And Ye Shall Know Me By What I Do Not Do

Jeremiah McNichols writes about one of our posts on sparklines with a critical eye on the limitations of this idea.

None of this is intended to suggest that Sparklines are not useful; indeed, their overextension may be the natural result of the obvious, instinctual, and dramatic utility that accompanies truly innovative ideas. But I do believe that when the dust settles from this discovery, they will be implemented with greater care.

This is a great point tactfully raised. Any approach, technique, or technology is good on certain problem domains and bad on others. Commercial vendors and sellers of BI tools would like you to believe their product works great in all cases all the time.

Wouldn’t it be great if vendors spent as much time talking about where their product should not be used as where it should be used? I can see the marketing now: "Only a COMPLETE IDIOT would use Microstrategy to solve X", "If you want to use Business Objects to support Y, it would be quicker to just throw your money away because it isn’t going to work."