Analyzing Keywords in Enron’s Email

November 24, 2013

You probably can’t read all the 252K email messages in the Enron email dataset by yourself.

But with SQL it’s easy to search for keywords, like “Special Purpose Entity”, “Bankrupt”, “Fraud”, “Shutdown”,  “Talking Points”, “FERC” and so on. They begin to reveal what really went on inside the minds at Enron.

TALKING POINTS:

Many Enron employees took MBA courses at UC Berkeley HAAS Business School.

Since the Enron bankruptcy, classes at UC Berkeley School Of Information began to analyze Enron’s emails, as early as 2004. Like this one: http://courses.ischool.berkeley.edu/i290-2/f04/assignments/a4_solutions/qu_poon.doc.

In this document, they search for “Talking Points“: an especially persuasive point helping to support an argument or discussion.

Read the rest of this entry »


Enron – A Few Good Guys

November 19, 2013

Sherron Watkins:

Sherron Watkins

Sherron Watkins

Sherron Watkins is the former Vice President of Enron Corporation who alerted then-CEO Ken Lay in August 2001 to accounting irregularities within the company, warning him that Enron ‘might implode in a wave of accounting scandals. From her website:
sherronwatkins.com/sherronwatkins/Sherrons_Bio.html

At the House Hearing on Enron, Sherron Watkins said:
“I wish we could get caught. We are such a crooked company.” Sherron Watkins former Vice President of Corporate Development at Enron

In the emails made public, what can we find about Sherron Watkins? Unfortunately, not as much as we might hope.

There is no entry like “Watkin” in the table: employeelist. Again, like other senior executives, there are not many emails from or to Sherron Watkins.

In the entire email set, where the sender or receiver is sherron.watkins@enron.com, there are only 24 unique messages. If a group by is done on the sender and receiver, there are only 46 unique messages.

So, does this indicate:
– Sherron Watkins did not email much
– her assistants did her email for her
– the email list has been overly sanitized
– or something else?

If we search the body of the messsages, we find Sherron Watkins in emails that she sent, that others then forwarded along. So, I would tend to think that the email list is a very small subset of actual email data. What we do find is rather interesting.

Sherron’s Resentment In The Behavior Of Others:   Read the rest of this entry »


Enron Email Analysis – Persons Of Interest

November 19, 2013

Persons Of Interest:

Continuing my analysis of the Enron scandal, I looked at some of the key players in the Enron scandal.

Kenneth Lay

Kenneth Lay

A good list of who played which position at Enron is at:
http://enrondata.org/assets/edo_enron-custodians-data.html
and at:
http://www.infosys.tuwien.ac.at/staff/dschall/email/enron-employees.txt

What can we discover about Enron’s People Of Interest by analyzing their email with SQL?  Among other things, there was some very abusive management at Enron.

Person Of Interest – Andrew Fastow:

Interestingly, there is very little in the emails regarding Andrew Fastow, the CFO of Enron, who was one of the main culprits. He is rather absent in this dataset. Read the rest of this entry »


Analyzing Enron Email Metadata Using SQL

November 10, 2013

enron-logo

enron-logo

What can we discover analyzing Enron emails using SQL? Quite a bit actually.

The Enron scandal in 2001 was huge.  As part of the discovery process, prosecutors started looking at emails to find evidence to convict the guilty. These email sets have since been made public.

Recently, I downloaded a set of Enron emails from USC:
http://www.isi.edu/~adibi/Enron/Enron.htm
and installed them into a MYSQL database.

There were over 252K email messages, sent to over 2 million recipients.

+-----------------+
| Tables_in_enron |      Count
+-----------------+
| employeelist    |        151
| message         |    252,759
| recipientinfo   |  2,064,442
| referenceinfo   |     54,778
+-----------------+

Analyzing the emails produced some very interesting findings about what went on inside Enron!

MetaData:

Read the rest of this entry »


Reverse Engineering Netbeans

May 21, 2013

Recently, I took a java course. A number of co-students had problems with version compatibility after they used their Netbeans, MYSQL, and Java stack at home and brought their work to school. So, I wanted to have the exactly same versions when I did my installation.

But, immediately after I had installed Netbeans 7.3 on Windows 7 (64 bit) and started it, a message popped up indicating that 12 updates were available. I’ve only just started, and already it wants to update.

How to turn the updates off? I don’t want them updating at all. And I especially don’t want automatic updates going on behind my back, the way Adobe Acrobat reader does.

Read the rest of this entry »


Building Better Systems Through Better Analysis

February 25, 2012

From Reqs to Specs.

In my other piece, I wrote how business requirements documents don’t work very well, how they create a trial and error process, and prototypes make it into production.

Much of the reason is that there is no analysis, general design, or detailed design. Nor is anyone in charge of these areas.

Much of my work in development has been doing the analysis and design that were not done in the first place. Here are some of the techniques that I’ve used. And some that have been very useful when others have done them for me.
Read the rest of this entry »


Why “Business Requirements” Don’t Work

February 25, 2012

From Reqs to Specs

One aspect of IT Development that I’ve noticed for a very long time is that no one is thinking things through.

The result, is not a solid piece of software, but just a prototype. Unfortunately, these prototypes make it into production too much of the time.

Is it any wonder that so much software does not work? How many days since the last glitch in some website or software that you worked with? I’ll bet not many.

Why does this occur? A lot of it is the way that IT work is divided now. Think of the classic Waterfall Method and the responsibilities for the tasks:

Task Responsibility
Requirements User, Business Analyst
Analysis ???
General Design ???
Detailed Design ???
Build Developer
Maintain DBA

Read the rest of this entry »


%d bloggers like this: