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August 3, 2007

Walking on Coals

With the second phrase from REM's Exhuming McCarthy, "walking on coals," try not to focus on the science of fire-walking, but rather the psychology and imagery - the idea of walking on coals as a test of mind over matter.

In the world of Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing, here we sit with gobs and gobs of data (rarely enough or exactly the right data, it seems, but gobs none the less). Here we sit with the world in front of us represented in tables and records, entities and attributes, facts and dimensions. The work it takes to derive value from that mound of information is very much a mind over matter challenge. Often, it looks simple on paper, but as you dive into the complexities of reality and start revealing "exceptions to rules" and "obscure business logic" and "poor quality data," it takes real cleverness and fortitude to turn that information into action.

Maybe this wasn't Michael Stipe's intent, but it works for me.

Posted by Paul Boal at August 3, 2007 7:45 PM


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