The nose still knows better than Web 2.0

Several hundred practioners of the many aspects of business intelligence are gathering here in San Diego for this week’s TDWI conference. They know how to clean data, enable fast searches, design insight-accelerating tools and other wonders—and yet no one yet has a reliable metric to score restaurants. We still have to go out and sniff.

You’re now screaming at me: ask your concierge! I did. She sent me to Oceanaire, the Blue Point and several others. But all looked too slick and none smelled good.

Other readers are screaming different advice: look at Zagat, at TripAdvisor, at Google Earth! I did. The online reviews are all mixed—and which ones do I believe? What does the average rating really mean? The written reviews reflect mostly pretension and middle-class angst. Phrases like “they treated us like royalty” too often lead to evaluations like “cooked to perfection.”

This part of Web 2.0 doesn’t work. Nor did it work as Publishing 2.0, or whatever we might have called it back when Zagat ran on paper ballots and hardcopy. Hey, you clever people, create a reliable indicator for restaurant chemistry that I can compare with my own quantified preferences so I can predict my reaction.

I ended up at Candelas. No wait, no drunks, and no obsequious waiter. Just a nice place with delicious food.

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The data industry thrives on conversation. Please submit a comment.

Other recent posts

Bohemian Grove a la BI

The Bohemian Grove of the BI industry convenes for the fifteenth time in just three weeks. Naturally, you ask the obvious question: Are you serious? The Grove? A summit? The answer begins with a fond recollection of the Grove. If you’ve never attended the Bohemian Grove yourself — I haven’t, though I live in the… Continue Reading

Favorite Star Trek, a data story

This story shows how elemental data stories really are. Humans come ready to tell and hear them, requiring no plug-ins at all. This young person can do a good job of it. There was a question, followed by data, then questions and answers, and and finally a conclusion. It’s all there. It’s elementary. Sure, this… Continue Reading

Bad stories stop good data at the water cooler

We agree by now that data’s a good compass. One neglected question is tougher: Which map? Everyone’s known the kind of “grouchy guy” TDWI instructor Kellee M. Franklin, Ph.D tells about. This guy knew better than most of his co-workers about how their Washington, D.C. defense agency worked. And he was frustrated. Over the years,… Continue Reading