Please complete: “There are things known and things unknown and in between …”

March 15, 2010
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Now, guess what!? Well, if you were to ask a BI expert at the Teradata Universe Conference to complete this sentence, he’d probably say “…a Teradata data warehouse”, and, for an amazing lot of questions, this is a perfect answer. Nonetheless I suppose that if you asked Joschka Fischer, former Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany, who will be one of our keynote speakers in Berlin, he’d answer like a shot: “…there are doors” – and he’d be the winner of the quiz. I believe this is because Fischer, also known as the “godfather” of the German Green Party, was culturally conditioned in the years of the 1968 student movement to which Jim Morrison’s Band “The Doors” delivered the soundtrack.

 

When asked about the name of the band, Jim Morrison once said: “There are things known and things unknown and in between there are doors”. And, funnily enough, that is why even today many people believe that the Door’s singer authored these poetic words

Now, guess what!? Well, if you were to ask a BI expert at the Teradata Universe Conference to complete this sentence, he’d probably say “…a Teradata data warehouse”, and, for an amazing lot of questions, this is a perfect answer. Nonetheless I suppose that if you asked Joschka Fischer, former Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany, who will be one of our keynote speakers in Berlin, he’d answer like a shot: “…there are doors” – and he’d be the winner of the quiz. I believe this is because Fischer, also known as the “godfather” of the German Green Party, was culturally conditioned in the years of the 1968 student movement to which Jim Morrison’s Band “The Doors” delivered the soundtrack.

 

When asked about the name of the band, Jim Morrison once said: “There are things known and things unknown and in between there are doors”. And, funnily enough, that is why even today many people believe that the Door’s singer authored these poetic words, while in fact he plainly quoted the famous British poet William Blake. Today, it will take you only a few clicks on the internet to check this out, but notably Blake is ranked only Nr. 4 of the Google search results. Jim Morrison gets the top spot with other links suggesting, for example, Aldous Huxley as the author of the quote. How do you know which source you can trust? That may be a routine question for every Google user but it also gets to the core of what data warehousing is all about: trustworthiness and quality of information are key when it comes to decision-making.

 

And there is another dimension, too: handling complexity. Long before the term “globalization” was coined, international relations experts formed the idea of “interdependence” to grasp the growing complexity of the modern world. Some of them have concluded that we need stronger supranational institutions if we want to have any effective governance at all. One probably wouldn’t deny that such institutions sometimes increase, not decrease the complexity of the political sphere. So how did Fischer handle the decision-making process within these frameworks, trying to influence an opaque and permanently changing outside world, without being able to tell just how reliable the information at his hand is? This makes me curious about his keynote.

 

Mario Bonardo