Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Business-speak for a presentation of information of something that is taken for granted.

I read today that we count our life in years, & live them in days, hours & moments.

Early this morning, as I meditated, a thought floated in - (isn't that amazing, how thoughts FLOAT IN??) - a memory actually, of my first paid employment at a garment retailer. I was contracting for the inventory accountant who was on leave. The job involved compiling, understanding & reporting of the Work-in-Progress account. My predecessor showed me the intricacies involved - using  MS Access reports to fetch the information, spending a couple of days formatting the gazillions of rows of data, & then performing the analysis required.

It somehow seemed wrong to me that computers would actually make work harder - (read "a couple of days formatting the gazillions of rows of data") - & my predecessor was the in-house expert on this task. The thought continued, & instead of getting straight on at the task (I was warned against delaying any of the reporting requirements), I walked up to the database administrator, a person I had befriended at the coffee machine, & told him what I was thinking about.

His response both excited & shook me - he gave me an "insight - how the database application used a query to convert the raw data into information, & then created a "soft-on-the-eye" report - great to read, but of no use whatsoever to someone who had to work with it to analyse the data.  He showed me how to get the report, cutting down my work tasks by a full two days! The time saved I used to learn more about how to create those queries, & how databases really worked, etc...

My insight: In life, as at work, cosmetics are good only up to a certain point. I'm better off investing time understanding the fundamentals & learning to apply them than simply spending time doing what others have done before, without questioning. The easy way is always there - I simply have to find it.