Thursday, March 31, 2011

BI and the Sick Rose - or - Microstrategy as the Modern Rose Bush of the IT Vineyards

The Sick Rose by William Blake
O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Hand-coloured print, issued c.1826

If you have visited some vineyards you probably noticed that in some of them rose bushes are planted at the end of grapevine rows.

There are a few speculations as to the reason for this viticulture tradition. Except for the mere aesthetics contribution of the beautiful roses blossoming amidst the vines, especially at early spring time when the bare vines are just beginning to grow new leaves, the most acceptable reasons for planting roses near grape vines is the fact that both roses and grape vines are susceptible to the same diseases. However roses will be hit by those diseases a bit earlier than the grape vine. This way vine growers are able to take immediate preemptive measures and prevent the vines from becoming infected.

A natural dashboard (source: wineontheblog)
BI tools can be described in the same way. Indeed some BI tools and especially Microstrategy 9 offer very aesthetic front-end design and highly captivating user experience. However this is far from being the reason many companies choose to utilize Microstrategy.

The highly visual means of Microstrategy, that reflect the company’s performance at real-time, enable managers to be aware of problems that hinder company’s performance as they occur. Without such early warnings managers could respond much later and risk significant loses. With proper BI implementation managers are able to respond to such problems immediately and prevent greater losses.

There are many “diseases” that can hinder and decrease company’s performance. Managers must have the right means to detect possible inflictions as they happen or even as they are about to occur using proper BI implementation.

Today satellite controlled agriculture enable vine growers to monitor the color and shape of a leave from their home or office. In most vineyards roses are planted truly for decoration purposes and for keeping a very aesthetic viticulture tradition.

But the principle remains: Constant and full insight of the vine\company health is a must to avoid potential loses and to assure productivity.

If the means to this end also add further embellishment to the user experience than that is just an extra gain.

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