back to article Resurrecting old jargon

No one disputes the fact that there’s a lot of data kicking around in most businesses. Neither are there arguments about how hard it is to find relevant information when you need it. Sure, there are exceptions, and some very progressive businesses manage their so called ’information assets’ extremely well, but for most of the …

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FAIL

I swear...

... half the reason I was out of work for a year a while back was because I didn't have a clue what the latest acronyms and jargon meant.

Nowadays, if anyone throws an acronym at me, it immediately gets branded a L.I.S.A:

"Let's Invent a Stupid Acronym"

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Even better are the catch phrases

The current trendy phrases around my workplace are "Do we have the bandwidth?" (For human resources) and "Let's take that offline" (For we'll discuss it later)

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FAIL

A good point buried under a cacophany of buzzwords

Yes, the BI emperor is naked, like so many of his predecessors.

"Decision Support" is a handy term to bear in mind, since it focusses attention on the fact that business is about making decisions. It drives the focus from the abstract to the concrete, from the general to the specific, from the grandiose to the deliverable. Unfortunately, it also suggests finding evidence for a decision *after* it's been made - Douglas Adams would doubtless approve.

The problem, though, is that BI/DS/SOA/BPM/etc are all just self-referential claptrap on a level which makes literary deconstruction seem straightforward and a model of clarity. Buzzwords migrate and mutate as they're (mis)used by people who've only seen one or two examples of them in the past. Solutions are bought and sold on the basis of having the same incantations as the two-page articles in glossy magazines, not because they're of any provable benefit to the company.

There's one fundamental truth at the end of all of this: business analysis is hard work, and anyone who claims differently is trying to sell you snake oil.

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Paris Hilton

hard work

>There's one fundamental truth at the end of all of this: business analysis is hard work, and anyone who claims differently is trying to sell you snake oil.

And obtaining good (as in reliable, complete, accepted throughout the organisation) data for said business analysis is even harder work.

Decision Support as described in the article sounds like home-made bound-to-create-many-problems-in-the-future-even-if-it-does-solve-problems-now speadsheets linked to miscellanous data sources. All organisations start like that, some spreadsheets are very ingenious, and all turns to custard when the original developpers leave, when spreadsheets from different sources have to be reconciliated, or when an inventory of all the company's reports is made.

And this is when one turns to real tools (and I am not talking about SQL here). I am not criticising this, it is the normal coming-of-age process. No need for big tools when a couple speadsheets will do. One the other hand, the earlier definitions and names are globally validated, the less pain when trying to make sense of all the versions of the truth this creates.

Paris because there is no hard work icon.

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