No Shortcuts: Read the BI/DW Instructions and Ask for Directions

December 16, 2009
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No_shortcut My undergraduate degree is in engineering. So that’s my excuse for not reading instructions. In addition, I am a guy and I don’t ask for directions no matter how lost I am. (That’s why they had to invent GPS units for us!)

Generally I can get by without reading instructions or asking for directions. More complex high tech consumer gadgets, however, require instructions and even a basic understanding of what they can do. And increasingly I have to concede I need to read and understand how to effectively use the latest technology.

Successful business intelligence and data warehousing requires asking for directions and following instructions, too. This translates into getting training and knowledge transfer from more experienced people.

Business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing have become mainstream, but that does not mean most people know the how and why of them. They may be commonplace, but they aren’t necessarily pervasive. The usual scenario is that a separate IT group built them, and only a select few business people use them. So, it’s no surprise that BI knowledge is in short supply.

It’s difficult for a technology to become pervasive



No_shortcut My undergraduate degree is in engineering. So that’s my excuse for not reading instructions. In addition, I am a guy and I don’t ask for directions no matter how lost I am. (That’s why they had to invent GPS units for us!)

Generally I can get by without reading instructions or asking for directions. More complex high tech consumer gadgets, however, require instructions and even a basic understanding of what they can do. And increasingly I have to concede I need to read and understand how to effectively use the latest technology.

Successful business intelligence and data warehousing requires asking for directions and following instructions, too. This translates into getting training and knowledge transfer from more experienced people.

Business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing have become mainstream, but that does not mean most people know the how and why of them. They may be commonplace, but they aren’t necessarily pervasive. The usual scenario is that a separate IT group built them, and only a select few business people use them. So, it’s no surprise that BI knowledge is in short supply.

It’s difficult for a technology to become pervasive when it’s being thwarted by people both in business and IT who don’t read the instructions or ask for directions. The outcome is that DW or BI projects fail to meet expectations, come in very late and are way over budget. 

It’s really not so hard to ask for guidance. When you do, be sure to ask someone who really knows, not just the guy with the DW/BI project on his resume that didn’t succeed because he, too, tried to wing it without asking for help.

The expression that comes to mind is “You don’t know what you don’t know.” In the case of BI that can be an expensive mistake.


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