Stephen Few versus David McCandless- we should leave playing doctor to the children

McCandless, mountains out of mole hills

Here is my response to Nathan’s article, “Business intelligence vs. infotainment“, on Flowing Data.  Nathan’s article was in response to Stephen’s earlier article on Perceptual Edge, “Teradata, David McCandless, and yet another detour for analytics“.


We should leave “playing doctor” to the children

In considering this great debate, perhaps we should step back and consider another field, medicine.  For centuries, medicine was guided by wishes, fantasy and misguided ideas of what would heal people.  One of my favorite examples is “trephining” (drilling holes in your head) to release the evil spirits that have made the patient ill.  Of course, for a very small percent of patients, this proved helpful.  However, most ended up no better and typically much worse for their procedure.

I feel that McCandless work is “fun” and vibrant, but

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MIT Sloan Review, don’t allow pies to obscure the “New Intelligence” you hope to share

MIT Sloan Review, don't allow pies to obscure the New Intelligence you hope to share

I was very interested to read the survey results from MIT about data access challenges facing business analysts. The article states that “The New Intelligent Enterprise… will allow you to do some immediate benchmarking – and see how your organization is doing in relation to your peers.” While I am certain the data from this survey can indeed be useful in meeting their objective, I am also certain that their initial chart selection makes this difficult to easily see and understand.


In an effort to demonstrate how they can make their upcoming report much more informative

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