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.

2 Responses to “Is Your System Hot or Cold? Or Both?”

  1. Comment by Yoav

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for this post,

    The traditional separation between distinguished business topics is welcomed & mostly understood In the BI area & in BO Universes.
    Blending everything together doesn’t bring the end users an added value, only to a few ones which their knowledge and abilities allows them to understand such complexity.
    What I do believe is missing is the ability to blend universes on the fly to those ones (mostly key/power users or annalists) that can work through it.
    In BI4 we will have the ability to create universe views & multi source universes, within lies the opportunity to create “master” universes and to reflect different parts of them to different groups & users.
    This can solve some problems when combining different queries that has some limitation in the view level (common variables for example) and adjust a more parallel structure that I believe is good for complex cases and for advanced analysis.
    In the future I do believe that the user will have the option to:”add universe” to an existing universe and even choose or be suggested through which key/join to connect them…


    How is the universe diff tool progressing ? :-)



  2. Comment by Ton Bunnik

    I had to lookup ‘lukewarm puddle’ in my English-Dutch dictionary and it means what I thought it would be : unattractive.
    I have seen a lot of cold and hot Universes over the years. The persistent misunderstanding that everybody should be able to create their own reports is very benificial to the consulting industry. Let’s keep it that way :)

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