»Me, myself and BI«

Bissantz ponders

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

Data without a scale for comparison is no use at all

In principle, each analysis is a comparison, because only classification in context provides useful conclusions.

What can a picture of Saturn tell us if we don’t have a relative idea of its size? How big is it? Bigger or smaller than…? What kind of scale of comparison would be helpful to us? The Earth? Now, how big might Saturn be in comparison to the Earth? Bigger? A lot bigger?

Thursday, March 9th, 2006


The unconventional Business Professor Stephen D. Levitt shows how an economic framework coupled with unorthodox thinking can provide new answers to questions of data analysis. The fact that his answers aren’t always “politically correct” only increases the enjoyment for critical readers, but also means Levitt receives numerous threatening letters. His thesis that there is a connection between the legalization of abortion in the USA in 1973 and the sinking crime rate 21 years later, has provoked particularly controversial reactions.

All in all, can’t-miss reading for all those who mistrust all-too-simple explanations.

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

Dashboard or Trashboard?

Adored by the software industry and hated by visualization experts – those colorful little controlling speedometers that are supposed to, at a glance, tell executives whether the company is headed for a brick wall or staying on course. Is the dashboard metaphor really a suitable approach for visualizing key business figures?


Death to business charts!
Why business charts must die

Graphic tables
Lay back and control

Industrial reporting
Production-like efficiency for management reporting

Can we drive companies
like we do cars?

Against dashboards, speedometers and traffic lights in Controlling

Business Intelligence 2.0
modest, serious, sincere

Rediscovering slowness
Sparklines make us John Franklins in management information.

Good reporting is boring
Looking for excitement?
Try a night on the town instead.

Are sports fans smarter
than managers?

Management reports need to become more dense and dashboards more rare

The myth of data mining
Why men don't buy beer and diapers at the same time.

Numerical blindness?
I wouldn't see a doctor, if I were you.