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Alteryx
Alteryx

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Problems.  We all have them.  Problems.  They need solving.  Problems.  We tackle them one of two ways.  The IT Way, or the Line of Business Way.  Which was is right?  Well, it's like Alec Guiness said when he was a dead Obi Wan Kenobi talking to Luke Skywalker (sorry you non Star Wars fans, and Star Wars geeks who think this is one of the worst plot lines in the original trilogy) ... it depends on "a certain point of view".  

 

Let's answer these two questions before we delve deeper ... "How DOES Business solve problems?", and "How does IT solve problems?"

 

 Hopefully you've read my previous blog describing Data and Information as Two Different Things.  It's key to this discussion.

 

Let's start with Business.

 

Business has a PROBLEM.  To solve the problem, Business needs INFORMATION.  If Business does not have access to, or cannot find the relevant information, Business MUST derive the information from DATA.  Problem -> Information -> Data.  It's as straightforward as that (at a high-level).

 

How about IT and problem-solving?

 

IT has a problem.  To solve the problem, IT starts with DATA.  IT typically has access to all the data they need!  Great place to start.  IT then turns data into INFORMATION, and then applies the information to the PROBLEM.  Data -> Information -> Problem.  Again, pretty straightforward (again, at a high-level).

  

Same three buckets.  One group is coming from one direction, the other group, from the opposite way.

 

But when it comes to truly solving organizational problems, COMMUNICATION is the KEY for streamlined resolution and efficiency.

 

Here's what I mean.

 

IT:  "Give us the requirements and we'll solve your problem".

Business: "Give us access to the data and we'll solve our own problem". 

 

Sigh.

 

I've seen this play out in many an organization.

 

Invariably, Business will provide requirements and IT will "go away" to solve the problem.  Here's what happens in the aftermath when these two entities don't communicate:

 

IT:  "Here's the solution to the problem as described in the requirements."

Business:  "You've given us what we ASKED for ... but it's not what we WANT".

 

Ouch.  

 

I really don't want to know how many of you have been on one side or the other in this conversation ...

 

Let's revisit ...

 

Same 3 buckets.  

 

Business:  Problem -> Information -> Data

IT:  Data -> Information -> Problem

 

"You've given us what we ASKED for ... but it's not what we WANT".

 

It's THIS reason I've been telling IT to STOP SOLVING BUSINESS PROBLEMS.  Wow.  STOP.  SOLVING.  BUSINESS. PROBLEMS.

Instead, work to provide good, quality INFORMATION.

Let Business solve their own problems.

 

If IT provides good, quality information, then Business invariably won't have to go all the way back to data.

 

How's that look?

 

IT:  Data -> Information

Business:  Problem -> Information

 

Yoda:  Problem-solving streamlined. "Do, or do not.  There is no try."

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Gary Spakes
Director | Solutions Architecture

Gary focuses on both the technical aspects and business implications involving the Alteryx architecture. Gary engages strategically with customers world-wide on a variety of technology topics including but not limited to Data Management, Analytical Process Lifecycle, Insight Delivery, and underlying technologies. Gary’s goal is to help organizations leverage technology to turn data into information, information into insight, and make “better” decisions. An 18 year IT veteran prior to going to “the dark side” in Sales and Marketing, Gary has implemented and led operational teams for ERP systems, been a DBA and DBA manager, and developed investment management and mutual fund accounting software during stints with Price Waterhouse, Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase), Acxiom Corporation, and SAS. Spakes holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tampa with majors in Mathematics and Management Information Systems. He resides in North Carolina.

Gary focuses on both the technical aspects and business implications involving the Alteryx architecture. Gary engages strategically with customers world-wide on a variety of technology topics including but not limited to Data Management, Analytical Process Lifecycle, Insight Delivery, and underlying technologies. Gary’s goal is to help organizations leverage technology to turn data into information, information into insight, and make “better” decisions. An 18 year IT veteran prior to going to “the dark side” in Sales and Marketing, Gary has implemented and led operational teams for ERP systems, been a DBA and DBA manager, and developed investment management and mutual fund accounting software during stints with Price Waterhouse, Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase), Acxiom Corporation, and SAS. Spakes holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tampa with majors in Mathematics and Management Information Systems. He resides in North Carolina.

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