What Customers Want

Not once, in my combined years of direct employment by enterprises or consulting, has a customer contacted me about an issue about the grain of their date dimension in their enterprise data warehouse. Not one single time. I haven’t been contacted about cardinality either. Or trouble with execution threading models. Nope. Not ever.

Instead, I’ve been contacted about other stuff. Stuff like the accuracy and “drill-ability” of a report and how long it takes to load data and how up-to-date the data is. Those are the concerns customers tell me they want addressed.

Often the solution to the problem they are trying to solve involves data warehouse grain or cardinality or threading.

Are my customers lying to me? Absolutely not! Part of my job is to comprehend what my customers perceive, to find out what they believe is the problem they’re trying to solve. “This report takes too long to display,” is a valid description of a problem that needs solving. You don’t need to know what a tuple is to help. You don’t need to understand how indexes traverse b-trees to get what they’re telling you.  You don’t even need a degree in computer science to understand what they’re saying: The report is slow.

All you need to do is listen.

What customers want is your help.


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