My father is a perfectionist. Truth be told, my mother is too. To both of them, it was far more offensive to do a task to 75% completion than it was to leave the task undone altogether. And so it became that our wonderful neighbors, the Schwabs, became synonymous with half-completing tasks. You see, the Schwabs celebrated every event and every season with unparalleled joy; none more than Christmas, for which their house was adorned with 1,000's of colorful lights – complete with reindeer on the roof and everything.
Every few years, their house was in need of a fresh coat of paint and the effort to remove the Christmas decorations in full seemed silly. So, the Schwabs would paint AROUND those 1,000's of colorful lights, leaving different color paint behind the lights. From the road, you never really noticed. But from our property line, one could see the string of colorful lights and mismatched paint in the July heat. That became my father’s favorite example of half-completing a task – “Schwabbing it” became synonymous with tasks left incomplete or done haphazardly.
Which brings me to business analytics.
All of us who have been in this space for any period of time freely acknowledge that the tough part isn’t how to build pretty dashboards or stunning data visualizations. The hard part – where discipline comes into play – is in extracting the data from raw structured (and unstructured) sources, modeling the data and preparing it for analysis. Anyone who has done that can tell you how painful it is. It’s because of the pain associated that an entirely new class of BI vendors emerged; all of whom promise a way to avoid that painful process. In doing so, though, they just paint around the Christmas lights; they “Schwab it”.
True business analytics doesn’t have to be the exclusive domain of IT any longer. Nor does it have to cost millions of dollars and consume months on end. With platforms like Birst Enterprise Edition, data can be integrated and modeled – not just “mashed” – from multiple disparate sources, so that the kinds of analysis required to effectively run a business can be performed. And it can be done in weeks or months, not years and at a fraction of the cost of “traditional BI”.
For folks who are truly interested in leveraging data to improve business outcomes, the idea of a platform like Birst has to be pretty liberating; it means no more “Schwabbing it”!