May 13 2011

Is Your System Hot or Cold? Or Both?

Categories: General, Rants Dave Rathbun @ 12:08 pm

In a recent tweet I shared a short story (it’s on twitter, it has to be short!) about something I witnessed earlier today. I was in our break-room getting ready to eat lunch. I was waiting in line for my turn at the microwave when a person walked into the room, grabbed a cup, and filled it with ice from the ice-maker. That’s not so unusual. What caught my interest was what they did after that. They went to the coffer maker where there is a hot water spigot (for making soups or hot chocolate) and proceeded to cover the ice with super-heated water.

I was first amused as I thought to myself, “What’s the point?”

Immediately upon asking myself that question, I was reminded of a number of different BI solutions that I have been asked to deliver over the years. So many times I have been asked to provide a [report|database|reporting system|universe] that “includes everything” so that the business user can pick out what they’re interested in. Large reports or universes seldom reach critical penetration in the business simply because they try to do too much. If you want ice, get some ice. If you want hot water, get some hot water. But when you try to do both at the same time, you get neither. The result is simply a lukewarm puddle.