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Category archive for ‘Reality Check’ rss

  • How much data is enough?

    While I don't feel an urge to argue the "should we use data or use our gut to make decisions" question nearly as much as I used to, I am noticing that there is the "data is good, data is great, more must be better" camp that is starting to occasionally make me think. The […]

  • Avoid the Spaghetti

    Has this ever happened to you? You have built some fantastic analytics- you are the Business Intelligence hero, the fixer of data, the creator of reports. They ask you for something, you fix it. Data quality issue? No problem, you add filters, views, and report edits that hide the dirt. Its fast, its easy. You […]

  • Set up a test then check the data then decide

    How often do you argue to someone making a gut call the importance of being "Data driven"? In the business intelligence business, we've been talking about this for more than 20 years. I was very pleased to see that the City of Toronto, Canada (our home town) is doing some driving with data, and it […]

  • Exact isn’t everything- Surf your data!

    Sometimes an analyst needs to take off the accountants hat, forget the urge to chase down every last penny, and instead put on their surfing gear, grab the data surf board (i.e. their set of prefered data tools), and just surf some data. There are some cases were "Exact" is the only acceptable level of […]

  • A new years resolution to data profile

    Well, it's the time of making and breaking resolutions, a time when setting realistic goals is sometimes hard to do with all the optimism of the new year. Sometimes, we make decisions NOT to set a goal, because we don't want to break it. You might be thinking you really should step up your data […]

  • Data Quality Rules

    What's the difference between good data and bad data? It is much like the difference between good children and bad children- the bad data doesn't follow the rules. But what are the rules? Unlike the rules for kids, which have been fixed in stone for decades (or at least, parents wish it were so), the […]

  • Which myths are holding you back?

    In your business you have "facts". Things that are considered to be true. Lots of folks have heard of them, or believe them, and propagate them. But are they true? You are making decisions every day based on these "facts". Obviously, we have to believe something. But today I'm asking you to be skeptical. Question […]

  • Too much data storage hurts data quality- the toothpaste effect

    When I brush my teeth there is a wide range in terms of amount of toothpaste that is acceptable to me. This is not a profound statement- bear with me. Only as the tube of toothpaste starts getting near to its end do I start conserving toothpaste because I know I need to make it […]

  • When the right tool is not a standard tool.

    Phil Simon (@philsimon) tweeted a link to an article in the Harvard business review that talks about the dangers of being "overly tool standardized" within an organisation that I thought was very interesting. Now, of course, standards are needed, and for a broad range of tools its counter productive (and horrifically expensive) to let everyone […]

  • Let’s admit it- centralized business intelligence alone just doesn’t work

    One version of the truth. Data warehouses. Centralized business intelligence teams. This has been the best practice for business intelligence for the last two decades. Users taking the initiative with data has been seen as the enemy of a successful business intelligence program. This needs to change. In a world of ever increasing data volumes […]