Feb 17 2012

Pave Where They Walk

Categories: Rants Dave Rathbun @ 11:06 am

I attended (and graduated from) Louisiana State University some years ago. During my time there they did something interesting to the quad outside of the main library. They took up all of the landscaping and planted only grass. There were no sidewalks. My initial reaction was one of disbelief, as I knew that students would be walking back and forth across the grass, wearing out paths wherever they walked. Sure enough, after only one year there were clearly defined paths in the grass. What happened next?

LSU paved those areas.


They waited until they were able to observe established usage patterns and then they built sidewalks. In other words, rather than wasting time and money trying to anticipate how the quad would be used, and what the traffic patterns would be, they simply opened up the entire area and watched. Only after they had collected this information did they move ahead with the final stages of their project.

More often than not, I have seen companies end up taking the opposite approach to business intelligence solutions, and that hurts everybody. Continue reading “Pave Where They Walk”