Whether or not I had young children, I think my favorite movie line would still be from Mary Poppins, where the father, George Banks says to his wife, “Winnifred, please! Kindly do not cloud the issue with facts.”
I’ve been thinking lately about “business intelligence”–the other “BI” that isn’t Bibliographic Instruction (if I start blogging about Bibliographic Instruction, please shoot me). My simplistic version of this is how do libraries turn simple reports in actual business intelligence? From a technical standpoint, I have one answer–include more network effect into the data, e.g. how many libraries have this book? or how much budget does this other peer library have in their physical sciences budget? But from a philosophical standpoint, this is much harder. I call it the “so what” question.
Vendor: So, you’re ERM will tell you which titles you can transmit via ILL and what your pay per use is based on those integrated COUNTER statistics.
Librarian (to vendor): cool.
Librarian (to library): so what?
Maybe I won’t cancel that serial title ever. Maybe that publisher will never change its mind about resource sharing. Are we clouding the issue with facts?
A report is just a report. Doing something with it makes it business intelligence. When you gather all the information, so what? Or, to drop another movie quote I love, I will use Sean Connery from The Untouchables. Delivered with a dying breath, “What are you prepared to do?”
Last Updated on: July 15th, 2016 at 7:22 pm, by Andrew K. Pace