data Big HP, dan Dewan Penasihat Pelanggan HP Vertica. Sebelum HPE, Chris adalah VP Senior Corporate Development untuk Hale Global, perusahaan holding teknologi yang berfokus pada perolehan dan operasi situasi khusus. Sebelumnya dalam karirnya, dia adalah VP Pengembangan Bisnis di SoundBite Communications, VP Riset CRM dan Internet di Yankee Group, dan pendiri Mitra Reservoir. Ia menerima gelar sarjana dalam riset operasi dan teknik industri dari Cornell University dan master administrasi bisnis dalam bisnis internasional dan ekonomi dari New York University Stern School of Business. Tidak ada masa depan di masa lalu. - Sebuah Cerita Ilmu Data Bertahun-tahun kita telah menulis program yang memecahkan masalah. Tapi hari ini kita menulis program yang belajar memecahkan masalah. Jadi siapa yang butuh ilmuwan data Perbedaan antara apa yang bisa kita lakukan hari ini dan apa yang dilakukan Pentingnya melakukan sesuatu Perbedaan antara berbicara - dan pengiriman Bagaimana mengatasi masalah nyata Wilhelm Landerholm Numerati atau versi lama ilmuwan data Antrian AB Wilhelm adalah Pendiri Antrian AB 2003. Dia adalah pemilik sebagian EcoGuard amp dan Founding partner untuk Commuter ComputingThe Train Brain. Wilhelm sangat menyukai model yang membuat perbedaan dalam kehidupan masyarakat, model yang bekerja secara real time, dan dapat mengumpulkan, menganalisis dan menarik kesimpulan secara otomatis. Teknologi dalam praktek - Putaran 2 Selama sesi 30 menit ini, Anda akan berkesempatan untuk meninjau dan menguji beberapa teknologi terbaru di bidang Analytics, Ilmu Data dan Pengelolaan Data. Demonstrasi akan berlangsung di Area Pameran. Anda dapat memilih langsung di tempat teknologi mana yang ingin Anda pelajari lebih lanjut atau Anda dapat memilih dari daftar solusi dan penyedia layanan menggunakan aplikasi acara. Dalam acara aplikasi Anda juga dapat mempelajari lebih lanjut tentang teknologi dan layanan yang diwakili sebelum acara, mengajukan pertanyaan atau memesan pertemuan dengan perwakilan saat ini. Kopi dan jaringan - Pertemuan Peer-to-Peer Belajar untuk meyakinkan: Kecerdasan Buatan untuk pengumpulan hutang Belajar dari interaksi adalah konsep kunci yang mendasari sebagian besar teori tentang kecerdasan. Reinforcement Learning (RL) mempelajari proses interaktif yang memungkinkan kita bertahan di lingkungan yang dinamis dan mendapat kembali minat dalam beberapa tahun terakhir karena munculnya arsitektur dalam yang dapat mencapai kinerja manusia dalam memecahkan masalah yang kompleks. Dalam pembicaraan ini kita akan mengeksplorasi kekuatan belajar RL dan membahas bagaimana agen buatan dapat belajar mendapatkan keuntungan di sektor FinTech saat mencoba bertahan. Al lebih dari sekadar statistik, sebuah pelajaran dari alam. Hati-hati dengan teknologi hypes, tapi jangan takut jika melihat seseorang gagal. Lepaskan binatang penyiram bisnis Anda dengan AI mungkin tidak cukup. Saya suka bekerja di ambang sains dan teknologi. Latar belakang saya ada di Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cognitive Robotics and Computational Neuroscience. Sejak tahun 2014 saya mulai menjelajahi dunia ilmu data dan saat ini saya membuat konsep AI untuk para pemula di FinTech. Seperti Yoshiyuki Sankai dengan indah mengungkapkannya, saya memimpikan teknologi yang membuat orang tersenyum, dan menciptakan dunia masa depan yang belum pernah ada sebelumnya. Mari membentuk masa depan kita bersama Penyederhanaan KPI: Bagaimana KPI yang berkembang dengan baik dapat menambah nilai lebih dan mengurangi kekacauan Sesi ini akan berfokus pada pentingnya pengembangan metrik. Semua upaya telah banyak difokuskan pada aspek teknologi BI namun sedikit yang telah dilakukan untuk memperbaiki KPI. Sesi akan menunjukkan beberapa contoh bagaimana pengembangan KPI dapat memberi nilai tambah pada solusi Bi dalam sebuah organisasi. Jangan pernah melupakan produk akhir yang menjadi keputusan konsumen. KPI yang lebih baik akan mengarah pada dasbor bersih. Tulang depan ke BI adalah KPIInsight yang diikuti dengan pengolahan Muthu telah memiliki karir yang membentang 3 benua, sejumlah industri dan beragam organisasi. Hasratnya untuk menghubungkan Bisnis dengan keunggulan teknologi. Dan realisasinya kekuatan wawasan data telah mendorongnya ke ruang analisis BI dan Data selama 10 tahun terakhir. Sekarang didukung dengan MBA dan pemahaman yang lebih baik tentang apa yang mendorong keputusan bisnis yang dia bantu Tesla mengembangkan kemampuan pengambilan keputusan datanya. Meningkatkan perdagangan ekuitas dengan ilmu data Ekuitas perdagangan untuk institusi besar cukup kompleks dengan banyak broker, tempat, dan algoritma perdagangan yang dapat dipilih. Sesi ini menyajikan bagaimana DNB Asset Management menganalisis sejumlah besar data yang diterima selama dan setelah setiap perdagangan, dan bagaimana ini digunakan untuk mengoptimalkan kinerja perdagangan. Semua broker mengklaim memiliki algoritma terbaik, gunakan data Anda untuk mencari tahu sendiri. Terkadang data yang paling menarik adalah yang tidak ada. Data keuangan sangat bising, untuk melihat pola menarik kebisingan ini harus ditangani dengan baik. Morten Bunes Gustavsen Kepala strategi kuantitatif DNB Asset Management Morten telah bekerja dengan strategi kuantitatif di DNB sejak tahun 2007. Ini mencakup strategi kuantitatif untuk pengelolaan portofolio ekuitas global dan perdagangan ekuitas global. Sebelum DNB, dia bekerja di Norsk Hydro dengan perdagangan energi dan memperkirakan nilai ladang minyak. Morten memiliki M.Sc. Dalam matematika terapan dari Universitas Ilmu Pengetahuan dan Teknologi Norwegia (NTNU). Bagaimana Artificial Intelligence akan mengubah bisnis Anda Dahulu kala saya adalah perenang yang baik. Saya adalah seorang juara muda dalam gaya berenang payudara. Setelah jeda 27 tahun, ketika saya mendaftarkan diri di Kejuaraan Master Nasional Swedia, saya tidak melihat ada kesempatan untuk bersaing dengan peserta dalam kondisi yang lebih baik. Itulah sebabnya saya beralih ke strategi samudra biru, untuk menemukan cara agar kompetisi tidak relevan. Dengan medali emas dan perak untuk dibawa pulang, strategi samudra biru saya ternyata menjadi pemenang. Strategi samudera biru adalah pola pikir strategis. Ini menantang prinsip strategi bersaing dan menyerukan pergeseran fokus dari persaingan untuk menciptakan ruang pasar baru dan karenanya membuat persaingan tidak relevan. Penerapan strategi samudra biru menghasilkan konsep pemenang sastra - saya berenang di samudra biru dan saya memenangkan emas Bagaimana melakukan analisis pasar bisnis dan menemukan Sweet Spot di atasnya Bagaimana menerapkan analisis SWOT Cara menggunakan analisis ini untuk dibuat Samudra biru Anda sendiri, ruang pasar yang tidak terbantahkan yang menguntungkan, membuat persaingan tidak relevan Manajer Pengembangan Mina Bostroumlm Nakicenovic FIS Front Arena Mina saat ini bekerja sebagai manajer pengembangan, mengembangkan sistem perdagangan keuangan berkinerja tinggi di FIS Front Arena. Dia sangat bergairah dengan pengembangan perangkat lunak tangkas. Dengan ketekunan Serbia dan kepraktisan Swedia, Mina mencapai untuk menemukan solusi arsitektur yang ringan dan lincah. Mina adalah pembicara reguler pada konferensi pengembangan perangkat lunak tangkas Eropa. Dia memegang gelar Ph Lic di bidang Ilmu Komputer. Ketua Penutup Henrik Gothberg memiliki latar belakang yang luas di bidang Sales, Marketing, Product Life Cycle Management and Analytics. Dia telah bekerja dalam kapasitas konsultan Manajemen dan Perubahan untuk Telco, Utilitas, Perbankan, Manajemen Fasilitas, Pharma dan MedTec, Dia bekerja di industri TI sebagai Sales Executive untuk Anlytical CRM Solultions, dan juga Brand Manager, CRM dan DWH Manager Di Industri Medtec. Henrik bergabung dengan Vattenfall pada tahun 2012 dalam perannya sebagai Direktur BI dan Lead Management untuk Vattenfall B2B Retail Operation. Dalam peran ini, dia telah mendorong dan menjadi co-driver untuk beberapa inisiatif terhadap Digitalisasi termasuk melakukan operasi Penjualan dan Pemasaran Nordik B2B ke awan dan menerapkan Gudang Data baru untuk Distribusi BU, Layanan Pelanggan dan Ritel (B2C B2B). Pada tahun 2015 Henrik telah mendukung fungsi Keuangan untuk mengambil topik Managing Information sebagai Strategic Asset untuk mendukung keseluruhan tujuan Vattenfall dalam mempercepat dan menyederhanakan digitalisasi, meningkatkan kedewasaan di bidang Analytics dan mendorong Manajemen Kinerja Kelas Dunia. Dari bulan Juli 2015 dia melakukan ini dari peran barunya Director Group Financial Systems. Henrik telah menjadi pembicara penting beberapa kali tahun terakhir mengenai topik pembuatan Visi Operasional untuk Digitalisasi dan Analisis pada beberapa konferensi. IKEA telah melakukan perjalanan Informasi Bisnis untuk meningkatkan nilai bisnis data kami dan sekarang akan memasuki fase menciptakan nilai bisnis setinggi mungkin bagi pengambil keputusan kami. Pusat Kompetensi Analisis Bisnis adalah bagian alami dari budaya kinerja IKEAs, menciptakan fokus yang jelas untuk beralih dari data ke keputusan berbasis fakta. Kita hanya di awal masa depan yang gemilang. Kami berdiri di depan kemungkinan tak terbatas untuk lebih memahami dunia kita saat ini dan membentuk masa depan dengan menciptakan kehidupan sehari-hari yang lebih baik bagi banyak orang. Bisnis yang hebat menjadi kenyataan ketika nilai, budaya, pengalaman dan analisis bisnis saling terkait Data, informasi, analisis atau keputusan tidak akan pernah ada dalam isolasi, semuanya merupakan bagian dari gambaran yang lebih besar Bagi IKEA, Business Analytics Competence Center akan menciptakan fondasi yang lebih baik. Bisnis besok Giovanni Leoni memiliki pengalaman di berbagai bisnis, membawa wawasan tentang bagaimana memberikan nilai terbaik di lingkungan mulai dari solusi SaaS untuk memasok rantai dan ritel di lingkungan global. Fokus utama adalah pada menciptakan bisnis yang lebih baik, memperbaiki proses dan mempromosikan keputusan berbasis fakta sebagai enabler utama untuk pertumbuhan. Memimpin kedua orang dan bisnis melalui proses yang lebih efisien dan selalu menggunakan analisis bisnis yang relevan untuk memberikan hasil bisnis. Dalam konteks IKEA yang bergerak menuju perusahaan yang lebih berorientasi data, Giovanni saat ini memimpin proses perubahan di IKEA Range Supply (bagian dari Inter IKEA Group) untuk menciptakan Business Analytics Competence Center. Membuat analisis bisnis merupakan bagian alami dari semua keputusan bukanlah hal yang dapat dilakukan oleh individu dan dia mendorong proses perubahan ke depan bersama dengan tim hebat orang-orang yang pada akhirnya memberikan prasyarat yang lebih baik bagi rekan-rekan IKEA untuk membuat berbasis fakta. Keputusan sebagian dari mereka sehari-hari. Apakah Analytics harus membuat komplek yang kompleks, mengapa tidak bisa kompleks dibuat sederhana Dalam dunia sekarang ini, pemahaman tentang apa yang terjadi bukanlah masalah memiliki akses ke lebih banyak data. Kita memiliki lebih dari yang bisa kita mengerti. Dan jumlah data hanya dipercepat. Bagaimana kita memanfaatkan kekuatan itu Sebagian besar paket Analytics cenderung membuat kompleks menjadi lebih kompleks. Zoined bekerja secara ketat dengan data dari sektor ritel dan perhotelan, namun prinsip panduan membuat kompleks yang sederhana, umumnya berlaku. Bergabunglah dengan kami untuk mempelajari bagaimana Vertica memungkinkan kami menggabungkan dan mengkorelasikan sejumlah besar data dari berbagai sumber data yang berbeda dan memvisualisasikan hasilnya dengan cara yang ramah pengguna. Vertica memungkinkan kita memberikan wawasan yang dapat ditindaklanjuti kepada staf operasional secara real-time. Styrbjorn Torbacke adalah Managing Director Zoined Oy, mitra Vertica OEM, yang memasok SaaS Retail and Hospitality Analytics. Torbacke bergabung dengan Zoined sebagai Sales Director 2 tahun yang lalu dan telah berperan dalam internasionalisasi dan pembangunan aliansi global untuk perusahaan. Dengan karir yang mencakup lebih dari 3 dekade, Styrbjorn telah mengerjakan line-IT, Sales, Marketing, serta manajemen umum. Sebelum bergabung dengan Zoined, Mr. Torbacke telah memegang berbagai posisi manajemen senior di perusahaan global seperti Mondelez, Xerox, ScanSource dan Elo dan juga menjabat sebagai CEO beberapa perusahaan kecil yang berbasis di Nordics. Styrbjorn memegang gelar MSc dalam bidang Information Management dan Bisnis Internasional dari Stockholm School of Economics. Mengurangi BI Gap menggunakan Big Data Pada sesi ini kami akan melanjutkan evolusi dari BI ke Prospective Analytics. Kami juga akan melihat bagaimana mengurangi celah informasi menggunakan alat Big Data baru Proses informasi mulai online Informasi terbaru adalah, semakin banyak nilai yang dapat Anda dapatkan darinya Perkenalkan pipa informasi dan Analytics online Federico telah bekerja di Bisnis informasi selama 15 tahun terakhir, dan khususnya di bidang keuangan pada 10. Dia memimpin data Big dan proyek ilmu data dan mengintegrasikannya dengan pengembangan Data warehouse aktual dengan menggunakan berbagai alat. Dia juga merancang dan benar-benar mengkoordinasikan program Big Data and Analytics di Universidad de Palermo. Bagian yang hilang dari Perusahaan Data Big teka-teki Anda mengumpulkan, menyimpan lebih banyak dan lebih banyak data yang memberi kita wawasan bagus tentang bisnis kita, namun tanpa potongan terakhir, teka-teki itu tidak akan lengkap. Bagian ini adalah informasi eksternal yang tidak tercipta dalam organisasi. Kami akan melihat keseluruhan alur kerja tentang bagaimana Anda menemukan permata tersembunyi di data Anda menggunakan data awan Qlik. Data eksternal dapat memperkaya dan memberi makna pada data internal Adopsi pengguna yang tinggi sangat penting untuk ROI yang baik. Ini menuntut kemudahan penggunaan saat menanamkan wawasan eksternal ke data Anda sendiri. Analisis layanan mandiri tidak hanya tentang membuat bagan. Markus has been in the BIAnalytics industry since 1996. Started when BI was more often associated with competitive information than analytics. Has held various technical and semi-technical roles at companies such as BOMicrosoftSAS before leading the Nordic PreSales (Product Expertise) team since 2010 for Qlik. Markus has hands-on experience from the field from everything from integration tools and development to front-end mobile development. Short description would be a geek dressed for business. Accelerating business transformation through data analytics at Hoist Finance The session will demonstrate how Hoist Finance leverages data analytics to improve their performance and efficiency in the day-to-day business, including: Setting the stage for data and BI-driven business process engineering and value creation the Hoist transformation How to manage and run self-service analytics in a global organisation with increasing user demands and regulations The importance of speed and agility Lessons learned after 18 months and vision for the future ahead From aggregation to orchestration - or on how to become a large-scale data innovator The times when data science teams could focus only on building and optimizing models is long past. Across sectors, data science has become a critical component of corporate strategy, and an increasing number of business decisions are being informed (and, in some cases, automatically taken) by its fruits. The major challenge is thus no longer simply building the right models but rather on companies ability to scale: scale their infrastructure, scale their data prototypes, scale the number of prototypes deployed to production, and, above all else, to scale the their people, both in terms of numbers and in terms of capabilities. Necessary criteria for building a sustainable data culture and practice Major pitfalls to be avoided when attempting to scale data and analytics practices Use cases from successful deployment of advanced analytics at scale Kurt Muehmel is Vice President for the EMEA region at Dataiku, the developer of Dataiku DSS, a collaborative platform for enterprise analytics development and deployment. As one of the early employees of Dataiku, Kurt spearheaded Dataikus international expansion and was at the forefront of their entry into the US market in 2015 and its growth in 2016. Having worked with dozens of clients of all sizes and across a multitude of sectors, Kurt has developed a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities for companies looking to increase the value that they are deriving from their data and to increase the capabilities of the growing teams of data scientists, engineers, and analysts. Kurt brings a wide-ranging perspective to these subjects, having worked previously as a Big Four strategy consultant, a consultant to the United Nations, and a professional treasure hunt creator. Born and raised in the USA, Kurt has lived in France for the last 12 years. How to Make your Data Scientists Impactful, Efficient, and Happy Schibsted Media Group is undergoing a transformation from a traditional media company to a fully digital company powered by cutting-edge technology and data. Data science capability across the group is a key enabler for this transformation and has been a high priority since the beginning. Starting from zero some years ago with a single centralized team under the strategy department, the data and analytics organization of today contains teams dedicated to, e.g. personalization, user modeling, user insights, and natural language and image processing. This session will provide some insights from this journey from an operational perspective with an emphasis on data science and engineering. How can you enable data science teams and their members to be impactful and efficient during periods of high growth and uncertainty How do you balance short-term organizational expectations and needs with long-term strategic priorities from a team perspective Is it possible to build scalable data products and still provide business value along the way Carl joined Schibsted in early 2014 as one of the first members of a central Data Science team tasked to enable and fuel the companys digital transformation. He has since then been working across different parts of the growing product and technology organization, most recently with user modeling for targeted advertising, and is currently part of a team responsible for Natural Language and Image Processing. Carl has a background in the automotive industry working with data science and advanced data analytics for intelligent transport systems and services. He has a research background in fault diagnosis and supervision and holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and M.Sc. in Engineering Physics. Data Science Without a Data Scientist: Why Automation is Awesome A real-life example of how data scientists can make themselves redundant, by automating the entire chain from receiving data from an external source all the way to a nice visualisation. No fancy technologies involved. Mundane tasks take time amp effort you dont want to spend on them. You can often automate complex processes using basic tools. Multiple wins: save time amp effort, make others less dependent on the data sientist, prevent human errors. Senior data scientist for Candy Crush franchise. Oversaw the launch of Candy Crush Soda and Candy Crush Jelly. Professional interests range from rational thinking and human behaviour, to data visualisation and all things automation. Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so Modern PC games together with leaps big data infrastructure makes it possible to track every detail of in-game user behavior. But collecting useful data requires well defined questions about soft values. In this session we discuss the process of defining those questions which is difficult (sometimes painful) for a game designer who usually works with concepts like fun, immersive and beautiful. If the product has a goal, we can measure if the goal has been reached. Tying measurements to questions, targets and actions is paramount. How can a data scientist with little knowledge of the product support a product owner with no quantitative background Magnus holds an MSc in financial mathematics and has worked five years within financial services with consumer loans creating models for credit decisions. Magnus switch to the gaming industry in 2015 highlighted the fact that the value of working quantitatively is sometimes not obvious and that filling a desire to know is not the same thing as providing value. At Paradox Interactive Magnus has been working across the organization to find and explain the value in the large amounts of data that is generated by a company that lives only in the digital world. Technology in practice - Round 2 Successfully running experiments required more than just a working experiment framework. I talk about how Pinterest went from merely having the ability to run experiments to developing dozens of individuals advocating for experimentation and for AB testing best practices. You need to sell others on the reasons to run AB tests Use checklists to avoid common mistakes in experimentation tomate tools to make doing the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard Andrea Burbank led AB testing at Pinterest for over three years. The AB testing program at Pinterest now includes over fifty engineers trained in experimentation and embedded into product teams. Prior to Pinterest, she worked as a software engineer at Bing and as a natural language scientist on ranking and relevance at Powerset, a semantic search engine acquired by Microsoft in 2008. She has a BS in physics and a BA in linguistics from Stanford University. How a data-driven approach to condition monitoring is improving the Service business at Siemens Wind Power AS. Over the last two years, the condition monitoring system at Siemens Wind Power AS has transitioned from a purely physics based monitoring system to a mixed physics based and data-driven system. By utilizing data fusion and machine learning to detect and classify defects and abnormalities in data, the system is now able detect damages at a stage where a human expert is challenged to verify the finding. This has significantly improved the performance and stability of the system and allowed the company to develop new digital products. Challenges in incorporating data science in a large company not born in the digital era. Why a data-approach is a good supplementreplacement for a purely physics based system. How can a traditional service business benefit from data science and machine learning Karsten Fyhn Advisory Key Expert in Data Science, Siemens Wind Power AS Karsten Fyhn has been with Siemens Wind Power AS since 2013, working as part of a team that monitors the entire fleet of Siemens wind turbines and develops the turbine monitoring systems of tomorrow. He is involved in testing and defining new monitoring systems and data governance in terms of both condition monitoring data and master data about the turbines. He is a core architect and developer behind the design and implementation of the current advanced analytics platform, Pythia, which is a core tool for condition monitoring at Siemens Wind Power. The 2008 world crisis increased the pressure for information tracking, especially in banking and insurance sectors which led to many new rules, laws and reporting that must be complied. Information structures within any organization have to be aligned and consistent in order to fulfil these rules. Alignment can be faster achieved by using a common information reference for the whole organization. In order to create it, industrial standards represents a good basis. However, many challenges come along. What is the balance between the straight use of the standard and adapting it to the specific organization How to handle the old information structures and what is a good pace for transformation Should the industrial model be applied to any single IT-system at the organization Ruth Sommar has more than 30 years of experience in optimization, Operations Management and Enterprise Architecture being PhD in Enterprise Architecture. Ruth has helped many companies to improve their architectural areas: business processes, information, rules, etc. by a holistic view that permits usably integrate them. Nowadays Ruth is responsible at Folksam of managing, govern and use a common information model based on Insurance Information Warehouse (IIW) standard model that is the ground for system development, integration and BI and thus, enabling information tracking. Keeping Ragulations In Mind When Working With Personally Identifiable Data By making security and privacy By Design you will achieve a remarkable improvement in terms of data quality, eliminating the risk of late findings and not being compliant. By Design concept is a maturity sign in the software development process. But it is, by nature, a very traditional and a conservative philosophy that contradicts agile in some aspects despite of this it has been embraced by agile approaches, in a very interesting fashion, as an answer to external requirements. Why security-privacy By Design and why now What are challenges and pitfalls Where in the process is the right time to bring the By Design on Anwar has more than 16 years of experience in data management and designing data platforms and interfaces in telecom and gaming industries. His speciality is decoding business and other requirements into data requirements and sustainable data design. Last two years Anwar has been leading Data Governance work at NetEnt. Empower any decision-maker in the enterprise Self-Service Data Preparation Talking about how Klarna is organized to support efficient data science and how the backend design has played a big role both for automation and to create clear division of responsibilities between data engineers and data scientists. How do you create an environment with short time to market for machine learning models Why is it important How differences in analytics and live environments is a great challenge in data science Having one code base for features that is the same for analytics and live is a big step forward.I will show how it can be enabled by creating a common event based data model How Data Scientists are empowered by owning feature code base Originally MSc in subatomic physics from KTH in Stockholm, Erik has spent the last decade working in statistics. Seven years ago, he joined Klarna as an intern where he was the first to apply machine learning in credit underwriting. He is now a Senior Data Scientist in Klarnas Data Science Core team developing machine learning models and methods for online credit and fraud assessment. In 2014-2015, he initiated and worked on the redesign Klarnas backend system for credit underwriting to allow for better data science support. He has also worked on design and implementation of fraud detection systems. During his time at Klarna, the company has grown from 200 to 1400 employees and entered multiple new markets like the UK and the US. This journey has given him perspective on how organizational structure and data structure can empower or disempower data science.Outside of data science, he enjoys swimming,music production, piano playing and highly speculative discussions about the future of almost anything. How to boost your business by agile and real-time data This session is about the value add of linking various data sources to a solid fundament. How does master data bring context to Big Data and IoT generated data in a connected world with ever increasing expectations and demands and how to address the challenge on flat foot. Tackling the fuss of IoT and Big Data Get the ball rolling and level expectations Get the ball rolling and keep it simple Next generation of MDM (MDM is soon a commodity) For more than 20 years, Jesper Leth has been working with a wide range of IT activities, covering management, project management, coordination and more. Jespers goal always is to unfold business value, mainly by use of data, i.e. bridging data from new applications into BI applications, curving new data angles. This level of broad insight has directed Jesper into the IoT space, now working with Stibo Systems customers and helping them to find paths in linking IoT data and Master Data, which uncovers an enormous field of opportunities. Cognitive Analytics as a seedbed of innovation The rising need for custom machine learning algorithms that scale to large data sizes on distributed runtime platforms pose significant productivity challenges to data scientists. Towards this end, I will present the philosophy and the architecture behind Apache SystemML. It enables declarative machine learning by letting data scientists specify their analytics using higher-level linear algebraic and mathematical constructs. These analytics scripts are transparently compiled into efficient execution plans running on modern distributed data-parallel frameworks, such as Apache Spark, Apache Hadoop, and Apache Flink. Domain-specific custom analytics: through a ML language vs. a library of pre-canned implementations High-productivity for data scientists: through specification of what needs to be done insteadof how it needs to be done Write-once- run-everywhere: with support for single-node, in-memory, and distributed computation platforms Automatic optimization and parallelization: through cost-based execution plans based on data, computation, and system characteristics Shirish Tatikonda is a Principal Data Engineer at Target Corp. working on big data problems in the Retail domain. Previously, he was a Research Staff Member at IBM Research Almaden Research Center. His work is focused on building scalable and efficient data processing systems and services for analyzing and managing large volumes of data. Shirish is a committer and PMC member for the SystemML project in the Apache Software Foundation. He has published more than 25 articles in top international journals and peer-reviewed conferences. He holds multiple granted and pending USPTO patents. Shirish received his hD degree from The Ohio State University in 2010. Technology in practice - Round 2 What incentive do companies have to invest in large and complex Big Data architectures where installation, management and infrastructure costs detract from the ROI Many sectors like energy, manufacturing, automotive, financial, etc. demand immediate responses to optimise their businesses and deliver on services promised. Analysing data streams in real-time becomes a requirement for companies to become successful with IoT projects, as data generated moves at high velocity, often at scale. Already, real-time is no longer fast enough, as companies are looking to achieve predictive insights. How you can combine your streaming analytics, big data storage and computations to create value for your clients. How the combination of the previous ones can help you achieve ROI With a background in software engineering and product management and a passion for the intersection between business and technology, Jeremy has been involved in the big data space, both in the utilities industry developing predictive models for customer activity and more recently financial services with Valo, a real-time streaming analytics engine. Teradata Teradata helps companies get more value from data than any other company. Our big data analytic solutions and team of experts can help your company gain a sustainable competitive advantage with data. Teradata helps organizations leverage all of their data so they can know more about their customers and business and do more of whats really important. With more than 10,000 professionals in 43 countries, Teradata serves top companies across consumer goods, financial services, healthcare, automotive, communications, travel, hospitality, and more. A future-focused company, Teradata is recognized by media and industry analysts for technological excellence, sustainability, ethics, and business value. Visitteradata.se for more info. Tableau Tableau helps people see and understand data. Tableau helps anyone quickly analyse, visualise and share information. More than 35,000 customers get rapid results with Tableau in the office and on-the-go. And tens of thousands of people use Tableau Public to share data in their blogs and websites. See how Tableau can help you by downloading a free trial at tableautrial. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Hewlett Packard Enterprise is an industry leading technology company that enables customers to go further, faster. With the industrys most comprehensive portfolio, spanning the cloud to the data center to workplace applications, our technology and services help customers around the world make IT more efficient, more productive and more secure. For more information, visit hpe Solita is a digital business consulting and services company, guiding companies in the digitalizing world. We help our customers succeed and create new businesses and services by combining business processes, content and technology in a revolutionary way. We work with leading companies and public sector organizations, providing services from strategies and design to digital service development, analytics, information management, integrations and cloud and continuous services. Solita, founded in 1996, has grown profitably every year and we now employ over 500 digital business professionals in Helsinki, Tampere and Oulu in Finland and in Stockholm in Sweden. Our turnover in 2015 was 49,7 M. For more info visit solita.fien Dynamo Analytics is an entrepreneurial actuarial, analytics and software consultancy with deep expertise in building, validating and industrialising statistical and technical processes and predictive models. We have invested heavily in Psicle, our advanced enterprise-wide software platform in which to build, operate and report on these data processes and models - recently shortlisted for Best Analytics Solution by InsuranceERM. Through a combination of our expertise and software, we help businesses increase their efficiency and derive greater insight from their data.For more info visit dyna-mo Hortonworks Hortonworks (NASDAQ: HDP) is the leading contributor to and provider of Apache Hadoop for the enterprise, and our mission is to establish Hadoop as the foundational technology of the modern enterprise data architecture. Our solution, the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). is an enterprise-grade data management platform that enables a centralized architecture for running batch, interactive and real-time applications simultaneously across a shared dataset. HDP is built on Apache Hadoop. powered by YARN. and supported by a comprehensive set of capabilities that address the core requirements of security, operations and data governance. Visit hortonworks for more info. Knowit Knowit Decision is your best friend when it comes to Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Analysis and Visualization. We offer a broad knowledge within our field of expertise, years of experience and certified consultants all so that you can run your business based on the best information available. Within the entire Knowit orginization we are more than 1800 specialists in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Estonia and Russia. Together with our clients, we operate at the intersection between strategy, creativity and technology. Visit knowit.se for more info. Dataiku Dataiku develops Dataiku Data Science Studio, the unique advanced analytics software solution that enables companies to build and deliver their own data products more efficiently. Thanks to a collaborative and team-based user interface for data scientists and beginner analysts, to a unified framework for both development and deployment of data projects, and to immediate access to all the features and tools required to design data products from scratch, users can easily apply machine learning and data science techniques to all types, sizes, and formats of raw data to build and deploy predictive data flows. More than 100 customers in industries ranging from e-commerce, to industrial factories, to finance, to insurance, to healthcare, and pharmaceuticals use Dataiku DSS on a daily basis to collaboratively build predictive dataflows to detect fraud, reduce churn, optimize internal logistics, predict future maintenance issues, and more. Dataiku has offices in Paris, New York, London and San Francisco. Visit dataiku for more info. Alteryx Alteryx, Inc. is the leader in self-service data analytics. Alteryx Analytics provides analysts the unique ability to easily prep, blend, and analyze all of their data using a repeatable workflow, then deploy and share analytics at scale for deeper insights in hours, not weeks. Analysts love the Alteryx Analytics platform because they can connect to and cleanse data from data warehouses, cloud applications, spreadsheets, and other sources, easily join this data together, then perform analytics predictive, statistical, and spatial using the same intuitive user interface, without writing any code. Thousands of companies and data analysts worldwide rely on Alteryx daily. Visit alteryx for more info. Acando Acando is a consulting company whose business concept is, in partnership with its customers, to create business value by enhancing and streamlining processes, organisations and digital solutions.We stand out due to our ability to combine skills in strategy and business operations with sound technical expertise and deep understanding of how organisations function. Acando has deep experience from generating business value out of information, no matter its volume, complexity or pace. Visit acando.se for more info. Industry Leadership amp Expertise Our leadership in data and analytics recruitment is widely recognised - from some of the biggest, most demanding clients, who are revolutionising the way data is collected and used, through to disruptive start-ups. For the past 10 years, our ability to find them the right analyst has been unmatched. We39re the global leader in data and analytics recruitment We believe that recruitment goes beyond simply placing people in jobs it involves cultivating a growing global community. That39s why we offer a truly holistic service that includes support and advice on how to create teams, through to interview process structure. We truly believe in finding the best fit for every company. Our reach extends throughout the largest data and analytics markets in the UK, Europe and America. Many other recruitment companies will dabble in these markets, but none have our depth of experience or expertise as a single touch point, no matter where you are in the world. Scandinavian high-end software consultancy that offer high-end IT consulting services through approximately 400 experienced consultants, serving 150-200 customers from local offices in Oslo, Stockholm, Bergen, Malmo, Stavanger and Trondheim. Our services include Business Intelligence, Internet of Things, Cloud Services, Architecture, Development, Application Management, Systems Integration, Project Management and Testing. Within Business Intelligence Webstep work across the entire range of services delivered, including independent cross platform expert skills in the field of analysis, counseling and development of BI-, DataWareHouse-, Information Management- and Big Data solutions Visit webstep.se for more info. Cloudera delivers the modern platform for data management and analytics. The worlds leading organizations trust Cloudera to help solve their most challenging business problems with Cloudera Enterprise, the fastest, easiest, and most secure data platform built on Apache Hadoop and the latest open source technologies. Our customers can efficiently capture, store, process and analyze vast amounts of data, empowering them to use advanced analytics to drive business decisions quickly, flexibly, and at lower cost than has been possible before. To ensure our customers are successful, we offer comprehensive support, training, and professional services. Visit cloudera for more info. Talend (NASDAQ: TLND) is a next generation leader in cloud and big data integration software that helps companies become data driven by making data more accessible, improving its quality and quickly moving data where its needed for real-time decision making. By simplifying big data through these steps, Talend enables companies to act with insight based on accurate, real-time information about their business, customers, and industry. Talends innovative open-source solutions quickly and efficiently collect, prepare and combine data from a wide variety of sources allowing companies to optimize it for virtually any aspect of their business. Talend is headquartered in Redwood City, CA. For more information, please visit talend and follow us on Twitter: Talend. Valo Valo combines a real-time computation engine with big data storage, all within a simple to use platform. Designed to solve complex data analytics problems, Valo has in-built analytical functions and machine learning with the ability to BYO. Its clustered node architecture consists of equal nodes that each have their own computation and storage ability. This means Valo can be easily scaled up and back elastically, as required, while maintaining high throughput and low latency. As simple as possible but not simpler. Visit valo.io for more info. Bringing the DATA world to SWEDEN It is such a pleasure to see that Data Innovation is becoming a topic of discussion in many organisations and that the interest for the event is getting higher. The 2016 edition of the event was fantastic but now it is time to take it to next level. Our aspiration is to make the summit one of the leading events on this topic globally, and a natural place where new ideas and technology will be presented. The recent interest from international practitioners and technology providers makes us confident that we are on the right track. For the 2017 edition of the summit we are increasing the investment in the event and bringing some new amazing presenters, technology providers and several new features. We are moving the event to a new and spectacular venue and increasing the number of tracks and presentations while providing more time for organic networking and in-depth discussion. The new event app will enable more informative and digital experience and maximize the engagement before and during the event. As in the 2016 edition of the event we will continue with the short 15 min presentation, something that we see now it has been widely adopted by our peers as a new standard for a presentation duration and time management. We are also bringing a new exciting and transparent way to experience the potential of the technology and services presented by the exhibitors on-site. In terms of content the 2016 edition lays down the foundation for data-driven innovation. It brought light to the macro drivers, the challenges, the implications and the solutions. The 2017 edition will bring more practical case studies on how and real examples of putting data innovation into practice. There will be three stages.The Innovation Stage will focus on clear examples of Data Innovation and its impact to the business or society, the Analytics Stage will focus on practical case studies on implementation of analytics and data science capabilities and technology in an organization, and the Data Management stage will focus on Data Management as a foundation for data innovation. It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you all to the 2017 edition of Data Innovation Summit. It is going to be bigger, more educational, more practical, more exciting and more engaging. Join us. We have a lot to discuss. PS: As we are now working on the speaker and partner list, if you are working on a data-driven project or technology that will change the way how organisations approach business and decision making, contact us, we would love to hear about it. Whitepapers Climb the mountain of your data In the recent years, the term Big Data shifted from being a hype to one of the main important challenges in global business. Even if the idea of Big Data was first mentioned in an article in 1997, it took 15 years until it got the attention it deserves. Its Data Qualitys World,Were Just Living in It In an age when technology is quite literally a part of everything we do, data rules the day. Consider the number of devices that you interact with on a regular basis. End-to-End Visibility: From Customer Product Lifecycles to the Connected Car In the face of changing economic and operating conditions, automotive manufacturers need insights that can help them take action to outmaneuver challenges from old and new competitors. Changing the game with IoT The study and exploitation of complex systems requires a deeper understanding of a data domain and the ability to capture relationships with other adjacent domains. Take, for example, proteomics, the large-scale study of protein function and interaction. Your Business Will Be Attacked. How Safe is Your Most Valuable Asset Organizations network data are under constant attack.The data can be used by hackers to blackmail or embarrass companies, exploit or sell customer financial information, or steal company trade secrets and intellectual property to sell as their own. Using R and Python in the Teradata Database By Tim The ever-growing field of advanced analytics presents Teradata users with many solutions for their mathematical and statistical tasks. In this field, R and Python are two of the most popular and influential open source scripting languages. 3 Tips for Turning Your Finance Department into a Value-Adding Machine Today, more than ever, finance keeps the heartbeat of an organization. Few responsibilities are more important to a company than providing the CFO a timely, reliable, and unified picture of the monetary health of the business. Lessons from Retailers about Achieving Operational Excellence In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy wrote the immortal lines, Happy families are all alike every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. That sounds good when were talking about marriage, but it doesnt quite work for businesses companies can achieve success in a variety of different ways, as theres no single recipe for success. The IOT is all about data - not about technology for technologys sake According to Martin Willcox, Director of Teradatas Big Data Centre of Excellence, we should ask not what the Industrial Internet and the Internet of Things (loT) mean to the manufacturing and process industries, but what it could mean. Advanced Analytics, The Modern Marketers Best Friend Good marketing starts with in-depth knowledge of who your customers are and what they want. Today, advanced analytics makes this more possible than ever before. Data Science For Banking Insurance Established tech giants and startups alike have been clamoring for a seat at the table in the banking and insurance industries. Adapting to this new reality means using the tools of the newcomers trade - data science, big data, and algorithms - and supplementing those technologies with the unique assets and strengths of traditional banking and insurance companies. The 5 Key Challenges to Building a Successful Data Lab Companies that create their own data labs face a number of obstacles as they ramp-up their operations. Many of these challenges are centered on the need for collaboration between IT and Business profiles. Common mistakes, such as using static data or not thoroughly planning a solutions implementation, can trip up a young data lab before it completes its first proof-of-concept. Using automation software to increase development productivity The answer to The Body Shops data problems wasnt simply a new Data Warehouse it involved designing and building a completely new data management solution. In less than six months, a team of Body Shop developers using WhereScape software worked to plan and develop a newer, more functional system, which would deliver significant business value. Agile Data Warehouse Development: Realising business value quickly at Tesco Using WhereScape RED, Tesco successfully created an integrated reporting application for global promotions in six months, smashing the previous three year development forecast. Using Sensor Data from Trucks to Improve Profitability A leading automotive company needed to combine sensor data with operational data to deliver compelling offers, provide greater customer service and improve profitability. Thinking Big Data - Think PaaS: Leveraging the cloud delivery model for Big Data A Nordic survey on Big Data and Hadoop1 indicated that 92 percent of IT managers of 300 major companies in the Nordics believe that actionable insights acquired from new data analytics would give their company a competitive advantage. More than half (63 percent) saw a need to collect these new types of data, yet many were constrained by traditional databases and systems, ill-equipped to store, process and analyze this data.Freelance Researcher, Book Research Consultant, Fact Checker, Writer, Editor, Proof Reader, Information Scientist, Project Manager, and Search Engine Optimization Advisor Unbelievably, Moya passed away on July 7th, 2012. She was very proud of this website because of all of the people it helped, and it will remain and hopefully help you in some way. Please note: if you find a Moya Mason on a social networking website, it isnt me. For better or worse, I do not have a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook account, a Twitter log-in, nor membership in any other similiar social media platform. I am a professional freelance research consultant, fact checker, proofreader, editor, writer, and project manager . Due to my wide range of experience working on a variety of different projects with a global client base, I have the knowledge and expertise to meet your research needs. I have good communication skills and am able to work independently and meet deadlines. I also have access to an extensive array of research resources. Academic articles and studies, business presentations and plans, book proposals, research for books (fiction, academic, pop culture, mainstream, and non-fiction), value-added research for corporations, contract proposals, government and corporate reports, PowerPoint presentations, speeches, conference papers, and various website content development projects are just some examples of the work I do. Effective research starts with a thorough understanding and appreciation of client needs and being aware of organizational impact . I know that many organizations and businesses have limited resources when it comes to funds and staff, and little time to gather the background research information needed to deliver on projects and meet deadlines. That is where I can help you. I am capable of doing a wide range of research projects, having completed customized research that contributed to the successful implementation of clients plans and strategies. Research is customized to meet the specific needs of a given company, organization, or individual. My extensive experience and training in qualitative research methodologies allows me to offer a broad spectrum of approaches to secure useful information so I can assist individuals and organizations in their quest for success. I see myself as a problem solver . When you need research or related services, please email me at My work has included carrying out research for: various government departments and agencies, national research facilities, authors, publishing houses, charities, technology consultants, educational associations, universities, non-profits, Internet start-ups, marketing companies, journalists, filmakers, librarians, professors, start- ups, law firms, healthcare consultancies, academics, senior consultants, small businesses, policystrategy groups, various corporations, executive and technical recruiters, PhD students, lawyers, insurance companies, think tanks, artists, international associations, software companies, architects, web programmers, and ecommerce websites. I have worked as a book researcher for a wide range of subjects, including national security, parenting, technology and culture, branding, cities, evolution, convergence, luxury shopping, jazz, water issues, women political leaders, inventors, national parks, ethical living, memetics, privacy, endangered animals, real estate, reference librarians, mobile communications, technologies of cooperation, third-world NGOs, unobtrusive evaluation of reference service, virtual communities, the dissemination of government documents, librarians and their reading habits, homeschooling, and qualitative shopping. I have also worked on a few novels. Well-developed research and organizational skills Intensive, reflective, and purposeful development of research strategies Strong interpersonal and communication skills The ability to work independently and to deliver on time Detail oriented and accurate. Proactive and creative. Discreet Extensive experience with Internet searching Experience using a large number of commercial online databases Strategic and substantive editing Accomplished in comprehensive fact checking Excellent proofreading abilities High level of computer and information technology literacy Competent project management expertise Data organization effectiveness Intelligent analysis of data Unique information design creation Efficient online database design and submission Effective online survey design and implementation Practiced in multi-disciplinary consulting Training in and experience with virtual conferencing (long-time member of the private Brainstorms virtual community) Online workshop development and hosting Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) Program accredited by the American Library Association Emphasis on electronic searching using online databases and the Internet, information systems, information retrieval, research analysis, and government documents research. Master of Classical Studies Emphasis on the Evolution of Odysseus. Bachelor of Arts Degree (first-class honors) Emphasis on Classical Studies research, the language of Ancient Greeks, History, and Sociology. Thanks to Moya K. Mason, founder of MKM Reserch, who provided superb research assistance. I couldnt have done this book without all your hard work and constant thoughtful care, Moya. -- Toronto Moya Masons research expertise, extensive knowledge, and exceptional organizational and database skills were key in the development and coordination of a massive research database, information I will use to write my new book. Moya possesses the wonderful ability to be both creative and precise, turning trees (and bushes) into a forest, and bringing intelligent order out of chaos. I hope to work with her again. -- New York I was extremely fortunate to connect with Moya to complete the proof reading, fact checking, editing and general arrangement to ensure a free-flowing read of my book. She also did a fair amount of additional research for me. Moya put her heart, her time and long professional experience into clarifying the message I am seeking to express in this volume. A thank you is but a faint expression of the gratitude I have for Moyas commitment to my work. -- British Columbia, Canada My extraordinarily intelligent and articulate researcher, Moya Mason, kept me on the straight and narrow with timely and thorough material. -- Washington, D.C. The authors would like to express their thanks to Moya Mason for all her help in the process of researching and writing this article. Her editing skills made our work publishable. -- Hong Kong Moya, really good working with you. Thanks for all the creative work you did for me. I like the way everything turned out and will be in touch soon for the next project. -- Westport, CT The author would like to thank Moya Mason for conducting the survey and assisting in the structure and editing of the article. Her help was critical. -- New York We would like to thank Moya K. Mason, who provided research assistance and database management services for this project. Her creative suggestions were much appreciated. -- London I would like to thank my researcher, Moya Mason, for working with me on the research and development of a business plan. Moya also provided excellent insight and additions for my recent book proposal. -- Mexico Moya Mason, researcher extraordinaire, has been intelligent, incisive, meticulous, creative, perfectionistic, and confident. This is our second book together I hope it wont be our last. -- San Francisco Moya K. Mason served as the Research Assistant for all parts of this book. Her ready wit, boundless energy, indefatigable work ethic, and endless patience contributed immeasurably to the completion of this project. -- Toronto New people and a new virtual community need to be acknowledged in regard to the additional material. First and foremost, Moya Mason, bibliographic researcher extraordinaire, has helped me compile an extensive new bibliography that is meant to serve as a guide to further research for those who are setting out to map the vast new social cyberspaces. -- California Our research assistant, Moya Mason, was the very model of hard work, determination, and organization. -- New York The authors offer special thanks to their research assistant, Moya Mason, for her dedicated, selfless, and responsible work in gathering data for this study. -- Toronto Your help was very important to me in the past three years. I know you helped me get my tenure. Thanks for everything. -- New York We would like to acknowledge Moya K. Mason, who provided research and writing assistance for this project. We would recommend her to anyone, but especially to those with English as a second language. -- Hong Kong Thanks for all your great work over the past few years. Over sixty projects later, the quality of your work keeps getting better. Looking forward to many more projects with you. -- New Jersey As with any research project, this study could not have been completed without the assistance of many individuals. We would, first, like to thank our research assistant, Ms. Moya Mason, who provided persistent and patient help. -- New York Your web site shows an incredible array of projects that youve done. Im impressed. I hope we can work together again. Thank you SO much for all your hard work. Im really glad I found you. -- Oregon Moya Mason was brought in as a strategist, researcher, and writer for my start-up. Her professional and innovative approach was invaluable. -- California I want to thank Moya Mason for being a good thinker, creative tinkerer, and editor. -- Philadelphia Thanks again for your examples, expertise, support, and helping me to get started. Thank you for everything, Moya. -- New York Thank You Your professionalism and work ethic are fantastic. I really appreciate the effort and I totally understand the difficulty you must have had in finding this type of information. I will definitely keep you in mind for future work. -- Modesto, CA I will be updating my resume very soon, February 2012 Researcher, June - October 2011 Independence and separatist movements can be found in virtually every country in the world. Some of them are well-known. For instance, the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Corsican movement in France, and the Basques and Catalans in Spain. These are all well-documented and researched. In Columbia, there is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), and in Indonesia there are the Aceh and Maluku movements. In North America, the Cascadia movement calls for an independent nation made up of British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. Even Western Kansas wants to separate, not to mention Quebec, Canada. In Somalia, there are independence movements in Puntland and Somaliland. Relatively quiet African countries like Senegal also have low grade conflict. The Casamance region of the country is home to the Jola people who have a long tradition of peaceful independence demonstrations. My job is to research more than two hundred independence and separatist movements, dividing them into two parts: serious movements (which is most of them), and the not-so-serious ones. I am expected to provide background historical information for each, an account of why a particular movement wants independence, and a snapshot of their web presence. What types of information do these movements have posted on the Internet What are other organizations, countries, and governments saying about them on the Internet Fact Checker and Researcher for a New York Publishing House, May - June 2011 The encyclopedia I am working on is a two-volume A-Z reference work that will examine the dramatic events, domestic and foreign issues, public policies, and everyday concerns that have shaped the evolution and nature of Americas policies on national security, national defence, constitutional rights, and public safety. Interdisciplinary in approach, the articles examine numerous facets of recent history in order to equip readers and researchers with a working and accurate vocabulary to examine present-day issues and understand ongoing discussions of future concern. This is being written primarily for use by students and general readers. I am one of a team of researchers and writers, who are working together to write and fact check the manuscript. We have access to multiple databases and also use the Internet for some of the work. Researcher, Writer, and Editor, May - June 2011 A medical researcher hired me to help him research, write, and edit an extensive paper on the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and how and why it promotes fat loss in adults. Fact Checker and Researcher for an Upcoming Book on Inspirational Quotes, May - June 2011 My job was to validate and correct hundreds of quotes and delete any redundant ones. I had to confirm the language and make sure that the punctuation was accurate. I also had to find a contextsource for each quote. This is an example of a job that takes much longer than you think it will. For example, Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain is a quote that was attributed to Mark Twain. I ran into a lot of problems with that one. Finally, I spoke to one of the archivists working on The Mark Twain Papers project at Berkeley and she told me that it wasnt one of Twains after all. Many of the quotes were very problematic. For this project, I used multiple sources to fact check the quotes, including Google Books. Researcher for an Innovative Engineering Solutions Company, May 2011 I was hired to do some exploratory research on the following three concepts to find out if they have technical merit andor are feasible technologies to pursue: using social marketing to disseminate evidence-based energy balance intervention portable e-technology tools for real-time energy balance research and innovative technologies for enhancing function for individuals with disabilities. I was also asked to come up with a suggestion for how each of these concepts would make them commercially viable. Researcher for an American Charity, May 2011 I was hired to create individual prospect research profiles for both existing and prospective donors. The work will continue on a quarterly basis throughout the next year. When the profiles are loaded into specialized databases, my clients will be able to identify which prospects should be invited to their annual events and which donors they should contact to participate in special sponsor tours and projects instead of contacting everyone for every event. For example, a person who has donated only when a natural disaster has taken place probably wouldnt be interested in being continually contacted to donate to other types of campaigns. You dont want to overwhelm your donors. Rather, you want to create long-term relationships with them. The profiles will go a long way in making this happen. Researcher for a Management Consultancy, Victoria, Australia, April - May 2011 The company that hired me was designing a leadership program for a government agency using the tenets of a learning organization. The agency was facing a number of organizational and operational challenges as a result of an increasingly competitive market and a change in business objectives. As a result, they recognized that in order to meet its near and long-term goals and overcome its challenges, they would need to strengthen its leadership capacity and create a much healthier workplace by designing work environments that are open to creative thought by breaking down hierarchies and shifting away from the traditional authoritarian workplace. My role was to provide the stakeholders with information on learning organizations and summarize my research in a comprehensive report and teaching tool. Survey Writer for a Berkeley, CA Research Group, April 2011 A research consultancy hired me to help them write a survey that focused on the state of entrepreneurship in Africa and Western Europe. Ultimately, my clients were looking for insight into the economic future of particularly important regions in the area. A large number of surveys were sent out to a variety of grassroots organizations. We received a very good response. Researcher for a Montreal-based Lifestyle Television Company, April 2011 My role was to help a member of the production team with the research for a strategic plan. Fact Checker for an Educational Publisher in South Carolina, April 2011 A publisher of non-fiction books for middle and high school readers contacted me to fact check a biography of Alexander the Great for accuracy. Researcher for a Washington Technology Consultancy, March - May 2011 I was asked to help with the research for a white paper on the use of cloud computing in federal government agencies. Many federal agencies are evaluating and implementing cloud computing. As agencies take on this transformative technology, they find the transition to cloud computing impacts many aspects of their IT environment, including legacy systems, the sustainability of infrastructure, security, and privacy. Cloud computing can have a very high return on investment, but it does bring additional risks that must be managed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) finds cloud computing solutions share five characteristics: on-demand self-service broad network access resource pooling rapid elasticity and measured service. Cloud vendors are able to provide on-demand scalability at reduced costs because their infrastructure is streamlined and they take advantage of massive economies of scale. For many organizations, cloud computing is much more cost effective than providing the capabilities themselves, but should the government be using it for sensitive information Should they be uploading personal information onto third-party servers Security is cited as a leading concern for those considering cloud computing. One of the main problems is that agencies cannot easily find out who has accessed the data or even find out how it is archived. Should the government exchange in-house developed systems for vendor managed off-site systems and software platforms Many critics contend that because of the uncertainties involved with cloud computing, the risks outweigh the rewards, especially since the overall costs and reliability factors are difficult to determine. Survey Writer and Researcher for an Educational Association, March - May 2011 I helped to create a questionnaire and a survey study that was designed to help analyze how undergraduate students view plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Students from 77 selected American universities were a part of the study. Academic pressure was the number one reason given by students who copy material for essays from the Internet. Students were also asked whether library staff included the concept of plagiarism as part of their information literacy classes. My clients are hoping they can map out profiles of students likely to plagiarize and bring more awareness to the problem. Preliminary results will be made available as soon as the summary report is compiled. Researcher for a UK Charity, March 2011 I worked with a small charity in Oxford to research and write case studies for lesson plan supplementation that will be used to educate college and university students on major global issues such as climate change, modern slavery, food safety, human rights, and the privatization of water. The project was developed to engage hard-to-reach young people in global issues. Researcher for an Advocacy Institute, March 2011 The history of international humanitarian aid before the 20th century was the focus of this project. The incorporation of realist, liberal, and constructivionist perspectives were required. I read a couple of books but mostly used peer-reviewed journal articles to find the information my client needed. I also read numerous whitepapers and reports written by aid workers and organizations. Historically, the definition of humanitarian assistance has changed and has covered a broad range of issues, ambiguities, and contradictions. Identifying the evolving connections and differentiations between the different forms of humanitarian aid formed a large part of my work. Human rights violations, poverty, famine, armed forces intervention, natural disasters, emergency disaster relief, and aid offered in conflicts zones were also covered in my report. Researcher, February - March 2011 (NDA in Place) I was hired by an author writing a book about parenting. The book was research intensive. It is a follow-up to another successful book by the same author. I also helped to develop the bibliography. Researcher and Writer for a Dance Studio in London, February 2011 This project involved finding dance instructors with outstanding credentials in Ballroom and Latin dance in the UK area. I also did some basic PR writing for upcoming events. I then submitted the press releases to various area newspapers, and arts and entertainment editors that I had identified. Researcher for a Washington, DC-based Consultancy, February 2011 I was asked to find the recent sales and marketing numbers for caffeine pills. Annual and wholesale sales numbers for coffee were also requested. Plus, sales figures for grass seed, both wholesale and retail, for a number of countries, were a part of my research. Researcher and Editor for a Canadian Filmmaker, February 2011 My job was to do research on eight countries and also provide histories of their political situations. The information was used as part of a proposal for government funding. I also helped edit the document. Researcher and Editor for a Canadian Lawyer, January 2011 My role in this project was to act as a research assistant for my client. He was under a lot of pressure to have an article finished for a legal journal. The paper explores the nature of the venture capital industry in Canada. I did basic research for the twenty-five page article, while my client handled the legal aspects. I also helped with the editing and the bibliography. Researcher for a New Luxury Magazine, January 2011 I was hired to fact check a number of articles that were written for the premier issue of a new magazine that will offer articles of interest to affluent women with a net worth of more than ten million dollars. Researcher, January 2011 My client is currently selling books to an Asian distributor, but isnt sure if the discount they are getting is fair or typical. She wanted me to find out what the typical discounts for sales from publishers to distributors are in different parts of Asia what the typical discounts for sales from distributors to resellers (bookstores) are what the typical discounts for sales direct from publishers to resellers (bookstores) are and if most publishers sell through distributors or do many bookstores buy directly from publishers in that particular market. This project was a difficult one for me. It took a lot of primary research on my part, with help from some specialized databases and a number of publishing associations to find the answers. Internet Researcher for an Online Radio Show, December 2010 - April 2011 I was hired to finding interesting items for an online radio news show to find background information on guests and potential guests and do some writing and editing. I worked for this company for five months as a part-time freelance researcher. Researcher for a British Manufacturer, December 2010 Finding the contact information for the principal manufacturers of domestic water filters and purification products and their contact details in the United Kingdom was the starting place for this project. First, I had to establish which companies were the best in their field. The second part was to determine which of them had the best specification systems available. For example, which filters were the most effective on a sliding scale Finally, I had to provide research and product information on three specific types of filters: reverse osmosis systems, carbon-based systems, and in-line carbon systems, particularly for American style fridges. Substantive Editor, November - December 2010 My client wrote a book that he is hoping will prove to be the right material for a positive family movie. I was hired to review the book, make edits, suggest rewrites, and strategize on the overall plot of the book. Great project. Researcher, November 2010 My job was to help an art history student, doing a Masters degree, find information and photographs about both the Parthenon frieze and the Ara Pacis Augustae. My client lives in China and said she was unable to locate adequate reference materials or resources in her local libraries, nor were her professors able to help with the research since they specialize in Chinese art history and not Western art history. I found a number of good articles and full-text digital books that she was able to use to complete her thesis. Researcher, November 2010 A first time author contacted me for help with research for a non-fiction book she was writing for Penguin about on-demand Internet streaming video companies in the United States and Canada. I was asked to find news stories, quarterly financial conference call transcripts, and other corporateSEC type documents on a few companies from 1997-present. I checked all the business databases I had access to and was able to find some of the information, but the rest was not easily accessible and would cost a lot of money to obtain. Business research is always difficult to do because the information a client would like may not exist, may be proprietary, or may be very costly. Researcher for an Educational Publishing Company in Boston, October 2010 I was hired to fact check two middle school social studies books. Very little was true fact checking and was more checking the source that was already noted. Each chapter had approximately sixty digital assets to check. Researcher for a Consumer Insights Company, October 2010 This contract involved researching the cultural and economic differences that exist between the provinces and territories of Canada. I then wrote both individual summaries of the information and also a comprehensive report that gave an overview of the differences. The information was used as part of a global pharmaceutical companys marketing campaign. Researcher for an Asian Design Consultancy, October 2010 - February 2011 This multi-pronged project was very challenging. It required me to investigate the economic factors that may impact or influence the bathroom products and accessories markets in Asia. A thorough analysis (both qualitative and quantitative) of the Asian industry and the key market factorsdrivers of bathroom products and accessories was also needed. The identification of the market gaps for bathroom products and accessories and the apparent opportunities within the Asian industry were compiled, along with a series of recommendations and proposals of business models to capitalize on the Asian market were uncovered from the findings. Countries of interest: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, China, and Dubai. Asian socio-cultural drivers, including country-specific consumer developments, consumer cultures and niche segments, and peopleconsumer insights into European bathroom products were a part of the value-added research. An analysis of the Asian Market, including market size, market share and segmentation, industry barriers, and ways to overcome both competitive and entry-level considerations was a major part of this research project. I was lucky enough to be given access to a number of specialized online databases to do the bulk of the research. I collated the information and wrote a series of reports for the client. Business Intelligence Researcher for a Law Firm in New York, October 2010 - January 2011 This very hands-on position saw me scoping out new resources for competitive information. I was expected to offer strategic input, analyze business data and information, and provide support for the decision-making process. I also conducted primary research for a series of special projects working as part of a firm-wide virtual library team. Researcher for a Large UK Telecom, September - October 2010 This qualitative customer experience study of B2B Direct Marketing companies in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Italy, France, Sweden, China, Japan, Korea, Hungary, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico was a new experience for me. I worked with a great team of freelance researchers and was project-managed by a consulting group with its head offices in London. Researcher for a B2B Start-Up, September 2010 This company hired me to research and identify small businesses in the B2B space that can serve a national audience in the categories of Business Growth, Employee Rewards, and Productivity Improvement. They built a B2B ecommerce engine that created a community for small businesses through discounted group sales. In essence, they were interested in sourcing unique deals that can serve a national audience of small businesses and its employees. Researcher, September 2010 This client wanted to build an online database of good sources for information on the history of cookbooks. My role was to find the websites of cookbook publishers around the world. I also used the Internet to find information on cookbook awards leading food critics fairs, such as the Paris Cookbook Fair and authors who have won or were short-listed for awards such as the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards, the James Beard Cookbook Awards, and Gourmand Internationals World Cookbook Awards. I also collected websites that review gourmet food products and restaurants. Fact Checker for a Healthcare Software Company, September 2010 I fact checked a lengthy historical timeline that traced the evolution of consumer health technologies over the last one hundred years. Business Researcher and Interviewer for a UK Branding and Design Consultancy, August - November 2010 I was asked to help with the early stages of a book about branding. They were interested in talking to a cross section of people around the world about what they think of personal and professional branding, what it means to them, and how it affects their lives. They needed help on identifying potential candidates, getting their contact details, writingphoningemailing them, interviewing them, writing up the transcripts, and identifying trends. Researcher for a Health Services Manager, August 2010 This project focused on researching the phenomenon of reactivity, including the Hawthorne Effect. I also identified and described significant findings that came out of the Hawthorne Studies and led to changes in theories about how managers should behave to motivate and inspire their employees. The other part of the project was to explain and describe how effective human resource management planning, recruitment, and selection can assist in the continuous growth and development of an organization. Researcher and Editor, July 2010 I helped a senior citizen from Phoenix, Arizona with his memoirs. I did some research on his hometown and edited the manuscript. Substantive Editor and Bibliographic Consultant for a PhD Thesis, July 2010 Researcher for a Technology Provider for Financial Institutions, June - July 2010 I was asked to develop a number of white papers and executive briefings that are now used as content in presentations, webinar decks, and videos. One of the topics I researched was how much money companies in the financial services industry spend on technology services. The client also wanted me to find out which social networks financial institutions actively participate in regards to particular topics. I also had to research item processing outsourcing, including SWOT information, market share, industry trends, information to support building a business case of why a financial institution would outsource their item processing functions, and benefits of outsourcing. The other main thrust of my work was research on online banking and bill payment processes. I had to find out the major players, SWOT information, market share, industry trends, and information to support building a business case of why a financial institution would switch to my clients company for their online banking and bill payment services. Identifying which factors contribute to a financial institutions decision process for selecting a vendor was also requested. Examples would be accuracy, error rate, speed, and conversion impact. Medical Researcher and Editor for a Dental Company in San Francisco, June 2010 This new venture capital backed dental company hired me to do the research for and create white papers and tech briefs on a number of topics. I also helped them edit and write some of their clinical materials. Researcher for a Masters Student, May - June 2010 My job was to help with the research for a Masters level dissertation on deceptive marketing. I also worked on the literature review. Researcher for a Pennsylvanian Communications Consultancy and Design Firm, May 2010 The topic of the research is training materials used to teach and guide service employees in completing basic stepwise processes. The client was especially interested in in-situ, on-the-job training, not classroom training or e-learning modules. This research assignment was two-pronged: find out the best current ideas that can guide design of such training materials, and identify some specific, instructive benchmarks from across different industries and the military. I was expected to conduct the research online and to use secondary sources, such as LexisNexis, QuestiaHighbeam, and Factiva. The deliverable included a report that summarized the key insights together with links to and copies of primary sources. The industry benchmarks included illustrations. They expected brief progress reports and telephone discussions to make sure the work was focused appropriately. Everything was delivered in an accessible digital form. Researcher for Queensland University of Technology, May 2010 I was hired to research creative writing programs at Australian universities, including how many there are in Australia, how long they have been around, what they offer, a brief profile of the staff working for them, and a short history of their development. Creative writing programs have existed in the United States for over a hundred years, with the establishment of creative composition courses at Harvard University in the 1880s and the founding of the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop in 1939, the oldest graduate-level creative writing program in America. In England, the Bloomsbury Group laid a solid foundation for creative writing from the 1920s onwards. These informal networks were important because they allowed writers to critique each others work, exchange ideas, and act as mentors the type of role that is now fulfilled by universities. But these networks were often only for the elite or for those who ran in artistic circles. In Australia, creative writing higher degrees are relatively new and find their roots in the Colleges of Advanced Education programs of the 1980s. Just a decade ago, few Australian universities offered creative writing doctorates or masters programs. Now many offer a full range of creative writing programs, from undergraduate to doctoral levels, and are in high demand. The Australian Learning and Teaching Council has an interesting report on the Australian Writing Programs Network (AWPN) here . Researcher for a PhD Student, May 2010 I was hired to fact check a thesis. My client also needed a lot of help with the references because although she originally meant to make the footnotes and bibliography entries as the thesis was being written, deadlines were looming and she didnt keep track of them. I had to go over each section of the thesis and where an author was cited, either in parenthesis or directly in the text, I needed to check the source. In the majority of cases, the source was already listed in the bibliography, but essential information was missing. I followed the MLA style guide and made sure that the bibliography was up to par. I also had to go back and cite the source in the text and associate each with a particular page number. That meant that I had to search the actual source for the information cited and then insert the page number or numbers in the thesis text. Researcher and Writer, April - July 2010 I was asked to research and write a comprehensive series of articles covering a variety of topics based on a wealth of primary source materials and subject matter expert interviews for an online nanotechnology knowledgebase. The tool will be used by nanotechnologists and science institutes. The client provided me with a conceptual framework, expert resources, and access to source materials. I uploaded the material using a content management system that was created with information architecture and instructional design input from me. The entire development process, from initial research, content gathering, drafts, and final production of the knowledgebase took four months of part-time work. Researcher, April - June 2010 My client is writing a book about how cities around the world thrive or die. I did a lot of research and read many books, articles, and city planning maps. I then summarized pertinent information into a series of white papers. Using a number of expository forms, my client discusses what makes a city successful. Of course that changes over time. What made a medieval city successful is a lot different than what makes a modern city such as New York successful. The humanistic management of cities the right mix of aesthetics and practical, user-friendly spaces and balancing grand and classical structures with contemporary initiatives in cities are covered. Encouraging city planners to take a progressive approach to the development of urban areas is key, as is considering diversity to create a better quality of urban life. While important aspects of reimagining cities are things such as cleaner public transit and building using the latest energy efficient designs, we also have to consider that people need a daily connection with nature and require sustainable urban areas that incorporate green spaces and natural life forms and systems into their cityscapes. Rooftop and sidewalk gardens are two examples of how urban planning can transform city areas from distressed and grey communities to revitalized neighbourhoods that promote health, a connection to nature, and a place that inspires and stimulates the human psyche. Recognizing that city environments can be planned in such a way that the lives of people are enhanced by encouraging physical activity and surrounding them with beautiful vistas rather than decaying urban infrastructures goes a long way towards creating cities that will thrive along with their inhabitants. Researcher and Writer for a Non-Profit, April - May 2010 This project focused on the loss of religious buildings in the United States, particularly in relation to changing demographics, economic hardship, shrinking congregations, or as a result of religious orders paying out large amounts of money to victims of molestation and abuse. In order to bring this reality to the publics attention and to help congregations learn of their counterparts struggles and creative solutions, my client had me do research on a number of religious buildings and arrange interviews with some of the important stakeholders. I then compiled the information and wrote a report. Many communities have faced the loss of their places of worship. Many of these buildings are sold to land developers who turn them into condos or level them to construct residential or commercial buildings. Churches and synagogues are an essential part of urban hubs, providing sanctuary, community outreach, jobs for the community, improved mental health for residents, reduced levels of crime, foster charitable contributions, encourage volunteering, support a variety of local businesses, and improve the vitality of the community. Their loss can be devastating, not just to art and architectural history, but to society as well. Churches contribute to vitally important components of successful societies and their presence in communities provide many benefits that cannot be measured solely by direct revenue. Researcher, March 2010 I worked for an art institutes online division to assist with arranging image permission requests and researching the fair use of copyrighted works. Researcher, March 2010 In this case, my clients had been involved in holistic nutrition and medicine for over thirty years as patients. They both take 75-100 supplements daily, including standard vitamins, a number of esoteric ones, and also longevity and cognitive supplements. They also had many chelation IVs, ALA IVs, Myers Cocktails, Phosphatidyl Choline pushes, ozone IVs, oxygen therapies, had taken heavy DHEA and HgH injections for two decades, and even bought a mostly UV-B sun-tanning bed to increase Vitamin D levels. And, for over thirty years, they only saw American College for Advancement in Medicine sanctioned holistic MDs. They also read over one hundred holistic e-newsletters weekly, as well as a number of print ones. They hired me to do some detailed research on Enhanced External Counterpulsation Therapy (EECP), a procedure performed on people with angina, heart failure, or cardiomyopathy. I also provided a list of MDs who would perform the procedure for preventive purposes. Since they were considering moving to another state, they asked me to generate a list of doctors who offered certain protocols. They also asked me to find the best type of sauna and where it could be bought. Finally, I investigated a number of new supplements, therapies, procedures, blood tests, and looked at other relevant research studies. I used the Internet and a number of academic and medical databases to do the research. Researcher for an Upcoming Book on Customer Conversion Rates in Retail Operations, March 2010 I did some initial research for this book. It is being written by the founder of a business analytics company that works with leading retailers, including Hallmark, Adidas, Home Depot, and Sears. The book is about the importance of measuring prospect traffic and customer conversion rates in retail operations. It is a follow-up to When Retail Customers Count . Fact Checker, Proof Reader, Researcher, Substantive Editor, and Writer for an Upcoming Book that Looks at Evolution as a Religion, February - June 2010 I was contacted by a first-time author who had spent years researching and writing a book that challenged the theory of evolution. As a product of the public school system, he was taught to believe in evolution and never thought to question it until a chance meeting with a biology professor from UCLA in the 1970s, who told him that the possibility that life could have happened by chance was 1 in 10 to the 27th power. That remained with him and prompted a great deal of thought and eventual research into the complexities of life. The end result of his journey is this book. This was a big project for me. Each chapter was proof read and fact checked. As a result, a lot of additional research was needed. I used articles I retrieved from academic databases to find information and also found that Google Books was an invaluable tool. The book came to me with incomplete footnotes and needed many others added. As a substantive editor, I advised my client to make some major changes in how the information was structured and arranged. I also edited the book and rewrote sections of it to make my clients ideas shine through more effectively. Finally, I created a sixteen page bibliography and formatted the book in preparation for publication. The premise of his book is that Evolution is a faith-based theory. It stands alongside other faith-based movements, such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The one common thread that binds these great religions together is FAITH. Faith may be defined as having complete, unwavering trust and belief in a concept for which no scientific evidence is available. The theory of evolution gained wide exposure following the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859. It became a very popular book and went through six editions within a brief period of time. The book was particularly popular in academic circles. In Darwins day, the cell was thought to be so simple that brilliant scientists of the day accepted his theory of evolution to explain the foundation of life. As science advanced and the complexity of the cell became clearer, the idea of intelligent design became more and more compelling. This book does a very good job explaining intelligent design and irreducible complexity. Evolutionary presentations found in articles and textbooks, and used by millions of students start with the assumption that the accidental formation of life is a fact. Mutations and accidental mistakes in cell reproduction are credited with species progression. This faith-based evolutionary concept uses the assumption of the original cell as a point of departure, which then leads to broad-based transitional forms and the tree of life, and concludes, with life as we know it. Many prominent evolutionists and other professionals define evolution as a religion. Sir Julian Huxley, Charles Darwin, James D. Watson, George Wald, George G. Simpson, Jonathan Sarfati, James Perloff, Luther Sunderland, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Adolph Hitler, Fred Hoyle, Stephen Hawking, Stephen Jay Gould, Antony Flew, Francis Crick, Michael Denton, Richard Dawkins, and James F. Coppedge are just some of the people covered in this book. Client and Market Researcher for a California Insurance Brokerage, February 2010 I was hired to find insurance brokers in the Los Angeles area who have clients with small commercial buildings and who also place that business in the wholesale insurance market. I collected the names and addresses of the firms, noted if the firms were an insurance brokerage, if the firms handled small apartment buildings, and if they placed any of this business in the wholesale marketplace. Researcher for a Marketing Director, January 2010 My client needed a list of bankrupt or no-longer-in-business companies that were issued a UCC certificate prior to August 28, 2002 in the United States. This certificate would give them a block of Universal Product Code (UPC) barcodes. He also needed the last known contact information of an executive or owner of those companies: the last available contact information of the owners or higher up executives, or someone with access to the certificate and the ability to transfer ownership. The more contacts I could collect the better because there would be a segment that would not be interested in selling the certificate or have enough codes remaining to sell. My client didnt care how old the certificates were but pointed out that the companies that received their certificate closer to their demise date would be optimum and would increase the odds of having more remaining usable codes. Ultimately, he was hoping for 200-300 contacts going back two to three years prior to August 28, 2002. The end goal was to purchase the UCC certificates, thus taking ownership of their block of barcodes. The UCC completely changed the barcode regulations post August 28, 2002, but any code established before that date is still valid and has fewer regulations attached to it. This was a project that I couldnt do in the end. I did work on finding the information but I ran into trouble. I did find out that a definitive list of all UCC certificate holders (prior to August 2002) doesnt exist. I figured if I could find that list I could then check the companies and their status. The inventor of UPC, George Laurer, cant even get a list, even though he has tried for years. I then contacted a friend of mine from grad school who does business research for a living and who has access to very relevant databases and he couldnt find the information either. One thing that might help my client is if he can find a list of the companies involved in the class action suit levied against the GS1 in the state of Washington. The GS1 lost and all prefix owners prior to August 28, 2002 became exempt to the GS1s renewal fees. Researcher for a Marketing Support Company in Reston, VA, January 2010 My job was to research federal agencies that have issued grants in the past five years. I was expected to name the agencies, the award amounts, levels of profit, time frames, the winners, and their competition. Brief descriptions of the grants were also requested. Another part of the project was to investigate federal agency grant trends and projections. My client was interested in finding out more about the health, security, space, IT, and education sectors, and other industries that have shown growth and are projected to show growth in the grant arena. Finally, I was asked to research the link between federal grants and formal procurements, and discuss how the link affects the element of developing customer relationships. A ten page white paper was the end result of my research. I included graphs that depicted past and future market percentages. Researcher for an Upcoming Book on Japanese American Baseball, January 2010 Specifically, I was asked to find newspaper articles from Honolulu, Hawaii newspapers between the years 1915-1920. The client also wanted articles from a Japanese American newspaper based in Los Angeles called the Rafu Shimpo . years 1925 to 1927. I used LexisNexis but those years were not indexed. I then did a search for the information on the newspaper websites, but most only archive a few years online. I then wrote a number of newspapers to ask for assistance but surprisingly, the newspapers dont even have extensive archives offline and couldnt help me. I then thought to write the state libraries, but they werent helpful either and suggested that I come in and search their microfilm for the articles. Since I was thousands of miles away, that wasnt an option. I suggested that my client make use of a library research service that allows you to hire a librarian to find and print out the information and mail it to you. The other alternative was to post an ad on Craigslist asking if there was a local student interested in going to the library and performing the task for him. Posting an ad on pertinent universities electronic job boards and requesting the same was also suggested. Researcher for a Vitamin Company, December 2009 I was asked to use excerpts from biochemical texts and published medical studies to find scientific verification for the three step process that takes B vitamins to the generation of energy. Higher potencies of B vitamins help the body generate more energy. The process starts with the ingestion of B vitamins, which increases mitochondrial function and performance, which in turn increases ATP production. Increased ATP production leads to more available energy. PubMed was my main tool. Market Researcher for a North Carolina School, December 2009 This school was interested in hiring a consultant to conduct market research for them. As a state-funded special education school for students with sensory disabilities, they wanted to determine how to better serve their students, community, and state using socially-responsible initiatives. As part of their strategic plan, the school needed to evaluate the market so as to continue delivering high quality education and to ensure its relevance to society. Working with management to implement objectives and directly targeting important priorities will allow the staff to increase its effectiveness and to expand their programs. RSS Consultant, December 2009 I was required to set up a series of RSS feeds for news, blog entries, and articles. The focus was on the emerging business of trading emission credits, which is a way for low emission companies to sell its credits to benefit higher emitting companies. It is a bigger business in Europe than in North America, and my clients wanted to find out what is happening in this market-based approach to controlling pollution. They also asked me to find some older articles on the subject. Researcher, December 2009 I was hired to find email addresses and fax numbers for lingerie businesses in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, and Italy. Researcher and Writer for a Class Action Committee, November 2009 - February 2010 This American public-interest organization was waging a battle for healthcare reform against a private hospital company, questioning its integrity and accusing it of being corrupt. I was hired as a secondary researcher to supplement the efforts of its information team, which consisted of a researcher and two health-care analysts. They believed their research efforts could be improved by bringing in a consultant. Above all, they were looking for hard facts that could be incorporated into reports. Some of the tasks could be completed quickly in a few days, other larger projects were targeted at a few weeks. I worked for a number of people in the organization, but had a primary project manager. The following are examples of the work I did: 1.) research specific lawyers, including who they had worked with, what political parties they contributed to, their connections to particular politicians, and anything else that could be important for my clients 2.) I was asked to obtain certain court records for them 3.) transcripts of television shows were requested 4.) I often was asked to pull together all existing news and clips about certain hospitals and then write succinct memos covering the most salient points 5.) I was also expected to take a look at certain civil and criminal court cases and obtain the records 6.) keep my clients updated on a regular basis through memos about a series of subjects 7.) investigate a federal budget for specific line-items and find out who sponsored them and 8.) access information on Washington lobbyists and find out how much they were getting paid. Overall, a very challenging four-month part-time job. Survey Developer, Researcher, and Writer for a Report on the Social Value of Leisure for an International Cruise Line, November 2009 My client will use the information I found in a variety of ways, including in the development of its leisure programming and in its advertising packages. Instead of looking for data on Baby Boomers or Seniors, this study focused primarily on young people, ages 21 to 50. We started by developing a survey that zeroed in on their spending habits, lifestyle choices, recreation habits, and leisure values. We posted it on very appropriate websites and were surprised by the number of people who took the time to answer our questions. Further analysis was conducted by gender because we were also interested in malefemale preferences when it comes to relaxation, socialization, competitiveness, and the importance of pleasure as a form of recreation. It is important for recreation planners and leisure service providers to understand the leisure values of the people they work with in order to provide adequate services and programs. Today, more than ever, people are seeking to improve their quality of life through enjoyable recreation and leisure pursuits, especially when they are on vacation. They are increasingly aware of the importance of preventative health strategies, rest, and recreational activities, and try to incorporate this philosophy into the vacation packages they spend money on. With more disposable income, good jobs, and a heightened awareness of the world and its travel opportunities, young people will continue to become the focus of cruise lines and resorts. I also read a number of studies, academic articles, and books on the subject of leisure and put all the information into a report. Researcher for a Book Proposal, October 2009 I helped an author put together a book proposal on the subject of test stress. He needed me to research a large number of studies, facts, and figures for the audience and marketing sections of the proposal. He also had a lengthy list of very specific questions I had to find answers for. Researcher and Photographic Consultant for a US-based Newspaper Columnist, October 2009 I was hired to find information on the South Bank Skate Park, which is located underneath Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Thames in London. I was also asked to find copyright-free photographs of the area. The park has been popular with skateboarders since the early 1970s. For almost forty years, this public space has acted as a community for thousands of young people and is widely acknowledged as Londons most beloved skateboarding area. Performance and graffiti artists, photographers, tourists, and buskers also migrate to the park. The Graffiti Archaeology Project has an archive of the areas art throughout its history. The park also appeared in a Tony Hawks computer game. Although its size has been reduced in recent years and partly given over to retail shops, the government has agreed that this vibrant public space has had a very positive impact on thousands of young people and contributed to the cultural heritage of London, so much so, that plans for more retail outlets were recently nixed. Researcher and Writer for a Non-Fiction Book Proposal (NDA in Place), October 2009 My client is a well-known author with over twenty-five years experience in the fields of filmmaking and technology. The project I worked on with him was for a non-fiction book about the convergence of a number of complex digital technologies. I helped with the research and design of the book proposal. I also assisted with the writing and editing of the first three chapters of the book that were sent to the publisher along with the proposal. Researcher for an Educational Publisher, September 2009 For this project I had to do research on a number of interrelated subjects: US college enrollment growth due to the recession job training growth in general colleges moving toward online learning and digital course materials high schools moving toward online learning and digital course materials digital books and their affect on traditional book publishers and the growth of ebooks in any channel over time. I used a number of academic databases to do the research, collected articles on each topic, read them, making notes as I did. I took all important information and made a series of short reports, one for each of the topics I had researched. College enrollments are closely aligned with the economy. When the economy weakens, there is an increase in post-secondary enrollment rates as people hasten to increase their employable job skills and ride out the storm. When the economy strengthens, enrollment rates fall off as more people look for jobs instead of attending college. This is particularly true for community colleges during the global recession that began in 2008, when students cut across all demographic groups. According to a survey by the Sloan Consortium, higher education institutions believe that bad economic news is good news for both overall and online enrollments. More people go back for additional schooling in a bad economy, specifically people working in low-paying jobs. The largest universities and all community colleges in northeast Mississippi reported their enrollment numbers were through the roof, driven by a weak job market and high unemployment. California college officials reported turning away 250,000 community college students because they had no room for them. Historically, when the economy slows, one of the first things cut is job training. Funds for job trainingre-training have recently increased but the state of these types of programs are still far from what they were in 1979. So, it is impossible to say whether job training funds will decrease as the recession wanes, but it is very likely they will since the unemployed will be moving into jobs and not spending as much time in retraining programs. The stimulus spending bill signed in early 2009 includes 4.5 billion for job training. Armed with new federal funds, American states are trying to help their jobless residents. The new Economic Stimulus Act includes 5.7 billion for workforce programs, which represents the largest infusion of dollars into the workforce in decades. Private companies are also partnering with states to help with job training. For example, Microsoft Corporation works with state officials in Florida, New York, and Washington, using the companys e-learning programs and online certifications. If you want to help people get back on their feet, you need to take a rigorous new approach to technical training. Online learning is an important piece of the puzzle and continues to be the fastest growing segment of higher education. And yet the educational establishment still debates whether e-learning can ever be as good as traditional teaching at a campus. A study released by the US Department of Education found that when compared to face-to-face teaching, many types of online college courses were better at raising student achievement. President Obama has also endorsed online education, while talking about his recent community college initiative. Convenience is one of the main reasons why so many students take courses online. They are available 24 hours a day and are particularly attractive to younger students, who are quite at ease navigating their way through the collaboration software, digital tools, and video components used in online education classes. Online learning has turned a corner and moved into mainstream education as advancements in technology and high-speed broadband networks allow for a more interactive and personalized learning experience. Established brick and mortar universities, such as MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Penn State are putting their curricula online and are now offering extensive online learning options. UMassOnline reports that enrollment among students under the age of 25 has increased 91 percent over the past three years. Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, N.J. is reporting a 100 percent growth rate over the same period. The shift from paper to digital textbooks is also gathering speed as school systems struggle to provide students with books at a time when budgets are being cut. The California Digital Textbook Initiative will replace some high school science and math texts with free ones in hopes that the state will save hundreds of millions on textbook purchases. It will be years before students will have access to all their books in a digital format, but there is no question that competition from open-source materials poses a real threat to traditional textbook publishers. Moving towards open-source materials is well under way in higher education courses as President Obama pushes for the creation of free online courses to improve community colleges. According to the National Association of College Stores (NACS). which tracks the higher education retail market and reports the latest findings, e-books currently constitute a small portion of the college textbook market but are expected to reach 15 percent of textbook sales by 2011-12 and are increasingly nudging their way into the marketplace. For example, CourseSmart is a joint venture of the leading traditional publishers in North American higher education. Companies such as McGraw-Hill Education, John Wiley Sons, Elsevier Science, Cengage Learning, Princeton University Press, and Sage Publications, Inc. provide digital books and learning tools to millions of student with more than 7000 titles. They are also accessible on Apple Inc.s iPhone, iPod Touch, and the Blackberry, to name a few. The most popular college texts can be downloaded at approximately half the price of traditional texts. NACS Student Watch 2010: Student Attitudes Perceptions reported that the average full-time college student spent an average of 693 on college textbooks and course materials in 2010. Going digital seems to make a lot of sense when you consider numbers that high. Amazon is currently conducting a pilot program that provides students at Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Pace University, Princeton University, Reed College, and the University of Virginia with the revamped Kindle and the ability to download textbooks. As portable gadgets become more ubiquitous, digital publishing will continue to grow. Initiatives such as Googles Library Project also go a long way to explain the increased interest in digital books and devices, especially since Google made sure that all digitized materials were formatted for mobile devices. Apple also plays a crucial role in the transition from print to digital with its iTunes University. It offers college lectures and provides free storage and bandwidth to universities, some of which make their lectures available to all, while others restrict based on enrolment. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has tracked digital book sales since 2003, which were 20 million at the time. By 2007, that had more than tripled. By 2008, revenues were reported as 113 million. An added note: according to the AAP, the first quarter of 2011 saw e-book sales explode to 233.1 million. Historical Newspaper Researcher for an Author, September 2009 My client wanted access to Los Angeles newspapers accounts of the death of Thomas Ince and the subsequent coverage. His novel will feature the death of Thomas Ince as a small part of the plot. Ince was born in 1882 and was famous as the owner of his own progressive movie studio. He was also a well-known actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. Ince was considered an industry leader and Hollywood virtually came to a standstill the day of his funeral. He died at his home in Beverly Hills in 1924 after falling ill aboard William Randolph Hearsts yacht, the Oneida . amid rumours that he was murdered by Hearst over a dispute about a woman. The official cause of his death was heart attack. In the end, there was no official investigation into Inces death. On December 11, 1924, the Los Angeles Times published the following: District Attorney, Chester Kempley, announced that he had uncovered nothing to justify him in proceeding further with the matter. He said, I began this investigation because of the many rumours brought to my office regarding the case and have continued it until today in order to definitely dispose of them. I am satisfied that the death of Mr. Ince was caused by heart failure as a result of acute indigestion. There will be no further investigation, at least as far as the county of San Diego is concerned. If there is any investigation of the stories of liquor drinking on board the yacht where Mr. Ince was a guest it will have to be in Los Angeles, where, presumably, the liquor was secured. I used LexisNexis to find over fifty full-text newspaper articles for my client to read for his research. Joomla Consultant and Content Provider for Mystic River Marina. August - October 2009 I helped the web programmer design this site, integrating a number of photographs to spotlight the marinas many amenities. I also did some research into local businesses, services, and events to add pertinent information to the website. I used Joomla to make the pages and also wrote or edited the website content. Medical Technology Researcher for a Medical Center, August - September 2009 This project required me to research thirty medical innovations identified by clinicians and medical researchers using web-based resources and medical journals accessed through proprietary databases. I then wrote a brief for each technology that included a description of the application, the technologies or methods it will replace or complete against, its clinical trial status, the current state of development, regulatory approvals, commercial availability, companies involved with the technology, patient benefits, and when it is likely to appear in the marketplace. Researcher for a PhD Student (NDA in Place), August 2009 Client Researcher for an Art Restorer, August 2009 A professional conservator of paintings hired me to find contracts for her company. It had been awarded some lucrative state and federal preservation jobs, but she wanted to find more state and federal painting or mural restoration projects on which she could place bids. Shed had little success finding such contracts herself and needed some assistance. I used the Internet to do some of the work, but focused my attention on the appropriate government agencies and community organizations to find the information. Internet Researcher for a Documentary Filmmaker in Mongolia, July - September 2009 My client needed help locating rural schools and libraries in Mongolia, including a description, photographs, and contact information for each. He wanted to tell the stories of people who use extraordinary efforts and ingenuity to bring knowledge to those without access. In many remote areas of the world, there are no library buildings. Instead, there are donkey, elephant, and camel libraries wheelbarrow, boat, bus, and train libraries are also very common. Some libraries are housed in the homes of farmers and people come and go, sometimes great distances, to select books. These mobile libraries and their librarians play a key role in the lives of people living in rural areas. For them, the arrival of the mobile library is an important occasion and an exciting event. My primary tool for this project was the Internet and a few NGOs, operating in the area. Researcher and Survey Designer for a Study on Homeschooling in the United States, July 2009 There is no question that homeschooling, when properly done by competent people, can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Many glowing reports have already been written that highlight the advantages and unlimited learning possibilities that go along with home-based education. Studies have definitely shown that some homeschooled students score much higher than the average publically-educated child. But what about the dark side of homeschooling What about the parents who say they are homeschooling their children but are, in fact, not actually teaching them anything, resulting in illiterate adults Who is monitoring these children In some states, the answer is no one. Most states do insist upon some form of annual standardized testing and a monitoring of the homeschooling program, but many leave the enforcement of provisions to local school districts, which have few resources to do so. My client decided to write a book that uncovers some of the darkest secrets of the homeschooled, including profiling the uneducated and lazy parents who have fallen through the cracks and are pretending to homeschool their children without the knowledge of any educational agency. The other allegation that the author wanted to explore was the contention that homeschooled children are more likely to be abused and because they do not attend school, nobody knows. Some of the children are also subjected to an extraordinary amount of religious instruction, to the detriment of other subjects. Others are simply put to work. We started by designing an online survey that we posted in multiple places on the Internet. It basically asked if the reader knew of any children being kept home from school, but who were receiving little in the way of educational instruction. For example, some parents believe that taking their children for a walk and pointing out the clouds constitutes a science lesson. Similarly, they believe making a cake together and cooking supper every day can be counted as hours spent learning. Most parents consider these types of activities interacting with their children, not school lessons. We were surprised by the number of responses we received. My other duties included doing a review of the literature, researching state laws and legislation, and working with the survey results to generate statistics and graphs. Researcher for a Project on the Management of Serials in Academic Libraries, July 2009 I was asked to undertake the research for this project because my client, an academic librarian, was very busy with other responsibilities. This is the type of work that takes a lot of time. After I used a series of academic databases to do the research and downloaded over one hundred appropriate articles, I had to read them. As I read through each article, I copied important points and placed them into a Word document with related bibliographic information. I also added my own notes, possible points of departure, and ideas on how the information could be integrated into the final report. Libraries of all types are facing a digital revolution that is continuously changing and difficult to manage. For years, library finances have been struggling to keep up with the growth of journals. The shift from ownership of physical collections to licensing content for electronic resources has occurred quickly in the fields of medicine and science, but other collections are mired in problems, uncertainties, and controversies. As universities and colleges offer more online courses and create global educational environments with increasing numbers of offsite international students, they have no choice but to make a move from print to digital serial collections. The changing culture of scholarly communication and learning will continue to challenge librarians and require even more change from libraries. The transition from print to electronic resources has meant better service to library patrons, but the challenges of managing electronic resources have forced library staff to work more collaboratively and advocate for the creation of new partnerships and resource-sharing in order to transform library services. Libraries and serial publishers face unique challenges in the acquisition of electronic resources, including new pricing models, obtaining access rights, and determining packaging options. Effective communication, enhanced library workflows, new partnerships, electronic resource management systems, and the utilization of web services are all important factors in the reshaping of library services in this digital age. Fact Checker for an International Publisher of Consumer Periodicals and Books, June - August 2009 I was hired to fact check and verify the information in a four book series. The project was fun and interesting, in part, because the trade books were very entertaining and provocative to read. Topics included a history of food in New York City, the culture of fear in America, the science behind gadgets, and the resurgence of the cupcake. Researcher for an Examination into Publicly-Available Information for a Content-on-Demand Company (NDA in Place), June 2009 Fact Checker and Researcher for a Nutrition Magazine, June 2009 I was required to do some fact checking and research for a new fitness, exercise, and nutrition magazine. From time to time, I am contacted by them to verify article facts or do the research for new articles. Internet Researcher for an Overview of APIs (Californian Consultancy), June 2009 This long established company was interested in branching out and incorporating some new ideas and technology as a way to expand its business. They decided that a web application programming interface (API) was something they would like to investigate. An example would be the Google Maps API that can be used by anyone to build a business around. Real estate developers and agents come to mind. I discovered that there are tens of thousands of APIs available for free on the Internet. Lots of options for my clients to choose from. Here is one website to give you an idea of the types of businesses that can be started by using an API. Researcher and Writer for a California Health Information Management Consultancy, May - July 2009 The company needed to acquire hard data on the market for US health and science staffing services, as well as on the US staffing industry, in general, to aid in the formulation of their marketing strategies. The research was limited to the US market only. The data collected for each sector included market size in dollars, geographic distribution, client universe ( of establishments) by sector and sub-sector, and employment universe (by relevant profession). The universe of staffing firms in OAI sectors financial data on top 25 players in each sector total number of people employed by health science staffing companies market share held by the top 25 health science staffing companies in each sector trends in health and science staffing merger and acquisition activities in the last five years trends in usage of staffing services for health and science staffing fastest growing health and science professions being staffed by the staffing industry and seasonality of staffing employment were all included in the deliverable. Government data sources, such as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Dept. of Commerce, US Bureau of the Census, and other federal agencies and departments commercial data sources, such as LexisNexis, Dun Bradstreet, and Standard Poors trade data sources, such as the American Staffing Association, the American Nurse Association, and other relevant trade associations media data sources, including trade publications, industry white papers, professional association publications, industry analysts and experts company and industry websites and online research reports were the tools I used to find the information. I then used Excel to input the data I was able to find. Researcher for a Newspaper Journalist, May 2009 This project involved finding statistical information on patterns of private philanthropy. Americans, Europeans, and Japanese were the focus of the research. My client, a journalist, was working on a piece. He requested specific numbers to make the comparisons, including gross amounts and a careful breakdown of what was included and how it was sub-divided in categories such as religious, secular, arts, health, science, emergency relief, and other similar sub-categories. Bibliographic Consultant for a Medical Publishing Company, May 2009 My client had 250 references stored in an EndNote library. EndNote is a bibliography program that keeps track of your references. Many of the references were missing some of the information and needed to be polished up. In some cases, I had to find the city of publication, clarify authors names, and about 25-30 were missing the date. The good thing about this job was that most of the references were imported from PubMed journals, so finding the missing information wasnt all that difficult. For some of the other references I had to use WorldCat to find them because they were pulled from diverse sources, including psychology books, federal reports, book chapters, and websites. Co-Designer of Three Web-based Applications for North American Organic Farms, April 2009 Small, family-run organic farms are often burdened by debt, or at least a lack of money. Coming up with the funds to pay for the services of a web programmer or a designer is difficult for many, even when their businesses would run a lot better with the help of information technology. So, when one such farm approached me for advice, I decided it would be a good project to get involved in. For example, they run an organic co-op, but had no online application form for people to sign up for the service. Instead, they had posted a PDF application form which had to be printed off, filled in, and mailed using the postal service. A bigger problem for them was they didnt have a web application that local restaurants could use to make their weekly orders, nor did they have an easy way for customers to order any of their almost 150 product seedlings. I worked with a programmer to design the forms and the application interfaces. I then inputted all the product information and prices. The applications have subsequently been offered to many other farms across North America. Researcher and Writer for an European Conference on the Subject of Collaborative Divorce, April 2009 I acted as a research assistant for a presenter at a conference. Her topic was collaborative divorce, a method of practicing law in which divorce lawyers for both parties agree to help their clients work through their conflicts and find resolution using non-adversarial interest-based negotiation and cooperative techniques rather than litigation. The lawyers are key in collaborative divorce and are committed to settling all issues and conflict in creative, fair, and non-confrontational ways. The process is much less expensive than a regular divorce case that goes to court. The collaborative divorce model was developed in the early 1990s by lawyers and other professionals who believed that litigation was injurious to the principals involved, especially the children. It is also a way to avoid the arbitrary and uncertain outcomes of court litigation and allows both sides to achieve an equitable and fair divorce settlement that reduces the negative consequences that are often an outcome of traditional divorces. Learning new skills, such as conflict resolution, effective communication, and healthy co-parenting tips are also goals of the process. The model has spread rapidly throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, and other parts of the world. Researcher for a Privacy Consulting Company, April 2009 This company specializes in creating strategic privacy governance programs for major corporations. Corporate privacy is a major issue and is expanding as personal privacy is shrinking. Privacy initiatives need to support business strategy and has to scale across all units. Affordability, effectiveness, and sustainability are also important aspects of privacy programs. The use of appropriate technologies and compliant infrastructures also play a critical role. My role in the project was to assist the primary consultant in a privacy scan for an American food corporation, make recommendations for next steps, and help write up the summary report. Market Researcher for a Regional Car Dealership, April 2009 My job was to find research studies that examined how Canadian women buy cars. Pertinent questions included: are they the primary purchasers or are they influencers are there any big picture buying patterns and are there any legitimate statistics that can answer these questions The other part of this research project looked at how women shop for vehicles versus how men shop for them. Fact Checker and Editor for a Book on the History of Jazz, March 2009 I was given a manuscript on the history of jazz in the United States and Western Europe to read and was asked to fact-check it for accuracy and consistency, editing as I went through the process. Ideas of democracy, modernism, racism, and redemption are covered in the book. Researcher for an Upcoming Book, March 2009 For an author based in Ontario, Canada, I conducted research for a book on American and Canadian water issues, focusing on the crisis that some bodies of water are experiencing, the most promising methods of conservation, and the commodifaction of the global water supply. The book was structured as an easy to read introduction to the subject and was not particularly scientific or technical in nature. Researcher for an Asian Agricultural Organization, February 2009 For this project, I had to find all current and archived news stories about Indian agriculture, its farmers, and how new technological advancements may be able to help both. I used LexisNexis and ProQuest to do the work. Business Researcher for a Technology Presentation (NDA in Place), February 2009 I was hired by a software company specializing in next-generation operating system platforms to find a diverse collection of data that its in-house research department was having difficulty finding. One aspect was searching for global ecommerce statistics for 2002 and onwards. The research was needed urgently because of a time sensitive race between two companies developing the same technology, a technology that has mega implications for ecommerce. Internet Researcher and Writer for a Report on Search Engine Optimization, January - February 2009 A well-established web company contacted me to put together the latest information on search engine optimization. For many years, its rankings had always been respectable, but all of a sudden, they took a big hit and revenues began to slump. The company then hired a series of SEO experts, all of whom had different ideas, opinions, and costly steps for the company to take to solve the problem. Instead of spending any more money and changing everything on its site one more time, they decided to find out which SEO best practices were presently being employed and what results they could expect. I did a series of interviews with SEO experts, read the most recent reports and books I could find, visited Internet forums specializing in SEO, and searched the web for value-added information. I put all pertinent findings into a white paper. Researcher for an Australian Consultancy, January 2009 The main objective of this project was to establish if pheromones increase a persons attraction. The client required a list of human-based clinical studies and research papers. The deliverable was a highly condensed summarization with copies of the research papers and clinical trials attached in the appendix. I searched for studies that confirmed pheromones increase a persons attraction. Some of the questions I tried to answer were: does a persons attraction increase if pheromones are applied on the body If so, what sort of pheromones Artificial or animal derived Can the human body increase attraction with an increase in pheromone production from the inside There are nutritional supplements available on the Internet that make such claims. Is there any research to substantiate this claim Researcher, Writer, and Editor for a Publication on ACRL Literacy Standards, Instructional Scaffolding, and the Value of Web-based Tutorials in an Academic Setting, January 2009 I worked with a librarian on this project. She needed help with researching, writing, and editing to take her ideas and turn them into an article. When you look at the research habits of NextGens, a couple of things become pretty obvious: they use the Internet as a starting point for research instead of searching academic databases when using library databases, they often disregard help screens and they employ a very erratic style of searching webpages for information, something that Angela Weiler called I dont think, I click in Information-Seeking Behavior in Generation Y Students: Motivation, Critical Thinking, and Learning Theory . Almost every academic database has a different interface, a different set of search protocols, and different full-text retrieval engines, meaning access to these resources is less than transparent. For example, PsycINFO offers the option of using controlled vocabularies, while JSTOR doesnt. Before conducting a search, LexisNexis forces the user to select different source areas, while the best way to search Factiva is to make use of its subject directories to narrow searches. Some provide full-text articles, while others, only the bibliographic information and perhaps a pointer to where an article can be retrieved. Even experienced researchers become confused when faced with multiple procedures. It takes quite a bit of expertise to navigate digitized information systems and use them well enough to get the best available information. That is why it is important, if not crucial, to offer sufficient support when students are first being introduced to research tools in an academic setting. Support from librarians is a key component, but web-based tutorials are also critical because they tap into the independent and tech-savvy nature of NextGens and are also cost effective. Students could benefit from having basic explanations of elements found on search results pages, definitions of commonly used terms, and simple contextual maps to explain the basics of information retrieval for the wide array of databases found in academic libraries. Maybe academic libraries and the tools they offer their students shouldnt differ that much from online businesses such as Amazon, Google, and Netflix, which spend a lot of their time and money focused on improving the self-service functionality and usability of their websites so that visitors can find the answers they need when they need them. Perhaps emulating their self-service models to create an instructional framework could go a long way to facilitate active learning and may even serve to increase a users general research skills. Researcher for a Real Estate Marketing Company, December 2008 - February 2009 A company that provides innovative, web-based marketing systems and software for both real estate agents and mortgage brokers contacted me for research help and the creation of content for their marketing files containing local-based information. I eventually researched approximately 250 topics, including many in the area of financial services. I also wrote a series of articles for their monthly newsletters which cover a variety of subject matters. Researcher, December 2008 My client was looking for a list of public relations companies that were founded by women and who have their primary offices in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Researcher for an Upcoming Historical Novel on William Marshal, the 1st Earl of Pembroke, November 2008 - January 2009 I read a large number of books and academic articles on the life of William Marshal. I also read background information on the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries as preparation for my work. I then created a series of summaries on a large number of topics and events so that my client could more easily write the book, without having to stop every day to do more research. William Marshals life is well-documented because his eldest son commissioned a record of his life shortly after his death in 1219. The resulting work was LHistoire de Guillaume le Marchal and it contained many eyewitness accounts of Marshals life from his contemporaries. William Marshal was born during the tumultuous Civil Wars of King Stephen and Empress Mathilda. Sentenced to death at the age of five by King Stephen when his father refused to surrender, William Marshal had a notorious beginning. He was a hostage of Stephens, held in surety in exchange for his fathers good behaviour. But his father, John Fitz Gilbert the Marshal, had other ideas. Although Stephens knights urged him to hang the child, the king decided to give John Marshal another chance to save his son by forfeiting the castle at Newbury. But William had three brothers and a young mother. When King Stephens messenger delivered the ultimatum he was told that John cared little if William was hanged since he had the anvils and hammers to make more and even better sons. He said his youngest son was of far less value than his castle at Newbury. King Stephen had every right to hang the boy, but William was not executed and went on to become an important bodyguard for Eleanor of Aquitaine and a courageous knight. Over his life, he served four kings: Henry II, Richard I, John Lackland, and was made regent for the nine year old, Henry III. Researcher, Editor, and Analyst for a Real Estate Strategy Consultancy, November 2008 - January 2009 I was hired to read, review, and edit five strategic plans that my client had written for various commercial real estate projects. The typical document was 80-100 pages. I edited, filtered, and condensed the reports into three templates to serve as base documents for future reports. I found that some things were stated more clearly in one report than another. My client needed the best of each report standardized and applied to three different templates for three different types of real estate projects (i.e. town center, regional mall, entertainment focused center). I also analyzed cities, regions, states, and then produced market overviews for projects that my client was working on. For example, if one of the consultants was given an assignment in downtown Atlanta, heshe would need an overview of downtown Atlanta, with a focus on real estate. The number of businesses in the downtown core, daytime work population, traffic statistics, total number of hotel rooms, square footage of office space, rental rates, retail sales, job growth, downtown residential population, etc. Typically, a ten page report provided a good overview. I also supplied my client with a write up of the overall national real estate market with overviews in housing, hotels, office space, apartments, and retail. Researcher and Writer for a Study on Recession-Proof Industries, November 2008 An American college was intrigued by the idea of developing new diploma programs based on the premise that the courses would provide recession-proof jobs for graduates. When jobs are scarce and the economy is going through a downturn, many people go back to school to upgrade their skills. Why not offer them programs that could keep them employed long into the future No career is truly recession-proof, but discovering the high-demand jobs of the future and updating your skills accordingly, can go a long way in offering economic security. Emerging fields such as geographic information systems, green energy, and specific healthcare occupations are currently receiving a lot of attention. The most important part of this project was the futures research I did for it. Every year we are surprised by social, economic, and technological upheavals that appear to come from nowhere. How can we plan for the future, when we dont know what will happen tomorrow Predicting which jobs will still be vital a decade from now is not an easy task and must be made using some of the principles of scenario planning. Key to preparing for the future is making better decisions today. We can do this by highlighting large-scale forces that push the future in different directions. The work I did was summarized into a report and given to the provost for evaluation. Researcher for a Washington, DC Non-Profit, October - November 2008 This research project is part of a multi-prong initiative that looks at how politicians are using the Internet and if it changes the way they govern. I looked at politicians from many countries, not just the United States. I basically used the Internet for all of my research, collecting information on different politicians and parties, and on how they are using the medium to transform the democratic process. I put all my findings into a report. All four major candidates in Frances presidential election are using Second Life. opening virtual campaign headquarters there so that visitors (in the form of avatars) can ask questions, debate with politicians, and attend political rallies. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards are also campaigning in Second Life. Clinton has even held press conferences at her virtual headquarters. UK politicians are increasingly using blogs and are responding to the posted comments. Blogs have become extremely important, with millions reading both local and national blogs daily. The British Conservatives have launched their own Facebook pages to attract new support. Facebook is a really fast growing way for politicians to communicate with constituents. Voters who become a friend of the Conservatives receive regular updates and tips on how to get involved in the political process. European politicians are using podcasting, vlogging, blogging, and other Web 2.0 tools to raise funds, recruit volunteers, and to organize supporters. Britains Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, has his own video blog to post slick clips that attract voters and engage the public in a new kind of conversation. The Conservatives say the party has been inspired by whats happening in America. Social networking sites had a huge impact on the United States Presidential elections. Barack Obama credits social networking and Web 2.0 tools for his campaigns phenomenal support and successful fundraising efforts. He won every important caucus state by using these tools because he was able to move thousands of people to organize. Obama used the Internet to organize his supporters in such a way that would require an army of volunteers in traditional campaigns. The Internet also allowed him to run a campaign for much less money. For instance, Obamas campaign is taking advantage of YouTube for free advertising. Also, the ad material they created for their YouTube channel is currently being watched more than ten million hours, something that would cost tens of millions of dollars on broadcast television. And, unlike direct mail, the Internet costs nothing in comparison. The election of 2008 is already being called the YouTube Election thanks to the videos uploaded by presidential hopefuls. Photographic Researcher, October 2008 My job was to find images of gods and goddesses associated with knowledge, learning, wisdom, writing, books, and libraries. These images of deities will be used as part of a librarians presentation at a conference in Thailand. Hermes was the Greek god of knowledge and invention Vidya Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of learning and rational thinking Lono is the Hawaiian god of learning and intellect Seshat (Sashet, Sesheta, Safekh) is the Egyptian goddess of writing, historical records, accounting and mathematics, measurement and architecture to the ancient Egyptians. Seshat was the goddess of libraries, knowledge, and geomancy Thoth was the oldest and greatest of Egyptian librarians and was known as the inventor of writing and acted as scribe to the gods Ganesha (Ganpati) is the Hindu God of knowledge and learning Wei TO is the ancient Chinese god of libraries and books Hayagriva is the Hindu God of learning and wisdom Carmenta is the Roman Goddess of writing and the alphabet Saturnus was the Roman god of learning Nabu is the Babylonian god of writing and wisdom Quetzalcoatl is the Aztec god of learning and creation Sarasvati is the Hindu goddess of books and knowledge Tenjin is the Japanese god of learning, language and calligraphy Nisaba or Nidaba is the Sumerian goddess of writing, the Learned One and scribe of the Sumerian heaven Bridget is the Celtic goddess of writing, poetry, and learning Buddha Manjushri is a god of learning Ogma is an Irish god of writing, eloquence and poetry Vagdevi is a Hindu goddess of learning The other gods of educat ion and knowledge were the Muses, who were the daughters of memory and goddesses of the arts and libraries Athena was the goddess of wisdom, learning, and teaching Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom, learning, art crafts and industry Apollo was the Greek god of knowledge, past, present, and future and Danu was the Celtic god of knowledge. This is a webpage showing the images of the gods and goddesses I found. Here is the key that goes along with the photographs. Environmental Researcher for a Study on the Environmental Impacts and Health Concerns Related to Wireless Internet Towers (Washington State Grassroots Organization), September 2008 This project was both interesting and frustrating. I found an equal amount of information on both sides of the debate. Often when you are hired as a freelance researcher, the client is expecting you to deliver only information that supports the way they see a situation. They want you to find information that backs up their viewpoint. In this case, that was difficult. Many of the reports and articles I read on the subject reported that there is very little to worry about when it comes to the potential health risks associated with exposure to microwave radiation. A number of experts stated that microwave ovens are more of a health risk than ISP towers because they leak radiation. And, as they point out, cell phone towers are much more of a concern when it comes to health. In general, public health implications of wireless technologies is a relatively new phenomenon and it will be several more years before studies can reliably demonstrate and predict what exposure to all kinds of microwave radiation does to the human body and if it alters brain chemistry. Another part of my research was to find information on how Internet towers affect the value of homes located near them. The information I could find points to the subjectivity of each case. For example, a home may decrease in value by 20-30 percent in some areas, but in other locations, namely very rural areas, an Internet tower could be viewed as a positive by people looking to buy a home with access to high speed wireless. The perception of the buyer is key. One of the questions that arose out of my research was how the locations for these towers are chosen. Particularly, why are they built anywhere near houses and people The answer is they need access to electricity, so a location cant be a very remote and uninhabitable area, and must as a consequence, be built in populated areas supplied with power. One other interesting point was raised by this research: when you say no to Internet towers, sometimes you are saying no to a lot more. We found that entire rural areas of the United States are basically without reliable and speedy access to the Internet because local people have fought against towers. Without access to a high speed connection, you are invariably cutting people off from having access to a lot of important information. The Internet has become a lifeline to rural communities. Think also of small businesses, the home schooled, and the telecommuters. The Internet is a critical utility and is as important as telephone, electricity, and mail. Living in isolation, off the grid, is just not an option anymore. The Internet provides too much opportunity. Even the off-gridders have Facebook pages these days, which is kind of funny. The Internet gives you access to the whole world and hundreds of years of knowledge. For instance, the National Library of Wales is digitalizing everything printed about Wales and the Welsh people since the 16th century. And, every day, another service becomes available only online. Researcher for an Overview on Best Practices for Corporate Website Usability, Customer Experience, and Usability Engineering, September 2008 I was hired by a North Carolina consulting firm and directory to evaluate their website and online social communication tools. After losing some of their ranking in various search engines, they decided that it was a good time to take a closer look at their online presence and find out if customers and visitors to the site were having a positive experience. Sometimes companies spend so much time and money on positioning themselves for search engine optimization that they forget the basics of customer service. Unless the experience is user-friendly and barrier-free, people wont come back. Search engine spiders are getting better at indexing Flash elements but without a duplicate site for spiders and for users without the needed plug-ins, parts of my clients site was inaccessible to many. The site also relied, in part, on audio cues alone, which meant that the hearing impaired couldnt fully use the site, nor could those that didnt have speakers hooked up to their computers. The website also could not be read by the computers of visually impaired users. Computers are unable to read text that is enclosed in graphics. People with disabilities were unable to navigate the site because it was built to be visually pleasing rather than informationally and structurally sound. Visitors were also unable to change the font sizes, which is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. I also found that users were unable to efficiently and quickly locate information on the site. The interface design required people to guess where items were because the information was not well organized or properly labeled. The sites navigation wasnt easy to use or find because it featured a navigation scheme considered cutting-edge. The reality was that users couldnt figure out how to use it, especially since it did not remain in the same place throughout the website. A breadcrumb trail built directly into the navigation is a very helpful component of a site, as is using webpage titles and subtitles to indicate what section of the site a person is in. Researcher for a Study on the Portrayal of Male Librarians Throughout History, August - September 2008 I spent quite a lot of time researching male librarians, from the earliest documented accounts. This project was multi-pronged and complex. The first thing I did was a literature review. I used a series of online academic databases to find good articles and books. My client requested that I highlight the most important points in each article and write a summary. After my initial research, I put all the information together and wrote a report that chronologically tracked librarians over time. I also put the highlights into a simple timeline. Historically, the image of the male librarian has come full circle. The profession was originally peopled by bookish men, although there are certain exceptions. The famous philanderer, Casanova, was the librarian for Count von Waldstein in the Chateau of Dux in Bohemia. Ancient librarians had high social status and were often scholars or priests. They were generally the only literate people in their communities. The chief Librarian of Alexandria was chosen by the king and was always a prominent scholar. In Egypt in the early 500s, Pachomius started a monastery and insisted that all resident monks read and write. Many monastic enclaves emerged throughout the Roman Empire and most had theological libraries. Monasteries in the Middle Ages were centered on librarianship and libraries, housing monk scribes, with the head scribe often put in charge of the library. The Benedictines created libraries and the scriptorium became sacred. It soon became customary for monasteries to lend to other monasteries, giving birth to inter-library loans. Prior to 1870, public opinion was that librarians were introverted, mean, eccentric, and male. Early male librarians were seen as dusty old bachelors, and undernourished, weak and non-masculine bibliophiles. The masculinity of male librarians was never questioned when libraries were the exclusive territory of male employees. That changed when libraries were primarily the workplaces of women. Male librarians were then stereotyped because they were seen to work in a female-dominated profession. By the end of the 19th century, the profession was slowly transforming into a womans profession, thanks to Melvil Deweys School of Library Economy, the first institute to offer formal training for future librarians, including women. He established a pool of relatively cheap female labour that transformed the landscape of librarianship over the next half-century. Once exclusively the domain of men, librarianship evolved over time to not just incorporate women, but to become a profession that is almost completely associated with them. Women werent seen as having a role in the profession until World War I. A review of American and British articles written prior to 1914, shows that librarians were always referred to as he. In the era following World War II, men were actively recruited into the profession and there was an increase in the number of men entering the field, enticed by higher salaries and rapid advancement into administrative positions. Stereotypes of male librarians as effeminate was a big factor in keeping many from working in academic librarianship, especially since the public perceived such a man as a failure who couldnt find work in typically traditional male professions, such as law and medicine. Men of that era tended to consider librarianship as better suited to women than men. His very identity as a man could be compromised by choosing to become a librarian. Because the workplace is dominated by women, male librarians find themselves associated with the stereotype. Like male nurses, male librarians, have a fear of being perceived as homosexual since they work in a feminized profession. Surveys do not show that there are any more gay male librarians working in the field of librarianship than there are in the general population, just that it is possible that societal homophobia forces many gay men away from typical mens work and into jobs that were once called sissy jobs, such as dancer, librarian, secretary, and florist. More importantly, what movies, comic books, and literature have said about male librarians is that they are typically effeminate, weak, nerdy, etc. with effeminate being the most important trait that can be traced back to the gay stereotype. When you research male librarians throughout history, homosexuality has not been one of the main stereotypes that comes up, not at all. There is no substantial evidence to indicate that a large number of male librarians are gay, although surveys indicate that there is a perception that gay males predominate in librarianship. According to a famous study by James V. Carmichael, the proportion of homosexuals and heterosexuals among male librarians is comparable to that in the general population. In reality, the majority of male librarians surveyed had a MLIS degree and were older married men. The stereotype that men in libraries are more likely to be gay is a myth. The homosexual image is only one of the stereotypes associated with males in the library profession. Male librarians are often thought of as the systems guy who joined the profession because of its technological aspects and because they are seen as more technologically-savvy than women. Men who work in libraries are frequently seen as in charge, with patrons assuming they are managers or directors. Male librarians appear in many movies. In the Rose . Volker Prechtel played an anti-social male librarian in Brazil Jonathan Pryce played a male librarian who was seen as a failure in Offbeat . John Turturro played an anti-social male librarian, Neil Pepper in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold . Richard Burton portrayed a male librarian characterized as a failure in Ghostbusters . John Rothman played an anti-social male librarian and In the Name of the Father . Alan Barry was socially-inept, archivist Jenkins. This is a webpage displaying pictures of male librarians that I collected. Here is the key that goes along with it. Medical Researcher for a Study on the Effects of Candida Yeast, August 2008 Using a number of relevant books and academic articles obtained from MedLine, I provided my client with the latest information on candida yeast, its symptoms, the effects it can have on the body (short and long-term), and treatments, including comprehensive cleanses to rid the body of the overgrowth of candida albicans yeast. Researcher for an Entertainment Company, July 2008 My job was to identify all sport and entertainment venues with seating capacities greater than 12,000 in North America, South America, and Western Europe. Government documents were a great help for this project. Researcher for a New York City Research and Consulting Firm, July 2008 The firm assists organizations in optimizing their education and training resources, and teaches them how blogs might contribute to a learning environment. The company retains the services of independent researchers to research and write on topics related to learning and development in large organizations. The topics I was hired to do were e-learning, learning technologies, leadership development, and measuring training-related performance improvement. Client and Market Researcher for a Nutraceutical Manufacturer, June 2008 The CEO of a small manufacturing company of nutraceutical products hired me to identify and research companies who may be potential customers for products he manufactures. I also created profiles for the companies. Researcher and Writer for a Report on the Future of Life Insurance, May - July 2008 This project was a summary of insurance market activity for several countries. Specifically, I had to find information on life insurance penetration, trends, challenges, leading players, sales channelsdistribution, foreign investment, bancassurance, direct sales and marketing, health insurance, growth metrics, and IFAs. I was hired to do the research and write the report. This wasnt an easy job because a lot of the information and statistics I needed were proprietary and already compiled into very expensive reports, which my clients werent interested in buying. I was fortunate that I had access to a few insurance associations, which allow members access to timely statistics and reports. I was also able to make use of databases, such as Factiva and LexisNexis, and was able to get additional data from a few insurance experts working overseas. For the most part, I combed the Internet and read every whitepaper and report I could find and made use of each countrys insurance association, such as the Berlin-based, German Insurance Association (GDV). As the insurance industry continues to evolve worldwide, distribution becomes more of a factor. Tied agents and brokers, once the mainstay of the industry, dominated most markets. But that is changing at various rates, depending on the region. Currently, the trend is towards the development of alternative distribution channels. In South America, distribution varies by country but many are experimenting with new sales channels such as drugstores, supermarkets, and malls. Some countries in the region require an intermediary for any insurance transaction, a regulation that is preventing countries such as Brazil from developing alternative distribution systems. In 2005, nineteen life insurers and twenty-four non-life insurers were operating in the country. Brokers and agents dominate the distribution channels in Colombia, but there too, company-employed representatives and banks are gaining ground. In Colombia, brokers dominate the group life market. In 2005, 52 registered brokers were working in the field. The individual life market is dominated by agents, approximately 10,000 of them. But it is the banks that are increasingly becoming a one-stop shop for financial services, since they have a better image than the insurance industry. The last year has seen the German life insurance industry busy reacting to changes in the legal and regulatory framework. Introduced in May 2007, the EU Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD) and the Insurance Contract Law, which came into effect in January 2008, are regulations that have increased the complexity of the life insurance business model, leading to higher expenses. Also, the EU Mediation Insurance Directive has had a significant impact on distribution. Higher deferred acquisition costs and surrender values, and a change from policy model to an offer-acceptance model are two of the changes that are creating new challenges for insurers. The German life insurance industry is still one of the least profitable in Europe, as German life insurers business prospects remain weak overall. Preliminary results for 2007 indicate a decrease of 7.1 in total new business premiums to EUR 146.1bn and gross written premiums stagnated at EUR 74.3bn. Fitch currently believes that from 2009, new business in Riester and overall, will slow down. Fitch is forecasting acceleration in competition from within Germany as investment funds and banks try to benefit from the changed product environment given their experience in short and long-term savings products. Increased competition is also expected from foreign insurers. The distribution landscape for German insurers has also changed dramatically in recent years. Also influencing German life insurers is new legislation such as the Retirement Income Act (Alters-Einknfte- Gesetz) and the Tax-Amendment Law (Steuernderungsgesetz). After the partial lapse of tax benefits for traditional endowment policies, the new life insurance products require a much higher degree of sales force competence, as product advantages are more complex to explain to the consumer. This may spell bad news for direct sales. As in Japan, the South Korean sales force is primarily made up of women: shop owners and homemakers selling insurance part-time have historically been the distribution channel that long-established domestic South Korean insurers used to sell their products. These independent agents had little training, and as a result, the industry was marred by complaints of non-professionalism, mis-selling and low customer retention. Upon entry to the market, foreign insurers insisted upon a professional sales force and have done a lot to professionalize the industry. ING Life Korea is noted as a pioneer in this area, and has a network of professional, self-employed full-time tied agents. This model has brought about fundamental changes in the insurance market landscape. The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), South Koreas insurance regulatory body, reports that insurance salespeople are becoming more professional and are making more money. What has traditionally been a female-dominated field is now attracting men to the profession. Male life insurance planners totalled 26,396 as of March 2007, accounting for 20 of the total number of people selling life insurance. The ratio of men has more than doubled since 2002 when it was a mere 9.1. Researcher for a Non-Fiction Biography, May - June 2008 My client was commissioned to write a 80,000 word biography on a series of women political leaders. I was hired to help with the research. I was given a two page document that outlined the book specifications in which the author made comments about the type of content she was looking for. The book specs included a list of in print competition books to serve as models. I was expected to identify a list of relevant articles and books that the author could use to write the biography. I also had to create a working Table of Contents. Researcher and Survey Designer for a Study on Learning Commons in North American Academic Libraries, May 2008 My job was to find as many articles as I could on academic learning commons in North America. I read all of them and extracted the sections I thought were most important for my client, who needed the information to write an article he could publish and to create a presentation he had to give at a professional conference. At this point in the project, I suggested we develop a survey that could be sent to hundreds of librarians. I collected a large number of email addresses for academic librarians working in learning commons. I then put together a series of survey questions that were pertinent to our research question. My client provided feedback, we made some changes, and the survey was sent out. We got a very good response and my client was able to get more insight into the state of learning commons in universities and how reference service has evolved because of them. Another component of the project was to find out how many graduate students work in learning commons and offer consultations to undergraduate students. The nature of learning is changing. A learning commons should recognize that the needs of the learner are paramount. This includes new learning pedagogies, a greater emphasis on collaborative learning, and a recognition that advances in technology have a major impact on how students now acquire, organize, and disseminate information. The evolution of the information commons concept has been one approach to providing new and refined levels of service to academic library users. The concept can be readily adapted to the campus culture and the needs of individual institutions. Given the rapid alteration of the collective information landscape, learning styles of customers, and the nature of library operations, usage patterns of library resources have steadily evolved. Many libraries and librarians have recognized these fundamental changes and some have further undergone a series of organizational developmental processes to adapt and cope with the new realities. Creating a learning commons is one of the ways in which libraries are responding. The learning commons is not just a concept, it is a place, and in many instances, it exists in the library. Academic institutions are supporting a learning commons model because the faculty and administration recognize that students learn in dynamic ways. Learning commons are spaces with the technology and design that emphasize knowledge creation. In the framework of the learning commons, the librarian as facilitator is emphasized. The librarian becomes a partner in the collaborative process on specific projects. The librarian is also responsible for marketing the learning commons and evaluating the outcomes. Another area that the librarian needs to coordinate is the increase in technical services to make sure that the tools are available and easily manipulated by users. The challenge in this philosophy is striking the right balance between the need for supporting technology in the public computing area and providing traditional reference services. New patterns of service delivery are developed to better service the needs of students in this environment. Most information commons are based on a partnership between the library and information technology services of the university with varying degrees of collaboration and integration between the two functional areas. In some cases, multimedia services are also involved. The emphasis on how to house physical collections, accommodate library staff, and seat readers has been replaced by a focus on user needs and expectations, and client experiences. A key feature of the information commons is the help provided to users. The arrangement of the computers, the ease of moving between the desks, and the placement of the information desk all contribute to its success. Students are not always willing to leave their computer and approach a desk, no matter how friendly and helpful they know the staff to be, so it is necessary for staff to go to them. A primary aim of the information commons is to create an environment and a service that will give students the opportunity to develop information and computer literacy skills. Library design should not be dominated by a concern for information resources and their delivery. It should incorporate a deeper understanding of the independent, active learning behaviours of students and the teaching strategies of faculty meant to support those. Staff should regularly rove around the commons. Researcher and Writer for a Presentation on the Future of Academic Libraries, April 2008 My role in this project was to identify important trends and challenges that will shape the future of academic libraries. I used a number of databases to find relevant articles on the topic. I also searched the Internet for information, and interviewed a number of experts in the area of futuristic studies and libraries. My deliverable was a comprehensive report which my client used to build his presentation. The future of the academic library is a topic of continuing concern for the profession, particularly in view of advances in technology. Can libraries harness these new technologies to fulfill their mission in this new information landscape Academic libraries are changing faster than at any time in their history and have entered a period of enormous transition. Identifying relevant technologies to employ in libraries to support services is crucial, and considering the impact of social networking and mobile devices on users and their expectations is also important. Libraries that integrate the interactive world of Web 2.0 ensure they are keeping pace with new ways of learning and interacting with students in provocative ways. Todays students have grown up with computers and are technologically-savvy. Their expectations and attitudes have been shaped by the Internet and other types of digital media. What kind of information are they looking for and how do they want to access it Recent studies have found that even researchers and members of faculty prefer to access information on their computers from home or the office, and visit the library very irregularly. How can libraries make the information easier for them to access and use Many students lack the basic skills to research online and often use Google to begin a search. They have difficulty establishing whether a website provides quality and accurate information. One of the core problems is that the prospect of using their librarys online databases to find good information and refereed articles is overwhelming to them. Each database has its own set of rules and if you dont know them, you will not get good results. Students also dont like to ask for help. They have grown up in a digital world that sanctions independent and self-paced learning and require library services that are structured to accommodate them. University libraries online catalogues have long been characterized as difficult to navigate and not intuitive. Libraries need to start taking lessons from business and workplaces to make quality information easily accessible to students like Amazon has done. Visitors to the site can look inside many books, read reviews, and learn about similar books. Google Books is a great tool because you can search in all the books at one time. This is an invaluable tool for research. A key point to make here is that rather than providing new and exciting services created specifically for the digital age, libraries are taking the safe route by providing their users with the same old types of services wrapped around online technologies. It just doesnt scale well. Yes, they offer online catalogues and other web-based services but they arent adaptable and they arent that easy to navigate and use, especially if you dont have a degree in library science. Libraries should begin developing custom portals to allow easier search options for their collections. Expensive, high quality information goes unread by a majority of students because they have no idea how to access it. Libraries should do whatever it takes to expose their digital collections, even if it means teaming with commercial players such as Google. If not, they run the risk of becoming irrelevant. Developing new and innovative services will be key to bringing academic libraries into a successful future. They will be judged by the quality of the services they offer and the quality of the staff. I think libraries need to establish themselves as agents of change - become leaders in an increasingly complex, information-rich world, if they hope to remain relevant. Technology and shifting expectations are radically changing the job of the librarian and their role in the digital era. Expectations of students, academics, and researchers act as drivers of change in libraries. It is true that universities and their libraries are currently facing a sort of perfect storm: they are being pressured to spend larger amounts of their budgets on computer systems, budgets which are shrinking due to the global financial crisis they are receiving fewer endowments from private individuals, who have seen their net worth plummet in the last few years and unprecedented transformations in scholarly communications coupled with advances in technology have also made the mission and position of academic libraries precarious. The evolution of student expectations and a cry for increased accountability and competition have made this a difficult time for all libraries. But it can also be a time to reinvent the academic library and overcome the challenges. Website Content and Photographic Designer for a Well-Known Business Site Specializing in Gourmet Food Products, April 2008 I acted as a stylist for the redesign of this website, working with the web designer to create a fresh updated look for this forty year old company. I rewrote a lot of the content and found or commissioned photographs that really added to the customer experience. Proofreader, March 2008 I proofread a document on the rise of flood devastation in the United States. People continue to build homes and businesses in areas that are prone to floods. Tens of thousands of people have lost everything to floodwaters of the ever-urbanized seaboards that are routinely hit with big storms described as isolated events but which cause billions of dollars in damages. Historically, the response has always been to employ engineering solutions to meet the challenge of flooding, along with calls for more sophisticated rainfall prediction models and better floodplain maps. This paper asks, whats next For instance, Central Texas has been identified as the most flash-flood prone area in the country by the National Weather Service, but Texas has no comprehensive flood safety education program of any kind. A lack of understanding of flood risk causes deaths, massive property damage, and billions of dollars in lost revenue and aid. More stringent floodplain building codes, converting floodplains back to open spaces and parks, and publishing an annual report that identifies flood-prone areas of the country can go a long way in saving lives and raising public awareness. Business and Market Researcher for an Insurance Start-Up, February 2008 I was hired to find information on efforts to sell life and health insurance directly to the consumer, without the help of insurance agents (direct marketing) in the following countries: England, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, South Africa, China, India, and Korea. Identification of companies that sell direct, information about their business models, the outlook for selling direct in the countries, articles about selling insurance to the middle market in the countries, and information about the future of the agent distribution channel in each of the countries formed the bulk of my research. Researcher for a Book on Luxury Shopping, January - May 2008 My client wanted to write the definitive guide to luxury shopping throughout history. That meant starting at the beginning and researching the oldest luxury shops that exist in North America and Europe. As you might have guessed, London, England has some of the oldest, most luxurious, and expensive specialty stores in the world. We didnt simply focus on apparel and accessories, but also looked at furniture, stationary, fine jewellery, art and antiques, cosmetics, gifts, and even gourmet food and wine. One of the components of the research considered if paying more actually translates into a better quality purchase. We also added research on how the shopping experience has changed since some of these companies have opened online stores, and if the products differ from those found in their brick and mortar locations. Researcher for a Magazine Journalist, January 2008 I was asked to research the selling of digital assets. I primarily used LexisNexis to find newspaper and magazine articles on the subject. I also used the Internet to do some of the research. In-game trading has grown in popularity over the past five years, in step with the growth of the MMOG games industry. Commodification of virtual goods is happening whether developers want it to or not. Inflation is rampant in most games, with rising prices subsequently fueling real-world trading. In 1999, virtual assets were increasingly being traded for real money. eBay began selling digital property in 1999, primarily those associated with Ultima Online. eBay offers gamers the chance to bid on hundreds of items, including characters, gold, armour, magical potions, trinkets, and property. Recently, a gamer sold his account for 4,000, and many others have also gotten thousands of dollars. What this means is you no longer have to be an experienced player to have property and mature characters. As long as you have money, you can acquire whatever you want instead of putting in the time and work. This is changing the nature of gaming. Sonys EverQuest also has a vibrant secondary market with hundreds of items currently listed on eBay, some selling for thousands of dollars. The birth of this secondary market elicited various reactions from companies operating MMORPGs. For example, Electronic Arts, publisher of Ultima Online, was excited by this turn of events and let its players trade their virtual assets for free. On the other hand, Sony Online Entertainment, the operator of EverQuest, asked eBay to take down any auctions for EverQuest assets. This was mostly due to frauds occurring in the market. Items bought on eBay are regularly not delivered, resulting in angry customers turning to Sony for help. In 2000, it officially outlawed the secondary market by adding certain clauses to its end-user license agreement, telling sellers that character sales infringed upon its EverQuest copyright. In January 2001, Sony managed to convince eBay and Yahoo Auctions to remove all auctions of EverQuest virtual assets, but this did nothing more than move the trading to other marketplaces, such as PlayerAuctions. The unauthorized, black-market auctions grew so quickly that Sony was forced to police eBay and other sites full-time. By 2005, Sony had developed its own virtual asset auction website called Station Exchange to sell assets of specific EverQuest II servers. Security effectively eliminated fraud by forcing sellers to place items in special accounts so that Sony could make sure that buyers received what they paid for. But the illegal auctions continued. In January 2007, eBay announced that it would pull all auctions for virtual artifacts, not just Sony assets, except for Second Life assets because that virtual world encourages its members to mix real life with virtual life. All Real Money Transfers (RMT) were suspended, in part, because the legal complexities of virtual property and intellectual rights to the property were unclear. With eBay out of the way, companies such as IGE, which describes itself as the worlds largest secure network of buying and selling sites for massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) virtual currency and assets on the Internet, will make more money. The World of Warcraft banned the sale of in-game items because it doesnt allow players to upgrade their characters or tools by paying money. The company expects players to earn them the old-fashioned way and will ban a player if they are caught selling outside the game world. In December 2005, it closed more than 18,000 WOW accounts for that reason. Researcher for a PowerPoint Deck on the Importance of Government Documents, January 2008 My client had to make a presentation at an American Library Association conference and needed my help to research the topic and create the PowerPoint deck. One of the areas he wanted to focus on was the users right to access government information and the importance of preserving it for future generations. Government documents tell the story of a nation, since almost every aspect of society is documented by local, provincial, and federal agencies. Becoming an informed citizen has a long history in American culture and forms an important component in the democratic process. How can librarians assist their patrons in accessing and understanding government information and become better informed citizens Offering better service in this area of librarianship should be a primary concern for libraries, allowing better dissemination of information to students and researchers. Many libraries recognize the importance of government documents to researchers in areas such as law, political science, and history, but there are also teachers, genealogists, cartographers, small business owners, sociologists, geologists, university administrators, and local government officials to consider. Government documents play an important role in the research process, with statistical publications some of the most frequently consulted. Some government documents are available online, but the collections are far from complete and tend to disappear without any notice. They are also not very well organized. State and local documents present their own special problems because they are often classified using home-grown indexes, which can be ineffective. Librarians need to standardize how they arrange government documents to make the process easier for the average user. The other component covered in the PowerPoint presentation is the lack of bibliographic instruction focusing on using online government information. Studies of undergraduate library use show that new strategies are needed for integrating government information into standard library instruction. Researcher for an International Insurance Group, December 2007 I was hired to identify the number of power plants in the United States (by state), Canada, South America (by country) and Western Europe (by country). I also had to identify the power source for each plant (steam, internal combustion, combustion turbine, non-conventional, geothermal, oil, coal). I used government documents to complete the project. Researcher and Writer for a Book Proposal, December 2007 I worked on a book proposal for an American entrepreneur writing a book about a multi-step plan to assist with the start-up phase of new business ventures. The premise of the book is that there are many core reasons for business failure but they can be avoided through competent and considered planning. Researcher for a Start-Up, December 2007 I was asked to find out the percentage of visitors to contact pages of small businessesboutique websites that result in the visitor calling or emailing the business, and what percentage of those contacts result in a sale. I did some research and it seems as though the average conversion rate (unique visitors to a boutique business general website into paying customers) is about 1. But this doesnt measure bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who only view one page, then leave) and repeat visitors who return to the site over several days. What my client was looking for is a combination of online consumer behavior, conversion ratio, and website analytics. I wasnt able to provide him with extensive information because, although the statistics had been compiled, the report was very expensive to buy and my client did not have the budget for it, nor did he have the budget for me to start from scratch. Researcher for an Academic Librarian, November 2007 My client is an academic librarian, working towards tenure. As a result, he not only has to work full-time, but also has to work on studies and papers that will help him get promoted. Thats why he hired me. This project focused on the future of reference service in academic libraries. As a first step, we worked together to develop a survey that asked librarians a series of questions about reference. I had already spent time on the Internet collecting the email addresses of reference librarians working in universities and colleges in Canada, so I sent the survey to them. We had a very good response and their comments added a lot to my final report, which included statistics, graphs, and all comments from responding librarians. Next, I did a literature review, pulling the most important points from each article to make it easy for my client to write up the paper. This is some of what I learned from the project: The bottom line is that many users of reference have moved online and expect reference when and where they need it. They also tend to be self-sufficient and have embraced the self-service ideology for most things in their lives. Long gone are the days when librarians could sit back and wait for library users to come to them, especially with the rise of online databases and virtual courses, which are crucial not only to part-time students, but to special-needs students. Reference services also need to accommodate the nomadic NextGens by supplementing traditional face-to-face service with online communications. The changing nature of college students makes it important for reference librarians to be comfortable with new technologies. Students expect services and resources when and where they need them, not when and where the library staff wants to provide them. New models of service are popping up to supplement traditional reference services: outdoor mobile reference kiosks are scattered across university campuses librarians offering reference help in dining and residence halls librarians walking through study areas with laptops, asking if students need help using Web 2.0 technologies, such as MySpace to reach out email reference and conducting reference interviews through chat. Several libraries are incorporating training to help familiarize staff with Web 2.0 concepts. Reference librarians will continue to be flexible and creative in using technology to supplement more traditional methods of service delivery. It is very important for the survival and growth of libraries to go where the users are. However, given the preference for independent information collection, virtual reference is unlikely to be viewed as the solution to most students, particularly since it is still based on the patron interacting with a librarian and doesnt reflect the fact that information-seeking in a digital environment differs greatly from traditional library-based research. Other forms of creative online reference help need to be developed that incorporate the way electronic resources are used. Many of the challenges facing libraries are the same as they have always faced: providing products that their patrons want and succeeding in a competitive environment. Tidak ada yang berubah. The current twist is choosing the right delivery system as publishers and library consortiums try to keep up in a networked world of electronic reference products. It is only through such experimentation that libraries will learn what applications are appropriate for what tasks and what reference environments. The progress of technology has allowed, and will continue to allow, reference services to become more collaborative, to the benefit of both individual services and reference work in general. Researcher and Writer for a K-12 Book on Americas Security Agencies, November 2007 My role in this project was to look through the manuscript and taking important points from each chapter, provide qualitative web links for the topics covered. For each link, I created a fifty word descriptive annotation. I also wrote a bibliography. The research I did is found in the back of the book and can be used by students to do further research and write reports. Fact Checker and Bibliographic Consultant for a Manuscript on Inventors, October - December 2007 This book covers a number of famous and not so famous inventors who changed the world. Elisha Graves Otis invented the elevator brake, which permitted skyscrapers to be built Alfred Nobel was a wealthy industrialist, who invented dynamite Robert Metcalfe is the inventor of Ethernet Louis and Auguste Lumire invented a camera and projector system they named the Cinmatographe, which became the foundation for the film industry Ray Kurzweil invented the Kurzweil Reading Machine, which reads printed materials to visually impaired people Charles Goodyears discovery of vulcanization made rubber strong enough to be used in the manufacture of automobile tires Milton Bradley invented the Checkered Game of Life (later sold as the Game of Life) and launched an entire new range of board games in 1976, Seymour Cray designed and built the CRAY-1, the worlds first supercomputer Douglas Engelbart owns the patent for the computer mouse Art Fry, product development researcher at 3M, is the person responsible for Post-it Notes pioneering automotive engineer, Henry Ford, was an inventor with many patents on automotive components and was famous for creating the assembly line that revolutionized the auto industry and made cars cheap enough for the ordinary person and Thomas Alva Edison was the inventor who held patents for more than one thousand inventions. He is famous as the inventor of the phonograph, the incandescent electric lamp, the first industrial research laboratory, and the motion-picture projector. I did a lot of research to make sure my client had all the facts and dates correct. I also created the bibliography. Fact Checker for a Book on the National Parks of the United States, September - November 2007 National parks are going through a transitional period and are faced with many problems. Encroachment, pollution, animal control issues, the dilemma of dams, and the reality that drug cartels are using national parks to grow marijuana, putting visitors and park wardens in danger when they come upon these illegal operations. Interests of various indigenous groups were also covered in the book, along with problems associated with visitors to parks. My job was to make sure all information was accurate, and in some cases, expand the scope of the subject matter. Acadia National Park, Everglades National Park, Glacier National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Alaskas Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park, and Yosemite National Park were covered in the book. Researcher for a Series of Educational Booklets on the Amendments to the United States Constitution, September - October 2007 The members of the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The members met because the states were very dissatisfied with the Articles of Confederation and there was a need for a stronger centralized government to keep the federation together. After months of debate and many compromises, the draft Constitution was presented to the states for acceptance. The Constitution was eventually ratified, establishing the new Federal government in 1789. It is no surprise that the Constitution would need to change as the country grew and matured. An amendment process was built into the original document to facilitate these changes and make room for additions. The first ten amendments are collectively called the Bill of Rights. To date, there have been twenty-seven amendments to the US Constitution. An overview of the Constitution, a look at the Bill of Rights, along with a number of the Amendments, were included in my work. I then had to provide a number of modern examples that challenge some of the Amendments. Some of the amendments I researched were the establishment of womens suffrage (Nineteenth Amendment), the abolishment of slavery (Thirteenth Amendment), the prohibition of alcohol (Eighteenth Amendment), the repeal of prohibition (Twenty-first Amendment), the right to keep and bear arms (Second Amendment), the granting of citizenship to and protecting the civil liberties of recently freed slaves (Fourteenth Amendment), and the right to have individual freedoms (the Fifth Amendment). The history and the events leading up to each amendment and the politics and personalities behind the changes to the United States Constitution are discussed. I wrote summarizations of the amendments, how and why they came about, and characterizations of the main players. I also included scenarios on how these historical occurrences affect us today. Science Researcher for Industry Canada, July - September 2007 I used the Internet and academic databases to find examples of nano-bio-info convergent applications that are usually embedded in systems. Converging technologies are applications having new and combined features derived from the intersection or combination of different enabling technology platforms. Convergence represents a new way of viewing cross and multi-disciplinary possibilities, and it will provide major recombination opportunities for business and entrepreneurs. It may also present unintended social consequences. A diverse private - public partnership, combining key organizations is required to explore the convergent landscape, the potential opportunities, as well as the unintended negative implications. My clients primary need was to expand, deepen, and add new prospective applications to their present inventory in three areas: 1.) Energy Environment (EE), including energy production and distribution energy end use and device efficiencies environmental stewardship toxicology environmental monitoring sensing and bio-remediation. 2.) Water, Food and Bio- Products (WFB), including synthetic, bioengineered foods industrial bio-products bio-fuels, bioenergy systems optimization food processing and packaging and food and water freshness and preservation. 3.) Health and Life Sciences (HLS), including nano-bio pharma-drug design and delivery bio-computation, nano-imaging for medicine bio-nano materials for health devices bio-nano diagnostic devices and arrays and bio-nano-genetic medicine. The challenge was to identify, analyze, imagine, and speculate how these new technologies, their innovative functionalities, and public partnership-stewardship implications may affect a selected set of sectoral activities that are deemed critical for Canadas future. Here are a couple of the technologies and their applications that I was able to find: 1. Researchers at the ARC Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, University of New South Wales, Australia, are developing new coatings they hope will be used for self-cleaning surfaces in hospitals and the home. Used on outdoor surfaces such as self-cleaning windows, titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles work by absorbing UV light below a certain wavelength, exciting electrons and giving the particles an oxidizing quality stronger than any commercial bleach. These nanoparticles kill microbes and break down organic compounds, and water runs straight off surfaces coated with TiO2, washing as it goes. 2. Motorola Labs and Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona) announced a key advancement in the use of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) in Field Effect Transistors (FETs) to sense biological and chemical agents at low concentrations. Together, the research teams tuned SWNT-FETs to sense specific agents by applying a peptide-functionalized polymer coating that does not affect their ability to transmit electrical signals. This developing sensor technology could be used to monitor a host of environmental and health issues, including air and water quality, industrial chemicals, and biological agents, especially in the area of homeland security. 3. Until now quantum dots have been known primarily for their ability to produce a dozen different distinct colors of light simply by varying the size of the individual nanocrystals, a capability particularly suited to fluorescent labeling in biomedical applications. But chemists at Vanderbilt University discovered a way to make quantum dots spontaneously produce broad-spectrum white light. The report of their discovery, which happened by accident, appears in Quantum Dots that Produce White Light Could Be the Light Bulbs Successor. 4. The EU-funded BioFinger project is another interesting project. Its aim is to develop versatile, inexpensive, and easy-to-use diagnostic tools for health, environmental and other applications. The BioFinger device uses cantilevers on a disposable microchip, making it small and portable, and allowing it to be reconfigured with new on-chip cantilevers to detect different substances. The tip of the cantilever is coated with chemicals allowing it to bend and resonate when it binds specific molecules (such as those on the surface of bacteria). The analysis which can be performed anywhere, anytime, takes between 15 and 20 minutes. 5. Nano-scale sensors are in development that will monitor toxins and bacteria at all stages of food processing. This will help producers spot salmonella in chickens or e-coli in spinach, long before the products reach the shops. Self-monitoring food packaging will mature into technology like the nano-tongue. Wired into your fridge, it will detect and warn you of a whole range of chemicals given off by rotting food, or the presence of bacteria, and then clean them. 6. The food industry is excited about sell-by dates and self-preserving food. Nano-coatings will make the lifespan of manufactured food even longer. Food manufacturers including Unilever and Nestle plan to use nano-encapsulation to improve shelf life and engineer taste sensations in fat-based foods like chocolates, ice creams, and spreads. 7. Development of nanotechnology for rapid detection of food pathogens, specifically, new rapid methods for detecting food pathogens will be developed using high sensitive Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) sensors based on nanostructured substrates. A new generation of nanotechnology companies is focused squarely on the water and food purity market, using nanoparticles that form chemical bonds with contaminants and dont let go. Thiol-SAMMS, a powder, can suck up 60 percent of its own weight in mercury, arsenic, lead, and other metals, and is so absorbent that a single tablespoonful has the same surface area as a football field. Rice University researchers have demonstrated nanorust, microscopic particles of the metal magnetite that bond to arsenic in water and can then be lifted out with an ordinary magnet. 8. Tiny magnets help drugs reach the spot. Inhaled drugs could soon be guided to the lungs by magnetic fields using a new technique developed by researchers in Germany. The team performed computer simulations and experiments on mice to show that drugs mixed with tiny magnetic nanoparticles could be delivered to the lungs up to eight times more efficiently than if inhaled normally. Nanocarriers may not only be used for the administration of drugs to the airways but also to deliver vaccines since the stimulation of a long lasting, protective immunity to respiratory viruses is often difficult to achieve with conventional respiratory vaccines. 9. Nanopatches are expected to make needles a thing of the past. The patch will contain very tiny projections (micro-nanoprojections) that when applied to the skin will deliver vaccine to the target cells below the surface. Its a revolutionary approach that will overcome several of the problems of existing vaccine delivery, including the need for medical personnel to administer needles, the cost and logistics of storing and transporting vaccines, and hygienic needle use and disposal. All things considered, this technology will have a huge impact on the way vaccination programs are administered in third world countries with the potential to reach far greater numbers of people than under conventional needle technology. 10. Tissue engineering and rejuvenation medicine using self-assembling nanostructures to create fully biological or biohybrid tissues and organs in vitro that can be safely implanted in the human body is also on the horizon. 11. Researchers are attempting to develop more accurate and sensitive techniques to monitor cellular changes of cancer cells in both temporal and spatial domains using nanotechnology and are now working to miniaturize MEMS devices to the nanoscale. 12. Magnetic nanoparticles heat up when a time-varying magnetic field is applied. This characteristic is used to burn away cancer cells (Hyperthermia), which can specifically destroy the desired target without deteriorating healthy surrounding tissue. Cancer cells are more sensitive to temperatures in excess of 41 degrees C than their normal counterparts. 13. Near-infrared light, which passes harmlessly through our cells, causes carbon nanotubes to heat up enough to destroy cells. The nanotubes can be placed only in cancer cells by coating them with folate to attach to the numerous folate receptors on cancerous cells. 14. Magnetic nanoparticles for cell isolation where the attraction between an external magnet and the MNPs enables separation of a wide variety of biological entities. Examples are the isolation of cancer cells in blood samples or stem cells in bone marrow to allow for improved diagnosis and the removal of toxins from the human body. Furthermore, MNPs can be biologically activated to allow the uptake of cells via endocytotic pathways, thereby allowing certain cellular compartments to be specifically addressed. Once taken up, the desired cellular compartments can be magnetically isolated and accurately studied using proteomic analysis. 15. Gold nanoshells for tumor detection: when injected into the blood stream, they naturally congregate at tumor sites so that no additional targeting is necessary. In order to feed their growth, tumors create many, many blood vessels very quickly, so the vessels are often defective, allowing the nanoshells to slip through vascular leaks and gain access to the tumor. Detecting and targeting tumors by exploiting their surrounding vascular defects is known as enhanced permeability and retention, or EPR effect. 16. Nanotechnology research tools to allow better understanding of cellular behavior, the difference between normal and abnormal cells, and communications between cells are currently being developed. These tools can measure energy metabolism, internal fluid flow, transportation of components, and the signaling pathways of cells. Lifestyle Researcher and Consultant for an Upcoming Book on Ethical Living (NDA in Place), June - November 2007 My role in this project was to research topics for a book that looks at the issues surrounding consumer life, including the clothes we buy, the food we eat, the products we buy for our homes, and how consumers can make realistic choices that are ethically motivated and environmentally friendly. Researcher for an Education Resource Organization, May - June 2007 I used academic journals, websites, and books to find information on a wide variety of subjects, including great minds of ancient science and math, cultural holidays around the world, how to avoid plagiarism, landmark supreme court cases, and 19th century philosophers. This material was then used to write booklets for the K-12 education system. Researcher and Writer for an Online Legal Information Company, April - May 2007 I was employed to find information on a number of current topics making the news, including various types of food poisoning. I then wrote articles for each and had them published on my clients website. Historical Researcher for Enslow Publishers, March 2007 Thomas L. Jennings, Patricia Era Bath, George Washington Carver, Lonnie G. Johnson, Percy Lavon Julian, Lewis Howard Latimer, Jan E. Matzeliger, Garrett A. Morgan, Madame C.J. Walker, and Granville T. Woods are some of the African-American inventors that appear in this book. My job was to use the Internet to find interesting information about these inventors. I then had to summarize each website and make a record for each to insert into an online database. Before America abolished slavery in 1865, only free African-Americans were allowed to patent an invention. After the enactment of the U.S. Patent Act in 1790, there was some documentation of the works of African-American inventors, but that documentation is sketchy because the Patent Office usually didnt record or ask for the race of the inventor. Even after slavery was abolished, there were other obstacles facing African-American inventors. They didnt have the same access to education, apprenticeships, and training programs as whites. Interacting with other inventors and being nurtured through mentorships was not for them. They also found it difficult to get funding to finance their research and development, and the money to market their inventions after they were patented was unavailable to them. Many gave up the rights to their work to get the financial backing they needed, so they never made any money from sales of their inventions. From 1910-1930, more than two million African-Americans migrated from the rural south to escape racism and prejudice. They arrived in northern cities to a new way of life, leaving the fields for better paying jobs in machine shops and factories where they were able to develop new technical skills and where they were exposed to a new mentality, one which brought out their inventive natures. Thomas L. Jennings was the first African-American to receive a patent. In 1821, he received a patent for a dry cleaning process that he invented. Researcher for a Web 2.0 Start-Up, March - May 2007 My job was to generate a number of reports that incorporated statistics, trends, revenue and business models, market numbers, and historical growth rates. I also researched articles that would help my clients have a deeper understanding of their customers and competitors. Researcher for a UK Non-Profit Charitable Organization, March 2007 I was hired to assist in the research for a report on how information and communication technologies are changing the way voluntary and community organizations (VCOs) conduct their day to day business. Researcher for an Academic Library Consultant, March 2007 I worked with a consultant to develop a Library Disability Services Strategic Plan for a Seattle University Library. The goal was to conduct a formal strategic planning process to gauge the growth in service and to identify recommendations for improvements that would meet the future needs of students and faculty with disabilities to make sure they have access to independent learning. We created a series of surveys and questionnaires as our point of departure. An extensive literature review into best practices formed a large part of my work for this project. I also accessed disability plans for a number of comparable libraries to check on their policies. The demand for service continues to grow as libraries continue to struggle to meet the demands of students with disabilities. Only a few years ago, students with disabilities had little choice when it came to technology that facilitated independent use of digitized information. Things are changing and students have much better access to information technology and have the ability to convert materials into electronic text, which allows them to read more effectively and quickly. The following are some of the recommendations we made to the library committee: provide library spaces that are appropriate and safe make informed staff available to students with disabilities make certain that LDS study spaces are available whenever the library is open require staff to undergo training in special software applications and equipment for the disabled monitor developments in IT for new technology that will level the academic playing field for students and faculty with disabilities provide access to the extensive library collections and supply well-equipped library workstations. Researcher and Writer for a London-based Author, February - March 2007 I was hired to research topical subjects of interest for HR professionals, including current trends, employment legislation, recruitment, HR networking, talent management, the implications of social media, and outsourcing. I also provided my client with a series of mini reports that I wrote for each topic. Researcher, February 2007 My client wanted me to find articles and reports that address the issue of attrition of bank checking accounts. Retail banks are currently having difficulties retaining checking account customers because of intense competition between banks for such customers. I was hired to get some hard data on the phenomenon. Factiva was invaluable for the project. Business Researcher, January 2007 I was hired to find information on best practices for fulfillmentretention of financial services sold via direct marketing. The Direct Marketing Association was a very helpful resource for this project. Business Researcher, January 2007 I used a series of questionnaires, surveys, and interviews to help my clients company become more successful and profitable. I also used government and public data, along with other financial statistics, to create a development strategy to move the business forward. Researcher and Annotator, January 2007 My job was to read 200 articles in the area of human and organizational systems thinking and write an annotation for each. This work was done for a doctoral student. I also rewrote his comprehensive assessment paper. Knowledge Manager and Researcher for an International Insurance Group, January 2007 On a monthly basis, I identify information that relates to a particular sector of the insurance industry. It is used as a foundational element in a strategic knowledge sharing system for a global operation. The research is shared with business units throughout the world. These are some of the subjects I regularly research for this corporation: Long Term Care Insurance, Marketing Insurance, Term Life Insurance, Life Insurance Distribution, Critical-illness Insurance, Policyholder Marketing, Insurance Overviews, Digital Marketing, Baby Boomer Market, Customer Retention and Loyalty in Bancassurance, Insurance Market Development, Green Bancassurance, Orphan Management, Distribution Models of Insurance and Financial Industries, Trends in the Insurance Industry (US, Canada, Europe, Asia), High-Net-Worth Market, Multi-Channel Distribution, Insurance Products, Banks Selling Insurance, Annuitization, Cross Selling Insurance, Country Profiles and Research on New Countries, New Insurance Markets, Best Practices for Fulfillment or Retention for Financial Services Sold Via Direct Marketing, Direct Marketing, Competition: ACE, AEGON, Aetna, AIA, AIG, AON, AXA, Cigna, Middle-Market Insurance, Longevity Insurance, Whole Life Insurance, Insurance Regulations, Securitiz ation, Simplified Issue Insurance Products, Universal Life, Insurance Research Studies, Orphan Policyholders, Insurance Conferences and Seminars, Best Practices in Direct Mail, Telemarketing, Ecommerce, Statement Based Marketing, Direct TV, Outsourcing Claims, Emerging Markets Insurance and Banks, Reinsurance Market, Reinsurance Companies, Insurance CompaniesBrokers, Bank Market, Marketing, Ecommerce, Customer Retention, Compliance for Communication, Data Protection and Data Transfer Regulations in the European Union and Asiapacific, Creative for Direct Marketing, Professional Broking, Information Security, Voice Message Broadcasting, Mobile Banking and Payments, Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI), Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), Professional Liability, Solvency II, Deregulation, InsuranceBancassurance Lead Generation, Microfinance and Microinsurance, Bancassurance, Selling Insurance Online, Country Profiles and Research on Existing Countries, Industry Profiles, ULIPs, Attitud inal Data, Bluetooth Marketing, Insurance Direct Marketing, Scor, Trends in the Bank and Bancassurance Market (Americas, EMEA, Asia Pacific), Accident Protector, Accidental Death Insurance, Disability Insurance, Senior Accidental Death, Income Protector, Credit (Card) Insurance, Serious IllnessCancer, Call Monitoring and Speech Analytics, Corporate Marketing and Branding, Direct to Consumer Marketing (New PlayersTrends in the Direct Marketing Business), Takaful (Islamic) Insurance, Charity and Insurance, Direct Marketing Technology, Insurance-Linked Securities Market, Mobile Banking and Microinsurance, Mobile Insurance Payments, and Behavioural Targeting. Business Development and Researcher for an Internet Start-Up, December 2006 I was hired on an ongoing basis to identify and match innovative business opportunities with my clients company vision. Competitive analysis, targeting potential new customer bases, and assessing target markets is included in my work. Ultimately, my role is to suggest possible new products and services, and brainstorm entirely new business markets and models. Other duties see me analyzing the needs of key customers, monitoring progress, offering solutions, negotiating fees, and contracting new business for them. Researcher and Editor for a PhD Student, December 2006 My client had the task of writing a lengthy essay on an ethical dilemma in contemporary social work. Ethical dilemmas present the decision-maker with competing perspectives which are of proportional or similar worth. In order to focus the situation, you must state the dilemma in ethical terms. I was asked to find the appropriate information and supportive articles, and helped with structuring the essay and editing it. Photographic Researcher, December 2006 I was asked to find photographs and the names of those sitting on a number of Australian banking boards. Sports Researcher for MyReportLinks, November 2006 I was given the manuscripts for a number of Grade 7 books on popular sports teams. Sensational sports teams such as those featured in this series, are teams that have success on the field and are able to capture the imaginations of fans off the field. Each book tells the history of a team and highlights its top players, managers, and personalities that have made the team great. I read the manuscripts and then found thirty qualitative websites for each one. Besides the usual book format, the publisher also provides links in each of its books that relate to the topics covered. Choosing websites for school children is not as easy as some may think. There is a lot to keep in mind. The accuracy and currency of the content and the credibility of the sites creators are the most important factors when assessing whether a site should be recommended for students. Information that is correct and up to date, with appropriate authors credentials content that is serious and scholarly information that is politically, religiously, or otherwise unbiased sites that appear well maintained and updated and those with correct spelling and grammar are good places to begin. Websites should meet the same stringent standards required of print products. A few other things to watch for are: is there advertising How is the overall design and presentation of the site Are there graphics or other features that take a long time to download Do you need to have specialized software to access sections of the site Do all the links work Once I had found the links, I wrote an annotation for each one that summarized the contents. An online database was then used to insert all bibliographic and value-added information for each site and uploaded to the companys server. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees, the Miami Heat, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were some of the titles I did this work for. School children will use the research to learn more about their favorite athletes and what it takes to become a professional competitor. Designer and Project Manager for a Business Website, November 2006 I worked with an experienced web programmer and designer to recreate an already existing ecommerce site, focusing on the newest digital marketing techniques to complement the clients business plan and target audience. The design incorporates intuitive user interfaces with logical and easy-to-use navigation elements that are accessible and usable to a wide variety of operating systems and technologies. Endangered Species Researcher and Writer for MyReportLinks, October - December 2006 Jaguars, whooping cranes, cheetahs, otters, rhinoceroses, grizzly bears, Florida panthers, giant pandas, mountain gorillas, wallabies, orangutans, and bighorn sheep were some of the animals I researched for this job. Predators, competition for food, hunting, fire, loss of natural habitat, poaching, limited geographic range, pollution, use of animal parts in traditional Asian medicines, illegal trade, and the introduction of non-native animal species were some of the sub-topics I focused on. I then wrote profiles for each and provided other annotations. The information will be used as part of an online educational tool for students and will also appear in a series of books for the K-12 market. Researcher for a PhD Student, October 2006 This project involved me finding the newest and most cutting-edge information on running injuries, injuries in recreational adult fitness activities, and the etiology and prevention of sports injuries. Researcher for an Academic Librarian, September 2006 An academic library was considering opening a reference desk inside Second Life. One of the librarians on the committee asked me to do some research on the avatar-driven virtual world, in preparation for a meeting. I chose a hands-on approach to this research project by joining Second Life to learn about it instead of reading articles. Second Life is free to join and many of its activities are free. Others cost money and must be paid in Linden dollars, the official currency of the virtual world. If you want to own land, you have to pay a monthly fee. Businesses, corporations, banks, car manufacturers, clothing designers, tax professionals, politicians, embassies, hotel chains, real estate companies, non-profits, and entrepreneurs are using Second Life as a way to reach out to customers. The educational uses of this virtual world is also growing. For example, Stanford Universitys Humanities Lab has set up a museum dedicated to award-winning American artist and filmmaker, Lynn Hershman Leeson. Universities, such as Harvard, Pepperdine, Elon, Ohio, Ball State, New York, Stanford, Delft University of Technology, and AFEKA Tel-Aviv Academic College of Engineering have opened cutting-edge virtual classrooms on Second Life. Many libraries have also established ask a librarian reference desks. Researcher for an European Consultancy, September 2006 I was hired to help my clients develop a more coherent ecommerce strategy. Specifically, I had to look for information on life and health insurance sales over the Internet (global scope) electronic policy deliveryfulfillment email marketing of financial services and the use of the Internet to support direct mail marketing or telemarketing campaigns. Once I had collected the information, I read everything and wrote a report. Researcher for an International Insurance Group, August - December 2006 Working with a web programmer, I helped design and create an application to store, categorize, and annotate digital information. I then did my research using academic journals, trade publications, magazines, newspapers, country reports, industry profiles, market research reports, and product reviews. This great tool allowed me to store the articles and information I found for my client, create bibliographic profiles for each article, categorize by subject and country, write abstracts, add keywords, and make comments and notes. Business Plan Writer, Researcher, and Editor for a Pharmaceutical Start-Up (NDA in Place), August - September 2006 This not-for-profit organization needed my assistance with researching and writing a business plan, one based on ideas from the field of social entrepreneurship. My clients are working on the release of an important, innovative, and controversial psychoactive substance that can be used to treat addiction to opiates, methamphetamines, and other drugs. The medication displays anti-addictive properties, interrupting the symptoms of drug withdrawal syndrome and reduces drug cravings, which allows an addict to detoxify with minimal symptoms. I also worked on the problem statement. I added new information to try to explain in more detail what my client had in mind. I added hyperlinks and posted the business plan and other background information online for supporters and potential investors who might want to read more. To date, drug development has been largely confined to the RampD-based pharmaceutical industry, which has grown into one of the most prosperous industrial sectors by focusing on the most lucrative medical markets. This reliance on market-based incentives and commercial actors to generate new medicines has transformed drugs into regular consumer goods. The limitation of this system is that market forces skew drug development investments toward diseases and patients that guarantee the highest financial returns. Given that North America, Europe, and Japan account for 80 of the worlds pharmaceutical market, the health needs of the majority of the worlds population are being sidelined by the proprietary pharmaceutical industry. While publicly financed research institutions are involved in the early phases of research and drug discovery, the expertise, infrastructure, and management capacity for taking these findings through the drug development pipeline are almost entirely concentrated in the private commercial sector. While multi-million dollar investments fund research aimed at developing highly profitable drugs for prosperous markets, drug RampD for neglected diseases is stifled. That is why when Doctors Without Borders won the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize, it committed the prize money to the development of an alternative model for the research and development of new drugs for neglected diseases. As a result, seven organizations joined forces to establish the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi): the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation from Brazil, the Indian Council for Medical Research. the Kenya Medical Research Institute. the Ministry of Health of Malaysia Frances Pasteur Institute. Mdecins sans Frontires. and the UNDPWorld BankWHOs Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. which acts as a permanent observer to the initiative. Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development organization that is developing new treatments for malaria, visceral leishmaniasis (VL), sleeping sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis), and Chagas disease. Government Documents Researcher and Writer for an Association of Curriculum Development, August 2006 Many school teachers have few opportunities to improve on their course preparation techniques and feel unqualified to teach particular subjects. For example, surveys show that elementary school teachers feel they are more unprepared to teach math and science than any other subjects. Helping K-12 educators enrich their understanding of the subjects they teach and mastering new teaching strategies results in more effective inspired teachers and greater progress for students. Teaching children about the United States federal government and how it is structured can also be challenging for educators. I was hired to do basic research on the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch, which interprets Americas laws. I was then expected to package the information in such a way as to provide a step by step guide on how to more easily and interactively teach middle school students about the three branches of government. Quizzes, games, and group activities were developed. Digital Photographic Consultant and Image Stylist for Online Store, July 2006 I received a large number of digital photos to be used for a gourmet food website. My job was to choose a selection that would best reflect the company brand and facilitate the building of an online retail environment that maximized customer experience and retention. Historical Researcher and Writer for an Education Resource Organization, June - July 2006 I researched and developed a series of virtual education field trips and finding aids that focused on American historical events and sites. Gettysburg, the National Mall in Washington, DC, Martin Luther King, Jrs National Historic Site, and the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site were included in the project. Business Researcher for a Technology Start-Up, June 2006 Habbo Hotel, Second Life, Club Penguin, Nicktropolis, Neopets, Webkinz World, Whyville, and Disney Extreme Digital were the virtual worlds I was asked to research, focusing on when they were founded, how many users they have, their demographics, revenue models, terms and conditions, and their privacy policies. I was asked to find the same information for social networking sites Bebo, del.icio.us, Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, Imbee, Piczo, and YouTube. Additionally, my clients were interesting in knowing which Second Life asset providers and creators were considered the top players in the field. Team-VIP, Player Auctions, Markee Dragon, Gaming Treasures, EyeOnMOGS, The Electric Sheep Company, Aimee Weber Studio, Accident Designs, and Anshe Chung Studios are some of them. Here is a little of what I found out about some of the social networking sites. 1.) The Bebo site was founded in January 2005 and given a major relaunch in July of that year. It reports 30 million registered members, viewing over five billion monthly page views. Bebo is developing its business model around what it calls engagement marketing where ads are spread virally around content. It has also announced plans for a platform that will allow users to choose the ads they receive. No revenue numbers are available. Product placement will be a crucial revenue stream. It was announced that Orange has paid Bebo to provide its customers with an exclusive mobile version of its popular social network, at least for a while. The move follows a similar tie-up between Vodafone and MySpace, which was announced in February. Bebo also announced that it is introducing a music download service that will allow bands to sell music. The indie store service will be available to Bebo users in the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. San Francisco-based social network Bebo recently raised 15 million from Benchmark Capital, and rejected a 300 million (552 million) acquisition offer from British Telecom Group in 2006. 2.) Facebook launched in February of 2004. It has 20 million active users. It is free to use, but ad-driven. Revenue is estimated to be 50,000,000 per year and is expected to generate revenue of more than 100 million this year. Facebook got its first major influx of money last summer when Microsoft guaranteed to pay approximately 200 million in ad revenue through 2008. Co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg has recently said that the ad contract had been extended through 2011. Facebook continues to look for new markets and is going beyond college and high school markets, now allowing new users from corporate networks to join the social network. Inside Facebook lists ten companies that are currently Facebook-enabled: Accenture, Amazon, Apple, EA, Gap, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, Pepsi, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Zuckerberg, now 22, reportedly turned down a 750-800 million offer from Viacom, holding out for 2 billion, according to news accounts. More recently, it was reported that he received an offer of close to 1 billion from Yahoo. which he also turned down. Some analysts expect Zuckerberg will file for an IPO in the next two years, when Facebook is expected to be much more valuable. He will have time to build up its ad sales and create demand for its stock before going public. 3.) Flickr was launched in 2004. There is a free version and also a paid subscription that costs 24.95 US per year. In March 2005, Yahoo acquired Flickr. Financial terms were not disclosed. Sources believe that the acquisition price was anywhere from 17 to 35 million (cash and stock deal), although most people in the know put it at 30 million. Flickr reportedly has 7.2 million registered users and 23 million monthly unique visitors. This is only an estimate since Yahoo does not divulge revenue numbers. Co-founder and general manager, Stewart Butterfield, talks about Flickrs growth in size and quality, and its status as a Yahoo company: We dont break down revenues by property but I can definitely say were happy with it. The core of the business is the premium subscription service, and we do much better in that than we expected in the early days. Were gradually starting to experiment more with branded advertising and theres contextual advertising in the search. Over time, advertising will become a bigger component of the revenue picture. So people are definitely happy at Yahoo. Theres never been any worries about Flickrs revenue and the long-term potential is excellent. 4.) The MySpace service was founded in July 2003. It has 100,000,000 users and an average of 31.5 billion unique page views per month. It is free to use, but ad-driven. MySpace was bought by Rupert Murdoch in July 2005 for US580 million. Various analysts have called it the deal of the century because it is reportedly worth anywhere from 6-8 billion in the current market. In March 2007, Pali Research analyst, Richard Greenfield, wrote that MySpace is now generating in excess of 30 million a month in revenue, with about 24 million in domestic revenue and 6 million internationally. Google recently agreed to pay MySpace at least 900 million over three years to sell text and banner advertisements on its site. MySpace is gaining a strong footing in the mobile world. A recent deal with Cingular has resulted in the sign-up of 200,000 MySpace mobile users. Really cashing in will mean reinventing the ad business for the social networking world. One way of getting rates up is to create customized ads. 5.) YouTube was founded in February 2005 by three former employees of PayPal. It is ad-driven and free to use. Before being bought by Google, YouTube reported that its business model was advertising-based. Some industry commentators have speculated that YouTubes running costs - specifically the bandwidth required - may be as high as US1 million per month, fueling criticisms that the company never had a viable business model. The site was losing lots of money, had huge expenses, not much revenue, and no profits, but Google was interested anyway and acquired it for 1.65 billion in Google stock. Traffic was climbing and still is. Since the deal, YouTubes audience has grown forty percent and has more visitors than any other video website, many that you cant easily find watching TV. According to comScore Media Metrics, YouTubes 136 million monthly visitors made up about 18 percent of the worlds Internet audience in January. YouTube already has partnerships with NBC, CBS, Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music. What it doesnt have a lot of is the kind of content that advertisers are interested in being associated with. In addition to selling banner and search ads, YouTube is doing custom campaigns for major brands that cost about 750,000 a pop. YouTube is serving 100 million videos per day. Fact Checker for an Upcoming Book, June 2006 Fact checking involves verifying facts and checking quotes, dates, names, page numbers, addresses, spelling, titles, statistics, geographical locations, and citations for accuracy, relevancy, and legitimacy of content using reliable sources. I was hired to fact check a non-fiction book and do the work within a very tight schedule. Bibliographic Consultant, May - June 2006 I was hired by a major publishing house to assist copy editors and the project manager with the footnotes and bibliography for a non-fiction book. What sometimes happens when copy editors make their final tour through a book is that the bibliographic citations get moved around and become attached to the wrong text. My job was to iron out the difficulties, check for the accuracy of each note, and to make sure that the proper format was used. I also compiled the bibliography for the book. Business Development Researcher (NDA in Place), May 2006 I was asked to research and identify appropriate Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors for a business that is currently looking for capital. Researcher, May 2006 I was asked to find out the ownership structure of Scientific American Inc. They are publishers of the magazine Scientific American . I was also asked to obtain information on the senior management at Scientific American andor their Board of Directors. Scientific American is a private publication. Scientific American Inc. is a private division of parent company, Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, in Germany, which is also privately owned. This was a challenging assignment and I used some specialized databases to find the information. Historical Researcher and Writer for MyReportLinks, April - May 2006 My duties included reading a number of manuscripts on famous inventors. Henry Ford, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Alva Edison, Philo T. Farnsworth, Louis Pasteur, Guglielmo Marconi, Nikola Tesla, and Johannes Gutenberg were included in the project. I used the Internet to find quality information about the inventors and wrote a summary for each of the 240 websites. I then created a database record for each site and inserted them into an online database. The information will be made available to school children who buy the book and used to write reports. Researcher, April 2006 I was asked to find out the top ten blogs and what business models they are using to make money. Using Technorati as my primary source, I found that the top three blogs were engadget, boingboing, and TechCrunch. A large assortment of ads, sponsorship ads, RSS ads, membership in a larger network, and selling branded merchandise, formed the basis of the blogs business models. Additional income streams used by other top blogs include: asking for donations, selling books based on blog content, affiliate programs, user subscriptions, paid job postings, and speaking and consulting fees. Business Researcher, April 2006 My job on this assignment was to find consultants and experts to become a part of the primary management team for a new company. I found software engineers, programmers, security experts, and communication technologists to join the team. Researcher for a Commercial and Residential Insurance Company, March 2006 Operating in thirty-five states, this insurance company needed my help to identify information relating to a potential new class of business for them. Specifically, they were interested in finding out which insurance companies and brokers provide insurance to familysemi-commercial gentlemen horse farms in the United States, including those which offer stabling services and riding lessons. There is no central list or database that would have this information available. Many insurance companies that write property and casualty insurance have a program that is generally called a farmowners policy. A farmowners policy is similar to a traditional homeowners policy with the addition of coverage for farm type exposures. It is possible horse farms could be written under such a program. Many of the larger insurers have farmowners programs, such as Nationwide, Erie, Allstate and State Farm. In regards to brokers, there is no list of available markets for horse farms from the standpoint of surplus lines. Surplus lines policies are often available for specific types of risks that mainstream insurance companies will not write. Brokers are required to file affidavits listing the policies they write through surplus lines insurance companies, but they are not required to identify their markets. Most of the carriers are not willing to write policies for such farms. Some of the carriers that did provide coverage for farms were willing to pick up a limited amount of equine coverage but were not willing to, if there was any kind of business involved. Besides doing exhaustive Internet searches with various keywords and phrases, I also sent out hundreds of emails to various associations to see what I could find out. A lot of people wrote me back and tried their best to be helpful. Many said that no one keeps track of which companies provide insurance for the kind of establishments my client was interested in. I wrote a variety of insurance libraries around the country, and all directed me to the Insurance Marketplace, International Directory of Excess, Surplus, Speciality Lines and Industry Services . 2006 Edition. A number of horse associations also told me that this publication is the best one to use for this type of information. I wrote every state horse council, chapter, and association I could find to ask what companies their members use. Some of the organizations seemed to have made arrangements with particular insurance companies so that their members were able to get better deals. I emailed every national horse association and council I could find, such as the American Horse Council. the American Quarter Horse Association. and the United States Equestrian Federation to ask for suggestions. A few associations, such as the United States Equestrian Federation, told me that the association offers members insurance through specific companies. In their case, it is through Equisure. I also wrote every state department and commissioner of the Insurance Information Institute to request the information. Many said that type of information was not collected. Others suggested specific companies to contact. I wrote every state association of the Independent Insurance Agents Brokers of America, Inc.. I contacted every state representative connected to the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents to ask for their insight. I was told that kind of insurance is handled by excess and surplus lines companies. Through some of my reading, I noticed that there seems to be an upward trend in country estate hobby farms, so one would assume that the market for that type of insurance would be growing as well. Researcher for the Discovery Channel, March 2006 I was hired to do some initial research for an upcoming documentary on Tuvalu, an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. The research centered on global warming, climatic changes, and flooding. Project Manager for a Start-Up, February - December 2006 My main job for this client was to keep the team on track, making sure that projects were completed on time, setting up meetings, helping with status reports, answering emails, and resolving issues in a timely manner. Researcher and Editor, February 2006 The subject of my research work was Memetics and its connection with terrorism and warfare. My client was interested in writing a series of articles on the topic for a possible book. I then helped with the editing. Business Researcher, February 2006 I was asked to find a variety of information on a large number of popular massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), including the number of users they have, the price of the games, their revenue models, terms and conditions of use, and privacy policies. Some of the games I researched were World of Warcraft, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, City of Heroes, City of Villains, Lineage, Lineage 2, RF Online, Final Fantasy XI, Star Wars Galaxies, Dungeons and Dragons, Eve Online, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Maple Story, The Matrix Online, Mu Online, Rappelz Online, Dark Age of Camelot, RuneScape, Scions of Fate, Dofus, ArchLord, Hero Online, EverQuest, Ragnarok Online, Ultima Online, Toontown, and Asherons Call. My client also requested the demographics for MMORPGs. The research shows that typical users of traditional MMORPGs are between the ages of 18 and 35. Numbers coming out of the Daedalus Project estimate that only 25 of MMORPG players are teenagers, and paints a picture of a very diverse demographic that is made up of retired people, college students, middle and high-school students, young professionals, and a large number of middle-aged married people. More than 73 of the players have some college education. Analysts have projected that the total worldwide game industry revenue will increase to 54.6 billion by 2009. Another part of my research was determining how many Power-Leveling companies there are and how the prices they charge vary by company, game, and service. IGE is one of the leading companies in the field, as are the MMORPG Exchange, Mogs, and PGMx. Science Technology Foresight Researcher for the Office of the National Science Advisor, January - March 2006 ONSA identified the requirement for, and the importance of developing a SampT foresight strategy in order to better focus and improve Canadas future strategic preparedness for new and emerging technologies that will impact Canadas future economic performance and its security of critical infrastructure. To this effect, I was hired to locate and assess reports on PACT applications, web references, and sources for experts. I assisted ONSA in finding, documenting, and summarizing relevant research and applications reports on convergent technologies and compiled them into an accessible, organized format. I reviewed the current PACT documentation to ensure that new and additional information was the focus of the searches, and developed a framework for comparing and ordering the prospective applications to ensure that the information could be assigned or allocated according to broad sectors. My final report summarized the research so that it could be used in PACT events throughout the year. I created a template for foresight web searching and a thirty page guide on references, along with a methodological summary of which search references worked best and why. I also compiled a source list of all the reports that can be activated or linked to and inserted them into the PACT knowledge base. Government Documents Researcher and Writer for an Association of Curriculum Development, December 2005 - January 2006 Teaching specific subjects in the K-12 school system can be difficult and complicated, particularly to certain students. Differentiated instruction is used to overcome some of the problems by using a number of different instruction methods to facilitate learning. Continually questioning what works in the classroom and confronting the challenge of creating and using alternative approaches to learning is central to progressive education. For this job, I was expected to develop research modules on three independent government agencies: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Peace Corps. Health Researcher for a International Nutrition Company, December 2005 My job was to supply research on a wide variety of ingredients found in a selection of vitamin and health supplement products. Researcher, Writer, and Editor for Privacy Lost: How Technology is Endangering Your Privacy. September 2005 - July 2006 This really great job actually began in August 2004, when I helped the author with his pending proposal for the book. A year later we began putting the book together. I did extensive original research, summarizing it into briefs for the author. I used a wide range of resources, finding appropriate information in magazines, newspapers, books, government documents, websites, and databases. I edited and critiqued the work in progress, and fact-checked the materials. I also compiled the endnotes (including formatting them into the Chicago Style), references, sources, and created the bibliography. I later worked with copy editors to put the finishing touches on the book, checking the copy for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy. I also helped with verifying facts, dates, and statistics. One of the most important parts of my job was to act as a sounding board, to tell my client the truth, offer support (because the process is a difficult one), and keep the project on track. The authors intention in writing Privacy Lost: How Technology is Endangering Your Privacy was to explain the connection between technology and privacy and speculate a little on where things might be headed. The premise of the book is that our privacy has become lost because of technology. Technology has changed our culture, how we communicate and how we dont. It has affected our ability to control our personal information, who sees it, what they see, what they do with it. Our privacy is already lost, whether we know it or not. Whether we can find it again is still unclear. Throughout the book youll find numerous stories and examples, culled from newspapers, magazines and of course, the Internet. Sure, privacy violations happen to celebrities, but more often it affects normal people, the ones who mistakenly think that the government or the law is protecting them. This book is about this connection between technology and privacy. Its not just written for privacy advocates or for technologists. Rather, its meant to be read by anyone who is disturbed about the growing amount of data available on them, about whos doing the collecting and what the collectors are going to do with all of our personal information. The subject of privacy is applicable to anyone concerned about the growing number of exceedingly well-publicized privacy violations and wondering about how many more incidents havent become public. Its hard not to notice the unending stream of news stories describing one egregious privacy violation after another: companies losing the financial information of millions of users a Veterans Affairs employees laptop stolen along with the personal information of nearly every American who has ever served in the military and a Boston newspaper that wrapped papers in printouts of their customers credit card numbers. They are all documented and discussed in this book. The stories alone are a testament to the effect of technology on our privacy. Researcher for a United States Law Firm, September - December 2005 My client is a class action attorney in need of some assistance finding information on a particular engine. Specifically, he was suing an automobile manufacturer. The allegedly defective design of a specific engine component was at issue. While the firm also hired expert engineers to consult with, as a preliminary effort, I was hired to find all available literature regarding this engine design and to tap into a vast literature of automobile design engineering literature. I searched for and evaluated relevant resources, schematic representations, and articles, then forwarded copies for review in an organized format. I also searched the Internet to find consumers talking about their problems with the engine and collected their contact information for a class action lawsuit. Researcher for a Busy Academic, September - November 2005 I was hired to act as a research assistant, finding timely articles on social work related issues. Contemporary psychotherapy, traumatized impact of child sexual abuse, perspectives on youth care programs, attachment theory, and the boundaries between physiotherapy and psychotherapy were just a few of the subjects I researched. Agoraphobia, chronic pain in primary health care, biopsychosocial rehabilitation programs, and multidisciplinary approaches to the treatment of chronic pain were also scanned and profiled. Researcher and Writer for a Technology Start-Up (NDA in Place), August - September 2005 My work was assisting the company directors in preparing a PowerPoint business proposal deck by supplying the market research and preparing the templates and text. Business Plan Researcher and Editor for Start-Up, August 2005 I assisted in establishing contact with potential backers, allies, stakeholders, advisors, and partners, along with helping research appropriate materials for the plan, writing and editing the documents, and finding missing references. Without backers, advisors, or a team, most investors dont have enough information with which to judge the prospects of a company. I helped to assemble a serious upper level team. I also helped with development and strategy, and to create a coherent capital formation strategy for successful seed-stage financing. Historical Researcher and Writer for an International Association for Learning, July - August 2005 I researched and developed American history information resources for topics that focused on political and cultural upheaval, revolution, and the American Indian Wars. The California Bear Flag Revolt, the Texas Fight for Independence, the Alamo, the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the Kansas Border War, and Custers defeat at Little Bighorn were the main events that I covered in this project. The materials will be used as an accompaniment to online courses. Research Assistant for an Educational Writer, June 2005 Nutrition, weight management, and the causes of increased levels of obesity among children in the United States were a few of the research areas covered. Obesity and the need for weight management, risks of being overweight or obese, nutrition and your body weight, the food pyramid and portion sizes, metabolism, a road map to a healthy weight, diets, medications, surgery for weight loss, the digestive system, eating disorders in young people, and weight management for young people, were some of the specific research topics. I did the research, found the academic articles, photocopied them, and sent them to the author. Philosophy Researcher for a PhD Candidate, June 2005 My research focused on investigating the rhetorical devices that Bentham used in his writings, and why those devices made his writing more or less persuasive. Historical Researcher and Writer for an International Association for Learning, April - June 2005 My work included researching, profiling, and writing about significant 19th century American historical events and people, including the California Gold Rush, the Transcontinental Railroad, the Pony Express, the building of the Erie Canal, the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, and the Oregon Trail. The information was developed to use in the creation of alternative learning resources. Researcher for World Congress. April - May 2005 I was hired to assist with the development of an information web portal specifically targeting Chief Medical Officers. The site is called CMO Exchange, a members-only, web-based portal meeting the unique information and resource needs of Chief Medical Officers and executives with comparable titles. CMO Exchange has been conceived and developed as a targeted information portal directed specifically and customized individually for the sole use of Chief Medical Officers and Medical Directors. CMO Exchange is developed by World Congress, the producer of events that convene senior-level executives from all segments of the health care industry. World Congress events include The World Health Care Congress, The World Health Care Innovations in Technology Congress and the World Congress Leadership Summit series. My focus was to work with the project manager on the Custom Research area that allows members to request quality information on any topic they need, on a project-by-project basis, including business development, change management, best practices, and medical management resources and reports. I also developed an online request form for CMOs looking for in depth research. The online form requested the following information: definition of research needs in as much detail as possible, time frame to be searched, description of limits or restrictions, reason for needing this information (i.e. journal article, conference presentation, research backgrounder for a book, etc.), preferred format of results (formalized report, list of article citations, website addresses, etc.), specific goals of the research project, provision of keywords and significant terms, depth of research required, and an overview of research already completed to avoid duplication. I also worked on a research project for them that examined best practices in the use of medical directors in case management: best practices of how managed care organizations and medical management companies use medical directors to enhance clinical and cost savings outcomes in case management. Traditionally, case managers have only come to medical directors when they had a medical management coverage decision to make - a pretty typical utilization management function. Case managers have otherwise functioned largely independently, helping to coordinate care during and in the recovery from an acute event. My client was interested in using his case management team to drive more effective outcomes on a long term basis, engaging the case managers and medical directors in more discussion around the appropriateness of the care the member is receiving, not just the efficiency of its delivery. He was also interested in the roles other companies have medical directors play, the structure of the interaction of medical directors and nurses, and any best practices. Environmental Researcher and Writer for Enslow Publishers, February - May 2005 I was hired to investigate the key issues associated with the global endangerment of animals, including their predators, the competition for food, hunting, fire, the loss of natural habitat, poaching, limited geographic range, pollution, entanglement in fishers nets, illegal trade, and the introduction of non-native animal species. The Sperm Whale, the Right Whale, the Green Sea Turtle, the Galpagos Penguin, and the Humpback Whale were some of the ocean creatures that I researched for this project. The deliverables were used in a series of educational books for middle school children. Researcher for an Upcoming Work of Fiction, February - April 2005 My client is writing a family saga that sweeps across time, generations, continents, and cultures. My role was to assist in the research by making sure that historical references, geographical descriptions, cultural content, and other day-to-day nuances were accurate for the time and place. Business Researcher, January 2005 I was asked to find information on a number of U.S. companies, including uncovering their ownership structure, internal infrastructure, bylaws, and articles of incorporation. I consulted Infogroups OneSource aggregator of business information and Hoovers proprietary business information services to do the research. Since some of the companies are private, OneSource provides only the bare bones of financial and analyst information for them. Private companies are not obligated to provide the detailed and regulated reporting that applies to public companies under SEC, OSC, etc. Also, if a company was incorporated in Delaware, you can expect very little information because Delaware does not provide much detail from its state corporation records. Historical Researcher and Writer for an Academic Publisher, January 2005 I created online finding aids and cyber documents for the following: the seven wonders of the ancient world seven wonders of the modern world seven wonders of the natural world and the seven natural wonders of North America. The seven wonders of the ancient world are the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse (Pharos) of Alexandria. Five of the seven wonders were constructed or sculpted by the best Greek artists and architects of the time. Despite the differences in design, all provide proof of the advanced capabilities of ancient technologies. 1.) The only one of the ancient wonders that still exists is the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is the oldest of the ancient wonders and remains substantially intact. Constructed over a twenty year period concluding around 2550 BC, it is believed that the pyramid was built as a tomb for Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu. Standing at almost five hundred feet, the Great Pyramid was said to be the tallest manmade structure in the world for almost 4000 years. 2.) The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were designed around 600 BC as a present by King Nebuchadnezzar II to his wife, Amytis of Media, because she missed her mountainous and foliage-lush homeland. In his Geographies . Strabo reports that the gardens were quadrangular in shape and were a series of arches and terraces. The water was brought in by means of a chain pump from the nearby Euphrates River and would flow down the terraces spreading water to all the gardens. 3.) The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was a massive monument located near Ephesus, an ancient city that was located in what is now Turkey. It was built to honor the goddess of hunting, nature, and fertility. The temple was made of marble and had many bronze statues. Pliny said it took more than 120 years to build and was one of the largest temples ever built in ancient times. It was rebuilt several times over the centuries before its final destruction. The temple was burnt to the ground on July 21, 356 BC by Herostratus, a native Ephesian. The reconstructed temple was destroyed during a raid by the Goths in 262 AD. In 401, the temple was attacked by a Christian mob and its stones were carried off and used to build other structures. 4.) The Greek city of Olympia was home to the Statue of Zeus, an ivory and gold statue of the god. It was built by Phidias, the famous Athenian sculptor, who was commissioned by the priesthood to design a chryselephantine statue of Zeus. It took twelve years to finish the almost forty foot high sculpture. The statue sat in the inner chamber of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia for approximately 800 years. There is a debate over what ultimately happened to the sculpture. Some scholars say that it was stolen, taken to Constantinople, and destroyed in 475 AD by fire. Others argue that it was destroyed in the 5th century AD along with the temple. 5.) The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was a 135-foot high marble tomb conceived by Queen Artemisia, wife of Mausolus, who was the ruler of Caria. Some of the best artists and craftsmen of the time period helped build and decorate Mausolus beautiful tomb. In Natural History . Pliny the Elder, reported that along the south and north sides it extends for a length of 63 feet, but it is shorter on the front side, the total length of the circuit being 440 feet the tomb is 25 cubits high and is surrounded by 36 columns. Skopas did the carving on the east side, Bryaxis on the north, Timotheos on the south, and Leochares on the west, but before they had completed the work the Queen died. They did not stop working, however, until it was complete. For above the pteron (peristyle) there is a pyramid which is equal in height to the lower part and tapers toward the top in pyramidal fashion with 24 steps at the top there is a marble quadriga which Pytheus made. With this added, the total height of the building comes to 140 feet. The Mausoleum remained in good condition for sixteen centuries before an earthquake damaged the roof and the colonnade. In 1494, the Knights of St. John of Malta dismantled the tomb and used the stones to build a castle, which still stands today in Bodrum. Only the foundation remains at the original site, but several of the sculptures have survived and can be found at the British Museum in London. 6.) The Colossus of Rhodes is an ancient day Statue of Liberty. Located in the harbor of the Mediterranean island of Rhodes in Greece, the statue was believed to have stood guard against incoming ships. The construction of the 120 foot statue was finished around 282 BC and was dedicated to the sun god, Helios. It was toppled by an earthquake in 226 BC. 7.) The Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as the Pharos of Alexandria, was built between 280 and 247 BC on the island of Pharos off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. Its purpose was to guide sailors into the harbor. There was a mirror on top to reflect sunlight during the day and a fire would guide the sailors at night. The Lighthouse of Alexandria stood over four hundred feet high and maybe as high as four hundred and fifty. Earthquakes damaged the lighthouse through the centuries, but it was said to be still partially standing when Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, Qaitbay, began to fortify Pharos Island by building a citadel as a defensive stronghold on the lighthouses foundations in 1477. The construction lasted two years. The seven wonders of the modern world are the Panama Canal, the Netherlands North Sea Protection Works, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the CN Tower, the Itaipu Dam, and the Channel Tunnel. Each of these structures was so innovative that in 1994, the American Civil Engineering Society named them wonders of the modern world. According to the organization, they are examples of modern societys ability to achieve the unachievable, reach unreachable heights, and scorn the notion it cant be done. The seven wonders of the natural world are Mount Everest, Nepal Victoria Falls, ZambiaZimbabwe Grand Canyon, United States the Great Barrier Reef, Australia the Northern Lights Paricutin Volcano, Mexico and the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro. The tradition of listing the seven wonders of the world carries on today. Unlike the wonders of the ancient world, we can claim none of the glory for creating the wonders of the natural world. Nature carved these sites that we so admire. Over the course of millions of years, rivers flowed over their rocky beds, eroding the stone and carving waterfalls and canyons. Volcanoes and mountains rose up from the earth in reaction to movement far beneath the ground. Powerful forces of nature shaped the land we know today. Finally, the seven natural wonders of North America are: on the east coast is the Florida Everglades, a subtropical wetland. On the west coast, California has two natural wonders: Glacier Point, in Yosemite Park, made of solid granite, and the tallest living trees in the world can be found in the Redwood Forest. Alaska is home to Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. The Grand Canyon is another natural wonder and is located in Arizona. On a typical day, the Canyon can have a temperature difference of 50 between its floor and its highest rim. Canada and New York share the natural wonder of the Niagara Falls, and the Mississippi River passes through ten states. These seven natural wonders are all different, but they share something in common. They are majestic works of art, shaped by natural forces. Researcher for a Book on Architecture, December 2004 - January 2005 Over the last three hundred years, the homes we live in have changed a great deal. Changes in the way we use space, advances in architecture, reduced family size, new materials, and technological innovations in the housing industry have transformed both our living spaces and us. My job was to research the many transformations that have taken place in North American residential housing over the last three hundred years, including changes in lot size, square footage, number of rooms, and how heating and lighting changed the way we live and use our homes. My job also included predicting the future of housing. I used academic journals, databases, books, and the Internet to conduct my research. Business Researcher and Editor for a California Start-Up, December 2004 My client needed an experienced editor and fact checker to make his business plan more clear, compelling, and concise for an Angel Investor. He also needed additional research and help with his references. Researcher and Fact-Finder for a Prominent American Legal Team (NDA in Place), December 2004 I used academic databases, journals, print publications, and the Internet to conduct value-added research. Business Researcher for a Mexican Medical Consultancy (NDA in Place), November 2004 I was hired to find information on the latest technological advancements in a number of related high-tech fields. Researcher and Writer for an Educational Enrichment Company, November 2004 My duties included reading educational manuscripts and researching related subject areas on the Internet. I then used the websites I found to create a large number of records and put them into an online database. The information is used by school children to write reports and essays. Researcher for a Business Book, October - November 2004 My work revolved around fact checking and gathering statistical information on international business failuresurvival rates and the truth about franchising. Science Researcher for Enslow Publishers, Inc. August - September 2004 For this project, I did research on the planets (the Earth, the Moon, Mars, the Sun, Uranus, Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn) in our solar system, their moons, asteroids, and comets. I compiled the information and created electronic K-12 educational resources. I also looked at important astronomers and astrophysicists throughout history and wrote summaries of their work. Researcher and Writer for a Book Proposal, August 2004 I assisted the author in organizing the sections of his book proposal. I researched additional facts, figures, and other information to incorporate into various sections of the document, including the market potential of the publication, promotional opportunities, and anticipated readership. I also edited the document and added large sections of text to add depth and more perspective to the subject areas covered. Editor for a Hong Kong University Research Proposal, August 2004 Writing research proposals for additional funding can be time-consuming and very stressful for academics. It takes more than a good idea to obtain a grant. My job was to help clarify the major themes and add additional sections to the proposal. Researcher and Writer for an International Non-Profit, August 2004 I was hired to look at how the economic success of a country affects the philanthropy of its citizens, and how the politics surrounding debt forgiveness, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, the IMF, and the World Bank puts many developing countries in a state of crisis. Health Researcher for an American Nutrition and Health Start-Up, July - August 2004 I was hired to research the health benefits of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. The information was used as the documentation for nutritional software. Science Researcher and Writer for a Canadian Government Institute, July - August 2004 My job was to find the latest research on drugs such as ecstacy and other party drugs, steroids, heroin, cocaine, crack, nicotine, marijuana, methamphetamine, amphetamines, nicotine and tobacco, and inhalants. After collating and analyzing the data, I developed a number of informational techbriefs. Business Researcher and Fact Checker for Upcoming Business Book by Best-Selling American Authors (NDA in Place), April - July 2004 I used journals, monographs, and online resources for this soon-to-be-published book on how to get wealthy and stay that way. The thrust of my research was real estate related. Graphic Design for National Research Council of Canada, April - May 2004 The poster was designed to accompany a conference paper that was presented at the EU-US Scientific Seminar held in Seville, Spain, 13-14 May 2004. The poster was designed with Louis Atkinson. View a small version here . Historical Researcher and Writer for an Academic Publisher, March 2004 I was hired to do value-added research for a series of books on ancient societies. Subject areas that I worked on were Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Mesopotamia, the Ancient Inca Civilization, the Mayans, and the Persians. Researcher, Writer, and Editor for a Tenure-Track Professor, March 2004 I rewrote and edited an article on Chinese Archaeology for my tenure-track client based on comments he received from the editor of an academic journal. I also had to do some research to fill in the blanks. The article was subsequently published. In light of the relatively few articles highlighting Chinese archaeological websites and the issues surrounding them, the purpose of the paper was to discuss some of the features and characteristics found on the Internet. Good websites can provide readers with the latest information and also help point out trends in the development of Chinese archaeology. But what constitutes a good website The ability to sift through the ever-increasing amounts of information made available online to find quality and accurate data is becoming more important every day. Using credibility, accuracy, reasonableness, support, and uniqueness as criteria for website evaluation, the authors analyzed five websites in an effort to determine the value and quality of the information. The article discusses the evaluation of websites dedicated to Chinese archaeology and also points to six main characters of online resources for the subject area. In addition, questions are raised concerning the extent to which online Chinese archaeological resources can advance general awareness of the field and contribute to a growing body of knowledge. Researcher and Writer for National Research Council of Canada (Planning and Assessment, Corporate Services Division), February - April 2004 I was hired to research and co-write a paper focusing on new strategic capabilities for Canadas science and technology (SampT) institutions, foresight planning and activities, organization strategies, scenarios definition and elaboration, and bio-health innovation and stewardship. The paper was presented at the EU-US Scientific Seminar, 13-14 May 2004 in Seville, Spain. Foresight planning is an innovative and provocative process, which produces strategic insights, especially for those willing to think outside traditional boxes. Scenarios allow a better idea of the range of futures that are possible and shed light on the challenges, choices, and implications that exist. They can weave together past, present, and future elements and help develop new views of science and technology, and then integrate them into a number of imaginative stories to allow individuals and groups to see things previously unnoticed or acquire new viewpoints on familiar situations. Foresight planning has enormous potential to advance innovation, while focusing on the required next steps and strategic investments needed to move toward preferred futures. Scenarios can be a powerful reminder of the importance and significance of long term policy work in a governmental setting, emphasizing the potential of strategic thinking, and enhancing ones preparation for multiple situations of prospective challenge and opportunity. In Canada, like many other places in the world, reaction to events is the order of the day, rather than proactive strategies and planning in scientific and technological thinking. We can no longer rely on mental and analytical models that are getting shorter and shorter with each passing year. Organizations that participate in foresight activities can more easily overcome problems and create opportunities and responses that are robust, agile, and informed by science and technology knowledge. By using knowledge, imagination, and creativity, we can invent a better future. Researcher for an Architectural Firm, February 2004 This research project involved finding information on residential and commercial building statistics for the North America market, along with data on the assessment of energy conservation measures, sustainable architecture, the environmental impact of buildings, and ecological land use. Fact Checker, January 2004 My research included checking facts for an upcoming publication on international security and global cooperation. I learned a lot about international politics and the new technology being used to create a safer world. When considering global security in the 21st century, it is important to not just understand what the threats are, but also find innovative solutions. Many countries face 21st century security threats but are using 20th century archetypes to combat them, even though traditional security doesnt work and brings about insecurity. Old-fashioned security models need to be put aside, especially since threats are no longer confined to the state versus state paradigm. The global playing field is different now and old hierarchies have been replaced. Global cooperation is no longer defined as collaboration among states it now involves individuals, corporations, NGOs, and other non-state actors. In this post-911 world, our old perceptions of safety and complacency no longer work against an enemy who wants to undermine a way of life, leaving us vulnerable to attack. We need a better organized and full-proof system that will leave legitimate travelers and visitors feeling safer, more secure, relaxed, and welcomed, while minimizing security breaches and increasing the likelihood of detecting and neutralizing organized threats. We need a safe and systematic process to verify identity and check credentials, but even more than that, we need a technological system that has the capacity to accurately predict both a persons present condition and future intentions by investigating facial expressions, brain activity, and involuntary mental clicks of recognition. With identity theft on the rise, and the prevalent use of false travel documents, the current system is particularly vulnerable to abuse. Implications for personal privacy were also covered. Project Manager and Small Business Researcher, December 2003 - January 2004 I managed an online technology project that focused on using blogs in small businesses. I helped choose the templates and worked with the tech person to get the blogs online. I also designed the information architecture, and created categories and some initial posts on each one to get the content started. Businesses are beginning to understand that there are benefits to creating blogs and using them as corporate tools for sharing expertise and communicating with customers and potential customers. A business blog is a marketing tool that works for you 247, and is probably the best tool available. They can also direct more traffic to company websites. Since blog software is easy to use and often free to use, it is a good choice for small businesses that dont have the budgets for expensive websites and designers. Business blogs also allow a company to interact more easily with their customers and connect with a target market on a more personal level. The time spent in creating content for a business blog is an investment in the future of your business and worth every minute because it will increase your visibility in the search engines and attract new readers. Establishing credibility and increasing transparency, while generating inbound leads, are all good reasons why starting a business blog makes sense. Client and Market Researcher, December 2003 I identified business partners for a technology company interested in expanding its client base and growing the business internationally. Business Researcher, November - December 2003 I was hired to locate and collect information relating to the development of a virtual intentional community of cooperation for a specialized group of international entrepreneurs. In particular, my clients were interested in designing a virtual community that facilitates cooperation amongst entrepreneurs, a place where companies and individuals can access resources, and to make it easier to start successful business ventures that offer good ROI. For centuries, intentional communities have brought idealists together to create a better world by sharing a common root value of cooperation, promoting dialogue, and sharing information and experiences with others on similar paths. As a long-time member of Howard Rheingolds private virtual community, Brainstorms. I have experience working in the field of virtual community development. Researcher for an Upcoming Book on Living a Quality Life, August - November 2003 My role in this project was to help the author develop a list of subject areas to cover in the manuscript. We decided upon 98 topics for this encyclopedia of sorts (Qualipediatrade). I then worked with a programmer to create an online software tool that would eventually house the research information, separated into individual records with eight fieldsareas of interest. For example, introduction to topic, purchasing, selection, maintenance, implications, tips, etc. I then began researching, using both print and electronic resources, and the Internet to do my work. We ended up with over 3000 research records, which the author will use to write her book. Editor for a Tenure-Track Professor, July 2003 I edited my clients paper for acceptance into an academic journal. With my assistance, the paper was published. The paper provides tips for finding Chinese history journals on the Internet, and offers practical help to librarians and researchers building websites or electronic libraries for China studies. Researcher and Writer for Canada Health Infoway, a Canadian Government Agency, May - June 2003 My job was to find the latest information on international best practices and lessons learned for electronic health records, specifically for the United States, New Zealand, Australia, England, and the European Union. I then used the review of the literature to write a report that will be made available through Canada Health Infoway . Editor and Researcher for a Tenure-Track Professor, April 2003 For this project, I developed and conducted a survey for my client that investigated collection development practices for Chinese electronic resources in North American East Asian libraries. The survey was sent to all East Asian libraries in North America that have websites and electronic resources available on them. I made the survey accessible through email and also created an online version. When I compiled the results, I used Excel to run the stats and make the graphs. Finally, I edited and rewrote parts of my clients article, incorporating the study results, which helped him to get it published. The paper examines electronic resources, including journals and databases for Chinese studies, collected in North American East Asian academic libraries. A small survey of 26 East Asian academic libraries in North America was conducted in May 2003 in order to learn more about collection development practices and accessibility issues for Chinese electronic resources. Based on an eight question survey, 57 per cent of the responding libraries have collection development policies for their electronic resources, 36 per cent do not while 7 per cent were unsure. Budget constraints, time constraints, lack of technical support, lack of training, and ChineseEnglish computer operating system incompatibilities were given as the top five constraints in the collection of Chinese electronic resources and providing access to them. Researcher for Rheingold Associates, March - May 2003 Our team worked with a major Internet player to test the efficacy of its search engine. The first phase involved testing a search product and required me to spend several hours a week for a couple weeks trying the product. The second part required me to provide feedback and to participate in private online discussions with the companys team and other RAers. The final requirement was that I sketch out a user case study from my experience as a professional researcher using the tool. Professional researchers utilize the Internet for many aspects of their work. For instance, they could be hired to search for links to Canadian educational resources for a government portal, or newspaper articles about recent fires caused by unattended cooking. For other projects, researchers search for papers, electronic journals, and conference proceedings, to use as resources for the writing of literature reviews, white papers, annotated bibliographies, books, etc. They need powerful tools to do the job, tools that allow them to work quickly and smartly. This new search tool would be a great addition to any researchers toolkit. The ability to exclude terms and fine-tune searches are extremely powerful tools for a researcher because as the Internet gets larger, there is more and more available to sift through in order to find the appropriate information for a client. The search tool saves time and can help build stronger search strings by allowing the up-front search power of exclusioninclusion to do a lot of the work for you at the outset. I re-did some of my searches associated with an NDA project that I had recently completed using it and was amazed at the direction I was taken by the terms in the Fine Tuning section of the tool, terms that I had not thought of using until much later in my search were included in its exclusioninclusion list. Not only is a researcher able to exclude or not exclude and therefore, include terms provided, it allows the user the opportunity to further the fine-tuning process by allowing the addition of information through the Choosing Interests section. One thing to keep in mind, is that many types of researchers are often asked to find information they have no previous knowledge of, so any extra direction at the outset of a search cycle is critical for success. By analyzing the terms provided in the Fine Tuning section of the search tool, a researcher could easily build a more appropriate search string and add those additional areas of interest for their subject area to the Choosing Interests section. It is this multi-step process of exclusioninclusion, wherein we find the tools greatest strengths for researchers. There is also power found in the provision of the Personalize options, where a choice of fonts and colours can be made. For someone who may have to spend fourteen hours a day searching through pages of Internet links, having the ability to control the display of the information is essential and can prevent headaches and eye strain. In addition, the ability to search more than one phrase is also uncommon among search engines, and is therefore, both very useful and powerful. Internet Researcher for Elike Solutions (NDA in Place), March - May 2003 I worked with my client and his PR person to put together information packages for shows such as 60 Minutes . What we needed was to find specific familiesindividuals who had suffered from unattended cooking fires. Our focus was on five major local media markets nationwide: New York, Boston, DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles. These stories were then packaged for the media as a tie into a patented consumer device. Some of the problems I encountered were that newspapers like to sell their articles, so most are not indexed by Google newspapers have very poor archives or very inadequate search engines newspapers will give you a headline but would like you to pay 2.95 or more per article many articles about fires do not include names and many locations, besides the ones my client really wanted, were included in the final report because I couldnt always find articles from the regions my client wanted. Researcher and Cybrarian for Canada Health Infoway. a Canadian Government Agency, March - April 2003 I was part of the team that created the knowledge portals for Infoways intranets and website. Specifically, it was my responsibility to find every website, listserv, newsfeed, PDF document, report, and digital resource that was specifically related to electronic health records. First priority was given to Canadian sites in both (or either) French or English, followed by international sites in either French or English. I was not expected to conduct literature searches on the topic. The Infoway team was looking for 1.) as comprehensive a search as possible given the time constraints 2.) quality information. Every resource was then entered into a multi-field database and an annotation was written for each one. Feedback and search results were sent to the KM team in Montreal on a regular basis. Project Manager and Moderator for a National Research Council of Canada Internet Workshop, January - February 2003 I worked with the Canadian Science and Technology Foresight Pilot Project (STFPP) team to develop, implement, and host a week-long virtual workshopconference to elaborate and develop the initial findings from a series of onsite workshops and technical panels that were held in the fall of 2002. The online workshops purpose was to enable all the participants, as well as a selected group of additional experts and generalists who were not able to be involved in the fall events, to consider the findings that were summarized into two reports and to help develop the information further in preparation for the scenarios work to be done by the project team in March 2003. The workshop was deemed to be a critical element of the iteration of observations and results from the fall events of 2002. I worked with the project leaders to organize and plan the virtual conference. My work also included helping to write the email invitations contact all guests and provide them with their registration information set up the conference, which used conferencing software called Caucus help the team develop the workshop itinerary work with a graphic designer to create the workshop graphics host the event was present at the conference, checking in at least twelve hours a day to greet the participants and be available for help questions help those with problems and format posts, especially long posts that needed HTML tags inserted to facilitate reading. I also made sure the client got a CD-burned copy of the event. Great project Internet Researcher for a Virginian Company, January - February 2003 My job was to search newspaper databases, the Internet, Google News, and LexisNexis for articles that my client was interested in reading. I then used online resources, such as telephone directories, reverse look-up, tax assessor data, and real estate property report databases to locate various people. Internet Researcher for an International Insurance Group, December 2002 The research I did was needed as value-added information for a business plan for a proposed international insurance venture start-up that plans to specialize in large-scale property insurance. I had to identify all cities in North America, South America, and Western Europe with commercial office buildings in excess of 50 stories or with 3,000,000 rentable square feet. Search Engine Optimization, November 2002 I helped a dentist from Los Angeles to rank higher in web searches for California cosmetic dentistry and TMJmigraineheadache dentistry. I did this by using a multi-pronged approach to search engine optimization. Website Design and Database Integration, August - November 2002 I worked with Higher Mind Productions to help design Smart Mobs. the companion website and blog for Howard Rheingolds new book. I also created individual database records for each of the 1000 citations in the online bibliography so that it would act as a mirror for the books bibliography. Note: although the site we did is no longer online, here is a screenshot of our design. Client and Market Researcher, August - October 2002 I was successful in finding funding opportunities for my client, an international non-governmental organization. Researcher for an Upcoming Academic Book. April - July 2002 In the initial stages of this complex project, I was given 962 printed survey documents, many of which were three feet wide and six feet long scrolls. My first task was to digitize the huge amount of information that was found on each one. In many cases, I chose to use an industrialarchitectural-sized scanner to create high-resolution scans and then OCRed the data myself. I think it was the best solution, especially since I was working under a pretty demanding deadline. I then inputted all of the data into two separate Excel spreadsheets using assigned categories and additional ones that I developed. I read all of the survey answers and then made an intellectual decision as to which assigned category each of the answers best fell into. I basically summarized open-ended answersthoughts into pre-assigned categories. Of course, accuracy and consistency were very important, especially for running the quantitative stats (pivot tables and crosstabs) later. I also created two separate Word files to hold almost 900 long answers for the qualitative data that helped draw a portrait of what the respondents thought. We were looking for themes, sub-themes, and patterns in their words. In addition, some online research and email correspondence was needed to complete the project. Here are some of the questions the reference librarians were asked in the survey: are you paid to read. has current awareness helped you to provide reference service. has television and radio helped you to answer reference queries. do you watch TV news shows. and do you read print papers and magazines on own time The survey covered both academic reference librarians and public library reference personnel in the United States and Canada, asking them about their reading habits. We were interested in the extent to which librarians read newspapers, periodicals, fiction and non-fiction, and asked them to recount stories about how reading has made them better librarians. A lot of work, but a very exciting, and fulfilling project. Photographic Researcher for Robert Dafford Murals. March - April 2002 I helped my client with photographic research for a large-scale government mural contract in Camden, New Jersey. I took advantage of New Jerseys digital image collections and Camdens historical societies online photographic archives to do my research for this floodwall mural project. I then created an online tool that allowed my client to view and download the images. He used the photographs as a point of departure for his painting. Researcher for a Vermont company, March 2002 For this contract, I did market research for a firm that specializes in mediating and resolving architectural and construction legal disputes. I also did some preliminary search engine optimization for them, including the creation of meta tags and title tags. Researcher for Elike Solutions, February - March 2002 My research work for this job was associated with a patent that will help to prevent kitchen fires from even starting. My client was interested in identifying victims of fires that were caused by unattended cooking. He needed recent (within the last two years) victims of fires from the Washington DC area, Virginia suburbs (Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax), Maryland suburbs (Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, Bethesda, Silver Spring), or as close as possible to DC. Anywhere in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York was acceptable. I was asked to find newspaper articles and press accounts, with the names, addresses or other identifying information of victims so that a Product Liability lawyer could work with them to obtain compensatory damages from stove and range manufacturers. Researcher for an Information Science Study on Deselection Policies in Libraries, January - April 2002 This project set out to uncover what policies libraries follow when weeding (deselecting books), how they do it, if there are complaints, what the librarians think of weeding, and if they have ever saved any books that were to be weeded out of the library system. My first task was to take 300 multi-page paper surveys that consisted of open-ended questions and transfer them to digital format. I used a scanner and OCR software to do it. In total, there were nineteen questions covering every aspect of weeding. I then entered all data into nineteen separate Word files, a file for each of the survey questions. Librarians gave many different answers to all of the questions, so I had to analyze them to generate enough categories to fit each answer into. For instance, when looking at the answers for reasons for weeding I came up with the following categories: accuracy, condition, space, circulation, duplicates, vital resource, age, superseded editions, scope, and alternative form. For what is done with weeded books I used the categories of sell, trash, recycle, donate, give to other libraries, and put into storage. Not all the answers fit perfectly into the categories, but it was important to generate meaningful stats from the data. Each set of answers were analyzed and categories were chosen for each one. I then created Excel graphs with the information from the reports. I was also asked to pick out the most interesting responses for each of the nineteen questions, so the author could highlight them in his final write-up. The top three reasons librarians gave for deselecting books were accuracy of the information, the condition of the books, and space restrictions. In answer to what is done with the weeded books, the top three answers were sell them, throw them away, and donate the books. One thing that kept coming to my mind during this project was how book jobbers and standing orders, etc. affect deselection in the long run. Are the best books chosen to begin with It takes a very intuitive smart person to set up those types of contracts correctly. I wonder how often they use reviews in the process. I believe one library director had weeding built into the review process, which forced the librarians to do more. Overall, there seemed to be some lack of understanding that weeding is an essential component for a circulating public library. In part, that might be blamed on library school programs that barely touch upon this aspect of collection management. In addition, some of the librarians seem to lack any knowledge of what their librarys mission is. They see libraries as historical archives and believe they should hang onto every book ever purchased. As the pre-eminent futurist Paul Saffo has pointed out, libraries were originally created in an era of scarce information. librarians were sort of mad information hoarders, who were hoarding in the public interest. Not so anymore, the days when libraries could collect everything just in case are over. There is an increased necessity for librarians to visualize a rebirth that emphasizes a library connected to a network of electronic information and to other libraries that can offer them interlibrary loan services for their clients. I guess the striking thing for me is the difference in philosophy amongst the librarians. Some are very concerned that the patrons receive misinformation by reading dated materials, especially scientific, medical and legal, while others say they weed to make space for new books. Other librarians do admit to weeding when crowding is an issue, but that is not a norm. For example, they wouldnt just weed out books that didnt meet the criteria just to make more room. That is good. Many librarians are reluctant to weed. They have a problem with the process for many reasons, including the worry attached to what patrons will say about getting rid of books that were bought with tax payers money, and not having the resources available to replace the items they weed, thus, leaving holes in the collection. Some libraries get around this by weeding as new books come in, so the process is seamless and there are no complaints by the public. Librarians also fear they will make a mistake or weed books that other librarians or members of staff feel should remain in the system. Many believe books should be given second chances and marketed better since they were placed too high or too low on the shelves and the public just couldnt find them or notice them as they made their way through the stacks. They remember how much the books cost and really think it is better to give the books another round in the circulation process before the items go out the door, never to return. They dont think they have the expertise to do a good job and are overwhelmed by other duties. Many of them just dont want to weed because it takes so much time. From reading the survey answers, it seemed that some librarians use this as an excuse - they say they dont like the concept, but it might be because they just dont have the time to do it properly. I think some of the best library directors interviewed recognize that the reluctance is based on ignorance. Librarians just dont realize how important weeding is to the management of the collection and to the satisfaction of the patrons. One of the main factors cited is the trouble associated with getting rid of the books. They feel their hands are tied when it comes to disposing of the materials. They have no real space to put the books when they come out of the collection, but must find room since the main avenue for disposal is the Friends of the Library sales, which only occur once or twice a year. It seems like a very frustrating process for them because besides the time it takes to actually find the books that need to come out of the collection and making sure the materials meet the criteria to be weeded, they run up against opposition with other staff members disagreeing on their choices members of the public looking for books they miss finding room to store the books for the sales worrying that the funds wont be available to replace the information that is lost by weeding and the problems associated with what to do with the books that do not sell. There seems to be so much red tape involved that you can hardly blame them for thinking that weeding is a big problem, which some of them are unequipped to deal with. Even when they put the leftovers in the dumpsters, they have members of the public complaining about the waste of government money and even those who will drag the books out of the garbage and demand they be put back in the collection. They would like to have more options when it comes to disposing of books that dont sell, but are hesitant about sending non-fiction books to schools that may be filled with misinformation. Researcher, Survey Designer, and Project Manager for a Study on Multi-Cultural Library Services, January - March 2002 This research study is being used as a vehicle to find out how major public library systems in Canada purchase materials for their ethnic populations. Diverse communities need diverse types of materials in their public libraries, not just what has traditionally been available. Is the changing face of the Canadian population reflected in public libraries by incorporating the library and information needs of a diverse community of public library patrons Are libraries committed to diversity through management decision-making, by educating staff of the needs of changing communities, and by diversifying staff so that the communities ethnic populations are represented by library employees My part: I searched for and read a couple of hundred public library collection development policies. I then worked with my client and the original concept he had for the study, to generate a series of questions for the survey. I placed them into ten separate categories. Working with a web programmer, I helped to design and create an online survey, a nation-wide survey of public libraries of all sizes, including branches. A sample of the survey questions can be read here. Almost all questions could be answered using drop-down menus and clickable multiple-choice answer boxes. I then did an Internet search for appropriate listservs where I could post the survey. A summary of the project and the web address to the survey were uploaded. The survey was also emailed to over 1600 Canadian public librarians. Resultsanswers were emailed to me. I used Excel for the data entry and to run the statistics. I also did a partial literature review for the project. Project Manager and Researcher for an Academic Research Project on Email Reference, January - March 2002 This research project was developed to find out the condition of email reference service in Canadian public libraries. With more and more libraries offering to answer questions electronically, the researchers were interested in studying the timeliness and correctness of the answers supplied by librarians, and the overall effectiveness of digital reference desks. This study was originally undertaken in 1999 and was repeated for comparison purposes. I helped develop the reference questions, sent the emails, corresponded with the librarians, compiled the answers, and ran the stats, also generating graphs. Designer, Content Researcher, and Writer for a Corporate Website, December 2001 - January 2002 I designed the website and developed the information architecture. I then did a lot of research into what types of content should appear on the website and wrote the copy. Client and Market Researcher for Higher Mind Productions, October 2001 - January 2002 On this project, it was my job to identify corporations and individuals that might need the various services my client offered. I also made the initial contact, wrote proposals, negotiated fees, and managed projects. Project Manager for the Redesign and Enhancement of the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers Website, July - October 2001 This project began for me in January of 2001 when I identified the international association as a possible client for my employer. Three months later, I wrote the proposal that won the company the contract for the redesign. I came onboard as project manager, working with the web committee to establish milestones, keeping everything on track, and acting as the main contact person. Later in the project, additional roles for me were content checker, quality controller, and researcher for the public domain images used on the site. I had a contract to maintain the site, edit the content, and upload new information until 2004. Market Researcher and Event Organizer (NDA in Place), June 2001 My role was to locate a large number of people who might like to attend a seminar on learning how to create targeted resumes. The seminars took place across the United States and were developed to teach job searchers how to focus on their desired position how to spotlight their skills and experience how to create a highly focused format for their resumes how to ensure that their resume rises to the top of the stack how to catch the attention of headhunters, corporate recruiters, hiring managers how to analyze their skills and experience how to impress the hiring manager figure out if their dream job is realistic for them and the secret of getting past the screeners. Professional consulting services were also made available to enrollees at discounted prices. Client and Market Researcher for Cameron Halifax Associates. May 2001 My job was to locate the contact information for product managers or product marketing managers working for companies located in New York City and the immediate vicinity. These companies had to sell products in the knowledge management, libraryinformation science, information retrieval, computational linguistics or natural language processing fields. Researcher for Howard Rheingolds Book on Mobile Communications and the Technologies of Cooperation. April 2001 - June 2002 Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution is a book that details how the rise of pervasive mobile communications combined with always-on Internet connections produces new kinds of ad-hoc social groups. Smart mobs emerge when social networks use mobile communication devices, pervasive computation, peer to peer, and reputation management methodologies to coordinate collective action - political, social, economic. This great job began in April 2001. One of my first assignments was to help design an online database that would meet our research requirements and find a host that was cost-effective, allowing more than one person to work at the same time. The database has really been successful and presently contains almost 1000 records, complete with bibliographic information, thesis statements, quotes, and notes. My work also included finding interesting and knowledgeable people from all over the world, who are doing work in various fields and contacting them to set up interviews. To date, we have met with people in Canada, Seattle, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Stockholm, London, Helsinki, Surrey, Palo Alto, San Jose, Tokyo, and Amsterdam. I also did original research, summarized our research materials, compiled sources, wrote, fact-checked, formatted Word files for the publisher, and created tables of content and endnotes (including formatting them into the Chicago Style). In addition, I edited and critiqued the work in progress, and made the bibliography. Project Manager and Researcher for an Upcoming Book on Third-World NGOs (University of Toronto), March - May 2001 There has been a steady growth in the number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society movements and coalitions in the last decade of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century. NGOs, especially large international NGOs, and civil society movements often fill the vacuum left by governmental actors in such diverse fields as the environment and social justice. Large international NGOs adopt causes in third-world countries and bring their resources to bear on issues that local governments often do not want to deal with. In addition, NGOs typically make use of information communication technologies (ICTs) to further their aims. The proliferation of large international NGOs and the use of ICTs by large international NGOs has been examined in a number of studies. What has been neglected, however, are NGOs operating in the so-called developing or third-world countries. This research project therefore has a twofold purpose. First, it explores the relationship of third-world NGOs with large international NGOs. Has that relationship been fruitful, or has it been fraught with tensions and conflicts based on philosophical differences Second, has the introduction of ICTs been a panacea for third-world NGOs or do ICTs bring with them a host of problems and concerns that are not obvious at first glance This book is about third-world or Southern NGOs, ones that operate mostly in Africa, South America, and the less-developed countries. The focus of the book is two-pronged: the relationship that third-world NGOs have with their bigger brothersister NGOs in the developed world. Do they get along Do they feel they are being treated as equals by first world NGOs. AND, how do third-world NGOs get their information How do they use information technology My work for this project included the design and implementation of an international online survey, deciding which NGOs to include in the study, collecting articles on the subject. and data analysis. I also project managed. I needed a definition for Southern NGOs. I found that they are mostly those operating in Asia, Africa, South America, and other less- developed countries, including those in countries such as Turkmenistan. One of the first things I did was to search for third-world or Southern NGOs concerned with such issues as environment, social justice, and economic rights. Later, when I was further into the project, I added some centered on women and their issues because they are often fighting for human rights, economic freedom, and environmental improvements. Once I had a good starting point, I searched in the Yearbook of International Organizations . however, almost immediately I saw a problem using just this resource to compile a list of 150 NGOs that fit the bill since so many smaller regional organizations had no profiles in the database. It is possible that some NGOs do not realize that they can submit their contact information and mission statement. One of the aims of the Union of International Associations is to facilitate the evolution of the activities of the world-wide network of non-profit organizations, especially non-governmental or voluntary associations, not just the larger international organizations that get the lions share of media attention in the First World. Since my mission was to find smaller, regionalized, down-to-earth non-governmental organizations, I spent many hours sweeping the Internet using a variety of search strings and a series of online maps to make sure I was being comprehensive. I used maps of Asia, Africa, and South America and researched out each country separately to see if they had NGOs that fit the category. Many that I discovered on portal sites or in directories and wanted to include in the study had no web presence, nor email address. Since I needed to find a website so that I could establish a profile and was also required to have an email for each NGO so that they could be contacted, I had to leave those out of the study. As a result, there are some countries that were not included because the required information was not found. The survey we conducted was meant specifically for small and medium-sized NGOs who work in Africa, South America, or Asia. Email messages were sent to a random selection of 120 southern NGOs in March-April 2001 inviting them to go to a website that had a copy of the survey and to complete a series of questions using the web form. They could also answer the survey by hitting reply to the email we sent. In addition to three preliminary questions that elicited basic demographic data, the survey consisted of sixteen questions on two topics: (i) the way in which southern NGOs perceived and used information and communication technologies (ICTs) and (ii) the relationship of southern NGOs with international NGOs. One of the outcomes we were hoping for was to improve the relationship between small local NGOs and larger international ones. Here is a sampling of the questions we asked: About how many times would you say that your NGO has had significant working contact on a specific issue with large international NGOs in the past 12 months Do you feel that your NGO is sufficiently consulted by large international NGOs on matters of local concern about which your local NGO has special expertise Has the use of ICTs affected internal working relationships within your NGO In other words, has it caused any changes in the decision-making process or organizational structure of your NGO and Has the introduction of ICTs, especially the Internet, eroded your NGOs use of indigenous and informal communication channels All questions were accompanied with a request for specific examples. Cybrarian and Facilitator for OSN 2001, an Online Event Sponsored by Group Jazz and Rheingold Associates. March 28 to April 11, 2001 Online Social Networks 2001 brought together the most experienced designers and instigators of online think-tanks, virtual team communication spaces, and virtual communities to discuss the art of designing, launching, growing, and maintaining online social networks. For two weeks, from March 28 to April 11, registered participants, speakers, and workshop leaders joined together in structured conversations about practical issues related to online social networks. Caucus web conference software enabled registered participants to interact at any time during the event, from anywhere in the world, using text and images, through a net-connected web browser. Market Researcher for an International Artist, March - April 2001 I was contracted to compile a list of prospects that might be interested in buying art. The target market was Interior Designers who specialize in hotel, restaurant, corporate, and high-end residential custom art work, with a first preference given to east coast designers. Email addresses, websites, and telephone numbers were collected for each. I also put together a list of interior design trade shows, conferences, annual meetings, and other gatherings of interior designers who specialize in high-end markets, basically any where my client could make contact with these professionals. Researcher for Cameron Halifax Associates. March 2001 I was hired to find magazine circulation managers, circulation directors, and circulation specialists for a successful direct marketing company which has a growing catalog division and a need for an experienced manager to oversee marketing and promotions, generate new business, design renewal campaigns, develop email and direct mail campaigns, do list selection, and integrate innovative technologies to their circulation operations. Archival Researcher for a Small Publishing Firm in Switzerland, March 2001 I was hired to collect the names of old and new catalogues of publishing houses from all over the world. My client then planned to request hard copies of each or at least a facsimile. Catalogues from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and the USA were some of the ones I discovered. National libraries and archives were important sources for the information I was asked to find, but I also made contact with private collectors to do my research. Another component to this project was researching the history of publishing and advertising. The collection of catalogues helps to preserve the business history of publishing and provides us with a pictorial history of catalogue design, as well as insight into the evolution of books and what people read the last number of decades. Researcher and Writer for the National Research Council of Canada, January - March 2001 My research work centered on taking a look at where people and virtual communities believe interactive digital video and visualizationVRvirtualized reality will be by 2010. I used online resources, communicated with some of the finest scientists in the field, and conducted a small survey during the course of the project. I then wrote a report that summarized my findings. Researcher and Writer (NDA in Place), January - February 2001 I did value-added research and some writing for an international cosmetics corporation. Client and Market Database Researcher and Creator (NDA in Place), December 2000 - February 2001 My job was to sweep the Internet to uncover a large number of appropriate contacts to be used by an Internet start-up as a foundation for the generation of contracts. I then created a multi-field online database and inputted all the data. Website AccessibilityUsability Evaluator for Seven Federally-Controlled Canadian Corporations, December 2000 - January 2001 I was hired to evaluate seven websites to check for barriers to accessibility. Corporations such as CBC wanted to know if their website had limitations that prevented people with certain disabilities from using it to the fullest extent. They wanted to make sure that they had strategies in place to help the disabled overcome the limitations of the media. Some of the things I checked for were text equivalents for every non-text element, including images, image maps, and animations ensure that all information conveyed with color was also available without color use of descriptive link text, not just click here to ensure that each link made sense when it was read out of context, or by a screen reader and the provision of clear and consistent navigation and links. In addition, I ran usability tests on all sites, checking for over-use of cutting-edge technology, long scrolling pages, illogical navigation structure, long download times, and dead links. Finally, I checked to make sure that the websites had a privacy statement that the privacy policy used the word privacy in the link name that there was a link to the privacy policy from the home page the privacy policy identified exactly what data was being collected and that the privacy policy identified the intended use of the collected data. My findings were collated into reports and sent to the corporations for next steps. Researcher for Cameron Halifax Associates, December 2000 I was hired to find the contact information for a Grammy-award winning song writer, living in Nashville, Tennessee. My client was interested in hiring him to work on a Broadway musical play. After many false starts, I was able to get his private phone number and put him in contact with my client. Meta Tag Creator and Web Content Reviewer for Rheingold Associates. December 2000 I created customized meta tags and keywords for every page of the new home of Howard Rheingolds international group of associates. I also reviewed the content, assisting the editorial staff with website copy revisions. Researcher for Cameron Halifax Associates, November 2000 I was contracted to find library science listservs and library school alumni organizations. These resources will be used by a head hunter to identify possible candidates with MLIS degrees to fill positions in Silicon Valley start-ups. Researcher for Cameron Halifax Associates, November 2000 I was hired to find advertising sales managers or advertising salespeople working in the magazine industry. The client is a dynamic publishing and direct marketing concern with unique products in print and online. Website Accessibility Consultant for GEIS, October - December 2000 I was hired to redesign the site and make the changes necessary to obtain Priority 1 Accessibility status. Client and Market Researcher for Cameron Halifax Associates, October 2000 My client specializes in recruiting talent in Information Science, Knowledge Engineering, Ontology, and related fields. His clients are primarily in Cupertino, Mountain View, and San Francisco. My job was to identify a number of possible candidates for various positions, including a copy of their resumes and their contact information. Researcher and Writer for AOL, October 2000 I researched and created a PowerPoint deck and a five-page handout for a business presentation on the provision of accessible Internet-related products and services for people with disabilities and the development and implementation of AOL services that would enable deaf people to communicate via the Internet using TTYs and Internet appliances. Since text telephones (TTYs) use outdated and incompatible technology, many deaf people have no access to the Internet. As a result, companies and governments are looking for cost-effective and cutting-edge ways to provide accessible services to deaf consumers. Providing access requires significant annual expenses, but there is significant pressure on organizations to become accessible to people with disabilities with the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Internet offers huge potential to the deaf population for education, training, employment, and empowerment, a new kind of freedom and independence. The creation of a deaf global village can be a reality. The timing is great for moving the entire deaf population onto the Internet. An Internet-TTY Gateway would enable deaf consumers to switch to the Internet without losing contact with the TTY-using community. The deaf population would benefit by having more opportunities for education, training, and employment, without all of the expense. Providing a way to communicate with hearing people via email and messaging would also make deaf people more employable. The anticipated parallel development of wireless instant messaging extends this model to enable direct TTY-to-wireless-phone messaging capability. Researcher for Rheingold Associates, September 2000 I was hired to collect and format public domain images for a corporate strategy game based on Charles Camerons thought tool, HipBone Games. The deliverables were used during an international online conference. Researcher for the National Research Council of Canada, August - November 2000 I collaborated with a senior strategist to develop an online survey that focused on an innovation-oriented group, aged 35 years old or younger to explore what their assumptions and expectations were in regards to the driving factors for Science and Technology (SampT) for the first decade of the 21st century. I, as the researcher, carried out and oversaw the survey study. I had to decide where to post the survey and research which individuals I would email it to directly. I also collected some informed intellectual speculations from experts and scientists in the area of future scenario work, and some of the latest information gleaned from Internet sources. I collocated them into a ten page report, highlighting some of the more important trends, insights, and issues. Additional deliverables included a copy of the survey questionnaire, all completed surveys, the reports generated from the survey software, and a collocation of answers for each essay-type question included in the survey. The purpose of the project was to survey a group of Science and Technology future-oriented individuals, focusing on those who are young and actively involved in leading edge developments in SampT fields. The survey included questions about the dominant issues and controversies involved in SampT, their impact on research facilities, such as the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), and the critical priorities for technology and skill development. Furthermore, it endeavored to ascertain the most innovative or consequential fieldssub-fields of SampT, as well as the changes needed to improve the SampT system for the world of the 21st Century, along with other queries. The links between science and research outcomes and socio-economic progress are complex and uncertain, however, future scenario work offers promise as a means to help ensure that science, engineering, and technology contribute to national objectives through the identification of priority areas in research and development for both economic and social benefit. There is value in using scenarios as a tool in managing change and to address broad issues of skills, culture, innovation, and communications, so as to develop alternative perspectives on Canadas longer-term requirements for science and technology and how we might better position ourselves to respond to the challenges of shaping our future. It allows managers to consider strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in a dynamic context provided by long-term perspectives, bringing together many factors crucial to competitiveness and innovation, such as helping to identify commercially valuable research areas and indicating emerging market needs. By looking forward to possible future developments and their implications for research, the economy, and society, we can obtain valuable alternative perspectives on our present activities. We live in a complex world where technologies that did not exist a few decades ago are playing key roles in our social and economic life. We now understand that the development, acquisition, and application of knowledge through science, technology, and innovation can create new sources of wealth and improve the quality of our lives. Knowledge and skills have become key factors in developing and sustaining international competitiveness. Research in science and engineering gives Canada a strategic capacity to compete in the knowledge-based global economy, an economy whose rapid pace of change owes much to the pace of advances in science and technology. Scientific discoveries are key drivers of economic growth and have a vital influence on the quality of our lives in providing personal success and prosperity, and for economic growth and social development. Accordingly, scientific and technological research is one of the best investments government can make for the future because it contributes to growing an economy that has more high-skilled workers, high-wage jobs, a cleaner environment, a healthier population, advanced information technology infrastructures, a stronger, more competitive private sector able to maintain a place in world markets, an educational system that is challenging, and an inspired scientific and technological research community focused on improving the quality of life and on successfully meeting global problems through cooperation with other countries. The most important measure of success for SampT is the ability to make a difference in the lives of people: to harness SampT to improve the quality of life and the economic strength of a country. Science and technological industries have changed the way people work, live, and learn. There is a need to build a forward-looking science and technology system. Since the strategic direction, skills and knowledge generated by SampT will impact on our ability to meet our future needs, our SampT system must look ahead and be open and responsive to early and possibly weak, signals of change. Collecting and combining information and gathering opinions in such a survey will help to build perspectives on possible futures to 2010, providing a broad context for identifying future needs, while enabling us to assess how well our current science, engineering, and technology system is positioning itself to meet these needs. We need a society that can make informed choices, one that is technologically literate, and one able to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship. This study will aim to provide an information base to assist NRC in making better informed longer-term decisions on the development and application of science and technology. Researcher and Senior Editor for Internet Start-Up, Good Enough Information Systems, July 2000 - April 2001 My work focused on helping organizations and corporations integrate the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Guidelines into their website designs and content structure to allow a high degree of usability for people with disabilities. Other duties included performing website usability assessments and helping non-profits and small businesses employ technology to become more effective, primarily using the ASPWebware model. I also researched and wrote internal reports, developed and templated company processes, and wrote or edited articles, press information, and proposals. I was also the manager of the website. Good Enough Information Systems Inc. is a completely virtual consulting company that is dedicated to making organizations, particularly non-profits and small businesses, more effective through the appropriate use of technology. We focus on providing solutions that offer impact and simplicity rather than over-elaborate code or animated extravaganzas. We work for clients all over Canada and the United States on individual consulting and development projects. One of the big problems with technology investments is that cutting-edge today is obsolete tomorrow, and the solution you spent 50,000 on this year will cost 1,000 in two years. Good Enough Information Systems Inc. specializes in helping an organization build a good enough system to meet its requirements without paying for more than it really needs. Researcher for University of Toronto (NDA in Place), April - June 2000 Researcher for an Upcoming Book on Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Other Civil Society Movements, February - March 2000 My role was to examine the information that was available online, in academic journals, newspapers, and books on the international organization, La Francophonie. I evaluated sources, summarized findings, and wrote a lengthy report to facilitate the authors work. In this age of globalization, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society movements and coalitions have become vastly more diverse and influential. This book explores the crucial role that efficient, skilful use of information and communications technology and news media has played in increasing the influence and enhancing the work of civil society organizations. Rich in case study material, it examines NGOs and other civil society organizations in the policy fields of development, security, international law, human rights, and humanitarian action. In addition, the book examines the relationship between civil society and intergovernmental institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the G7G8. Information is power. In the last twenty years, citizens movements have used information to expose, mobilize, and persuade. By doing so, they have irreversibly altered the relationship between citizens and those who govern. Designer and Website Content Developer for a Conference Center and Reception Hall, Lafayette, LA, January - February 2000 Client and Market Researcher for Higher Mind Productions, December 1999 The age old problem of not having enough time or money to identify new markets is a real challenge for many companies, not just start-ups. Lack of trained in-house staff and not enough time for them to learn market research methodologies, has many companies hiring freelance client researchers like me to find new clients and to recommend new business directions. Working on a limited budget, I considered my clients current priorities, did some research, and identified new markets for the company. I also delivered strategic market and customer insights by analyzing impacts on marketing and product strategy. Website Designer and Content Developer for a Real Estate Firm in Jennings, Louisiana, November - December 1999 Researcher for Howard Rheingolds Revised Edition of his Best-Selling, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier that was released in November 2000 by MIT Press, October 1999 - April 2000 My work consisted of compiling an extensive new bibliography that is meant to serve as a guide to further research on virtual communities and the issues that surround online life. In addition, I carried out a literature review. wrote a report, was a fact checker, and acted as a bibliographic assistant to the author. Researcher and Project Manager for an Academic Study, October 1999 - February 2000 This research project was developed to find out the condition of email reference service in Canadian public libraries. My part of the project included working with the principal researcher to develop the questions used in the study deciding which libraries to include and collecting their ask a librarian contact information creating the email addresses that were used to send the inquiries to the libraries sending out the email reference questions each week and collecting the answers researching articles written about email reference and compiling an annotated bibliography based on them. I also asked the libraries used in the study for their email reference service policy if they had one. I then compiled all the answers. With more and more libraries offering to answer questions electronically, the researchers were interested in studying the accuracy of the answers that were supplied by the surveyed librarians, their timeliness in answering, and the overall effectiveness of digital reference desks and ask a librarian programs. We were also interested in finding out why libraries were offering email reference and if its integration changed reference departments. The offering of email reference service is a significant step in the development of the concept of a virtual library. The continuing growth in the number of libraries with access to electronic data networks is beginning to impact the way these organizations conduct their business. For library clients, this promises both more convenient access to information and to library professionals. Clients will increasingly expect to access information and the services of librarians at work and at home. Libraries will increasingly have new opportunities to deliver services, such as reference services, to users who now find it difficult or inconvenient to visit the library. However, if remote reference services are to become common, it is necessary for the information profession to prepare now by identifying both advantages and problems for clients and reference intermediaries alike. One problem in providing reference service over an electronic data network is replacing the face-to-face reference interview, which allows for immediate clarification because of its interactive nature. Can an electronic interaction be equally effective Verbal and non-verbal channels, such as inflections and paralinguistic devices are often equally important in a reference interview. Many of these cues are, of course, not present in an electronic interview. New and rich protocols for communicating non-verbal signals will no doubt develop to fill the void. Here is a sample of the questions used in the study: When did Kitchener, Ontario change its name from Berlin Would you happen to know what the date was for the so-called Fog Bowl It was a football game in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Would you able to tell me how many Grammy Awards that Celine Dion has won I am looking for the postal address of the British Records Office in London, England. It is the office that handles public records. On what date will Easter 2067 fall Could you tell me what the Consumer Price Index was for September 1999 in Canada and I am trying to find out the date when and the place where the tidal wave hit Newfoundland. For comparison purposes, this unobtrusive study was repeated during the Winter of 2002. Meta Tag Creator, Search Engine Optimizer, Website Content Developer, and Editor for a South Louisiana Arts Portal, September - October 1999 I created a series of meta tags, including the Dublin Core sets, for a large number of websites under the umbrella of the portal, and wrote contentedited all websites. Researcher for the National Research Council of Canada, July - December 1999 This was an extensive research project that included a sweep of the Internet, academic databases, and library OPACs for the latest information on virtual communities, scenario planning. online culture. innovation. future scenarios. systems thinking. and avatar technology. I read all materials, wrote several reports, and developed a series of PowerPoint slide decks for use in federal government departments. Researcher and Website Content Developer for a Louisiana Art Consortium, July - August 1999 Primarily, my job was to research American copyright law as it pertains to artists. I also helped to design the website, create the content, and develop the meta tags. Search engine submission and optimization were also a part of the project. Researcher for the CanLearn Educational Database, February - September 1999 The nature of my work was to sweep the Internet for websites featuring Canadian educational businesses, organizations, associations, scholarships, student loans, schools, indices, language training courses, literacy centers, and other education choices, such as home schooling and private school programs. I also helped to develop the categorization schema used for classification, and worked with the programmers to create the interface for an online database that was eventually used to input all websites. Once I found an appropriate website, I created an annotated record for it and then inputted the data into the database. I was also expected to evaluate the process on an ongoing basis. CanLearn is the only online post-secondary education resource that provides Canadians with the information and services they need to decide what and where to study and how to cover the costs. The CanLearn site was developed by the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and Canadian learning and career development organizations. It provides all the necessary resources, from interactive planning tools to information about savings programs, student loans, and scholarships, to Canadians facing important decisions when saving for, selecting and financing their post-secondary education. It also provides Canadian governments, learning institutions, and other organizations with the means to collaborate on the provision of information and planning tools for Canadians. Researcher for the National Research Council of Canada. February 1999 For this project, I was required to perform both a literature review and a sweep of the Internet for particular deliverables that helped to prepare a strategic government analyst for a European conference on information and knowledge management. I read all the articles and pulled important points from each. I then wrote a paper on KM to summarize my findings. The literature review, the articles, and the report were all sent to the client. Above all, companies, governments, and large corporations often do not know what they know. Knowledge management attempts to prevent problems such as lost knowledge or lost income by establishing human and technological networks capable of harnessing a companys collective expertise and experience. The move from an industrial-based economy to a knowledge or information-based one demands a top-notch knowledge management system to secure a competitive edge and a capacity for learning. An organizations ability to quickly tap into its internal wisdom gives it a competitive edge in the marketplace. As a result, knowledge is displacing capital, natural resources, and labor as the basic economic resource. Governments know this all too well. Researcher for the Canadian Directorate of Museums, December 1998 - January 1999 My job was to find out how many international museums have an online presence and then establish what these institutions offered as far as web-based educational materials. I was also required to do a literature review for the latest research on visual literacy, in hopes of making a case for including visual art in school curricula, regardless of the size and means of the school district. I printed off all relevant articles and mailed them to the executive director. Part of the research was used in preparation for a speech given at an American Association of Museums conference for educators in the United States. Researcher for Indexing Research. New York, November 1998 This project was centered around finding out how many United States public and academic libraries index their local newspapers. I visited hundreds of library websites looking for the information and made several phone calls to library directors asking if their libraries indexed the local newspapers. Many did. The information was needed for the value-added component of a proposal submitted to the federal government for a major legacy indexing project of American newspapers. I also ran some statistics and wrote a report of the findings. Researcher for Unobtrusive Evaluation of Reference Service and Individual Responsibility: The Canadian Experience. April - December 1998 The nature of my work was to conduct a literature review of the latest materials published on a wide range of topics, including reference services and American and Canadian government information policies. Primarily, I used Dialog. LexisNexis. Library Literature. the Internet, and library catalogues for the various literature reviews I compiled, but also manually reviewed many journals and books for the needed information. I then read, evaluated the materials, and wrote one to two page summaries for over two hundred separate works. You can view some of my research notes for this book at Government Documents Research. If democracy is dependent upon governments providing equitable, free, and easy access to its information resources, then programs such as the Federal Depository Library Program must be considered integral components of the governments dissemination machine. The most important argument against a one hundred percent electronic universe for government information is that it prevents many users from having access to important government information. From lack of technological finesse, lack of money to buy the necessary equipment, to lack of training, there are many reasons why individuals will be prevented from having access. Furthermore, many depository libraries do not have the needed equipment, the infrastructure, nor enough trained staff to facilitate the transition to electronic government information. There has been inadequate federal planning and policy directives to ensure that libraries and their staff can move from a traditional model of librarianship to one which makes resources available to the public in electronic formats. Librarians need to be able to access, use, and communicate network literacy to the population, if the strategies of NII and NREN (National Research and Education Network) are to be successful and widespread throughout society. Therefore, strategies must be developed to ensure that electronic technologies will become integral in the 21st Century, as well as capable of bringing different segments of society together (i.e. the haves and the have-nots) able to promote social equity in terms of network literacy and enhance the role of libraries and educators to bring about the desired objectives. Researcher and Writer, Current Events Awareness Study, February - August 1998 The study attempted to find out the state of information access to current event inquiries as it pertains to national newspaper articles in public library settings. My duties included assisting in developing the areas of inquiry, helping to create the questions used in the study, and making over three hundred phone calls to a series of public libraries across Canada. Subsequently, I wrote a detailed report of the findings. In this study, we discuss, from a historical perspective, the value of reading newspapers as an integral part of reference service provision. We then examine, through an unobtrusive test of telephone reference service at twenty-one public libraries in Canada, whether reference staff are paying attention to newspapers in their work. We drew questions requiring short factual answers from the national paper of record, The Globe and Mail . We asked these questions 231 times. We found that respondents answered 19.5 percent of these questions accurately, and made referrals to external agencies about one quarter of the time. When we followed up on these referrals, we found that 60 percent of them led to accurate answers. Patrons who ask telephone reference questions can therefore expect to get an accurate answer at a rate of 34.2 percent, including successful referrals to external sources. This relatively low level of accuracy could cause the loyalty of patrons to their public libraries to erode, since at least one management study of high-level business executives has suggested that accuracy is the most important factor in determining service quality. Libraries might want to institute policies that provide time for their reference staff to read newspapers and magazines. Schools of library and information science might wish to stress the value of keeping up with current events in the syllabi of any reference courses that they offer. Patrons have many reasons for making a telephone reference inquiry rather than a physical visit to the library. Certainly, many patrons could come into the library, but there are just as many patrons who are unable to visit the library. They might be strapped for time, or they might be unable to get to the library because of physical constraints or the lack of transportation. In these instances, a reference staff member who suggests that a patron come into the library to look for an answer might not be offering a real alternative. In the study reported here, 36.4 percent of telephone reference inquiries ended in the patron being told to visit the library. In light of this, Canadian public libraries may wish to consider instituting a telephone reference system of the kind Tour described, when visiting the library to get an answer is not a requirement. These are the eleven questions used in the study. Following each question is the bibliographical information for each news story: 1.) Do you know where I could find a copy of the official CIA report about the Bay of Pigs (C.I.A. Bares Own Bungling in 61 Report on Bay of Pigs, New York Times . Feb. 22, 1998, A1, A6 Secret Report Blames CIA for Bay of Pigs Fiasco, The Globe and Mail . Feb. 23, 1998, A11.) 2.) Can you give me some information about whether the musical work Symphony No. 3 by the British composer Sir Edward Elgar has ever been finished (A Change of Heart Brings a New Elgar Work, New York Times . Mar. 12, 1998, B1, B9 Pomp and Circumstance, The Globe and Mail . Mar. 14, 1998, C17.) 3.) Can you tell me the name of the architect for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC (Museum of the Indian Drops its Designer, New York Times . Apr. 4, 1998, A13, A15 Cardinal Ignores Dismissal Notice, The Globe and Mail . Apr. 7, 1998, C1, C2.) 4.) Could you provide me with any kind of list of all the plants that are e ndangered globally (One in Every 8 Plant Species is Imperiled, a Survey Finds, New York Times . April 9, 1998, A1, A22 Plant Species Threat Cited, The Globe and Mail . Apr. 9, 1998, A15.) 5.) Has there ever been a credit union owned by blacks in Canada If so, could you provide me with some details (A Community Loses its Line of Credit, The Globe and Mail . May 1, 1998, A2.) 6.) Do you know of any publication that provides a list of abandoned communities (towns, villages, outports) in Newfoundland (Whats Lost and Whats in Danger, The Globe and Mail . May 4, 1998, A13 op-ed page.) 7.) Are there any statistics available on how many children have been using Ritalin in Quebec in the last few years (Ritalin Raises Alarm in Quebec, The Globe and Mail . May 27, 1998, A1, A5.) 8.) Are you aware of any studies that link how well CEOs of companies play golf with how well their companies perform on the stock market (Duffers Need Not Apply, New York Times . May 31, 1998, Section 3, p. 1 Study Links Golf to Great Returns, The Globe and Mail . Jun. 2, 1998, B12.) 9.) Can you give me some information about the first person to circumnavigate the world solo (A Hero Ex cept Back Home, The Globe and Mail . Jul. 17, 1998, A2 Canadas Own Ancient Mariner, The Globe and Mail . Jul. 18, 1998, D16 front page of weekend book section.) 10.) Could you give me some information as to whether it is legal to sell the manganese-based gasoline octane booster MMT in Canada (Threat of NAFTA Case Kills Canadas MMT Ban, The Globe and Mail . Jul. 20, 1998, A1, A5 Gas War: The Fall and Rise of MMT, The Globe and Mail . Jul. 24, 1998, A1, A5.) 11.) Id like some information about the approximate number of native artifacts that have to be returned by Canadian museums under the terms of the Nisgaa treaty with the federal government and British Columbia. (A Time for Giving Back, The Globe and Mail . Aug. 1, 1998, C1, C8.) See findings in: Dilevko, J. and E. Dolan. Reference Work and the Value of Reading Newspapers: An Unobtrusive Study of Telephone Reference Service . Reference amp User Services Quarterly 39 . tidak. 1 (1999): 71-81 . Researcher, Website Evaluation Study, Fall 1997Summer 1998 With the assistance of students from two government documents classes at the University of Western Ontario library school. a comparative study was done on a large number of American and Canadian government information websites. We were investigating how well the sites did when it came to scope, currency, accuracy, ease of use, organization, appeal, search capabilities, quality of online materials, and learning factors. My primary duties included entering the data into Excel, creating graphs and charts, and collocating the written summaries. For statistical purposes, the websites were classified into the following categories: 1. Finance: treasury, finance, commerce, auditor general, management and budget, privatization, management board secretariat, the GAO, and revenue 2. Justice: crime, attorney general, justice, and solicitor general 3. Public Services: transport, health, social services, communications, education, census, energy, consumerism, citizen and culture, housing, travel, heritage, statscan, defense, veteran affairs, and women 4. Environment: environment, natural resources, fisheries, the department of the interior, Indian affairs, agriculture, and the EPA 5. International Affairs: foreign, international industry, immigration, and international trade and 6. Economic Development: opportunity agency, labour, economic development, human resources, industry, and ACOA. Research Assistant, November 1997 - May 1998 I was the researcher for a study carried out on behalf of the Federal Depository Services Program, Public Access Services Division (Bruno Gnassi). Providing Canadian citizens with free, equitable, timely, and uncomplicated access to federal government information is a national and worthy goal. Now that official publications in print form are gradually being replaced by electronic documents increasingly available on the Internet, systematic examination of the capabilities of federal depository libraries to provide permanent access and quality reference service to the Canadian public is essential. The study reported here was funded by the Depository Services Program (DSP), Public Works and Government Services, Canada, and undertaken by researchers in the Program of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario. For this investigation, a set of government documents-related questions were developed and tested for use in an unobtrusive evaluation of full and selective depositories in academic and public libraries located across the five geographic and socio-cultural regions of Canada. The purpose of this study was to investigate how well library staff members in Canadian federal depository libraries are answering government documents reference questions and whether they are using Internet-accessible and web-based sources to do so. Research questions were formulated as follows: what is the degree of accuracy of government reference service in Canadian academic and public libraries that participate in the Depository Services Program, as measured by the number of complete answers supplied by library personnel to specific questions To what extent do staff members in these libraries make use of electronic information sources such as CD-ROMs and the range of websites made available by the Canadian federal government and which categories of government reference questions are the most difficult to answer for library personnel at depository libraries While there are legislative libraries with full depository status in most provinces, public access to government documents is most readily achieved through public and academic libraries. Accordingly, the research questions developed for this study were examined through the lens of four categories of depository libraries: academic full depositories, academic selective depositories, public full depositories, and public selective depositories. This study was conducted using paid proxies in a cross-country unobtrusive evaluation of reference service at academic and public depositories. The quality of reference service was operationally defined as the percentage of complete or combined complete and partially complete answers to 15 government documents questions. Selection of tested libraries was based on a proportionally stratified cluster sample. In the first instance, proportional stratification was effected on the basis of the five geographic areas of Canada. On the second level, clusters of cities and towns within the geographic areas were identified, and a sample of public and academic depository libraries was taken to reflect the proportion of these libraries in the depository system as a whole. Fifteen different questions were asked a total of 488 times at 104 libraries in 30 metropolitan census areas as defined by Statistics Canada. Each proxy package consisted of 15 different questions and a brief survey form. Proxies were recruited from students enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program of the University of Western Ontario (UWO). Questions were asked from 10 December 1997 to 10 February 1998 - a period during which many students traditionally return to their hometowns for the holiday season. To a certain extent, cities chosen for the study were determined by the travel plans of the proxies. My specific duties included collection of the survey data, inputting it all into Excel, creating a series of tables and charts, and helping to analyze the findings. In addition, I was expected to follow-up on over two hundred referrals received from the initial inquiries made by our proxies. ( See findings in the government document entitled: Government Documents Reference Service in Canada: Implications for Electronic Access Ottawa, Ont. Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1999. - vii, 100 p. 111 p. vii). Halvorson, Ray (2011). Finding Your Way Home . Dawson MediaNavPress. Halvorson, Ray (2011). The Worlds Fourth Great Religion . Dawson MediaNavPress.Aretha, David (2009). Glacier National Park . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Mason, Moya K. (2010). The History of Female Roman Gladiators .Mason, Moya K. (2009). The Perils and Rewards of Incorporating the Master Cleanse into Your Diet .Young, Jeff C. (2009). Inspiring African-American Inventors: Nine Extraordinary Lives . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Streissguth, Thomas (2008). Americas Security Agencies: The Department of Homeland Security, FBI, NSA, and CIA (Federal Government) . MyReportlinksJankowski, Susan (2008). Everglades National Park: Adventure, Explore, Discover . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Mason, Moya K. (2008). Profile on German Insurance Market .OShei, Tim (2008). Philo T. Farnsworth: Visionary Inventor of Television . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Mason, Moya K. (2008). Profile on Colombian Insurance Market .Bozonelis, Helen Koutras (2008). A Look at the Nineteenth Amendment Women Win the Right to Vote . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Mason, Moya K. (2008). Profile of the South Korean Insurance Market .Mason, Moya K. (2008). Nanotechnology and the Cosmetics Industry. Aretha, David (2007). Power in Pinstripes: The New York Yankees . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Favor, Lesli J. Ph.D. (2007). Weighing in: Nutrition and Weight Management . Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Childrens Books.Feinstein, Stephen (2007). The Bighorn Sheep: Help Save This Endangered Species . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Favor, Lesli J. Ph.D. (2007). Food As Foe: Nutrition and Eating Disorders . Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Childrens Books.Graham, Amy (2007). A Look at the Eighteenth and Twenty-first Amendments The Prohibition and Sale of Intoxicating Liquors . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Holtzman, David (2006). Privacy Lost: How Technology is Endangering Your Privacy . New York, NY: John Wiley amp Sons, Inc.Fletcher, Marty, and Glenn Scherer (2006). The Green Sea Turtle . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Feinstein, Stephen (2005). Ancient Mesopotamia . MyReportlinksHansen, Mark Victor, and Robert Allen (2005). Cracking the Millionaire Code: Your Key to Enlightened Wealth . New York: Harmony Books.Ka-wai Fan. Searching for Chinese History Journals Online . The Electronic Library 23(5): 603-613 (2005).Connelly, Elizabeth Russell (2005). Predatory Drugs Busted . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Palenque, Stephanie Maher (2005). Crack Cocaine Busted . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.OConnell, Kim A. (2005). Pluto . Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.Mason, Moya K. (2004). What Can We Learn from the Rest of the World A Look at International Electronic Health Record Best Practices . (Canada Health Infoway report).Ka-wai Fan and Celine Yuen Yan Lai. Review of the Web Sites for Chinese Archaeology . New Information Perspectives 56(4):255-264 (2004).Lieurance, Suzanne (2004). The Ancient Maya . MyReportlinksSmith, Jack and Moya K. Mason. Learning From Technology Foresight Connections . Presented at the EU-US Scientific Seminar, 13-14 May 2004 in Seville, Spain.Mason, Moya K. Jack Smith, and Hassan Masum (editors). Science and Technology Foresight Web Conference . (government report, July 2003).Dilevko, J. and L. Gottlieb (2004). Reading and the Reference Librarian: The Importance to Library Service of Staff Reading Habits . Jefferson, NC: McFarland amp Co.Dilevko, J. and L. Gottlieb (2003). Weed to Achieve: A Fundamental Part of the Public Library Mission . Library Collections, Acquisitions, amp Technical Services . 27(1), 73-96.Ka-wai Fan. Electronic Resources for Chinese Studies and East Asian Libraries . New Library World . Vol. 104, No. 1193, pp. 404-411 (2003).Dilevko, J. and K. Dali (2002). The Challenge of Building Multilingual Collections in Canadian Public Libraries . Library Resources amp Technical Services . Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 116-137.Dilevko, J. (2002). The Working Life of Southern NGOs: Juggling the Promise of Information and Communication Technologies and the Perils of Relationships With International NGOs (pp. 67-94). In Peter Hajnal (ed.), Civil Society in the Information Age . Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing.Rheingold, Howard (2002). Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution . New York, NY: Perseus Publishing.Dilevko, Juris (2000). Unobtrusive Evaluation of Reference Service and Individual Responsibility: The Canadian Experience . Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publishers.Rheingold, Howard (2000). The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier . revised edition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Dilevko, Juris. La Francophonie: An Emerging International Governmental Organization . In International Information, Volume 2: Documents, Publications, and Electronic Information of International Organizations . 2nd ed. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc. pp. 108-137.Mason, Moya K. Scenario Planning, Science and Technology, National Research and Societal Considerations . (government report, September 2000).Dilevko, J. and M. Mason. Why You Should Read the Papers: Improving Reference Service in Public Libraries . Public Libraries . Vol. 39, No. 2 (MarchApril 2000).Dilevko. Juris. What Patrons Say About Library Staff When Asking Government Documents Reference Questions at Depository Libraries . Journal of Government Information 27 (2000) 299-323.Dilevko, J. and Elizabeth Dolan. Government Documents Reference Service in Canada: A Nationwide Unobtrusive Study of Public and Academic Depository Libraries . Library and Information Science Research . Vol. 22, No. 2, June 2000, pp. 185-222(38).Mason, Moya K. Avatar Technology (government report, November 1999).Dilevko, J. and E. Dolan. Reference Work and the Value of Reading Newspapers: An Unobtrusive Study of Telephone Reference Service . Reference amp User Services Quarterly . Vol. 39, No. 1 (1999): 71-81.Mason, Moya K. Knowledge Management: The Essence of the Competitive Edge (government report, September 1999).Mason, Moya K. Future Scenarios: The Art of Storytelling (government report, August 1999).Dilevko, J. and E. Dolan. Government Documents Reference Service in Canada: Implications for Electronic Access . Ottawa, Ont. Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1999. - vii, 100 p. 111 p. viii.THIRD-PARTY RESEARCH To access the articles below, first make sure you are logged in as a member, and then click the links below. Membership is free, click here to register . Gambling or De-risking: Hedge Fund Risk Taking vs. Managers Compensation Hedge fund managers risk-taking choices are determined by their compensation. Managers de-risk when the management fee becomes more important in total compensation, potentially to protect their existing assets and fee incomes. When funds are below their high-water marks, managers increase risk taking to recover past losses. Managers also take more risk when funds are above their high-water marks, possibly to further increase their compensation. During the recent financial crisis, managers herded more with their styles and decreased fund-specific risk. Finally, when fund managers take more risk, they do not generate better future performance and thus do not benefit investors. Click here for full article Chengdong Yin, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University Xiaoyan Zhang, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, and PBC School of Finance, Tsinghua University Funding Liquidity Risk and the Dynamics of Hedge Fund Lockups We exploit the expiring nature of hedge fund lockups to create a dynamic, fund-level proxy of funding liquidity risk. In contrast to the prior literature, our measure allows us to identify how within-fund changes in funding liquidity risk are associated with performance and risk taking. Lockup funds with lower funding liquidity risk take more tail risk and have better risk-adjusted performance, suggesting reduced funding liquidity risk enables funds to better capitalize on risky mispricing. Surprisingly, lockup funds outperform non-lockup funds even when controlling for restricted capital, suggesting that a portion of the lockup premium is attributable to a lockup-fixed effect. Click here for full article Adam L. Aiken, PhD, Assistant Professor of Finance - Elon University Christopher P. Clifford, PhD, Phillip Morris Associate Professor of Finance - Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky Jesse A. Ellis, PhD, Associate Professor of Finance Poole College of Management, North Carolina State University Qiping Huang, PhD Gatton College of Business, University of Kentucky Political Cognitive Biases Effects on Fund Managers8217 Performance Under rational agent hypothesis, financial industry practitioners should not be affected by political discourse, and investors cannot realize abnormal returns on publicly available information. Rare events, however, may silence rationality and potentiate cognitive dissonance on a spectrum of agents. We assembled a comprehensive dataset of hedge fund performance and matched equity hedge fund managers political affiliation by their partisan contributions. We document higher returns of equity hedge funds managed by Democrats for 10 subsequent months--from December 2008 to September 2009. This result is unique and robust to placebo time windows and random partisan affiliation shuffling. We conjecture that the conjunction of the financial crisis, Obamas election, and politically polarized interpretation of the US central bank policy during that period had an asymmetric impact on hedge fund managers perception. In other periods, when the political discourse did not involve central bank policy, there was no statistically significant difference between the performance of equity hedge fund managers depending on their political beliefs. Click here for full article Marian Moszoro, University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University Michael Bykhovsky, Center for Open Economics and Columbia Engineering BOV Timing is Money: The Factor Timing Ability of Hedge Fund Managers This paper studies the level, determinants, and persistence of the factor timing ability of hedge fund managers. We find strong evidence in favor of factor timing ability at the aggregate level, although we find ample variation in timing skills across investment styles and factors at the fund level. Our cross-sectional analysis shows that better factor timing skills are related to funds that are younger, smaller, have higher incentive fees, have a smaller restriction period, and make use of leverage. An out-of-sample test shows that factor timing is persistent. Specifically, the top factor timing funds outperform the bottom factor timing funds with a significant 1 per annum. This constitutes 13 of the overall performance persistence in hedge funds. The findings are robust to the use of an alternative model, alternative factors, and controlling for the use of derivatives, public information, and fund size. Click here for full article Albert Jakob Osinga, KAS Bank Marc B.J. Schauten, VU Amsterdam Remco C.J. Zwinkels, VU Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute Wolves at the Door: A Closer Look at Hedge Fund Activism Some commentators attribute the success of hedge fund activism to the support offered by other investors, many of whom are thought to accumulate stakes in the target firms before the activists campaigns are publicly disclosed. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as wolf pack activism. This paper explores three research questions: Is there any evidence of wolf pack formation Is the wolf pack formed intentionally (by the lead activist) or is it the result of independent activity by other investors Does the presence of a wolf pack improve the outcome of the activists campaign First, consistent with wolf pack formation, I find investors other than the lead activist accumulate significant share-holdings before public disclosure. Second, these share accumulations are more likely to be mustered by the lead activist rather than occurring spontaneously. Notably, for example, the other investors are more likely to be those who had a prior trading relationship with the lead activist. Third, the presence of a wolf pack is associated with a greater likelihood that the activist will achieve its stated objectives (e.g. will obtain board seats) and higher future stock returns over the duration of the campaign. Click here for full article Yu Ting Forester Wong, Columbia Business School Obstructing Shareholder Coordination in Hedge Fund Activism Recent theoretical work argues that shareholder coordination can contribute to success in hedge fund activism. We examine the actions that target firms take to limit coordination among shareholders, thus obstructing the ability to coordinate. Targets most often obstruct coordination when the potential for incumbent shareholder coordination is highest and when the target firm stock experiences abnormal turnover just before the activism announcement. Firms that obstruct coordination suffer worse long-term stock and operating performance and a lower probability of mergers, payouts, asset sales, and management changes following activism. Our results are robust to propensity score matching and an instrumental variables analysis. Click here for full article Nicole M. Boyson and Pegaret Pichler DAmore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University Boston Sentiment Risk, Sentiment Timing, and Hedge Fund Returns We examine whether exposure to sentiment risk helps explain the cross-sectional variation in hedge fund returns. We find that funds with sentiment beta in the top decile subsequently outperform those in the bottom decile by 0.67 per month on a risk-adjusted basis. Further, we show that some hedge funds have the ability to time sentiment by having high exposure to a sentiment factor when the factor premium is high, and sentiment timing also contributes to fund performance. Our results are robust to controlling for fund characteristics and other risk factors known to affect hedge fund returns and hold for alternative sentiment risk measures. Overall, these findings highlight sentiment risk as a source of limits to arbitrage faced by hedge funds. Click here for full article Yong Chen, Mays Business School, Texas AM University Bing Han, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto Jing Pan, University of Utah, Eccles School of Business Benchmarking Benchmarks: Much Ado about Nothing We compare the performance of a wide variety of benchmarks: traditional, fundamentals-based and optimization-based. We find that for a set of all stocks of the SP500 index during the period from February 1989 to December 2011 traditional and new benchmark portfolios perform similarly according to a variety of return, risk, turnover, and diversification performance metrics. Moreover, the difference between traditional value- or equal-weighted benchmark and new benchmark portfolios is not statistically significant. We identify a set of basis benchmarks, which span both the set of new and the set of traditional benchmarks. The first basis benchmark explains three quarters of the variation of all benchmark portfolios correlation between this basis benchmark and systematic market factor is 96 for the last 10 years period. We conclude that the strongest driving force of all considered benchmark portfolios is the market factor. Irrespective of the benchmark portfolio, managers mainly track the market and do it in statistically sufficient way during the last 23 years. The difference in the performance of various benchmarks can be attributed to the skill to outperform the market. In the long run these skills are washed out. Our work has implications for big mutual, pension and hedge funds with fairly big number of stocks in their portfolios and long investment time horizon. For these funds the choice of the benchmark is not important. Click here for full article Yuliya Plyakha, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg School of Finance Rethinking Performance Evaluation The current approach to performance evaluation is to run equation-by-equation regressions to calculate alphas. There are at least three issues that arise: 1) the estimation does not take into account any cross-sectional information (i.e. how well other funds are doing) 2) there is no allowance for parameter uncertainty and 3) the estimated alphas do a poor job of predicting future alphas. Harvey and Liu (2015) propose a new method that uses cross-sectional information. They perform extensive simulations in the paper and show that their method is superior to the usual OLS approach. They also argue that their technique has advantages over a Bayesian approach because no priors need to be specified. The latest research papers conclude that not a single MF significantly outperforms (there are some that significantly underperform). Applying their technique, dramatically changes the inference. Harnessing the cross-sectional information, they find that 26 outperform. While they have only applied their method to mutual funds, the paper indicates that next up are hedge funds. Click here for full article Campbell R. Harvey, Duke University - Fuqua School of Business National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Duke Innovation Entrepreneurship Initiative Yan Liu, Texas AM University, Department of Finance Slow Trading and Stock Return Predictability Market returns predict the future abnormal returns on small and illiquid stocks, implying attractive dynamic investment strategies for investors investing in the size premium or in small and illiquid stocks either directly or through exchange traded funds. We provide evidence that this return predictability is due to institutional investors trading patterns: When rebalancing their portfolios the institutional investors initially buy (sell) relatively more the large and liquid stocks. In the case of illiquid stocks they split their orders over several days to avoid excessive price impact, thus inducing predictability in stocks returns. We provide evidence that some hedge funds exploit this return predictability. Click here for full article Matthijs Lof, Aalto University School of Business Matti Suominen, Aalto University School of Business Acquiring and Trading on Complex Information: How Hedge Funds Use the Freedom of Information Act Using the Freedom of Information Act, hedge funds receive records from the Food and Drug Administration about new product approvals, factory inspections, and complaints. We use the funds receipt of this information to empirically test implications of theories about investors with bounded rationality acquiring complex information for trading purposes. Consistent with theory, we find evidence that the magnitude of hedge fund trades is positively related to the funds prior knowledge about the target firm and the FOIA process, and to the short-term abnormal stock returns derived from trading. Click here for full article April Klein, Professor of Accounting, Stern School of Business - New York University Tao Li, University of Warwick - Warwick Business School Corporate Governance and Hedge Fund Activism Over the past 25 years, hedge fund activism has emerged as new form of corporate governance mechanism that brings about operational, financial and governance reforms to a corporation. Many prominent business executives and legal scholars are convinced that the entire American economy will suffer unless hedge fund activism with its perceived short-termism agenda is significantly restricted. Shareholder activists and their proponents claim they function as a disciplinary mechanism to monitor management and are instrumental in mitigating the agency conflict between managers and shareholders. I find statistically meaningful empirical evidence to reject the anecdotal conventional wisdom that hedge fund activism is detrimental to the long term interests of companies and their long term shareholders. Moreover, my findings suggest that hedge funds generate substantial long term value for target firms and its long term shareholders when they function as a shareholder advocate to monitor management through active board engagement to reduce agency cost. Click here for full article Shane C. Goodwin, Adjunct Professor (Finance and Managerial Economics), University of Texas Dallas Financial Intermediation in Private Equity: How Well Do Funds of Funds Perform This paper focuses on funds of funds (FOFs) as a form of financial intermediation in private equity (both buyout and venture capital). Compared to investments in hedge funds or publicly traded stocks, private equity investments in direct funds are less liquid, less easily scaled and have higher search and monitoring costs. As a consequence, FOFs in private equity may provide valuable intermediation for investors who want exposure to the asset class. We benchmark FOF performance (net of their fees) against both public equity markets and strategies of direct investment into private equity funds. We also examine the types of portfolios private equity FOFs create when they pool investor capital. After accounting for fees, primary FOFs provide returns equal to or above public market indices for both buyout and venture capital. While FOFs focusing on buyouts outperform public markets, they underperform direct fund investment strategies in buyout. In contrast, the average performance of FOFs in venture capital is on a par with results from direct venture fund investing. This suggests that FOFs in venture capital (but not in buyouts) are able to identify and access superior performing funds. Click here for full article Robert S. Harris, University of Virginia Darden School of Business Tim Jenkinson, Said Business School, University of Oxford and CEPR Steven N. Kaplan, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and NBER Ruediger Stucke, Warburg Pincus The Case For and Against Activist Hedge Funds A subset of so-called hedge funds, henceforth known as activists, has latched on the idea that many corporations are not managed or governed in a manner likely to maximize value for shareholders. With the capital they have obtained from pension funds and other institutional investors, they take a small position in the equity of publicly traded companies and push, with a varying degree of aggressiveness, for measures they deem likely to boost targeted companies stock price. This is a fast growing business. The number of activist interventions, some 27 in 2000, has reached 345 in 2014 according to the WSJ-FactSet Activism Scorecard. Activist hedge funds have now amassed an estimated 200 billion in managed assets. To achieve more leverage on companies, smaller hedge funds may band in what has been aptly called wolf packs. In a by-now familiar scenario, the activist hedge fund calls on the targeted company to name to its board some people of its choosing (threatening a proxy fight if the company is not forthcoming). That is merely a first step, sometimes entirely skipped. Unless the company swiftly gives in to its demands, the hedge fund will produce a paper, or a long letter, critical of the companys management and board and outlining the remedial actions that, in its view, would benefit shareholders. That document will be broadcast widely so as to gather the support of the companys institutional shareholders, even if a tacit one. In due course, if matters come to a proxy fight, the hedge fund will try to persuade the proxy advisors (ISS and Glass Lewis) to come out in favour of the hedge funds nominees for the board. Click here for full article Yvan Allaire, PhD (MIT), FRSC Executive Chair, IGOPP Emeritus Professor Effect of Regulatory Constraints on Fund Performance: New Evidence from UCITS Hedge Funds We economically motivate and then test a range of hypotheses regarding performance and risk differences between UCITS-compliant and other hedge funds. The latter exhibit more suspicious return patterns than do absolute return UCITS (ARUs), but ARUs exhibit higher levels of operational risk. We find evidence of a strong liquidity premium: hedge funds offer investors less liquidity than do ARUs yet exhibit better risk-adjusted performance. Our findings are substantially unchanged under various robustness tests and adjustments for possible selection bias. The liquidity premium for ARUs and their lack of performance persistence have implications for both investors and policy makers. Click here for full article Juha Joenvr, University of Oulu, Risk Management Lab, Imperial College Business School Robert Kosowski, Imperial College Business School, CEPR, Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance and EDHEC The Economic Consequences of Investor Relations: A Global Perspective We offer new evidence on the economic value of investor relations (IR) activity using the results of a 2012 global survey of IR officers and their activities at over 800 firms from 59 countries. More active IR programs, as measured by a firms involvement in broker-sponsored conferences, in facilitating one-on-one meetings with institutional investors, through global outreach, and with formal disclosure, media and governance policies, are associated with a statistically significant and economically large 8-12 higher Tobins q valuation. The findings are resilient to concerns about potential reverse-causality as we instrument the level of IR activity with firm-level constraints, or of their peers, on IR personnel, salaries, and budget. The channels through which IR activity increases market value is through greater analyst following, improved analyst forecast accuracy, and a reduced cost of capital. More IR activity is also associated with higher institutional and hedge fund ownership, and more equity issuance. Click here for full article G. Andrew Karolyi, Professor of Finance and Economics and Alumni Professor in Asset Management at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University Rose C. Liao, Assistant Professor, Rutgers Business School, Rutgers University Asset Bubbles: Re-thinking Policy for the Age of Asset Management In distilling a vast literature spanning the rational irrational divide, this paper offers reflections on why asset bubbles continue to threaten economic stability despite financial markets becoming more informationally-efficient, more complete, and more heavily influenced by sophisticated (i.e. presumably rational) institutional investors. Candidate explanations for bubble persistencesuch as limits to learning, frictional limits to arbitrage, and behavioral errorsseem unsatisfactory as they are inconsistent with the aforementioned trends impacting global capital markets. In lieu of the short-term nature of the asset ownermanager relationship, and the momentum bias inherent in financial benchmarks, I argue that the business risk of asset managers acts as strong motivation for institutional herding and rational bubble-riding. Two key policy implications follow. First, procyclicality could intensify as institutional assets under management continue to grow. Second, remedial policies should extend beyond the standard suite of macroprudential and monetary measures to include time-invariant policies targeted at the cause (not just symptom) of the problem. Prominent among these should be reforms addressing principal-agent contract design and the implementation of financial benchmarks. Click here for full article Brad Jones, International Monetary Fund Hedge Fund Flows and Performance Streaks: How Investors Weigh Information We examine the relative weights hedge fund investors attach to past information in the fund selection process. The weighting scheme appears inconsistent with econometric forecasting models that predict fund returns, alphas or Sharpe ratios. In particular, investor flows are highly sensitive to performance streaks despite their limited predictive power regarding fund performance. Further, allocations based on forecast models out-of-sample predictions beat investor allocations by a significant margin, which suggests that the latter are suboptimal and reflect overreaction to certain types of information. Our findings do not support the notion that sophisticated investors have superior information or superior information processing abilities. Click here for full article Guillermo Baquero, European School of Management and Technology Marno Verbeek, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Duration of Poor Performance, Fund Flows and Risk-Shifting by Hedge Fund Managers A typical hedge fund manager receives greater compensation when the fund has a strong absolute or relative performance. Asymmetric performance fees and fund flow-performance relationship may create incentives for risk-shifting, estimated in our study by the change in fund return volatility in the middle of the year. However, hedge funds that cannot attract new funds or have had poor performance for a long period may face different incentives. The combination of these two observations confronts hedge fund managers with a complex strategic decision regarding the optimal level of their funds return volatility. While an increase in return volatility generally increases the expected payoff of the compensation contract, excessive volatility is not sustainable. This paper empirically examines the factors that affect hedge fund managers decisions to risk-shifting. We show that (1) if the fund has had prior poor performance, the magnitude of risk-shifting is larger (2) as the duration of poor performance increases, risk-shifting is reduced (3) if the fund is experiencing capital outflows, the magnitude of risk-shifting is smaller and (4) funds that have outflows and also use leverage or have short redemption notice periods display a smaller degree of risk-shifting. Click here for full article Ying Li, Asst. Professor of Business, Univ. of Washington Bothell A. Steven Holland, Professor of Business, Univ. of Washington Bothell Hossein B. Kazemi, Professor of Finance, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst Best Ideas of Hedge Funds We provide new compelling evidence that hedge funds possess investment skill. Using the longest-in-literature unbiased sample of hedge funds, we show that large holdings of past winners earn 7 annual benchmark-adjusted return. This remarkable performance is consistent with the notion that large holdings represent managers best ideas. Our sample goes back to 1980 and does not miss non-surviving hedge funds, or those that do not voluntarily report to commercial databases. It consists of all investment managers that must report to the SEC, except those that we identify as managers other than hedge funds. While publicly available data is not sufficient to identify hedge funds directly, our reverse identification method achieves both high sensitivity and specificity. We also find weaker yet significant evidence of investment skill in standard indicators such as average fund performance and performance persistence. Click here for full article Sergey Maslennikovy, Ph.D. student and Parker Hund, undergraduate student both at Department of Finance, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin Chasing Winners: The Appeal and the Risk For the large majority of hedge fund investors, frequent and repeated manager turnover is neither a practical nor desirable approach to managing a hedge fund portfolio. However, experiments simulating such an approach can be useful in that they can illustrate potential long-term consequences of different selection strategies. In this paper, we present results of one such experiment that offer a strong caution against the practice of chasing winners, or hiring managers that have had the highest returns. The experiment results also suggest that alpha in this case, return not accounted for by beta to the broad equity market, including from manager skill consistently outperforms absolute return as a selection criterion. Amid a prolonged bull market, there may be a natural tendency for hedge fund investors to gravitate toward managers that have captured a significant share of the markets upside however, since such equity upside capture is statistically a relative rarity among hedge fund strategies, such a selection criterion may lead to adverse selection. Click here for full article Kristofer Kwait, Managing Director, Head of Hedge Fund Research and John Delano, Director Commonfund Hedge Fund Strategies Group Do Incentive Fees Signal Skill Evidence from the Hedge Fund Industry We examine whether fee structure acts as a reliable signal of hedge fund performance. Recent theoretical work suggests that, given the unique information asymmetries faced by hedge fund investors, managers will use performance-based incentive fees to signal skill. We test this hypothesis empirically and find little support for the notion that high incentive fee funds generate superior risk-adjusted returns during normal market conditions rather, increases in incentive fee level are accompanied by an increased proclivity to take on risk and increased leverage. Consequently, higher incentive fee funds suffer higher rates of attrition. Higher incentive fee funds do demonstrate lower market correlations and thus provide enhanced diversification benefits. As a result, high fee funds exhibited remarkable outperformance during the recent global financial crisis. Click here for full article Paul Lajbcygier, Department of Banking Finance, Monash University Joe Rich, Department of Accounting and Finance, Monash University Why Complementarity Matters for Stability 8212 Hong Kong SAR and Singapore as Asian Financial Centers There is much speculation regarding a race for dominance among financial centers in Asia, arising from the anticipated financial opening up of China. This frame of reference is, to an extent, a predilection that results from a traditional understanding of financial centers as possessing historical, geographic, and scale economy advantages. This paper, however, suggests that there is an alternative prism through which the evolution of financial centers in Asia needs to be viewed. It underscores the importance of complementarity rather than dominance to better serve regional and global financial stability. We posit that such complementarity is vital, through network analysis of the roles of Hong Kong SAR and Singapore as the current leading financial centers in the region. This analysis suggests that a competition for dominance can result in de-stabilizing levels of interconnectivity that render the global network as a whole more susceptible to rapid propagation of shocks. We then examine the regulatory and policy challenges that may be encountered in furthering such complementary coexistence. Click here for full article Minsuk Kim, Vanessa Le Lesl, Franziska Ohnsorge, and Srikant Seshadri International Monetary Fund (IMF) Do Alternative UCITS Deliver What They Promise A comparison of alternative UCITS and hedge funds We study the performance of alternative UCITS funds and account for potential survivorship biases in our sample in the best possible manner. Alternative UCITS funds offer similar raw returns but a lower volatility compared to offshore hedge funds. Single-index models show that alternative UCITS funds provide only marginal exposure to variations in hedge fund returns. Multifactor models indicate that the most important risk factors for both alternative UCITS funds and their matched hedge funds strategies are related to stock market risks, but alternative UCITS funds exhibit a lower exposure to these factors than hedge funds. Moreover, we find factor loadings on different risk factors, suggesting that alternative UCITS and hedge funds pursue different strategies. Finally, we assess the degree of the value added for an investor in terms of enhanced diversification benefits by implementing a spanning test and find that both groups are different asset classes with time-varying diversification properties. Click here for full article Michael Busack, Absolut Research GmbH Wolfgang Drobetz, School of Business, University of Hamburg Jan Tille, Absolut Research GmbH Evaluating and Predicting the Failure Probabilities of Hedge Funds Hedge funds have the most sophisticated risk management practices however, hedge funds also appear to have a short lifetime relative to other managed funds. In this study, we investigate the failure probabilities of hedge fundsparticularly the failures due to financial distress. We forecast the failure probabilities of hedge funds using both a proportional hazard model and a logistic model. By utilizing a signal detection model and a relative operating characteristic curve as the prediction accuracy metrics, we found that both of the models have predictive power in the out-of-sample test. The proportional hazard model, in particular, has stronger predictive power, on average. Click here for full article Hee Soo Lee, School of Business, Yonsei University Juan Yao, The University of Sydney Business School, The University of Sydney Sentiment and the Effectiveness of Technical Analysis: Evidence from the Hedge Fund Industry This paper presents a unique test of the effectiveness of technical analysis in different sentiment environments by focusing on its usage by the most sophisticated and astute investors, hedge fund managers. We document that during high-sentiment periods, hedge funds using technical analysis exhibit higher returns, lower risk, and superior market-timing ability than those non-users. The advantages for hedge funds of using technical analysis disappear in low-sentiment periods. These findings are consistent with the view that technical analysis performs relatively better in high-sentiment periods with larger mispricing, which cannot be fully exploited by arbitrage activities due to short-sale impediments. Click here for full article David M. Smith, State University of New York at Albany Na Wang, Hofstra University Ying Wang, State University of New York at Albany Edward J. Zychowicz, Hofstra University Hedge Fund Holdings and Stock Market Efficiency We examine the relation between changes in hedge fund stock holdings and measures of informational efficiency of equity prices derived from transactions data, and find that, on average, increased hedge fund ownership leads to significant improvements in the informational efficiency of equity prices. The contribution of hedge funds to price efficiency is greater than the contributions of other types of institutional investors, such as mutual funds or banks. However, stocks held by hedge funds experienced extreme declines in price efficiency during liquidity crises, most notably in the last quarter of 2008, and the declines were most severe in stocks held by hedge funds connected to Lehman Brothers and hedge funds using leverage. Click here for full article Charles Cao, Smeal College of Business, Penn State University Bing Liang, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Andrew W. Lo, MIT Sloan School of Management Lubomir Petrasek, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System CTAs 8211 Which trend is your friend The occurrence of trends within financial markets is inconsistent with the assumptions of classical financial theory. Nevertheless, it can be empirically validated that market prices can be subject to trends. But - which trends should you measure Which trend is your friend Click here for full article Fabian Dori, Manuel Krieger, and Urs Schubiger 1741 Asset Management Ltd. In Search of Missing Risk Factors: Hedge Fund Return Replication with ETFs Properly considering all potential risk factors through tradable liquid portfolios in the context of a risk based factor model is paramount to quantifying the benefits of investing in hedge funds. We attempt to span the space of potential risk factors with exchange traded funds (ETFs). We develop a methodology of hedge fund return replication with ETFs based on cluster analysis and LASSO factor selection that overcomes multicollinearity among ETFs and the data mining bias. We find that the overall out-of-sample accuracy of hedge fund replication with ETFs increases with the number of ETFs available. This is consistent with our interpretation of ETF returns as proxies to a multitude of alternative risk factors that could be driving hedge fund returns. We further consider portfolios of cloneable and non-cloneable hedge funds, defined as top and bottom in-sample R2 matches. We find superior risk-adjusted performance for non-cloneable funds, while cloneable funds fail to deliver significantly positive risk-adjusted performance. We conclude that our methodology provides value in both identifying skilled managers of non-cloneable hedge funds, and also successfully replicating out-of-sample returns that are due to alternative risk exposures of cloneable hedge funds, thus providing a transparent and liquid alternative to investors who may find these return patterns attractive. Click here for full article Jun Duanmu, Yongjia Li, and Alexey Malakhov Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas The Effect of Investment Constraints on Hedge Fund Investor Returns The aim of this paper is to examine the effect of frictions and real-world investment constraints on the returns that investors can earn from investing in hedge funds. We contribute to the existing literature by accounting for share restrictions, minimum diversification requirements and fund size restrictions that are commonly used by institutional investors. We show that the size-performance relationship is positive (negative) when past (future) performance is used. Evidence of performance persistence is reduced significantly when fund size and share restrictions such as notice, redemption and lockup period are incorporated into rebalancing rules. We test several hypotheses regarding the economic mechanism that underlies the size-performance relationship. We find empirical support for theoretical models based on decreasing returns to scale as well as managers responding optimally to fee incentives. The findings have significant implications for hedge fund investors since they caution against chasing performance in hedge funds and within the billion dollar club of hedge funds, in particular. Click here for full article Juha Joenvr, University of Oulu and Imperial College Business School Robert Kosowski, Imperial College Business School and Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance Pekka Tolonen, University of Oulu Equity Hedge Fund Performance, Cross8211Sectional Return Dispersion, and Active Share This study examines several aspects of active portfolio management by equity hedge funds between 1996-2013. Consistent with the idea that cross-sectional return dispersion is a proxy for the markets available alpha, our results show that equity hedge funds achieve their strongest performance during periods of elevated dispersion. The performance advantage is robust to numerous risk adjustments. Portfolio managers may use the current months dispersion to plan the extent to which the following months investment approach will be active or passive. We also estimate the active share for equity hedge funds and find an average of 53. We further document the average annual expense ratio for managing hedge funds active share to be about 7. This figure is remarkably close to active expense ratios reported previously for equity mutual funds, which may be interpreted as evidence of uniform pricing for active portfolio management services. Click here for full article David M. Smith, Department of Finance and Center for Institutional Investment Management, University at Albany Crystallization 8211 the Hidden Dimension of Hedge Funds Fee Structure We investigate the implications of variations in the frequency with which hedge funds update their high-water mark on fees paid by hedge fund investors. Using data on Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs), we perform simulations to analyse the effect. We find a statistically and economically significant effect of the crystallization frequency on total fee load. Funds total fee load increases significantly as the crystallization frequency increases. As such, our findings indicate that the total fee load depends not only on the management fee and incentive fee, but also on the crystallization frequency set by the manager. Click here for full article Gert Elaut, Ghent University, Belgium Michael Frmmel, Ghent University, Belgium John Sjdin, Ghent University, Belgium, and RPM Risk Portfolio Management AB, Sweden Governance Under the Gun: Spillover Effects of Hedge Fund Activism This paper empirically studies the spillover effects of hedge fund activism. Activism threat, defined as a heightened rate of recent activism in an industry, predicts a higher probability that a firm in that industry will be targeted. Using institutional trading in stocks outside of the industry as an instrument, we identify the effects of activism threat from those of product market competition and time-varying industry structure. The threat of being targeted has a disciplining effect on peer firms, which respond by reducing agency costs and improving performance along the same dimensions as actual targets. These changes lead to substantial positive abnormal returns and lower the ex-post probability of becoming a target, suggesting the presence of a partial feedback effect. Overall, our results provide new evidence that shareholder activism, as a monitoring mechanism, reaches beyond the firms being targeted. Click here for full article Nickolay Gantchev, Finance Area, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Oleg Gredil, Kenan-Flagler Business School, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chotibhak Jotikasthira, Kenan-Flagler Business School, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Evaluating Absolute Return Managers One traditional measure of investment performance, the Information Ratio (IR), is defined as the active return (alpha) divided by the tracking error (the standard deviation of the active return). Calculating an IR is straightforward when the benchmark for performance is a buy-and-hold standard like the SP 500. For absolute return managers, however, the typical benchmark we observe is zero meaning that any excess return is classified as alpha and deemed to represent the return from active management or skill. In this paper, we argue that this standard approach confuses beta returns and alpha returns. The former can be earned by following generic strategies that can be easily implemented and are often replicated by ETFs while the later are associated with more original or complex strategies that more genuinely reflect unique skills or expertise. We propose a new performance metric that strips out beta returns associated with investment style factors. This approach leads to a new statistic, the alpha ratio, which can dramatically impact the relative performance rankings of managers and provide a clearer signal of manager skill. Click here for full article Momtchil Pojarliev, Hathersage Capital Management LLC Richard M. Levich, New York University Stern School of Business, Finance Department CTAs: Shedding light on the black box In their paper they explore a number of the features they consider important when assessing Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs), from the perspective of an investor in the asset class as well as issues of a more technical nature which will inform further those considering making an allocation to the sector. Throughout the paper they have tried to visit topics which are pertinent to this quest, and in so doing, limit re-visiting themes which are already much discussed instead illustrating our assertions (where possible and appropriate) with technical data and examples of the techniques we have developed for finding, managing and monitoring managers in the space. We have covered a lot of ground: indeed this was the aim of their first paper on the sector and there exist many areas which may be the subject of dedicated papers in the future. Finally, they examine some traditionally held assertions with regards to CTAs and in turn assert that some hold true under analysis while others are likely not fully informed. Click here for full article Tommaso Sanzin, Partner, Risk Manager, Head of Quantitative Research Hermes BPK Partners Larry Kissko, Head of CTA, Macro RV Strategies Hermes BPK Partners How Do Hedge Fund 8216Stars8217 Create Value Evidence from Their Daily Trades I use transaction-level data to investigate the magnitude and source of hedge funds equity trading profits. Bootstrap simulations indicate that the trading profits of the top 10 of hedge funds cannot be explained by luck. Similarly, superior performance persists. Outperforming hedge funds tend to be short-term contrarians with small price impacts, and their profits are concentrated over short holding periods and in their more contrarian trades. Further, I find that performance persistence is significantly stronger for contrarian funds with small price impacts. My findings suggest that liquidity provision is an important channel through which outperforming hedge funds persistently create value. Click here for full article Russell Jame, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky Did Long-Short Investors Destabilize Commodity Markets This paper contributes to the debate on the effects of the financialization of commodity futures markets by studying the conditional volatility of long-short commodity portfolios and their conditional correlation with traditional assets (stocks and bonds). Using several groups of trading strategies that hedge fund managers are known to implement, we show that long-short speculators do not cause changes in the volatilities of the portfolios they hold or changes in the conditional correlations between these portfolios and traditional assets. Thus calls for increased regulation of commodity money managers might at this stage be premature. Click here for full article Jolle Miffre, PhD, Professor of Finance, EDHEC Business School Chris Brooks, Professor of Finance and Director of Research, ICMA Centre, Reading Quantitative Trend Following Strategies and Equity Risk: From Diversifier to Hedge The goal of this paper is to analyze the equity risk hedging capabilities of CTA Trend Following (TF) strategies and to evaluate enhancements that would stabilize their hedging characteristics to equities. With real yields on US treasuries below zero, institutions are pushing the envelope to find new sources of return, Alpha and risk. More complex, but less liquid and less transparent, new investment conduits such as hedge funds have hidden the usually apparent equity market risk, as measured by volatility, by converting it in the form of tail risk and negative skew. Fixed Income has been extremely stable in the past 30 years and not many worry or care to hedge exposure to it yet. Equities, on the other side, have had some large cycles and drawdowns, which include some over 50. Although it is now in the form of tail risk, rather than old fashioned volatility, most investors would still like to hedge the residual equity risk that is now the core risk in almost every portfolio including hedge funds and fund of hedge funds. The DJCS HFI Dedicated Short Bias (Short Biased Index) has been extremely costly with a negative true Alpha of around -5.5 a year to the SP500. Timing the overall equity market on a discretionary or fundamental basis has not worked for most. Put option buying is extremely costly despite the low implied volatility of the equity markets and it only rewards sporadically due to the negative skew of equities. A profitable or at least cheaper hedge would be most welcome and there still seems to be some hope that TF can effectively hold this responsibility. We will offer some enhancements that will make the correlation of TF to equities significantly negative in order to stabilize this relationship. Despite strong performance during equity drawdowns, TF has been used (and sized) only as a diversifier in portfolios, not as a hedge. This could be due to: 1) A lack of model transparency and understanding, 2) High volatility that sometimes correlates to equities, and 3) Neutral rather than negative long term correlation to equities. In this paper, we will: 1) Analyze the ability of TF to improve a hedge fund portfolios risk adjusted returns and drawdowns, 2) Explore the increase in correlation of TF managers to equities and the reduction in their equity hedging characteristics over time, 3) Specifically analyze the impact of Fixed Income in TF portfolios and its role in TF hedging of equities, 4) Estimate the ability of TF ex-Fixed Income to hedge equity drawdowns across trading time frames and trading styles, 5) Explore the use of TF as a timing filter for equity indices, and 6) Enhance a diversified TF portfolio with covariance filtering to stabilize its ability to hedge equity risk. Click here for full article Nigol Koulajian, Quest Partners LLC Paul Czkwianianc, Quest Partners LLC Do Hedge Funds Provide Liquidity Evidence from Their Trades The paper provides significant evidence of limits of arbitrage in the hedge fund sector. Using unique data on institutional transactions, we show that the price impact of hedge fund trades increases when aggregate conditions deteriorate. The peak in trading impatience is reached during the financial crisis. The finding is consistent with arbitrageurs withdrawal from liquidity provision following a tightening in funding liquidity. Compared to other institutions in our data, hedge funds display the largest sensitivity of trading costs to aggregate conditions. We pin down this effect to a subset of hedge funds whose leverage, lack of share restrictions, asset illiquidity, and low reputational capital make them particularly exposed to funding constraints. These characteristics appear to negatively impact hedge funds trading performance when times get worse. Click here for full article Francesco Franzoni, Professor of Finance, University of Lugano Institute of Finance Alberto Plazzi, Assistant Professor, University of Lugano - Institute of Finance The Returns to Carry and Momentum Strategies We find that global time series carry strategies (across bonds, commodities, currencies, equities and metals) can be explained by a set of lagged macroeconomic variables. The payoffs to carry strategies disappear once futures returns are adjusted for their predictability based on these macroeconomic variables. On the other hand, momentum strategies are only weakly affected by lagged macroeconomic variables but are significantly related to measures of hedge fund capital flow. When studying these two findings together and over time we find that while momentum strategies were highly co-moving with carry strategies and therefore business cycle predictors between 1994 and 2002, when Hedge Fund AUM was low, correlation has since decreased. The decrease in correlation has coincided with significant increases in hedge fund AUM, and limits to arbitrage have become more relevant in explaining momentum returns. We embed these findings within a broad empirical investigation of time series carry and momentum strategies across 55 futures contracts spanning the asset classes bonds, currencies, commodities, equities and metals. Our results provide a possible avenue for identification strategies to disentangle the role of limited arbitrage effects on futures returns and systematic risks that are associated with time-varying expected returns in explaining momentum returns. Click here for full article Jan Danilo Ahmerkamp, Imperial College Business School James Grant, Imperial College Business School Crises, Liquidity Shocks, and Fire Sales at Hedge Funds We investigate hedge fund stock trading from 1998-2010 to test for fire sales. While funds with high capital outflows sell large amounts of stock during crises, these funds also buy stock, rather than using all the proceeds to fulfill redemptions. Further, funds with large outflows rarely sell the same stocks at the same time. For the relatively few stocks that are sold en masse, there is no evidence of price pressure, largely because hedge funds overwhelmingly choose to sell their most liquid, largest, and best-performing stocks. We provide new and compelling evidence that hedge funds neither engage in nor induce fire sales, since their well-diversified portfolios allow them to cherry-pick the most appropriate stocks to sell during crises. Click here for full article Nicole Boyson, Northeastern University Jean Helwege, University of South Carolina Jan Jindra, Ohio State University Drawdown-Based Stop-Outs and the Triple Penance Rule We develop a framework for informing the decision of stopping a portfolio manager or investment strategy once it has reached the drawdown or time under water limit associated with a certain confidence level. Under standard portfolio theory assumptions, we show that it takes three times longer to recover from the maximum drawdown than the time it took to produce it, with the same confidence level (triple penance rule). We provide a theoretical justification to why hedge funds typically set less strict stop-out rules to portfolio managers with higher Sharpe ratios, despite the fact that they should be expected to deliver superior performance. We generalize this framework to the case of first-order serially-correlated investment outcomes, and conclude that ignoring the effect of serial correlation leads to a gross underestimation of the downside potential of hedge fund strategies, by as much as 70. We also estimate that some hedge funds may be firing more than three times the number of skillful portfolio managers, compared to the number that they were willing to accept, as a result of evaluating their performance through traditional metrics, such as the Sharpe ratio. We believe that our closed-formula compact expression for the estimation of drawdown potential, without having to assume IID cashflows, will open new practical applications in risk management, portfolio optimization and capital allocation. The Python code included confirms the accuracy of our solution. Click here for full article David H. Bailey, Complex Systems Group Leader, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Marcos Lpez de Prado, Head of Global Quantitative Research, Tudor Investment Corporation and Research Affiliate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory The Value of Funds of Hedge Funds: Evidence from their Holdings We examine the value of Funds-of-Hedge-Funds (FoFs) using a hand-collected database of the funds hedge fund holdings. This holdings level data allows us to examine the determinants of hedge fund selection by FoFs, as well the ability to gauge the FoFs skill at hiring and firing managers. We find that FoFs hire hedge funds that are more difficult for individual investors to access, all else equal. FoFs hire larger, younger hedge funds with more restrictive share liquidity and higher minimum investments. Contrary to the previous literature, we do not find that FoFs perform worse than their single manager peers. Rather, we find evidence that a primary source of FoF value comes via skillful monitoring of their underlying hedge fund investments after the hire date. Specifically, we find that hedge funds that are held by FoFs are less likely to fail. The hazard rate for hedge funds held by FoFs is 57 lower than comparable hedge funds. Further, funds fired by FoFs are more likely to underperform and subsequently fail more often indicating FoFs have skill in their firing decisions. Click here for full article Adam L. Aiken, Quinnipiac University Christopher P. Clifford, University of Kentucky Jesse Ellis, University of Alabama Trading Losses: A Little Perspective on a Large Problem Big losses by traders are back in the news. In September the trial of former Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) derivatives trader Kweku Adoboli opened in London with jury selection. Adoboli stands accused of four counts of fraud and false accounting in connection with losses of 2.3 billion on apparently unauthorized equity derivatives trades in 2011. The trial comes not long after JPMorgan Chases credit derivatives tradersincluding Bruno Iksil, known as the London Whale due to the size of his positions lost an estimated 7.5 billion (5.8 billion in realized losses in addition to 1.7 billion yet to come) on apparently authorized credit default swap trades. Since 1990, there have been 15 instances when traders lost at least 1 billion (in 2011 dollars). Trading losses of this size are uncommon but matter when they occur. Shareholders suffer losses, counterparties are exposed to potential settlement failure in over-the-counter markets, bank regulators face the prospect of individual bank insolvencies or even systemic problems in the financial markets, and the public is always on the hook when a bailout is deemed necessary. Click here for full article James R. Barth, Senior Finance Fellow, Milken Institute Donald McCarthy, Consultant, Econ One Research Exploring Uncharted Territories of the Hedge Fund Industry: Empirical Characteristics of Mega Hedge Fund Firms This paper investigates mega hedge fund management companies that manage over 50 of the industrys assets, incorporating previously unavailable data from those that do not report to commercial databases. We document similarities among mega firms that report performance to commercial databases compared to those that do not. We show that the largest divergences between the performance reporting and non-reporting can be traced to differential exposure to credit markets. Thus the performance of hard-to-observe mega firms can be inferred from observable data. This conclusion is robust to delisting bias and the presence of serially correlated returns. Click here for full article Daniel Edelman, Head of Quantitative RD, Alternative Investment Solutions William Fung, Visiting Research Professor, London Business School David A. Hsieh, Professor, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University Revisiting Kats Managed Futures and Hedge Funds: A Match Made in Heaven In November 2002, Cass Business School Professor Harry M. Kat, Ph.D. began to circulate a Working Paper entitled Managed Futures and Hedge Funds: A Match Made In Heaven. The Journal of Investment Management subsequently published the paper in the First Quarter of 2004. In the paper, Kat noted that while adding hedge fund exposure to traditional portfolios of stocks and bonds increased returns and reduced volatility, it also produced an undesired side effect - increased tail risk (lower skew and higher kurtosis). He went on to analyze the effects of adding managed futures to the traditional portfolios, and then of combining hedge funds and managed futures, and finally the effect of adding both hedge funds and managed futures to the traditional portfolios. He found that managed futures were better diversifiers than hedge funds that they reduced the portfolios volatility to a greater degree and more quickly than did hedge funds, and without the undesirable side effects. He concluded that the most desirable results were obtained by combining both managed futures and hedge funds with the traditional portfolios. Kats original period of study was June 1994-May 2001. In this paper, we revisit and update Kats original work. Using similar data for the period June 2001-December 2011, we find that his observations continue to hold true more than 10 years later. During the subsequent 10.5 years, a highly volatile period that included separate stock market drawdowns of 36 and 56, managed futures have continued to provide more effective and more valuable diversification for portfolios of stocks and bonds than have hedge funds. Click here for full article Thomas N. Rollinger, Director of New Strategies Development, Sunrise Capital Partners Segmenting Supply Chain Risk Using ECTRM Systems: Unifying Theory of Commodity Hedging and Arbitrage The complexity of managing physical and financial risk throughout the commodity production, processing and merchandising chain presents numerous challenges. To solve this problem commercials are increasingly turning to Energy and Commodity Transaction Risk Management (ECTRM) systems. Still, risk management functionality within these systems is reported as falling short of requirements. Our discussion, in response, provides an economic framework for developing commodity risk policy and evaluation tools. In doing so, we unify the theory of normal backwardation with theory of storage, macroeconomic general equilibrium with multiple equilibria and microeconomic agents, basis trading with arbitrage strategies, and the hedging response function with elasticinelastic supply-demand economics. After establishing axioms and rules of inference, we investigate the agribusiness supply chain to help illustrate application. Click here for full article Michael Frankfurter, Partner, IQ3 Solutions Group Send in the Clones Hedge Fund Replication Using Futures Contracts Replication products strive to offer investors some of the benefits of hedge funds while avoiding their high fees, illiquidity, and opacity. We test whether a replication algorithm can deliver the diversification and high Sharpe ratio that investors seek. Our procedure constructs monthly clone returns out-of-sample using fully collateralized futures positions held for one-month, with position sizes determined using rolling window regressions. Clone returns have high correlation with their hedge fund targets, indicating replication is possible. Clones also have high correlation with a buy-and-hold investment in stocks, however, and neither the targets nor their clones demonstrate successful time variation in factor loadings. Click here for full article Nicolas P.B. Bollen, Owen Graduate School of Management - Vanderbilt University Gregg S. Fisher, President and Chief Investment Officer, Gerstein Fisher The Life Cycle of Hedge Funds: Fund Flows, Size, Competition, and Performance This paper analyzes the life cycles of hedge funds. Using the Lipper TASS database it provides category and fund specific factors that affect the survival probability of hedge funds. The findings show that in general, investors chasing individual fund performance, thus increasing fund flows, decrease probabilities of hedge funds liquidating. However, if investors chase a category of hedge funds that has performed well (favorably positioned), then the probability of hedge funds liquidating in this category increases. We interpret this finding as a result of competition among hedge funds in a category. As competition increases, marginal funds are more likely to be liquidated than funds that deliver superior risk-adjusted returns. We also find that there is a concave relationship between performance and lagged assets under management. The implication of this study is that an optimal asset size can be obtained by balancing out the effects of past returns, fund flows, competition, market impact, and favorable category positioning that are modeled in the paper. Hedge funds in capacity constrained and illiquid categories are subject to high market impact, have limited investment opportunities, and are likely to exhibit an optimal size behavior. Click here for full article Mila Getmansky, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Managed Futures and Volatility: Decoupling a Convex Relationship with Volatility Cycles 2011 was a period fraught with turbulence in financial markets. Managed Futures strategies, despite their common association with long volatility, did not fare as well as some might have expected amidst this turbulence. A closer look at volatility, what it means to be long or short volatility, and Managed Futures performance across different regimes in volatility can provide insights into the strategys complex or convex relationship with volatility. A closer look at the cycles of volatility demonstrates that Managed Futures is able to capture crisis alpha for investors over negative volatility cycles, while in certain turbulent periods they also face some of the same short volatility risks that plague many hedge fund strategies. Click here for full article Kathryn M. Kaminski, PhD. CIO and Founder, Alpha K Capital LLC Lessons from the MF Global Collapse In her paper, Ms. Till presents an organized series of events leading up to the downfall of MF Global and subsequently the eighth largest filing of bankruptcy in U.S. history. Click here for full article Hilary Till, Principal, Premia Risk Consultancy Contrarian Hedge Funds and Momentum Mutual Funds We study how hedge fund performance is related to the presence of mutual funds operating in the same asset class. We argue that hedge funds are able to exploit the constraints of the mutual funds related to both the high correlation between flows and value of investment and their tendency to cater to investors by invest in stocks that are hot. Hedge funds exploit these features of the mutual funds, especially the domestic ones. We show that the performance of the hedge funds is significantly higher when mutual fund market coverage is higher. This effect is mostly concentrated among domestic mutual funds and is stronger the higher investment horizon of the hedge funds. A high presence of the mutual fund industry helps to explain 28 of the yearly hedge fund performance. Hedge funds are more likely to be alpha in the presence of a high degree of mutual fund market coverage and their probability of survival is higher. Hedge funds employ contrarian strategies at the very moment in which mutual funds ride market expectations. The degree by which hedge funds react to changes in public information is directly related to the degree of mutual fund market coverage. Click here for full article Massimo Massa, Rothschild Chaired Professor of Banking, Professor of Finance at INSEAD Andrei Simonov, Associate Professor Finance, Eli Broad Graduate School of Mgmt. MSU and CEPR and Shan Yan, Eli Broad Graduate School of Mgmt. MSU Revisiting Stylized Facts About Hedge Funds - Insights from a Novel Aggregation of the Main Hedge Fund Databases This paper presents new stylized facts about hedge fund performance and data biases based on a novel database aggregation. Our aim is to improve the ability of researchers in this literature to compare results across different studies by highlighting differences between databases and their effect on previously documented results. Using a comprehensive hedge fund database, we document economically important positive risk-adjusted performance of the average fund while differences in magnitude are due to differences in fund size and data biases, but not differences in fund risk exposures. However, this performance does not persist in any of databases when using value-weighted returns a finding which we show to be linked to fund size and more pronounced biases in certain databases. Hedge funds with greater managerial incentives, smaller funds and younger funds outperform while hedge funds with strict share restrictions are not associated with higher risk-adjusted returns. Overall we find that several stylized facts are sensitive to the choice of the database. To avoid biases, it is therefore important to use a high quality consolidated database such as the one used in this paper. Click here for full article Juha Joenvr, University of Oulu, Robert Kosowski, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College, and Pekka Tolonen, University of Oulu and GSF Regulated Alternative Funds: The New Conventional In what is beginning to seem like the distant past, a clear line had once separated traditional and alternative investment products. But as investors faced multiple market crises and rising volatility, fund managers responded with a range of innovative products designed to better manage volatility and offer alternatives to long-only investing in traditional markets. As investor segments and products converge, alternative strategies are increasingly being packaged within registered fund structures originally designed for retail buyers, but also used by institutions and other fund selectors. A growing number of alternative funds are being launched as UCITS (Undertaking for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities), a fund vehicle accepted for sale in countries throughout the European Union and many other nations. Alternatives also are becoming more prominent within U.S. mutual funds (registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 or, in some cases, under the Securities Act of 1933). The growing popularity of these funds is clearly evident in strong asset flows, product proliferation, and a growing presence in Asian markets. One factor driving the popularity of alternative UCITS and mutual funds is the detailed requirements around risk measurement and management, liquidity, counterparty diversification, and limits on leverage. However, the increased use of derivatives and their associated counterparty and operational risks continue to concern investors and regulators alike. The regulatory environment remains in flux as new rules on hedge funds take shape in Europe, and as the framework around UCITS gets reviewed amidst the expansion of more complex products. Yet this too is encouraging further innovation. Meanwhile, new frontiers are emerging. Europe and the U.S. have led the way in the adoption of alternative strategies, but other markets are developing a taste for non-correlated funds. One of the biggest retail fund launches in Japan this year was an alternative managed futures strategy. Demand for alternatives is growing among sovereign wealth funds and national pension funds in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Wealthy individual investors around the world are also expected to consider alternatives more seriously after their recent experiences with traditional asset classes. Although U.S. institutions and high net worth individuals (HNWIs) can access hedge funds and alternatives directly, they may see the benefits of sourcing such strategies through regulated structures, just as their European counterparts have done. Click here for full article contributed by SEI Global Services, Inc. - Investment Manager Services division Investor Behavior, Hedge Fund Returns and Strategies We quantify risks associated with investor behavior using several asset pricing models and hedge fund data. After finding that irrational sentiments play a role in hedge fund returns, our multi-beta CAPM estimations reveal that beta belonging to irrational component varies around .037 for risky hedge funds and .018 for relatively less risky ones. Investors can use this irrational beta to gauge the extent of irrational sentiments prevailing in markets and compare the values in turbulent periods with more tranquil periods to re-adjust their portfolios and use these betas as an early warning sign. It can also guide investors in avoiding those funds that display greater irrational behavior. Our approach offers investors a solid quantitative rather than subjective approach in assessing the oncoming of a financial downturn and in doing so better protect against unpredicted losses that may result from irrational trading. Click here for full article Andres Bello, University of Texas-Pan American, Gke Soydemir, California State University Stanislaus, and Jan Smolarski, University of Texas-Pan American A Review of the G20 Meeting on Agriculture: Addressing Price Volatility in the Food Markets Food price volatility has spiked to levels last seen in the 1970s. For low-income countries, food price hikes, such as have occurred recently, tend to significantly increase the incidence of intra-state conflicts, according to IMF research. Therefore, it was fitting and proper that the G20 meeting of agricultural ministers, which was hosted by France at the end of June, put food insecurity squarely at the top of the 2011 G20 agenda. The June G20 agricultural meeting resulted in an action plan that will be carried forward at the Cannes Summit of G20 leaders in November. The 2007-2008 food crisis, and the resumption of more recent food price spikes, clearly have a number of causes, which will require a great deal of political courage to address and ameliorate. That said, in reviewing over a century of commodity price volatility, there are episodes of low volatility and high volatility, which would indicate that this may be a pattern of recurrent phenomena. As a result, it may be wise to focus on how to manage price volatility rather than believe that this phenomenon can be eradicated, as noted by Dr. Pierre Jacquet of the Agence Franaise de Dveloppement. The World Bank, for example, has launched a program that will assist and encourage companies in developing countries to buy insurance in the derivative markets against sudden changes in food prices, according to the Financial Times. Notably, the action plan, agreed to by the G20 agricultural ministers in June, largely embraces marketbased solutions to the problems of food insecurity and food volatility, amongst its many action items. In contrast to the benign view of commodity derivatives trading, French president Nicolas Sarkozy stated at the opening of the June G20 agricultural meeting that the financialization of agriculture markets. is a contributory factor in price volatility and that this was a priority issue for regulators to address. Ultimately, whether commodity derivatives trading (and speculation) increases price volatility is an empirical question. Assuming that one has access to transparent marketparticipant, position, and price data, one can carry out empirical studies to confirm or challenge this assumption. In reviewing the evidence so far regarding the impact of commodity trading, speculation, and index investment on price volatility, this report finds that the evidence for the prosecution does not seem sufficiently compelling at this point. That said, given the disastrous performance of financial institutions in 2007 and especially, in 2008, it is fully appropriate to revisit ones assumptions regarding the economic usefulness of all manner of financial instruments, including commodity derivatives contracts. This papers conclusion is to agree with the World Bank president who has said, the answer to food price volatility is not to prosecute or block markets, but to use them better. And one sensible use of financial engineering is for hedging volatile food price risk with appropriate commodity derivatives contracts. Click here for full article Hilary Till, Research Associate, EDHEC-Risk Institute, Principal, Premia Capital Management, LLC Beware of Stranger Originated Life Insurance This issue summarizes two recent Delaware court decisions determining the validity of life insurance policies under a stranger originated life insurance program. These decisions are relevant to hedge funds and other investors that purchase life insurance policies for investment purposes. Click here for full article Christopher Machera, Hedge Funds Returns Hedge Fund Performance and Liquidity Risk This paper demonstrates that liquidity risk as measured by the covariation of fund returns with unexpected changes in aggregate liquidity is an important predictor of hedge fund performance. The results show that funds that significantly load on liquidity risk subsequently outperform low-loading funds by about 6.5 annually, on average, over the period 1994-2009, while negative performance is observed during liquidity crises. The returns are independent of share restriction, pointing to a possible imbalance between the liquidity a fund offers its investors and the liquidity of its underlying positions. Liquidity risk seems to account for a substantial part of hedge fund performance. The results suggest several practical implications for risk management and manager selection. Click here for full article Ronnie Sadka, Boston College, Carroll School of Management The Importance of Business Process Maturity and Automation in Running a Hedge Fund: Know Your Score and Get to the 8220Sweet Spot8221 Over the past two years, Merlin has published several white papers that are designed to highlight and help managers implement industry best practices - from shoring up their business model to identifying their target investors based on the development stage of their fund. In continuing with this theme, our latest white paper discusses the importance of business process automation within an asset management firm at all stages of development and how these organizations can measure their current processes versus investor expectations. It is critical that business process maturity and automation evolve over the life of a fund in a disciplined and forward-looking manner as they are key components to maintaining a scalable business. As a firm grows, processes that are maintained manually or with home-grown spreadsheets will stress and may break, adding business risk and overhead to a firms operations. This concept is especially important for fund managers because they cannot afford distractions and errors caused by broken or manual processes that affect the viability of the fund. Click here for full article This paper proposes a new methodology to evaluate the prevalence of skilled fund managers. We as-sume that each funds alpha is drawn from one of several distributions based on its skill level (e.g. good, neutral, or bad). For a sample of funds, the composite distribution of alpha is thus a mixture of the underlying distributions. We use the Expectation-Maximization algorithm to infer the proportion of funds of different skill levels and estimate the conditional probability each fund is of a skill type given estimated alpha. Applying our approach to hedge funds over 1994-2009, we find that about 50 of funds have positive skill. Funds identified by our approach as superior persistently deliver high out-of-sample alpha over the next three years. While investors chase past performance, inflows do not reduce fund performance in the near future. Click here for full article Yong Chen, Assistant Professor of Finance, Virginia Tech Michael Cliff, Vice President, Analysis Group Haibei Zhao, PhD student, Georgia State University Diversification in Funds of Hedge Funds: Is It Possible to Overdiversify Many institutions are attracted to diversified portfolios of hedge funds, referred to as Funds of Hedge Funds (FoHFs). In this paper we examine a new database that separates out for the first time the effects of diversification (the number of underlying hedge funds) from scale (the magnitude of assets under management). We find with others that the variance-reducing effects of diversification diminish once FoHFs hold more than 20 underlying hedge funds. This excess diversification actually increases their left-tail risk exposure once we account for return smoothing. Furthermore, the average FoHF in our sample is more exposed to left-tail risk than are nave 1N randomly chosen portfolios. This increase in tail risk is accompanied by lower returns, which we attribute to the cost of necessary due diligence that increases with the number of hedge funds. Click here for full article Stephen J. Brown, New York University Stern School of Business Greg N. Gregoriou, State University of New York (Plattsburgh) Razvan Pascalau, State University of New York (Plattsburgh) The Market Timing Skills of Hedge Funds During the Financial Crisis The performance of a market timer can be measured through the Treynor and Mazuy (1966) model, provided the regression alpha is properly adjusted by using the cost of an option-based replicating portfolio, as shown by Hubner (2010). We adapt this approach to the case of multi-factor models with positive, negative or neutral betas. This new approach is applied on a sample of hedge funds whose managers are likely to exhibit market timing skills. We stick to funds that post weekly returns, and analyze three hedge fund strategies in particular: long-short equity, managed futures, and funds of hedge funds. We analyse a particular period during which the managers of these funds are likely to magnify their presumed skills, namely around the financial and banking crisis of 2008. Some funds adopt a positive convexity as a response to the US market index, while others have a concave sensitivity to the returns of an emerging market index. Thus, we identify positive, mixed and negative market timers. A number of signs indicate that only positive market timers manage to acquire options below their cost, and deliver economic significant performance, even in the midst of the financial crisis. Negative market timers, by contrast, behave as if they were forced to sell options without getting the associated premium. We interpret this behavior as a possible result of fire sales, leading them to liquidate positions under the pressure of repemption orders, and inducing negative performance adjusted for marketing timing. Click here for full article Over the past forty years or so, actively managed quantitative equity strategies have become a growing presence within the asset management industry, with numerous competing firms offering a relatively standardized set of products. The vast majority of managers in the benchmark-relative quantitative equity space, which has the largest pool of quant equity assets, relies on what this paper terms the generic paradigm: valuation and momentum alpha forecasts, highly standardized and often commercially available risk models, and mean-variance portfolio optimization tools. This paper argues that each element in this generic approach to quantitative equity management has become vulnerable to competitive pressure and changes in the nature of global equity trading. As a result, the performance of quant equity strategies in the benchmark-relative space has suffered over the past three years, and generic quant managers are likely to face considerable challenges in attracting additional assets going forward. Managers that eschew the generic approach by deploying more diversified sources of alpha, proprietary risk tools, and innovative approaches to dynamic portfolio optimization are likely to fare better, but to the extent they do, it will likely be on a far smaller scale in terms of aggregate assets under management. Click here for full article The investment community has heard and is following the siren call of Alternative Investments. Their seductive return properties and the mystique surrounding how they make money has tantalized investors resulting in exponential growth of assets under management. The key issue remains that dynamic strategies in Alternative Investments perform differently and are exposed to a different set of underlying risks than traditional investment vehicles. By taking a closer look into times when markets are stressed or in crisis (often called tail risk events), this investment primer will explain how some Alternative Investment strategies provide crisis alpha opportunities while others suffer substantial losses during times of market stress. Crisis alpha opportunities are profits which are gained by exploiting the persistent trends that occur across markets during crisis. By gaining a better understanding of what happens during crisis, the underlying risks in Alternative Investment strategies can be divided into three key groups: price risk, credit risk, and liquidity risk. By understanding and classifying Alternative Investments according to their underlying risks, performance metrics commonly used in this industry can be explained in simpler terms helping investors to use them more effectively as part of a larger investment portfolio strategy or philosophy. Click here for full article Using the hedge fund industry as our laboratory, we examine whether bank bailout programs initiated in seven countries during the 2007-2009 global financial crisis reduced contagion risk in the financial system. We test for the likely channel of achieving any such benefits. Reduced fund liquidation probabilities followed bailouts of financial firms offering prime brokerage, custodial and investment advisory services to hedge funds in the short term. However, bailouts did not lead to increased capital levels in bank-related hedge funds. Collectively, our evidence suggests that bailouts helped stem the propagation of contagion through information channels rather than directly through counterparty funding. Click here for full article Robert W. Faff, University of Queensland Jerry T. Parwada and Kian M. Tan, University of New South Wales The Business of Running a Hedge Fund - Best Practices for Getting to the 8216Green Zone8217 2010 was a transformative year for the hedge fund industry and served as a strong reminder that managing money is not the same as running a business. The significant number of small, mid-size and large fund closures already in 2011 provides continuing evidence of the material, multifaceted challenges facing operators of hedge fund businesses. Managers who understand the distinction between managing money and running a business and who execute both effectively are best positioned to maintain a sustainable and prosperous business - to achieve not only investment alpha, but also enterprise alpha. This paper examines the hedge fund business model and is based on our observations and numerous conversations with hedge fund managers, investors and industry experts. Our goal is to share the best practices we have witnessed among green zone hedge funds that are well positioned for sustainability across a variety of economic and market conditions. Click here for full article This paper introduces the portfolio construction technique of OverlayUnderlay Alternatives Blend of CTAs (overlay) and Hedge Funds (underlay). The well-established result, in both industry literature and practice, that adding alternatives to a traditional-only portfolio leads to superior risk-adjusted returns is re-established in this paper. Additionally, it is demonstrated that invoking an overlayunderlay of with CTAs and hedge funds-attainable due to the cash efficiency of futures-is better than investing in either hedge funds or CTAs alone. This finding helps to establish that a hedge funds versus CTAs attitude should be replaced by hedge funds and CTAs. Different nuances of how to blend hedge funds with CTAs are explored. Click here for full article Hedge funds are in a better position than mutual funds in timing systematic risk factors because they are less regulated and thus have more freedom to use leverage and short sales. To examine whether factor timing is a source of hedge fund alpha, this paper decomposes excess return generated by hedge funds during 1994 - 2008 into security selection, factor timing, and risk premium using the new measure of performance developed by Lo (2008). I find that security selection on average explains most of the excess return generated by hedge funds, and the contributions of factor timing and risk premium are trivial. In the U.S. equity market, hedge funds on average show negative timing ability especially in recent years that include the financial crisis period of 2007-08. Click here for full article In this paper we study the drawdown status of hedge funds as a hedge fund characteristic related to performance. A hedge funds drawdown status is the decile to which the fund belongs in the industrys drawdown distribution (at a given point in time). Economic reasoning suggests that both the current level and the past evolution of a funds drawdown status are informative of key fund aspects, including the managers talent, as well as fund investors assessment of the fund, and, hence, are predictive of future performance. The analysis delivers four completely new insights on hedge funds. First, the presence of insurance selling (shorting deep out-of-the-money puts) in the industry is large enough to make portfolios of low drawdown funds weak performers, in general, and bad performers in times of turmoil. Second, the market operates a Darwinian selection process according to which funds running large drawdowns for a prolonged period of time (survivers) are managed by truly talented traders who deliver outstanding future performance. Third, a completely new dimension of risk arises as a distinctive feature of hedge funds: risk conditional on survival is tantamount to outstanding performance. Fourth, drawdown status analysis raises serious concerns about the role played by other hedge fund characteristics In this paper, we examine the hypothesis that hedge fund managers obtain an informational advantage in securities trading through their connections with lobbyists. Using datasets on hedge fund long-equity holdings and lobbying expenses from 1999 to 2008, we show that hedge funds that are connected to lobbyists tend to trade more heavily in politically sensitive stocks than those that do not. We further show that connected hedge funds perform significantly better on their holdings of politically sensitive stocks. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that connected hedge funds, relative to non-connected ones, outperform by 1.6 to 2.5 percent per month in politically sensitive stocks, relative to non-political stocks. These results suggest that hedge fund managers exploit private information, which can be an important source of their superior performance. Our study provides evidence for the ongoing debate about regulatory reform governing informed trading based on private political information. Click here for full article Meng Gao, Risk Management Institute, National University of Singapore Jiekun Huang, Department of Finance, NUS Business School Are All Currency Managers Equal We present a post-sample study of currency fund managers showing that alpha hunters and especially alpha generators are more effective in providing diversification benefits for a global equity portfolio than currency managers who earn beta returns from popular style strategies or managers with high total returns regardless of their source. Our study is unusual in that we measure the alpha from currency investing using a simple factor model rather than based on total excess returns, that we use rankings of currency managers from an earlier published study and examine their performance truly out-of-sample, and finally that our data reflect actual trades and returns earned by these managers, so the data are not contaminated by the usual biases in hedge fund databases. Our results suggest that a factor model approach to analyzing currency fund returns, coupled with the revealed degree of alpha and beta persistence in our data, offer institutional investors with large equity exposure a useful tool for improving their performance. Click here for full article In spite of a somewhat disappointing performance throughout the crisis, and a series of high profile scandals, investors are showing interest in hedge funds. Still, funds of hedge funds keep on experiencing out-flows. Can this phenomenon be explained by the failure of funds of hedge funds managers to deliver on their promise to add value through active management, or is it symptomatic of a move toward greater disintermediation in the hedge fund industry Little attention has been paid so far to the added-value, and the sources of the added-value, of funds of hedge funds. The lack of transparency that is characteristic of the hedge funds arena and makes the performance attribution exercise particularly challenging is probably an explanation. The objective of this article is to fill in the gap. We introduce to this end a return-based attribution model allowing for a full decomposition of funds of hedge funds performance. The results of our empirical study suggest that funds of hedge funds are funds of funds like others. Strategic Allocation turns out to be a crucial step in the investment process, in that it not only adds value over the long-term, but most importantly, it brings resilience precisely when investors need it the most. Fund Picking, on the other hand, turns out to be a double-edged sword. Overall, funds of hedge funds appear to succeed in overcoming their double fee structure, and add value across market regimes, although to varying degrees and in different forms. Click here for full article Serge Darolles, Ph.D. Research Fellow, CREST and Deputy Head RD, Lyxor Asset Management Mathieu Vaissi, Ph.D. Research Associate, EDHEC-Risk Institute and Senior Portfolio Manager, Lyxor Asset Management Hedge Fund Leverage We investigate the leverage of hedge funds using both time-series and cross-sectional analysis. Hedge fund leverage is counter-cyclical to the leverage of listed financial intermediaries and decreases prior to the start of the financial crisis in mid-2007. Hedge fund leverage is lowest in early 2009 when the market leverage of investment banks is highest. Changes in hedge fund leverage tend to be more predictable by economy-wide factors than by fund-specific characteristics. In particular, decreases in funding costs and increases in market values both forecast increases in hedge fund leverage. Decreases in fund return volatilities also increase leverage. Click here for full article Andrew Angy, Columbia University and NBER Sergiy Gorovyyz, Columbia University Gregory B. van Inwegenx, Citi Private Bank Regular(ized) Hedge Fund Clones This article addresses the problem of portfolio construction in the context of efficient hedge fund investments replication. We propose a modification to the standard la Sharpe style analysis where we augment the objective function with a penalty proportional to the sum of the absolute values of the replicating asset weights, i.e. the norm of the asset weights vector. This penalty regularizes the optimization problem, with significant impacts on the stability of the resulting asset mix and the risk and return characteristics of the replicating portfolio. Our results suggest that the norm-constrained replicating portfolios exhibit significant correlations with their benchmarks, often higher than 0.9, have a fraction, i.e. about 12 to 23, of active positions relative to those determined through the standard method, and are obtained with turnover which is in some instances about 14 of that for the standard method. Moreover, the extreme risk of the replicating portfolios obtained through the regularization method is always lower than that exhibited by currently available commercial hedge fund investment replication products. Click here for full article Daniel Giamouridis, Dept. of Accounting Finance, Athens University of Economics and Business Sandra Paterlini, Center for Quantitative Risk Analysis, Dept. of Statistics, LMU, Munich, Germany Dedicated Short Bias Hedge Funds - Just a one trick pony During the recent period of significant market unrest in 2007 and 2008 dedicated short bias (DSB) hedge funds exhibited extremely strong results while many other hedge fund strategies suffered badly. This study, prompted by this recent episode, investigates the DSB hedge funds performance over an extended sample period, from January 1994 to December 2008. Performance evaluation is carried out both initially at the individual fund level and then on an equally weighted dedicated short bias hedge fund portfolio using three different factor model specifications and both linear and nonlinear estimation techniques. We conclude that DSB hedge funds are indeed more than a one trick pony. They are a significant source of diversification for investors and produce statistically significant levels of alpha. Our findings are robust to the specification of traditional and alternative risk factors, nonlinearity and the omission of the flattering credit crisis period. Click here for full article Ciara Connolly, Dept. of Accounting, Finance Information Systems Mark C. Hutchinson, Dept. of Accounting, Finance Information Systems and Centre for Investment Research University College Cork Replicating Hedge Fund Indices with Optimization Heuristics Hedge funds offer desirable risk-return profiles but we also find high management fees, lack of transparency and worse, very limited liquidity (they are often closed to new investors and disinvestment fees can be prohibitive). This creates an incentive to replicate the attractive features of hedge funds using liquid assets. We investigate this replication problem using monthly data of CS Tremont for the period of 1999 to 2009. Our model uses historical observations and combines tracking accuracy, excess return, and portfolio correlation with the index and the market. Performance is evaluated considering empirical distributions of excess return, final wealth and correlations of the portfolio with the index and the market. The distributions are compiled from a set of portfolio trajectories computed by a resampling procedure. The nonconvex optimization problem arising from our model specification is solved with a heuristic optimization technique. Our preliminary results are encouraging as we can track the indices accurately and enhance performance (e.g. have lower correlation with equity markets). Click here for full article Manfred Gilli, University of Geneva and The Swiss Finance Institute Enrico Schumann, Gerda Cabej and Jonela Lula University of Geneva Absolute Returns Revisited The term absolute returns has been battered as well as misused by business and politics alike. We aim to clarify. The term stands for an investment philosophy that stands in stark contrast to financial orthodoxy. And thats a good thing. Market heterogeneity with moderately leveraged financial institutions reduces systemic risk. Market homogeneity with excessively leveraged institutions doesnt. After challenging some axioms of financial orthodoxy, we introduce PPMPT (Post-post-modern portfolio theory) as an alternative to mean-variance optimization. Click here for full article This paper attempts to determine whether exchange-listed hedge funds experience longer lifetimes than non-listed funds, even after factors known to affect survival, such as size and performance, are considered. The Kaplan-Meier estimator is used to compare survival times of listed and non-listed funds. The Cox proportional hazards model is used to make the same comparison, but by controlling for additional factors. The accelerated failure time (AFT) regression model is used to estimate the median survival time of hedge funds, based on values of explanatory variables. Listed hedge funds tend to be larger and adopt more conservative investment strategies than non-listed funds. Listed funds tend to survive roughly two years longer on average than non-listed funds, and this difference in longevity is persistent even after controlling for factors known to affect survival. Finally, we find that the failure rate of listed funds is substantially lower than that of non-listed funds, but only during the first five years of life. Click here for full article Greg N. Gregoriou, SUNY College at Plattsburgh - School of Business and Economics Franois-Serge Lhabitant, Kedge Capital Fund Management amp EDHEC Business School Fabrice Douglas Rouah, McGill University - Faculty of Management Merlins Necessary Nine: How to Raise and Retain Institutional Capital This article is based on a presentation by Ron Suber at the Feb. 18th event Hedge Funds: Getting to the Next Level By Ron Suber -- Not long ago, pre-2008, hedge fund managers held relative power over investors. Because demand for their products was so high across a range of strategies, they controlled the terms, often with little transparency and very favorable gating provisions. Recent market events and a general scarcity of investors has shifted the power to the investor. While raising and retaining institutional capital has always been challenging, in todays environment hedge fund managers must be more diligent than ever in clearly defining and explaining their process, controls and their differentiation. Worries about performance are now often eclipsed by other concerns such as volatility, liquidity, attribution, transparency and, of course, fraud. The following checklist - we call it the Merlin Necessary Nine - is designed to help hedge fund managers understand and articulate their edge to institutional investors. Click here for full article In the last 20 years, the amount of assets managed by quantitative and qualitative hedge funds have grown dramatically. We examine the difference between quantitative and qualitative hedge funds in a variety of ways, including management differences and performance differences. We find that both quantitative and qualitative hedge funds have positive risk-adjusted returns. We also find that overall, quantitative hedge funds as a group have higher s than qualitative hedge funds. The outperformance might be as high as 72 bps per year when considering all risk factors. We also suggest that this additional performance may be due to better timing ability. Click here for full article Ludwig Chincarini, CFA, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Economics, Pomona College Lies of Capital Lines In this paper we examine in detail the qualitative effects caused by the investors sensitivity to mark-to-market and price of liquidity. This distorts CAPM-like portfolio construction causing the Capital Line to become curved and eventually inverted. We show that in the world of strongly concave and non-monotonous Capital Lines, pushing up return targets results in increasing risk but not in increasing return. This is due to the decreasing and eventually negative marginal returns per unit of risk. By chasing returns and prompting investment managers to deliver unsustainable performance, the investment community damages its own chances through a greedy search for yield. Besides negatively skewing the risk-return characteristics, this also amplifies destabilizing pro-cyclical dynamics and increases the component of volatility, which is not accompanied by corresponding return. The latter has profound consequences for investment management and economic policy making. We examine the influence of non-linearity of the Capital Line on the cyclical volatility of capital market and short optionality negative gamma) profile, implicitly embedded in classical investment approach. We show how to mitigate this negative effect by including long volatility funds in the investment portfolio. We also discuss adverse selection bias among investment managers, created by the investors demand for high unsustainable returns. Since one can only hope that the behaviour of either capital allocators or investment managers will change, we argue that it is left up to regulators to take measures to limit the use of credit and leverage, and to control the self-enforcing mechanism of market destabilization. Click here for full article Kirill Ilinski, Fusion Asset Management Alexis Pokrovski, Laboratory of Quantum Networks, Institute for Physics, St-Petersburg State University Detecting Crowded Trades in Currency Funds The financial crises in 2008 highlights the importance of detecting crowded trades due to the risks they pose to the stability of the financial system and to the global economy. However, there is a perception that crowded trades are difficult to identify. To date, no single measure to capture the crowdedness of a trade or a trading style has developed. We propose a methodology to measure crowded trades and apply it to professional currency managers. Our results suggest that carry became a crowded trading strategy towards the end of Q1 2008, shortly before a massive liquidation of carry trades. The timing suggests a possible adverse relationship between our measure of style crowdedness and the future performance of the trading style. Crowdedness in the trend following and value strategies confirm this hypothesis. We apply our approach to currencies but the methodology is general and could be used to measure the popularity or crowdedness of any trade with an identifiable time series return. Our methodology may offer useful insights regarding the popularity of certain trades - in currencies, gold, or other assets - among hedge funds. Further research in this area might be very relevant for investors, managers and regulators. Click here for full article Because many facets of the global oil markets have not been sufficiently transparent, it is unclear how much of the oil-price rally that peaked in July 2008 can be put down to speculation. This uncertainty has led to concerns that there was actually excessive speculation in the oil derivatives markets. In an effort to make the oil markets more transparent, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has recently launched the Disaggregated Commitments of Traders report. This report includes three years of enhanced market-participant data for twenty-two commodity futures contracts. This report makes it possible to examine whether, over the last three years, speculative position-taking in the exchange-traded oil derivatives markets has been excessive relative to commercial hedging needs. We use a traditional metric for evaluating speculative position-taking and find that this position-taking does not appear to be excessive over the past three years when compared to the scale of commercial hedging at the time. Click here for full article The original Superstars versus teamwork (Nov. 8, 2007) was the first in a sequence of research pieces that have persuaded us that the best way to build portfolios of CTAs is to look for low correlation and place your bets there. Correlations appeared to be predictable, especially for portfolios, while Sharpe ratios did not. We found that choosing managers to maximize the portfolios Sharpe ratio yielded better results than did choosing managers based on their individual Sharpe ratios, and the difference was statistically significant. The teamwork portfolios in that research were constructed, however, using conventional mean variance analysis that was based on estimated means, volatilities and correlations. And, when we applied it to the construction of a teamwork index, we found out, quite by accident, that it was unusually sensitive to minor changes in the eligible set. Too sensitive, for that matter, which led us back to the question of just how one should approach the selection of managers for a teamwork portfolio. The flaw, we found, was not in giving past correlations a role in shaping our teamwork portfolios, but in allowing past returns to have any effect at all. As you will see on page 3 (Exhibit 3), past correlations for large enough portfolios of CTAs can be highly predictable while past returns and, by extension, past Sharpe ratios are not. In this new look at that research, we changed two things. First, we formed teamwork portfolios using three different rules. Second, we allowed ourselves to construct new portfolios each year without regard to the costs of dropping and adding managers. The three teamwork rules were these. One used the conventional meanvariance approach to maximize the Sharpe ratio of the portfolio. The other two used only correlations and gave no weight at all to past returns. The first of these, which is illustrated in Exhibit 1, simply calculated the probability that a CTA would have been in a low-average correlation portfolio and chose those with the highest probabilities of inclusion. The second ranked CTAs using each CTAs average return correlation with all others CTAs in the eligible set and chose those with the lowest average correlations. The superstar portfolios were formed by identifying those CTAs who had, over the previous three years, produced the highest individual Sharpe ratios. In a nutshell, what we found is this. First, the teamwork portfolios gave us an edge over the superstar portfolios. While the superstar portfolios delivered the highest Sharpe ratio in two of the eight years, they came in dead last the other six years. In contrast, the correlation-only teamwork portfolios came in first or second in five of the eight years, and came in last only once. Second, the correlation-only approaches gave us two benefits over the conventional meanvariance approach. For one thing, they are more robust. The removal of one or more managers from the eligible set does not materially affect the probability that the remaining low correlation CTAs will end up in the low correlation portfolio. For another, they are more economical and use the eligible CTA set far more sparingly. While the meanvariance portfolios performed almost as well as the correlation-only portfolios, they used 21 of the 42 CTAs over the eight years, while the correlation-only portfolios used only 14. Thus, the meanvariance approach would have dropped and added 11 CTAs, the correlation-only rules would have dropped and added only four. Given the high costs of dropping and adding CTAs, this kind of stability in ones choice of CTAs can be worth a great deal. In the remainder of this note, we review this reworking of our research and conclude with a discussion of how we have applied what weve learned to the construction and management of the AlternativeEdge Teamwork Index. In particular, we take a more complete look at which return statistics are persistent or predictable (volatilities and correlations) and which are not (means and Sharpe ratios) explore two empirical approaches to constructing low correlation portfolios explain why we volatility weight the CTAs in the AlternativeEdge indices. Click here for full article We believe the distinction between emerging markets and developed markets is no longer useful. The differences that justified the segregation of emerging and developed markets have disappeared or are in the process of disappearing. Emerging markets, because of their characteristics, should matter a great deal to investors today. Investors handicap themselves by limiting how much they invest in emerging markets. The term emerging markets is obsolete. The end of emerging markets has arrived, as the distinction between emerging markets and developed markets has run the course of its usefulness to investors. Distinctions are disappearing between emerging and developed markets. Emerging markets represent half of the worlds economy they are large and liquid with volatility similar to that of developed markets and their corporate governance and government policies are no worse than, and in some cases superior to, those of developed markets. There is one measure by which there is still a distinction between emerging markets and developed markets: Growth. We believe that, for the foreseeable future, this differentiation in growth will remain, leading to more attractive investment opportunities in emerging markets than in developed markets. For this reason, investors should focus more on emerging markets than developed markets. Click here for full article I study novel data from a confidential website where a select group of fundamentals-based hedge fund managers privately share investment ideas. These value investors are not easily defined: they exploit traditional tangible asset valuation discrepancies such as buying high book-to-market stocks, but spend more time analyzing intrinsic value, growth measures, and special situation investments. Evidence suggests that the managers long recommendations earn economic and statistically significant long-term abnormal returns. Oddly enough, these managers share their profitable ideas with other skilled investors. This evidence is puzzling in a world where there is an efficient market for fund managers and asset prices. Click here for full article Based on the style analysis pioneered in Sharpe, W.F. (1992). Asset Allocation: Management Style and Performance Measurement, Journal of Portfolio Management, 7-19. I define a procedure to examine the consistency of hedge fund indexes across providers. The results of my investigation suggest that the competing indexes of the different providers are homogeneous. However, I also find two cases for which one provider differently allocates the funds between styles compared to its peers. Click here for full article Portfolio optimisation for a Fund of Hedge Funds (FoHF) has to address the asymmetric, non-Gaussian nature of the underlying returns distributions. Furthermore, the objective functions and constraints are not necessarily convex or even smooth. Therefore traditional portfolio optimisation methods such as mean-variance optimisation are not appropriate for such problems and global search optimisation algorithms could serve better to address such problems. Also, in implementing such an approach the goal is to incorporate information as to the future expected outcomes to determine the optimised portfolio rather than optimise a portfolio on historic performance. In this paper, we consider the suitability of global search optimisation algorithms applied to FoHF portfolios, and using one of these algorithms to construct an optimal portfolio of investable hedge fund indices given forecast views of the future and our confidence in such views. Click here for full article B. Minsky, International Asset Management Ltd. M. Obradovic, School of Mathematical Physical Sciences, Sussex Univ. Q. Tang, School of Mathematical Physical Sciences, Sussex Univ. R. Thapar, International Asset Management Ltd. What is the Optimal Number of Managers in a Fund of Hedge Funds This paper investigates the level and the determinants of the optimal number of hedge fund managers in a Fund of Hedge Funds (FOFs). The paper also analyzes the impact that this level has on the performance and the volatility of returns of the typical FOF. Several important findings emerge. First, we find that the number of underlying hedge funds (HFs) included into a FOF has a negative and significant impact on the volatility of returns but less of an impact on the actual returns. However, if we properly classify the FOFs into several larger categories of interest, we find evidence that the FOFs having between 6 and 10 hedge fund managers perform the best. On average this group of FOFs has assets under management of around 200 million. Second, further evidence shows that there is a positive relationship between the size of the FOF portfolio and the lifetime of the fund. Third, several factors that influence the number of HF managers into a FOF include, but are not limited to the amount of leverage, the redemption frequency, the size of the fund, the total number of assets managed by the FOF manager, whether the fund issues a K-1 schedule for tax purposes, the currency in which the fund trades, the geographical focus, and the strategy pursued. Click here for full article Greg N. Gregoriou, Professor of Finance, State University of New York Razvan Pascalau, Assistant Professor of Economics, State University of New York Investor Irrationality and Closed-End Hedge Funds This study questions the rationality of people investing in HFs. I use a sample of London listed closed-end hedge funds to evaluate two criteria that imply irrational behavior. I nd that the rationality of investors can not be rejected for the majority of time. However, the results also imply that investors react irrationally when facing the worsening economic conditions in the second half of 2008. Click here for full article Oliver Dietiker, University of Basel Skill, Luck and the Multi-Product Firm: Evidence from Hedge Funds We propose that higher skilled firms diversify in equilibrium even though managers exploit idiosyncratic performance shocks to time diversification moves. We formalize this intuition in a mistakefree equilibrium and test our predictions using a large panel dataset on the hedge fund industry 1977- 2006. The results show that returns fall following new fund launches, but are 13 basis points per month higher in diversified firms compared to a matched control sample of focused firms. Consistent with the theory, the evidence suggests that both idiosyncratic performance shocks and systematic differences in skill influence diversification decisions. Click here for full article Rui J.P. de Figueiredo, Jr. University of California, Berkeley Evan Rawley, University of Pennsylvania Crowded Chickens Farm Fewer Eggs - Capacity Constraints in the Hedge Fund Industry Revisited We revisit the question of capacity constraints in the hedge fund industry by looking at over 2,000 individual funds operating within ten different strategy segments over the years 1994 to 2006. By first looking at fund specific determinants of alpha returns, we demonstrate that the negative effect of inflows on performance is dominated by a concave size effect and thus nonlinear. Secondly, we investigate how competitive dynamics within a strategy segment influence alpha returns. The finding of a concave relationship between the total size of a segment and individual fund performance supports the notion of limiting capacity constraints on strategy level. While fund specific determinants only apply to funds that generated alpha in the past, strategy segment effects apply to all funds. Click here for full article Oliver Weidenmller and Marno Verbeek Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University The Good, the Bad or the Expensive Which Mutual Fund Managers Join Hedge Funds Does the mutual fund industry lose its best managers to hedge funds We find that a mutual fund manager with superior past performance is more likely to start managing an in-house hedge fund while continuing to manage mutual funds. However, a mutual fund manager with poor past performance is more likely to leave the mutual fund industry to manage a hedge fund. Thus, mutual funds appear to use in-house hedge funds to retain the best-performing managers in the face of competition from hedge funds. In addition, the managers of mutual funds with greater expenses are more likely to enter the hedge fund industry. The magnitude of such expenses is negatively related to subsequent performance in the hedge fund industry. Hence, hedge funds do not acquire superior performance for their investors by hiring these expensive managers. Click here for full article Prachi Deuskar, University of Illinois at Urbana Joshua M. Pollet, Goizueta Business School, Emory University Z. Jay Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana Lu Zheng, Paul Merage School of Business, University of California Irvine Performance Bias from Strategic Asset Allocation: The Case of Funds of Hedge Funds Evaluating the performance of portfolio managers has received wide attention in the finance literature. The common practice is to divide performance, which is attributable to active management, into two main components, security selection and market timing. However, the Brinson et al. studies and the controversial debate on the relative importance of asset allocation and security selection reveal that the strategic asset allocation has a significant impact on the performance of an actively managed portfolio. Nevertheless, up to now neither an empirical study has taken that portfolio decisions into account in the performance evaluation nor has anyone previously discussed a possible performance bias which could arise from the strategic asset allocation decisions. Beside its direct influence on the performance of funds of hedge funds, the strategic asset allocation induces a performance bias similar to the timing bias, which results from actively changing the beta of the portfolio of hedge funds by the portfolio manager. Unfortunately, normally the historical portfolio holdings of funds of hedge funds are not available due to their low transparency. In order to estimate the strategic asset allocation of each fund of hedge funds we use Sharpes 1988, 1992 returns-based style analysis (RBSA), which requires only the monthly performance. By comparing the selectivity and timing performance of 2638 funds of hedge funds, 2095 live funds and 543 dead funds, estimated with Jensens 1968 model and the timing model of Treynor and Mazuy 1966 using fund specific benchmark portfolios - which reflect the funds strategic asset allocations - against the selectivity and timing performance estimates generated with traditional hedge fund and fund of hedge funds indices, we document a performance bias which is clearly induced by the strategic asset allocation decision. This bias causes an overestimation of the true selectivity and timing performance of funds of hedge funds. In order to avoid these biases, both academics and practitioners should evaluate the performance of funds of hedge funds against benchmark portfolios which reflect the fund specific strategic asset allocation. Over the period from 1994 - 2006, we find that funds of hedge funds exhibit a negative monthly selectivity performance of -0.1648 and a monthly timing performance of -0.0263. Click here for full article Dr. Oliver A. Schwindler, Department of Finance, Bamberg University Lintner Revisited: The Benefits of Managed Futures 25 Years Later In this paper we attempt to update Professor Lintners work by demonstrating that the beneficial correlative properties of managed futures presented in his research persist today. Click here for full article Ryan Abrams, AlphaMetrix Alternative Investment Advisors, LLC Ranjan Bhaduri, AlphaMetrix Alternative Investment Advisors, LLC Elizabeth Flores, CME Group Selectivity and Timing Performance of Funds of Hedge Funds: A Time-Varying Approach This paper empirically examines the time variation of the selectivity and timing performance of funds of hedge funds by employing rolling versions of the performance regression models of Jensen (1968) and Treynor and Mazuy (1966). The analysis is based on a sample of 1,207 funds of hedge funds during January 1994 until December 2006. We propose for the first time a cross-sectional regression method similar to those used by Fama and McBeth (1973) for the analysis of the determinants of the performance of funds of hedge funds. Moreover, we use fund specific style benchmarks, which reflect the performance of the individual strategic asset allocation decision of each fund. Our results show that positive selectivity performance has faded away over the sample period and has become negative in recent years while the timing performance erratically fluctuates around zero. The cross-sectional regression reveals that the importance of the selectivity and timing seems to rotate over time, as both variables show considerable variation over time and different magnitudes in the cross-section. Summing up, we present profound and robust evidence that selectivity performance can be regarded as a good discriminating factor for superior funds of hedge funds. Click here for full article Dr. Marco Rummer, Saiumld Business School, Oxford University Dr. Oliver A. Schwindler, Department of Finance, Bamberg University Recovering Delisting Returns of Hedge Funds Numerous hedge funds stop reporting to commercial databases each year. An issue for hedgefund performance estimation is: what delisting return to attribute to such funds This would be particularly problematic if delisting returns are typically very different from continuing funds returns. In this paper, we use estimated portfolio holdings for funds-of-funds with reported returns to back out maximum likelihood estimates for hedge-fund delisting returns. The estimated mean delisting return for all exiting funds is small, although statistically significantly different from the average observed returns for all reporting hedge funds. These findings are robust to relaxing several underlying assumptions. Click here for full article James E. Hodder, Professor - Finance, University of Wisconsin-Madison Dr. Jens Jackwerth, Head Dept of Economics, University of Konstanz Olga Kolokolova, Research Asst. University of Konstanz The Impact of Hedge Fund Family Membership on Performance and Market Share We study the impact that hedge fund family membership has on performance and market share. Hedge funds from small fund families outperform those from large families by a statistically significant 4.4 per year on a risk-adjusted basis. We investigate the possible causes for this outperformance, and find that regardless of family size, fund families that focus on their core competencies have core competency funds with superior performance, while the familys non-core competency funds underperform. We next examine the determinants of hedge fund family market share. A familys market share is positively related to the number and diversity of funds offered, and is also positively related to past fund performance. Finally, we examine the determinants of fund family market share at the fund stylestrategy level. Families that focus on their core competencies attract positive and significant market share to these core-competency funds. Hence, by starting new funds only in their familys core competencies, fund managers can enjoy increased market share while their investors enjoy good performance. Click here for full article The paper assesses the extent to which the Group of Seven (G7) has been successful in its management of major currencies since the 1970s. Using an event-study approach, the paper finds evidence that the G7 has been overall effective in moving the US dollar, yen and euro in the intended direction at horizons of up to three months after G7 meetings, but not at longer horizons. While the success of the G7 is partly dependent on the market environment, it is also to a significant degree endogenous to the policy process itself. The findings indicate that the reputation and credibility of the G7, as well as its ability to form and communicate a consensus among individual G7 members, are important determinants for the G7s ability to manage major currencies. The paper concludes by analyzing the factors that help the G7 build reputation and consensus, and by discussing the implications for global economic governance. Click here for full article This paper is the first to use quantile regression to analyze the impact of experience and size of funds of hedge funds (FHFs) on performance. In comparison to OLS regression, quantile regression provides a more detailed picture of the influence of size and experience on FHF return behaviour. Hence, it allows us to study the relevance of these factors for various return and risk levels instead of average return and risk, as is the case with OLS regression. Because FHF size and age (as a proxy for experience) are available in a panel setting, we can perform estimations in an unbalanced stacked panel framework. This study analyzes time series and descriptive variables of 649 FHFs drawn from the Lipper TASS Hedge Fund database for the time period January 1996 to August 2007. Our empirical results suggest that experience and size have a negative effect on performance, with a positive curvature at the higher quantiles. At the lower quantiles, however, size has a positive effect with a negative curvature. Both factors show no significant effect at the median. Click here for full article We make use of a new database on daily currency fund manager returns over a threeyear period, 2005-08. This higher frequency data allows us to estimate both alpha measures of performance and beta style factors on a yearly basis, which in turn allows us to test for persistence. We find no evidence to support alpha persistence a managers alpha in one year is not significantly related to his alpha in the prior year. On the other hand, there is substantial evidence for style persistence funds that rely on carry, trend or value trading or with a longshort bias toward currency volatility are likely to maintain that style in the following year. In addition, we are able to examine the performance of managers that survive through the entire sample period, versus those that drop out. We find significant differences in both the investment styles of living versus deceased funds, as well as their realized alpha performance measures. We conjecture that both style differences and ineffective market timing, rather than market conditions, have impacted performance outcomes and induced some managers to close their funds. Click here for full article Momtchil Pojarliev, Hermes Investment Management Limited Richard M. Levich, New York Universitys Leonard N. Stern School of Business The Rising Costs of Low U.S. Interest Rates The Federal Open Market Committees (FOMC) decision to drastically reduce interest rates over the past year may be viewed positively in hindsight because it prevented a collapse of the U.S. credit markets. But it is more likely that this decision will be remembered for the toll it exacted on the U.S. economy and global markets. After tightening monetary policy for two years, from June 2004 to June 2006, the decision by the FOMC in the autumn of last year to reverse course seems to have provided some short-term relief to U.S. financial institutions and credit markets. But it also has significantly raised the long-term costs and challenges of restoring price stability in the consumer goods and financial markets. Click here for full article This paper provides a discussion about some recent issues related to the transfer of credit risk (CRT) from the perspective of global liquidity. The CRT market is enormously growing and exhibits major structural shifts in terms of buyers and sellers of protection. I try to address these issues from an options perspective by suggesting that liquidity providing can be understood, in economic terms, as selling put options. The overall conclusion of the paper is that it is not the extent of CRT per se, as often claimed, which causes liquidity related systemic risk, but rather the potential coordination failures of the behavior market participants in adverse market environments. In this context, I critically address the role of investments banks in providing liquidity to hedge funds, and finally, the (limited) access of global banks to central bank liquidity through cross-border collateral trading. Since coordination failures, seen as the major issue of a potential liquidity crisis, is to a large extent a matter of market structure, regulatory actions to improve liquidity should focus on the architecture of the financial system in the first place, not so much on the behavior of individual agents. Market stabilization should therefore be understood as a process of establishing informative markets and adequate infrastructure. Click here for full article We study the effect of financial crises on hedge fund risk. Using a regime-switching beta model, we separate systematic and idiosyncratic components of hedge fund exposure. The systematic exposure to various risk factors is conditional on market volatility conditions. We find that in the high-volatility regime (when the market is rolling-down and is likely to be in a crisis state) most strategies are negatively and significantly exposed to the Large-Small and Credit Spread risk factors. This suggests that liquidity risk and credit risk are potentially common factors for different hedge fund strategies in the down-state of the market, when volatility is high and returns are very low. We further explore the possibility that all hedge fund strategies exhibit a high volatility regime of the idiosyncratic risk, which could be attributed to contagion among hedge fund strategies. In our sample this event happened only during the Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) crisis of 1998. Other crises including the recent subprime mortgage crisis affected hedge funds only through systematic risk factors, and did not cause contagion among hedge funds. Click here for full article Monica Billio, University of Venice - Department of Economics Mila Getmansky, University of Massachusetts at Amherst Loriana Pelizzon, University of Venice - Department of Economics A Portrait of Hedge Fund Investors: Flows, Performance and Smart Money We explore the flow-performance interrelation of hedge funds by separating the investment and divestment decisions of investors. We report three main results. First, we find a weak inflow-performance relation at quarterly horizons together with a very steep outflow-performance relation. At annual horizons, these patterns revert. We attribute this differential response time of inflows and outflows to the combined effect of liquidity restrictions, high searching costs and active investors monitoring. Second, consistent with the theory that performance persistence is more pronounced where money flows are the least responsive, we find remarkable differences in persistence levels across horizons for the subsets of funds experiencing inflows and outflows. Third, we show that investors limited response capacity precludes them from investing into the subsequent good performers. Conversely, investors appear to be fast and successful in de-allocating from the subsequent poor performers. Click here for full article Studies dealing with the classification of CTAs have not effectively examined the distinction between the time frame these managers trade and the strategies they employ. Nor have such studies examined the information that rigorous due diligence adds to the process of classifying CTA s. This paper utilizes a set of CTA managers screened from the Barclay CTA (Managed Futures) Data Feeder database. Returns of these managers are analyzed using variables in this database as well as information collected in an extensive due diligence review. The results suggest that time frame and strategy are distinct factors in the classification of CTA managers. Furthermore, with ratings derived from the due diligence review, research quality is identified as a separate factor affecting CTA returns. Click here for full article We investigate an index of returns on professionally managed currency funds and a subset of returns from 34 individual currency fund managers. Over the period 1990-2006, excess returns earned by currency fund managers have averaged 25 basis points per month. We examine the relationship of these returns to four factors representing returns based on carry trading, trend-following, value trading and currency volatility. These four factors explain a substantial portion of the variability in index returns in the entire period and in sub-periods. We perform similar regressions for the 34 individual funds, and find many funds where returns are significantly related to these four factors. Our approach impacts the definition of alpha returns from currency speculation, modifying it from the excess return earned by the fund, to only that portion of the excess returns not explained by the four factors. While the impact on measured alpha is substantial, we find that some currency fund managers continued to generate alpha returns in the most recent sample period. Click here for full article This paper investigates potential sources of return to speculators in the commodity futures market. Initially, we focus on the classic arbitrage model based on the theories of Keynes (1930), Kaldor (1939), Hicks (1939, 1946), Working (1948) and Brennan (1958). Next our study examines the simplified arbitrage model which references the term structure of the futures price curve and provides rationale for a structural risk premium known as the roll return. We then introduce our theory of roll yield permutations which is derived from integrating the futures price curve with the expected future spot price variable. Last, we investigate Spurgins (2000) hedging response model from which asymmetric hedging response functions transfer risk premia to speculators. Our research indicates that these models have inherent shortcomings in being able to pinpoint a definitive source of structural risk premium within the complexity of the commodity futures markets. We hypothesize that the classic arbitrage pricing theory contains circular logic, and as a consequence, its natural state is disequilibrium, not equilibrium. We extend this hypothesis to suggest that the term structure of the futures price curve, while indicative of a potential roll return benefit, in fact implies a complex series of roll yield permutations. Similarly, the hedging response function elicits a behavioral risk management mechanisms, and therefore, corroborates social reflexivity. Such models are inter-related and each reflects certain qualities and dynamics within the overall futures market paradigm. With respect to managed futures, it is an observable materialization of behavioral finance, where risk, return, leverage and skill operate un-tethered from the anchor of an accurate representation of beta. In other words, it defies rational expectations equilibrium, the efficient market hypothesis and allied models - the CAPM, arbitrage pricing theory or otherwise - to single-handedly isolate a persistent source of return without that source eventually slipping away. Click here for full article Davide Accomazzo, Adjunct Professor of Finance, Pepperdine University Michael Frankfurter, Managed Account Research, Inc. Principals, Cervino Capital Management, LLC What Happened to the Quants In August 2007 During the week of August 6, 2007, a number of quantitative longshort equity hedge funds experienced unprecedented losses. Based on TASS hedge-fund data and simulations of a specific longshort equity strategy, we hypothesize that the losses were initiated by the rapid unwind of one or more sizable quantitative equity market-neutral portfolios. Given the speed and price impact with which this occurred, it was likely the result of a forced liquidation by a multi-strategy fund or proprietary-trading desk, possibly due to a margin call or a risk reduction. These initial losses then put pressure on a broader set of longshort and long-only equity portfolios, causing further losses by triggering stoploss and de-leveraging policies. A significant rebound of these strategies occurred on August 10th, which is also consistent with the unwind hypothesis. This dislocation was apparently caused by forces outside the longshort equity sector in a completely unrelated set of markets and instruments suggesting that systemic risk in the hedge-fund industry may have increased in recent years. Click here for full article Natural-resource managers make or lose their bread-and-butter by structuring active bets in the commodity markets in a variety of ways. Active managers may try to call the market direction correctly make relative-value bets in the derivatives markets take on basis risk invest in natural-resources equities, particularly in emerging markets or they may trade physical commodities. Active natural-resource managers need to be clearly differentiated from Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) and index funds. CTAs (or systematic trend followers) exploit trends in the financial and commodity markets. Indexed commodity funds, in turn, offer the investor pure commodity exposure. The case for institutional investors to include both passive commodities portfolio exposure as well as active commodities management has been made by a variety of industry observers. Until now, however, the subset of active natural-resource managers has not seen the growth in assets that the commodity index funds have seen. Clearly, active natural-resource investing is not nearly as well understood by institutional investors. As such, an institutional investor considering an investment with a naturalresources manager needs to understand the trading strategies, risks, and potential returns in this investment category. This article will focus on the due-diligence process as it applies to investment strategies commonly used by active natural-resource managers. Click here for full article Since the publication of our first paper on hedge fund replication in 2005, our FundCreator methodology has met with many positive reactions. There have also been some negative responses though. Until now we have not responded to the criticism launched against FundCreator, other than the occasional remark when asked for comments. However, with a number of high profile conferences on the subject coming up this year and early next year and investors clearly becoming confused as a result of the amount of disinformation that is being circulated, in this short paper we will address the 10 most common points of criticism. We will argue that most of these are largely unjustified and fairly trivial at best and no reason whatsoever to doubt the capability of FundCreator to deliver exactly what it promises: returns with predefined statistical properties. Here we go. Click here for full article We examine whether hedge funds are more likely to experience extremely poor returns when equity, fixed income, and currency markets or other hedge funds have extremely poor performance than would be predicted by correlations of hedge fund returns with returns on these markets or with returns of other hedge funds (contagion). First, we consider whether extreme movements in these markets are contagious to Arbitrage, Directional, and Event Driven hedge fund indices. Second, we investigate whether extreme adverse returns in one hedge fund index are contagious to other hedge fund indices. To conduct these examinations, we estimate Poisson regressions using both monthly and daily returns on hedge fund style indices. We find no systematic evidence of contagion from equity, fixed income, and currency markets to hedge fund indices, although the Arbitrage index exhibits evidence of contagion from the equity and currency markets for monthly data. In contrast, we find systematic evidence of contagion across hedge fund styles for both monthly and daily data. Our results provide a new perspective on the systemic risks of hedge funds and suggest that diversification across hedge funds may not help as much as correlations would imply in reducing the probability of very poor returns. Click here for full article Nicole M Boyson, Northeastern University Christof W. Stahel, George Mason University Ren M. Stulz, Ohio State University A Subprimer on Risk Early in 2007, there were concerns about two issues that could wind up causing significant havoc. One was the potential unwind of the yen carry trade, which we covered in our last issue. The other was the weakness in subprime mortgages in the US. At the risk of further cursing the market, it is fair to say that the yen carry trade scenario has not come about as yet. But clearly, the subprime issue has come to a head, and by now has impacted markets directly linked to subprime, such as securitized products and the equity of mortgage lenders, and others where the link is at best indirect, such as corporate credit, leveraged buyouts, and global equities. A postmortem analysis of these market events is premature, since the situation is still quite fluid. A comprehensive analysis of subprime mortgages, the catalyst of our current excitement, is beyond the scope of our efforts here. Still, it is not a market we can ignore, and so we offer some thoughts here on what is particular about subprime, and what we might be able to learn after this storm has blown over. Click here for full article When I recently co-edited the book, Intelligent Commodity Investing (Risk Books, 2007), a risk-management professional asked me if the title of the book is an oxymoron. This question was posed soon after the Amaranth debacle so perhaps the question is an appropriate one. This article will argue that one can indeed intelligently invest in the commodity markets and will briefly touch on three approaches, which in turn are drawn from the Intelligent Commodity Investing book. The first two sections of this article will discuss two historically profitable approaches that take into consideration the largely mean-reverting properties of commodity prices. The final section of the article will argue that we are in the midst of a rare trend shift in prices for some commodity markets and will provide some ideas on how to benefit from this shift. Click here for full article Dubbed the Trade of the Decade by at least one website, it is difficult to imagine a single trading strategy getting more popular attention than the carry trade has over the last eighteen months. Headlines in early 2006 included Japans Boom May Explode Yen-Carry Trade and Yen Carry Trade to Unwind-Market Crash Alert. Fears rose again in early 2007: in What keeps bankers awake at night the Economist made the carry trade first on its list. But the fears seem to have subsided, with the Economist acknowledging more recently that the carry trade may have gone Out With a Whimper. Click here for full article In this article, we provide the busy reader with a survey of articles that were written over the past four years on hedge funds. Specifically, we review the economic basis for hedge fund returns and then discuss some of the logical consequences of these observations. Next, we summarize the general statistical properties of hedge fund strategies. We then examine what the appropriate performance measurement and risk management techniques are for these investments. And lastly, we briefly cover ways that investors can consider incorporating hedge funds within their overall portfolios. Click here for full article Never has an industry so extensively studied by experts produced such a surplus of myths, misunderstandings, and half-truths. Many of these myths could easily be clarified with a call or two to knowledgeable industry professionals. Too often, a seemingly logical statement that sounds-good-when-you-say-it-fast becomes accepted conventional wisdom despite the reams of evidence weighted against it. Although many of these experts are well-intentioned, they may not be sufficiently well-informed. The solution lies in enhanced collaboration between academia, industry, and the press. Click here for full article The interest in commodity trading advisers (CTAs) and hedge funds trading purely currency has increased significantly in recent times this has both been with respect to the number of participants involved and the money-under-management allocated to the sector, Middleton (2006). Performance has suffered over the past couple of years and this has led many to question how sustainable this popularity in currency will be. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the downturn in performance experienced by currency programmes over the past couple of years. Active currency indices are used, together with transparent proxies for style, to highlight the importance of assessing performance over as long a period as possible prior to making investment decisions. The paper puts forward some possible explanations for the recent difficulties investigates whether the investors appetite for currency as an asset class still remains and concludes with thoughts on the ways in which participants may have to change in order to adapt to the new environment. Click here for full article In this paper we use the hedge fund return replication technique recently introduced in Kat and Palaro (2005) to evaluate the net-of-fee performance of 875 funds of hedge funds and 2073 individual hedge funds, up to an including November 2006. Comparing fund returns with the returns on dynamic futures trading strategies with the same risk and dependence characteristics, we find that no more than 18.6 of the funds of funds and 22.5 of the individual hedge funds in our sample convincingly beat the benchmark. In other words, the majority of hedge funds have not provided their investors with returns, which they could not have generated themselves by mechanically trading a diversified basket of liquid futures contracts. Over time, we observe a substantial deterioration in overall hedge fund performance. In addition, we find a tendency for the performance of successful funds to deteriorate over time. This supports the hypothesis that increased assets under management tend to endanger future performance. Click here for full article One of the more notable trends in the hedge fund industry over the past few years is the migration toward more stringent liquidity terms. That is, managers are requiring lock ups of one year or longer and are also lengthening notice periods for redemptions. Numerous reasons exist for this shift including potential SEC registration that may be skirted by employing a lock up of two years or more, a trend toward lesser-liquid underlying investments in an attempt to generate favorable returns and, for lack of a better term, manager greed. The SEC regulation rationale appears moot for the time being given that the mandatory registration requirement has been indefinitely tabled (see Goldstein, et al v. SEC, 2006). The most legitimate argument appears to be the utilization of more strict liquidity terms in order to better match fund assets and liabilities as managers migrate toward lesser-liquid underlying investments. Manager greed on the other hand continues to exemplify a straight forward supply and demand issue: the highest quality managers with the best performance are likely to be more in demand and will best be in a position to dictate lock up requirements. Notwithstanding the aforementioned arguments, the question remains as to what longterm value is being added by managers employing more inflexible liquidity terms. In this study we revisit, albeit with a different set of data, the observations of Liang (1999) pertaining to fund lock ups and performance. We then delve further into the data on a sub-strategy basis to determine the extent of value added and to discuss the necessity of lock ups given the nature of the underlying securities employed within each sub-strategy. Click here for full article One of the most powerful tensions in the world of money management is in the pull between assets that perform well on their own and portfolios that perform well. Even the most casual students of finance know about the importance of diversification. But as soon as any one asset turns in a bad performance, the temptation to dump that asset and replace it with something that performed better is nearly irresistible. What we found in this research is that team players outperformed superstars. We found that the difference was statistically significant. We found that in most cases replacing underperforming managers with someone who would have been better did little or nothing to improve overall portfolio performance. We did find, though, that firing team players for poor individual performance and replacing them with managers with higher Sharpe ratios seriously degraded the performance of the portfolio. Click here for full article We examine how Amaranth, a respected, diversified multi-strategy hedge fund, could have lost 65 of its 9.2 billion assets in a little over a week. To do so, we take the publicly reported information on the funds Natural Gas positions as well as its recent gains and losses to infer the sizing of the funds energy strategies. We find that as of the end of August, the funds likely daily volatility due to energy trading was about 2. The funds losses on 91506 were likely a 9-standard-devation event. We discuss how the funds strategies were economically defensible in providing liquidity to physical Natural Gas producers and merchants, but find that like Long Term Capital Management, the magnitude of Amaranths energy position-taking was inappropriate relative to its capital base. Click here for full article Although commodity markets have been around for centuries, investors interest in them has always been quite limited. Over the last few years, however, this has changed completely. Commodities have very quickly become very popular and investment in commodities is growing at an unprecedented rate. It is estimated that over the past few years (institutional) investors have poured 75 billion into commodities and according to a recent institutional investor survey by Barclays Capital, many institutions expect to significantly increase their commodity exposure further over the next three years1. After initially taking a somewhat reserved view on the commodity investment boom, the supply side is rolling out a whole range of commodity-linked products funds, ETFs, trackers, and all kinds of structured products. Given investors appetite for and the very healthy profit margins earned on these products, the end of the boom may not be in sight yet. Click here for full article New research by CISDM and the Barclay Group examines the early reporting habits of hedge funds and CTAs. In the article, Early Reporting Effects on Hedge Fund and CTA Returns, published in the Journal of Alternative Investments, Fall 2006 issue, it is shown that hedge funds and to a lesser extent CTAs who delay reporting returns often report lower performance than those who report early. Hedge fund and CTA indices published by the Barclay Group are used to demonstrate the differences between early estimates and final numbers. Each month, Barclays provides an early estimate (usually within the first week of the month) of the previous months returns by strategy based on reporting managers. Typically within weeks following the early estimate, Barclays provides a final estimate for the previous months hedge fund andor CTA index returns. Note that hedge fund and CTA fundmanager returns are reported in the month following the actual month of performance. This provides enough time for firms to properly calculate returns using various administrative reporting services and report them (if desired) to several of the existing hedge fund databases. The Barclay group is one of several firms or organizations currently reporting hedge fund and CTA returns on the industry. Other major hedge fund and CTA index reporting organizations include CISDM and HFR. While some overlap exists among databases managed by various firms and organizations, past research (Jones, 2005) has shown that each database differs as to reporting managers (approximately 50). Click here for full article In this paper we study the multivariate return properties of a large variety of commodity futures. We find that between commodity groupings (such as metals, energy, etc.) correlations are very low and mostly insignificant whereas within groups they tend to be much stronger. In addition, commodity futures are roughly uncorrelated with stocks and bonds. Still, correlations may vary somewhat over the different phases of the business cycle, suggesting that not all commodities make equally good diversifiers at all times. Copula-based tests do not indicate any deviant behaviour in the tails of the joint return distribution of commodity futures and stocks or bonds. Contrary to equities and bonds, we show that commodity futures returns are positively correlated with unexpected inflation (i.e. 25 on average with CPI inflation as opposed to 30 for equities and 50 for bonds). There are significant differences between the various commodities, however, with energy, metals, cattle, and sugar offering the best hedging potential. Altogether, assuming that the observed regularities will persist, our results confirm that a well-balanced commodity futures portfolio could offer a worthwhile diversification service to the typical traditional investment portfolio. Click here for full article In this chapter, we introduce readers to commodity (natural resource) futures programs. We begin the chapter by describing the present investment landscape as one where return compression in a number of popular hedge fund strategies has led absolute-return investors to investigate other promising return sources. This includes the highly volatile natural-resource markets, which Lammey (2004) describes as a paradise for speculators. The second section of the chapter discusses how (real) spot commodity prices have been in a long-term secular decline, which has meant that in the past, most arguments for investing in commodities have had to rely on one of the two following rationales. An investment in a commodity futures program has had to (1) capture cyclical opportunities, or (2) provide an inherent risk premium that has only been available in certain futures markets. This latter concept is admittedly esoteric and will be explained later in this chapter. In the chapters third section we will argue that current commodity investment programs, which are designed to either capture cyclical opportunities or monetize risk premia, are still valid in the current environment. But we will further note that one can also make a plausible case for investing in commodities based on increases in spot commodity prices. The 1990s were marked by a series of unusually favorable supply shocks, which may not be the case going forward, as ONeill of Goldman Sachs et al. (2004) have warned. In the concluding section of the article, we will outline the risk management requirements for a commodity investment program, given that absolute-return investors require that hedge funds control downside risk rather than just capture the premium of the asset class, as Ineichen of UBS (2003) has explained. Click here for full article Optimizing fund growth maximizes fund value. We argue that growth in fund size results from managerial skill. To test this argument, we estimate a model that links fund growth to performance characteristics. We use the model to isolate significant performance characteristics, and then confirm that the model has predictive power out-of-sample. This predictive ability suggests that a manger can employ strategies to optimize his funds size and hence maximize overall fund value, thus demonstrating skill. In November, we discussed risk modeling of credit spreads. We raised two broad questions. First, we asked which market should we look to for information. And when credit is traded in more than one market, should we choose the one with the greatest liquidity, or the one that most closely matches our position Second, we asked what made a time series useful as a risk factor, and whether we could choose among a variety of definitions of spread to obtain the best properties for forecasting purposes. A third question we could have asked, but did not, was how we should model the volatility once we had obtained a useful time series. We picked up that question in our December note. In this note, we ask the first two questions again, but for futures contracts rather than credit spreads. As we will discuss, there are modeling choices we have applied for a long time which, while serving us well broadly, are in fact questionable in specific cases. Moreover, it is never a bad thing to return to models that have been around a while, and revisit the thinking that led us to those choices in the past. We examine the role of backwardation in the performance of passive long positions in soybeans, corn and wheat futures over the period, 1950 to 2004. We find that over this period, backwardation has been highly predictive of the return of a passive long futures position when measured over long investment horizons. The share of return variance explained by backwardation rises from 24 at a one-year horizon to 64 using five-year time periods. A historical examination of soybean production and trading suggests that the profitability of a passive long soybean position during the early part of our sample may have resulted from inadequate inventories and storage facilities at the time. These conditions created the conditions for demand-driven price spikes. Further, the thin margins of soybean processors likely increased hedging demand. The implications for commodity investing are considered. Click here for full article In this paper we study the univariate return properties of a large variety of commodity futures. Our analysis shows that the volatility of commodity futures is comparable to that of US large cap stocks. Yet, with the exception of energy, a consistently positive risk premium is lacking in commodity futures. We also find that for many commodities, futures returns and volatility can vary considerably over different phases of the business cycle, under different monetary conditions as well as with the shape of the futures curve. Skewness in commodity futures returns is largely insignificant, whereas kurtosis is significantly positive and comparable to that of US large cap stocks. In almost all commodities we find significant degrees of autocorrelation, which affects the properties of longer horizon returns. Click here for full article In this paper we use the hedge fund return replication technique recently introduced by Kat and Palaro (2005) to evaluate the net-of-fee performance of 1917 individual hedge funds. Comparing fund returns with the returns on dynamic futures trading strategies with the same risk and dependence characteristics, we find that no more than 17.7 of the hedge funds in our sample beat the benchmark. In other words, the majority of hedge funds have not provided their investors with returns, which they could not have generated themselves by mechanically trading SP 500, T-bond and Eurodollar futures. Over time, we observe a substantial deterioration in overall hedge fund performance. In addition, we find a tendency for the performance of successful funds to deteriorate over time. This supports the hypothesis that increased assets under management endanger future performance. Click here for full article January 5, 2006 - NEW YORK - Strategic Financial Solutions, LLC, (SFS) creator of the worlds leading asset allocation and investment analysis software, the PerTrac Desktop Analytical Platform, is pleased to present the aggregate results of the 2005 SFS Hedge Fund Database Study, an annual report that aims to shed additional light on the hedge fund industry. Click here for full article The risk-adjusted returns since inception of most hedge fund indices have been enhanced by a favorable environment and could be susceptible to a decrease in market risk appetite. However, this vulnerability is not uniform managed futures strategies have proven more robust than other hedge fund strategies, yielding positive returns under both risk-seeking and risk-averse conditions. Risk-averse periods tend to cluster and therefore the current state of market risk appetite provides information about the future state of market risk appetite. These effects in combination mean that it is possible to enhance portfolio performance by combining a measure of risk aversion with allocations to the managed futures space. Click here for full article In this paper, we attempt to fill this gap by developing a fundamental framework to project future market volatility. We then apply it to current conditions, expecting in 2006 a rebound in market volatility from depressed levels, but with high volatility delayed to 2007-08. We draw implication for asset returns, active returns, and for what policy markets should be looking out for. We come up with some expected results, but also with quite a few surprises (at least to us). Among these are that leverage by investors tends to lag, rather than lead market volatility that corporate leverage and macroeconomic volatility are more causally related to market volatility that hedge funds seem very reluctant to raise leverage, in contrast to banks and that active investors tend to do poorly when volatility rises unexpectedly. Click here for full article The Sharpe ratio is a statistic which aims to sum up the desirability of a risky investment strategy or instrument by dividing the average period return in excess of the risk-free rate by the standard deviation of the return generating process. Devised in 1966 as a measure of performance for mutual funds, it undoubtedly has some value as a measure of strategy quality, but it also has several crucial limitations (see Sharpe 1994 for a recent restatement and review of its principles). Furthermore, its widespread and often indiscriminate adoption as a quality measure is leading to distortion of proper investment priorities, as investment firms manipulate strategies and data to maximise it. Click here for full article Over 1,000 representatives from 650 firms completed the 2005 Deutsche Bank Alternative Investment Survey. These 650 investors represent 645 billion dollars in direct hedge fund assets, which we estimate is nearly two-thirds of all assets in the hedge fund industry. We asked each respondent to categorize themselves as a fund of funds, bank, corporation, consultant, insurance company, pension, endowment, foundation, family office or high net worth individual. We received responses from all these investor types, with a particularly strong showing from pensions, endowments and foundations, comprising 18 of respondents. Family offices and high net worth individuals are also well represented, at 15. Funds of funds represent the largest group, with 43 of all responses. We polled investors from all over the world, with roughly half from the United States and more than a third from Europe. Click here for full article Two studies, by Watson Wyatt and UBS (both from March 2005), give a pessimistic view of the hedge fund industrys capacity to generate long-term returns, due to its increasing size. Unfortunately, these studies focus almost exclusively on alpha. In the present paper, we show the importance of considering not only the exposure to the market (the traditional beta), but also the other exposures (the alternative betas) to cover all the sources of hedge fund returns. To do so, we examine the real extent to which the variability and level of hedge fund returns are affected by (static) betas, dynamic betas (i.e. factor timing), and pure alpha (i.e. security selection). Click here for full article Over the last 10 years hedge funds have become very popular with high net worth investors and are currently well on their way to acquire a significant allocation from many institutional investors as well. The growing popularity of hedge funds and the availability of various hedge fund databases have spawned several hundreds of academic research papers on various aspects of the hedge fund industry and especially the risk-return performance of hedge funds and fund of funds. Many of these papers apply methods, like standard mean-variance and Sharpe ratio analysis for example, which are ill-suited for the analysis of hedge funds returns and have, as a result, produced incorrect conclusions. Fortunately, some studies have taken a more sophisticated approach and have made it clear that hedge fund returns are not really superior to the returns on traditional asset classes, but primarily just different. With hedge fund performance getting worse every year, the hedge fund industry has come to more or less the same conclusion. Unlike in the early days, hedge funds are no longer sold on the promise of superior performance, but more and more on the back of a diversification argument: due to their low correlation with stocks and bonds, hedge funds can significantly reduce the risk (as measured by the standard deviation) of a traditional investment portfolio without giving up expected return. Once we accept that hedge fund returns are not superior, but just different, the obvious next question is: is it possible to generate hedge fund-like returns ourselves by mechanically trading stocks and bonds (either in the cash or futures markets) Although hedge fund managers typically put a lot of effort into generating their returns, maybe it is possible to generate very similar returns in a much more mechanical way and with a lot less effort. If it is, we may be able to do without expensive hedge fund managers and all the hassle, including the due diligence, the lack of liquidity, the lack of transparency, the lack of capacity, and the fear for style drift, which comes with investing in hedge funds. There might well be more than one road leading to Rome. Based on earlier work into hedge fund return replication by Amin and Kat (2003), we have done a lot of research in this area, which has lead to the development of a 3 general procedure that allows us to design simple trading strategies in stock index, bond, currency and interest rate futures that generate returns with statistical properties that are very similar to those of hedge funds, or any other type of managed fund for that matter. In what follows, we briefly describe this procedure as well as provide some examples of the procedures amazing results. Click here for full article U.S. stock market from 1986 through 2002. While the falling knives we identified did post a relatively high bankruptcy rate over the three-year period following their initial drop, they also outperformed the SP 500 by wide margins. We followed up our study of U.S.-based falling knives by extending our falling knife analysis to markets outside the United States - and we concluded that non-U.S. knives also tended to outdistance their benchmarks. Whats new in this paper First, we study both U.S. and non-U.S. falling knives over a synchronized time period: 1980 through the end of 2003. As a result, our analysis now includes many falling knives that were generated in 2000, when the generally high valuation levels of the late 1990s began to wind down amid the collapse of the technology stock bubble. We also take an in-depth look at falling knives over time, by sector, and - for non-U.S. knives - on a country-by-country basis. In addition, we test market capitalization and enterprise-value-to-sales ratios as possible predictors of falling knife performance. Click here for full article Demographics, climate change, debt problems, deficit worries: the list of potential life changing events goes on. Yet there is one other decision that could overwhelm all these. If Asia - from Japan to China - formally begins to use the US dollar as their standard of value it will change the outlook for asset prices for decades to come. The idea is not fantasy. Chinas latest infusion of cash into State banks suggests that floating the RMB may not be as high on the political agenda as some hope. Moreover, the long-term Yen outlook looks far from assured. A simple pan-Asian dollar fix would drive Asian asset prices sky-high. And its happened before: Japan fixed to the US dollar in 1949 at Y360 and Hong Kong fixed in 1983 at HK7.80. Both markets subsequently enjoyed sharp increases in asset prices. Click here for full article Hedge funds have become increasingly popular among institutional investors due to their potential for generating positive returns in any market environment. The recent growth in the number, style, and complexity of these investments has increased the importance of the fund-offunds service provider. More recently, investable hedge fund indices have emerged to represent a quasi-passive low-cost beta approach to hedge fund investing. On the other hand, fund-of-funds are being relied upon to provide manager selection, due diligence, asset allocation, and riskmonitoring advice to institutional investors who are resource-constrained they are viewed as an active alpha-producing investment when compared with rules-based hedge fund indices. In this paper, we outline the theoretical and practical challenges of applying an investable index-based approach to an actively managed hedge fund industry, and seek to identify the potential value that fund-of-funds may provide. Click here for full article In February 2004, Everest Capital authored a White Paper titled The Continuing Case for Emerging Markets highlighting our positive outlook for emerging markets equities. We revisit our thesis below, and reiterate our favorable view for the performance of the asset class. Click here for full article In this article, we describe the reasons traditional performance evaluation approaches do not work-for traditional investments as well as hedge funds. However, unlike previous articles that have simply documented the problems, we offer a solution: Namely, performance evaluation in general, and hedge fund performance evaluation in particular, should be viewed as a hypothesis test where we assess the validity of the hypothesis Performance is good. To accept or reject this hypothesis, the textbooks say you should construct all of the possible outcomes and see where the actual performance result falls. If the observed performance is toward the top of all of the possibilities, the hypothesis is correct, and performance is good. Otherwise, it is not. In other words, the hypothesis test gives us a chance to determine if a manager truly has the skill to outperform a group of monkeys randomly playing the same game. Click here for full article The two most remarkable features in financial markets in recent years have been the plunge in stock market volatility and the bull market in credits. Together they have helped to sustain high valuation levels across world equity markets. Yet the two features are closely linked: their common factor being monetary policy, or more accurately monetary stability. In short, low currency market volatility has led to low stock market volatility, which, in turn, has fuelled the appetite for credit. We argue in this report that the world economy is operating two monetary standards. One looks rock steady the other appears close to change. The bottom line is that financial markets may be nearer to the fault line than most investors believe. Volatility could jump and credits blow out. Click here for full article Hedge funds do not easily fit into the current way institutions go about investing. Based on a survey of recent academic and practitioner research, this article reviews six competing frameworks for how to incorporate hedge funds in institutional portfolios. Each framework has very different implications for institutional asset allocation, manager selection, and benchmarking. Click here for full article Investable Hedge Fund Indices (IHFIs) have grown in numbers since the first meaningful introduction of these during 2003. While making their presence wide spread through a number of main providers, investors have been left with the task of considering whether or not IHFIs achieve in practice a better if not outright alternative to established Hedge Funds of Funds (HFOFs ). What the assessments provided by this report show is that IHFIs are not very different to HFOFs and in many ways HFOFs remain a more viable alternative. Large dispersions are shown to exist for the same types of Hedge Fund Strategies amongst the different IHFI providers. The subscription and redemption costs, notice periods and annual fees make the actual performance which investors can expect to realise from Buy and Hold investing, substantially less than that reported for the underlying indices on which the IHFIs are based. In summary, many practical challenges remain open with investing in IHFIs and will require considerable time and resources to shift the vote towards IHFIs away from HFOFs if at all. Click here for full article Longshort equity hedge funds have historically outperformed traditional long equity exposure with lower risk. This is a result of a demonstrated capability by longshort managers to generate alpha via stock selection, rotation in and out of cash and timely shifts in market exposures (e.g. large vs. small capitalization, sector, geography, etc). As a consequence, longshort managers have tended to generate a highly favorable characteristic: a higher correlation to equity markets in rising markets and lower correlation in falling markets (sometimes referred to as an asymmetrical riskreturn profile). Over the past decade, assets under management by longshort equity hedge funds have grown more than 20 annually. This expansion was the most rapid of any hedge fund strategy and longshort managers have displaced global macro funds to claim the largest share of industry assets. Although a portion of this growth in longshort assets was attributable to market appreciation, the demonstrated ability of the managers themselves was also a key factor stimulating inflows. In my view, the optimum portfolio allocation should include adequate doses of unconstrained longshort managers in lieu of passive or active long equity exposure. Indeed, if one relies solely on the historical performance record, longshort managers would entirely displace traditional long-only managers. This view holds up even when longshort manager returns are liberally adjusted downward to reflect possible survivor bias. And while there is no guarantee that longshort manager performance will hold up in the future, it would take a severe deterioration in manager capabilities to justify no allocation, in my opinion. There is no one preeminent asset allocation scheme for delineating the role of longshort hedge funds in portfolios-it depends on an investors current positions and portfolio management structure. Approaches include allocating to an aggregate longshort category and populating the space with generalist managers that invest broadly. Alternatively, one can distinguish between geographic markets (developed, emerging, etc) or invest in styles (valuegrowth) as part of the overall equity allocation. In this article, I make the case for incorporating the alpha-generating capabilities and the implicit beta exposure of longshort managers explicitly in the asset allocation process. The first section reviews the evolution of longshort hedge funds. The performance characteristics of the longshort managers are then reviewed in the second section. The third section describes the basic determinants of longshort manager returns. This is followed by an analysis of what allocations to longshort managers might make sense. The final section discusses the attributes of various longshort managers who specialize in sectors. The key conclusion is that longshort managers have a demonstrated ability to outperform on a risk-adjusted basis compared to most long-only vehicles. I believe substantial allocations to these managers are appropriate regardless of whether one views them as a substitute for active equity managers or as a stand-alone hedge fund strategy. Click here for full article Anjilvel et al 2001 emphasize the alpha advantage of hedge fund managers. They write, Our research has shown that a significant proportion of the total return to hedge funds in the past has been alpha, in contrast with a small negative total alpha for mutual funds . They hypothesize, One possible explanation for an alpha advantage. is that. the active managers can forecast expected returns better than others. This means a significant ability to exploit market inefficiencies to outperform their benchmarks, presumably by virtue of skill, knowledge, and insight. This view of hedge fund management has a direct impact on the potential capacity of the hedge fund industry. To figure out the capacity of the hedge fund industry, we start by quoting from Cochrane 1999: . the average investor must hold the market so portfolio decisions must be driven by differences between an investor and the average investor. If hedge funds are exploiting market inefficiencies, this means that other investors are supplying those inefficiencies. This means that, unfortunately, we cant all profit from exploiting inefficiencies. Therefore, there is a natural cap on the potential size of the hedge fund industry, assuming that hedge funds are indeed exploiting inefficiencies rather than taking in risk premiums. Click here for full article We construct an equally-weighted index of commodity futures monthly returns over the period between July of 1959 and December of 2004 in order to study simple properties of commodity futures as an asset class. Fully-collateralized commodity futures have historically offered the same return and Sharpe ratio as equities. While the risk premium on commodity futures is essentially the same as equities, commodity futures returns are negatively correlated with equity returns and bond returns. The negative correlation between commodity futures and the other asset classes is due, in significant part, to different behavior over the business cycle. In addition, commodity futures are positively correlated with inflation, unexpected inflation, and changes in expected inflation. Click here for full article This paper incorporates investor preferences for return distributions higher moments into a Polynomial Goal Programming (PGP) optimisation model. This allows us to solve for multiple competing hedge fund allocation objectives within a mean-variance-skewness-kurtosis framework. Our empirical analysis underlines the existence of significant differences in the return behaviour of different hedge fund strategies. Irrespective of investor preferences, the PGP optimal portfolios contain hardly any allocation to longshort equity, distressed securities, and emerging markets funds. Equity market neutral and global macro funds on the other hand tend to receive very high allocations, primarily due to their low co-variance, high co-skewness and low co-kurtosis properties. More specifically, equity market neutral funds act as volatility and kurtosis reducers, while global macro funds act as portfolio skewness enhancers. In PGP optimal portfolios of stocks, bonds, and hedge funds, where equity exposure tends to be traded off for hedge fund exposure, we observe a similar preference for equity market neutral and global macro funds. Click here for full article Illiquidity is a common feature of alternative investments, but the diversity of hedge fund investments - including OTC derivatives - present special challenges. Hilary Till of Premia Capital Management reviews developments in quantitative techniques for evaluating the effect on performance. Click here for full article OneChicago, LLC has asked Gardner Carton Douglas LLP to summarize the regulatory implications for funds and their advisors of investing or trading in security futures products (SFPs). SFPs are unique in that they are both securities and futures. Funds and investment managers must understand how the use of SFPs may affect their existing registrations andor exemptions or trigger the need for new registrations or exemptions. To navigate the analysis, we have created separate links for each type of fund or advisor. To view a summary of the regulatory implications of using SFPs, click on to the link that corresponds to the situation that is relevant to you. Of course, if more than one situation is relevant to you, you should review each relevant link. The accompanying regulatory analysis is not intended to be exhaustive. It does not include an analysis of the implications of using SFPs under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Further, this analysis is not legal advice, which may often turn on specific facts. Readers should seek specific legal advice from qualified counsel before acting with regard to the subjects mentioned here. Click here for full article Some investors who are unfamiliar with managed futures are nervous about the volatility of the asset class. Unbeknownst to them, they may be missing an opportunity to reduce the overall risk of loss in their investment portfolios. Historically, diversified investment portfolios perform better and are less volatile when they include managed futures investments. Considering that returns from managed futures tend to be highly volatile, these assertions are counterintuitive. A clearer understanding of how this happens is obtained by studying the nature of managed futures returns and their correlation to stocks and bonds, especially during times of stress for financial markets. Click here for full article The paper tests the performance of 2894 hedge funds in a time period that encompasses unambiguously bullish and bearish trends whose pivot is commonly set at March 2000. Our database proves to be fairly trustable with respect to the most important biases in hedge fund studies, despite the high attrition rate of funds observed in the down market. We apply an original ten-factor composite performance model that achieves very significance levels. The analysis of performance indicates that most hedge funds significantly out-performed the market during the whole test period, mostly thanks to the bullish sub-period. In contrast, no significant under-performance of individual hedge fund strategies is observed when markets headed south. The analysis of persistence yields very similar results, with most of the predictability being found among middle performers during the bullish period. However, the Market Neutral strategy represents a remarkable exception, as abnormal performance is sustained throughtout and significant persistence can be found between the 20 and 69 best performers in this category, probably thanks to an extreme adaptability and a very active investment behavior. Click here for full article Emerging markets have not yet fully made their way back onto investors radar screens. Those who have not looked at the asset class since the turmoil of the late 1990s may be surprised by what they find a mere five years later. Largely unnoticed, emerging markets have outperformed developed markets over the past one-, three- and five-year periods. Investment inflows into the asset class finally showed renewed signs of life in late 2003, following net outflows over the previous five years. This lack of investor interest was in stark contrast to the acceleration of foreign direct investment (FDI) during the same period. Click here for full article The paper highlights the inadequacies of the traditional RAPMs (Risk-Adjusted Performance Measures) and proposes AIRAP (Alternative Investments Risk Adjusted Performance), based on Expected Utility theory, as a RAPM better suited to Alternative Investments. AIRAP is the implied certain return that a risk-averse investor would trade off for holding risky assets. AIRAP captures the full distribution, penalizes for volatility and leverage, is customizable by risk aversion, works with negative mean returns, eschews moment estimation or convergence requirements and can dovetail with stressed scenarios or regime-switching models. A modified Sharpe Ratio is proposed. The results are contrasted with Sharpe, Treynor and Jensen rankings to show significant divergence. Evidence of non-normality and the tradeoff between mean-variance merits vis--vis high moment risks is noted. The dependence of optimal leverage on risk aversion and track record is noted. The results have implications for manager selection and fund of hedge funds portfolio construction. Click here for full article Milind Sharma, Merrill Lynch A Detailed Analysis of the Construction Methods and Management Principles of Hedge Fund Indices - Are All Hedge Fund Indices Created Equal His analysis highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the various hedge fund indices available in the market. Click here for full article Marc Goodman, Kenneth Shewer and Richard Horwitz make the case that the style-based tailwinds that equity hedge funds have enjoyed over the past few years will shift, and could become dangerous headwinds for the unaware investor. Click here for full article Marc Goodman, Kenneth Shewer and Richard Horwitz explore whether hedge funds and fund of funds provide risk-efficient diversification, and how institutional investors can best allocate assets to achieve a superior riskreturn relationship. Click here for full article Hedge Funds are seen as an alternative asset class, but what does this really mean We argue in this report that the long-run returns from hedge funds should differ little from other financial assets. However, their risk characteristics are significantly different, particularly when differentiated by their investment style. It is this characteristic that distinguishes them from conventional assets. Hedge funds are not higher risk and they are not necessarily lower risk: they simply have a different risk profile. As such they should be part of every asset allocation. Click here for full article There are two ways to make money in financial markets. Beta - One way to make money in financial markets is to take on a systematic risk for which the market compensates you. This type of risk is known as beta. For instance, equities have a higher expected return than cash over time for the simple reason that they are a more risky investment than cash. The same is true of long duration bonds versus cash, corporate bonds versus treasuries, mortgages versus treasuries, emerging market debt versus developed market debt, etc. At any given point in time, risky financial assets may be expensive or cheap, but over time, they should return more than less risky assets. Betas are easy to capture (i.e. nave investment strategies can capture betas). Over significant periods of time, betas have positive returns. However, they have low return to risk ratios (we estimate that, over long time-frames, betas have annual Sharpe ratios ranging from 0.2 to 0.3), and for the most part, they are correlated to one another (in part because risk itself is inherent in each of them). Alpha - The other way to make money in financial markets is by taking it away from other market participants. This is known as alpha. Alpha is zero-sum. For every buyer, there is a seller, and so for every alpha trade, there is both a winner and a loser. Examples of alpha strategies include market-timing and active security selection. Only investors who are smarter than the market will be able to reliably provide alpha. Click here for full article The recovery seen in the Japanese market over the last couple of months begs the question, is this the start of a new secular bull market or a cyclical uplift in the extraordinary oversold position we saw at the end of the fiscal year We do not have the definitive answer. Fortunately as a hedge fund of funds, we do not need to time our entry into the market but to be positioned to protect funds regardless of market direction and to make money where we can. We are, however, in a position to reflect on some of the prevalent views amongst our own managers and make some observations of our own. Click here for full article As the speculative bubble of 98-99 gave way to the bear market of 00-01, pension sponsors found that traditional diversification methods have not hedged as much of the market decline as hoped - providing little absolute return protection. In particular, pension surpluses have been shrinking to the point where many organizations will be faced with a need to contribute additional funds to their pension plans just as their earnings are falling due to the economic slow-down. Therefore, its not surprising that investors are increasingly drawn to a new strategy thats relatively unaffected by the markets and the economic environment: market neutral investing. With strong positive returns and low levels of volatility, market neutral strategies are making their way into the asset allocation plans of a growing number of institutional and other qualified investors. Incorporating investment techniques that, in isolation, have historically been considered risky, investors are discovering that certain market neutral strategies are, in fact, less risky than traditional equity investments. Click here for full article I extend the classical market timing model of Merton (1981) to the case of multiple risk factors and show that the equilibrium value of a market timers forecasting ability can be written more generally as a weighted-sum of Arrow-Debreu-type contingent claim prices. Following these results I develop a class of return-based parametric tests to evaluate the ability of a portfolio manager to time multiple markets. I apply these tests to evaluate the performance of fund of funds hedge fund managers. I show that, both individually and on aggregate, fund of funds managers do not exhibit timing ability with respect to a variety of hedge fund styles. However, I argue that this result is due to frictions created by the hedge funds into which these vehicles invest. Click here for full article This paper attempts to evaluate the out-of-sample performance of an improved estimator of the covariance structure of hedge fund index returns, focusing on its use for optimal portfolio selection. Using data from CSFB-Tremont hedge fund indices, we find that ex-post volatility of minimum variance portfolios generated using implicit factor based estimation techniques is between 1.5 and 6 times lower than that of a value-weighted benchmark, such differences being both economically and statistically significant. This strongly indicates that optimal inclusion of hedge funds in an investor portfolio can potentially generate a dramatic decrease in the portfolio volatility on an out-of-sample basis. Differences in mean returns, on the other hand, are not statistically significant, suggesting that the improvement in terms of risk control does not necessarily come at the cost of lower expected returns. Click here for full article That hedge funds have started to gain widespread acceptance while remaining a somewhat mysterious asset class enhances the need for better measurement and benchmarking of their performance. One serious problem is that existing hedge fund indices provide a somewhat confusing picture of the investment universe. In this paper, we present detailed evidence of strong heterogeneity in the information conveyed by competing indices. We also attempt to provide remedies to the problem and suggest various methodologies designed to help build a pure style index, or index of the indices, for a given style. Finally, we present evidence of the ability of pure style indices to improve benchmarking of hedge fund returns. Our results can be extended to traditional investment styles such as growthvalue, small caplarge cap. Click here for full article A key measure of track record quality and strategy riskiness in the managed futures industry is drawdown, which measures the decline in net asset value from the historic high point. In this discussion we want to look at its strengths and weaknesses as a summary statistic, and examine some of its frequently overlooked features. Click here for full article The growth in demand for hedge funds since 1995 has been significant. During this period, the assets invested in hedge funds grew from an estimated 100 billion to over 500 billion. Ultimately, the sustainability of this growth depends upon the relative and absolute investment performance ofthe hedge fund industry. Hedge funds provide sophisticated investors with access to virtually every investable asset class combined with the expertise needed to manage these complex investments. These investors receive positive returns, enhanced diversification when combined with stocks and bonds, low volatility, and protection against significant drawdowns..This paper discusses systematic trend following, a hedge fund style that has a 20 year track record of producing positive annual returns with low to negative correlation to most other asset classes and hedge fund strategies. Exhibit I compares the ZCMMAR Trend Following Index versus the SP 500 and the Lehman Treasury Bond Index since 1983. Click here for full article Hilary Till continues in the spirit of her August 2002 Quantitative Finance feature on measuring risk-adjusted returns in alternative investments. Click here for full article In this paper we study the possible role of managed futures in portfolios of stocks, bonds and hedge funds. We find that allocating to managed futures allow investors to achieve a very substantial degree of overall risk reduction at limited costs. Apart from their lower expected return, managed futures appear to be more effective diversifiers than hedge funds. Adding managed futures to a portfolio of stocks and bonds will reduce that portfolios standard deviation more and quicker than hedge funds will, and without the undesirable side-effects on skewness and kurtosis. Overall portfolio standard deviation can be reduced further by combining both hedge funds and managed futures with stocks and bonds. As long as at least 45-50 of the alternatives allocation is allocated to managed futures, this again will not have any negative sideeffects on skewness and kurtosis. Click here for full article There are many benefits to investing in hedge funds, particularly when using a diversified multi-strategy approach. Over the recent years, multi-strategy funds of hedge funds have flourished and are now the favorite investment vehicles of institutional investors to discover the world of alternative investments. More recently, funds of hedge funds that specialize within an investment style have also emerged. Both types of funds put forward their ability to diversify risks by spreading them over several managers. However, diversifying a hedge fund portfolio also raises a number of issues, such as the optimal number of hedge funds to really benefit from diversification, and the influence of diversification on the various statistics of the return distribution (e.g. expected return, skewness, kurtosis, correlation with traditional asset classes, value at risk and other tail statistics). In this paper, using a large database of hedge funds over the 1990-2001 period, we study the impact of diversification on naively constructed (randomly chosen and equally weighted) hedge fund portfolios. We also provide some insight into style diversification benefits, as well as the inter-temporal evolution of diversification effects on hedge funds. Click here for full article Franccedilois-Serge Lhabitant and Michelle Learned Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management Managed Futures: A Real Alternative Managed Futures investments performed well during the global liquidity crisis of August 1998. In contrast to other alternative investment strategies, the performance of Managed Futures was good in that year and had once more demonstrated their diversification potential. More assets did subsequently flow into Managed Futures, but 1999 did turn out to be one of the worst performing years for the industry. Since then, the performance as well as the acceptance of Managed Futures has improved. As the global stock markets are declining, an increasing number of investors is getting attracted to the strategy. The following article will take a closer look at this asset class. Click here for full article The popular perception is that hedge funds follow a reasonably well defined market-neutral investment style. While this long- short investment strategy may have characterized the first hedge funds, today hedge funds are a reasonably heterogeneous group. They are better defined in terms of their freedom from the constraints imposed by the Investment Company Act of 1940, than they are by the particular style of investment. We study the monthly return history of hedge funds over the period 1989 through to January 2000 and find that there are in fact a number of distinct styles of management. We find that differences in investment style contribute about 20 percent of the cross sectional variability in hedge fund performance. This result is consistent across the years of our sample and is robust to the way in which we determine investment style. We conclude that appropriate style analysis and style management are crucial to success for investors looking to invest in this market. Click here for full article We study the diversification effects from introducing hedge funds into a traditional portfolio of stocks and bonds. Our results make it clear that in terms of skewness and kurtosis equity and hedge funds do not combine very well. Although the inclusion of hedge funds may significantly improve a portfolios mean-variance characteristics, it can also be expected to lead to significantly lower skewness as well as higher kurtosis. This means that the case for hedge funds includes a definite trade-off between profit and loss potential. Our results also emphasize that to have at least some impact on the overall portfolio, investors will have to make an allocation to hedge funds which by far exceeds the typical 1-5 that many institutions are currently considering. Click here for full article This column will discuss the state of the art in applying returns-based analyses to hedge funds. It will pay particular attention to those hedge fund strategies where the use of derivatives and dynamic trading strategies can lead to highly assymetric outcomes. Click here for full article Hedge funds and other actively managed strategies contain two fundamental sources of risk: 1) Systematic risk - the risk associated with exposure to market-wide influences such as the broad equity or fixed-income market, and 2) Active risk - the risk associated with the performance of active managers relative to their market benchmarks. The conventional asset allocation approach employed by most plan sponsors and consultants fails to integrate these two sources of risk. This can lead to the formation of inefficient portfolios. In this article we propose a risk allocation framework that focuses on risk exposures instead of asset class exposures. Click here for full article Brett H. Wander and Dennis M. Bein Analytic Investors Private Placement Life Insurance The New Alternative in Insurance Within this report, we attempt to illustrate a simple bridge between hedge fund and insurance language and products, attempting to uncover the edge that exists in combining these fundamental vehicles of traditional and alternative investment worlds. Click here for full article Brad Cole and Christine Kailus Cole Partners Alternative Asset Strategies: Early Performance in Hedge Fund Managers This paper investigates the effects of age on hedge fund performance. In particular, we seek to ascertain whether hedge funds perform better during the early stages of their development. Existing studies seem to lack practicality and conclusiveness, with some studies failing to address adequately the issues of survivor and market biases. Survivor bias results from the tendency of hedge funds with poor performance to drop from available databases, causing industry performance returns to appear better than they are in reality. Market bias suggests that the recent success of many hedge funds results from strong general market performance and not necessarily from hedge fund managers skills. Unfortunately, the lack of complete and consistent data makes addressing these biases difficult. As hedge funds disappear from databases, survivor bias becomes embedded in available data. In addition, since most hedge fund databases only have significant information for the past five to ten years (coincident with one of the strongest U.S. equity market periods) market bias would also seem to be inherent in the data. In order to attempt to address these issues, this study has compiled information from various sources, including deceased funds, to create a more comprehensive database of available hedge fund information. Additionally, hedge fund returns were calculated according to age rather than vintage so that not all early returns come from the same market period. Where appropriate, subsets of this database were used. In all cases, individual hedge fund return data and not hedge fund style or hedge fund index data was used.1 Based upon this data, our conclusion is that despite the biases found in the data, investors may gain enhanced returns by investing in young hedge funds if proper due diligence is completed. Hedge funds under three years of age tend to perform better than do older hedge funds without necessarily adding to the volatility of returns. Click here for full article Given the tremendous rise in hedge fund assets, one of the most common queries we receive from clients today is: Have hedge funds grown to the point where they are no longer the market tail but the entire dog And if hedge funds have become the market dog, does the dog now have fleas That is has the proliferation of hedge funds created yet one more bubble that needs to be popped before the market can resume even a vague semblance of normal behavior Click here for full article Innovative financial engineers in alternative investments are knitting a web of complex interdependencies, yet no one has a masterplan. Click here for full article In a previous article Hillary Till touched upon the difficulty of using standard measures to evaluate certain hedge fund strategies. Here, after reviewing these difficulties, she discusses state-of-the-art solutions. Click here for full article Randy Warsager examines the treasures and the pitfalls awaiting those who make the transition from traditional to hedge fund manager. Click here for full article Selling managed futures to institutional investors is like trying to get the National Bowling Championships on primetime network TV. While the networks are making unprecedented allocations of primetime to sports coverage, bowling gets a continually smaller slice. In fact, Ive heard of one venture capitalist who is buying up all the bowling alleys in the country in order to launch a new craze, Ballroom Hurdle Dancing. Really, it is easy to pick on managed futures. In fact, the only reasons more people are not kicking managed futures is because they are too busy gagging on their distressed debt, high tech and value equity investments. The Barclay Systematic Traders index which some consider to be the core CTA index was -3.63 for 1999 and is -1.70 through September 2000. But is managed futures a strategy that is just out of favor or are the wheels falling off the cart Through a series of interviews with database providers, investors, distributors and managers, we estimate a net outflow of assets due to poor performance and redemptions somewhere between of between 35 to 50 over the last eighteen months. We also feel the number of players has been trimmed by about 30. Our source for these numbers was not purely scientific, but as a 20-year participant in the futures industry, we have had to do some digging - enough to make us believe that this group is truly at a crossroads. Herein, we cut through the carnival of marketing jargon to find the real drivers running CTA-land. Click here for full article Brad Cole, President, Cole Partners Managing Investor Drawdowns Through a Risk Control Plan: A New Model for Evaluating Manager Performance Tushar Chande, President LongView Capital Management, L.L.C. The Benefits of a Long Volatility Investment Approach in a Multi-Fund Portfolio Alan R. Kaufman Chief Investment Officer, Trilogy Capital Management Group, L.L.C. Risk Management: A Practical Approach to Managing a Portfolio of Hedge Funds for a Large Insurance Company Norman Chait, CFA, AIG Global Investment Corporation
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