Mar 15 2016

What Is Your Waffle House?

Categories: Rants Dave Rathbun @ 9:14 pm

With “reporting tools” we have become extremely good at letting people see things they already know. At some companies it can be very difficult to break out of that mode. I can’t tell you how many consulting engagements that I had where I was simply asked to take something they already had and recreate it in a newer tool. While possible, work like that was hardly exciting.

In an unrelated note, FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, apparently likes waffles.

What do these two concepts have to do with each other?

FEMA realized that Waffle House was an excellent indicator of whether electricity was available in an area, and therefore could be considered an indicator of an area that they would have to assist. If a Waffle House was open, the area had electricity and passable roads. If the Waffle House was closed, maybe not so much. Even better, Waffle House locations were sprinkled all along the Gulf Coast as well as the Eastern seaboard; both hurricane-sensitive areas. You can read the full article (originally published in Popular Science) at the link below.

What I found interesting about the article was the fact that something that on the surface would seem to be completely unrelated becomes interesting when viewed through the proper perspective. I have been looking within my current company, trying to find something similar, and perhaps I am too close to things but so far I have not been successful.

What about you? Have you found your Waffle House?

Related Links

2 Responses to “What Is Your Waffle House?”

  1. Comment by up

    Hi Dave,

    This is not related to the above blog, but i want to request you to please write about Aggregate Navigation in BO.The topic looks simple, but it is very complicated in real use, so please share your experience on Aggregate Navigation in BO.


  2. Comment by Claudia Brown

    Hi Dave,
    I think what it is very important is that the Waffle Houses are also super prepared to handle emergencies so if one has to close and it can’t reopen within hours then is hell on earth for that area. Waffle Houses are so prepared that they even have “emergency menus” printed and ready to go so that they can easily remove from the menu items that use too much resources, like bacon requires a long time on the grill so that one gets axed on the emergency menu. Thy also keep and share data about their model so they can truly be used as the canary in the coal mine for emergency situations. As for my Waffle house for my company I’m still trying to find one. I’m currently looking at the SAP auditing database to create some usage reports but have yet to identify real trends. Other Indexes of almost unrelated things at first glance are the Big Mac Index to indicate if a currency is over or under valued. Also the Disposable Diaper vs. Diaper Rash Ointment Index to indicate a downturn on the economy.

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