Less = simple?

by Alena SemeshkoMarch 3, 2008

Scott Davis has recently blogged on the idea that reduction does not necessarily mean simplification. As an example, her used his son’s physics class, where kids were more comfi with a loger formula than with its shorter equivalent. It was easier for kids to comprehend and intuitively solve the longer formula as “each equation component was visible and was easy to relate to each of the respective forces at play”. Scott goes on discussing this issue by taking it into today’s business world.

“We try to boil down lots of unique moving parts of the Strategy Gameboard into a single pithy Vision Statement — and then, we’re surprised when employees feel no connection with it. Or, we try to homogenize data and reporting from the variety of functional areas around the business into an non-descript blob of a common-denominator centralized Business Intelligence program — and then, we’re surprised when departmental analysts keep using their own stuff.”

You know…when I was in high school I always prefered shorter and simpler equations. It was much easier for me to just memorize a few things and forget about the lengthy process of figuring what goes where each time you have to solve something in Physics or Chemistry class. To me it was way easier to make a mistake when solving extended equations.

Now, I understand, not everyone’s like me and some people are more comfi with taking their time, getting to the root of everything. Maybe. Although in the words of business, particularly the constantly on-the-move business today, that’s not at all the best approach. What use are employees that take twice longer than others to complete a task? They might be as professional and skilled as others, but… let’s face it, we live in a rapidly progressing competitive world. To succeed in this world, or at least to secure your place, you’ve got to work and think fast.

Same goes for software. If earlier software programs were designed to address specific needs and run independently, today the market for packaged enterprise applications is exploding, creating an emmediate need for integrating multiple independently developed and heterogeneous applications. Simplification, integration, reduction of aplications running.

Same goes for data. Enterprises today tend to replace their passive reports and charts with active business platform based on adaptive IT architectures. For better or worse, business intelligence tools enhance business communication across enterprises, coordinate resources, and enable companies to interact more quickly in our ever-changing world.

This “reduction”, which is more of progression and interconnection actually, is not seen as negative. Quite the contrary – it’s critical to today’s businesses

The use of business intelligence software has now assumed a high profile in many organisations, says the research, with 66% of senior managers seeing it as “very critical” or “critical” to their decision making.

This positive approach is reflected in the fact that 67% of organisations plan to extend the scope of their data warehousing activities to new functional areas, while 64% will be further exploiting their existing information.

Well, the numbers speak for themselves =).