Speaking Your Language

The business users' blog about document generation and all things reporting software

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Speaking Your Language - The business users' blog about document generation and all things reporting software

Dreaming of a Twitter Reporting Tool so You Can See What People Are Saying About You?

Curious as to how you are being talked or Tweeted about? How about your company or its products? Well we are, and now we’ve provided our fellow Curious Georges throughout the world with an easy tool to see it all in one report.

Introducing Wishbone from Windward!

Get Wishbone for Free and Get the Scoop on What People Are Tweeting About You

Ouch! Just learned from the report above that an 80 year-old woman drove into a Boulder post-office a short distance down the street from the Windward office.  See how you fare and try it out yourself for free.

Windward is unique in that it provides its developers with one afternoon each week in which to focus on products they’d like to see made available, whether Windward related or not.

We’re keen on computer science interns too.

The language barrier between IT and the rest of us

Have you ever looked at a web site, product documentation, blog post, etc. and thought “What the heck does that mean? This is a total waste of my time.”

Yeah, we have too. And we’re trying to make it so our own material doesn’t land on that list of yours.

But this quick story shows how easy it is for that to happen – how easy a clear idea recorded on paper (or computer or phone or whatever) can turn into a game of Operator.

The Stick or the Caret

 

A new Windward hire was asked to proofread some reporting documentation last week. He duly noted an error and showed it to the development group. He was told “oh no, that’s a perfectly legitimate word – not a typo. Leave it.”

The word? Caret.

Yep, caret. As in “Put your caret here.”

As in someone misspelled carat? Or that proofreading mark we used back when we actually edited student papers by hand?

Now, just between us, I had no idea what that sentence meant. It wasn’t clear until I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned “in graphical user interface terminology, caret sometimes refers to a text insertion point indicator, often a blinking vertical bar. In this context, it may be used interchangeably with the word cursor.” Huh. He meant CURSOR. Now I get it.

If you think this is just a tech speak thing, think again. We all have our own vocabulary that we aren’t even aware of.

(I once said during a talk to incoming Peace Corps volunteers, “You just boke it back to your dhara.” It was perfectly clear advice to the English speakers I hung out with at the time, because we also spoke Nepali. But the newbies had blank looks on their faces that weren’t just from the stunned realization they wouldn’t see running water or electricity for the next two years.)

When Good Writing Is Bad Writing

The takeaway: Sometimes writing stinks even when it is written well. Not because the writing is unclear or complicated, but because a single vocabulary word can make the difference between understanding and not understanding.

And too often we’re not able to fix it, because we don’t realize what is throwing the reader off.

So… we’re asking you, the Windward business user, to let us know. Is there anything that confuses you about our solutions or products? When we say “super” do you hear “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and get off track? Feel free to send an email to sales@windward.net.

Thanks,

Heidi (and the rest of the bloggers)

 

 

Ode To Reporting Software

Ode To Reporting Software

Oh reporting software, how dear you are to me.
You turn my data into information,so effortlessly.
 
I look forward to making charts, ad-hoc reports and drilling down with you.
You are my perfect office mate, I never have to wait.
I set the reporting schedules, so they are never late.
It’s great that I can refresh my data as I prefer to set it;
you arrange it in such a way that no one will soon forget it.
 
Early on we had yet to meet, as I struggled with Excel.
Discovering short cuts and formula failures never made me feel too swell.
Oh but I am stronger, for now we are friends.
But in looking forward to business intelligence, is this where the friendship ends?
 
BI for everyone, it’s really the way to go.
Yet how to access the data and make it part of the collective analysis show?
Data mining, analysis and reporting, without an IT fence?
Security, compliance and privacy, can we keep up our defense?
 
Oh there are so many BI guys offering me free downloads here and there.
I do not want another server or programmer. I do not have a thousand grand.
I just want to survey the data horizon that makes up my business-intelligence land.
 
I do not want to leave Excel, Word or PowerPoint, having it long ago mastered.
My business user colleagues would likely consider me a b……d.
We cannot leave this knowledge base. We cannot afford to lose face.
We need business intelligence software that brings us all a happy face.
 
Windward AutoQuery, you are the one for me, and for my company.
You handle disparate, dynamic and static data, making us all one happy Gus.
How fabulous that your template design and formula wizards
prevent us all, from getting thrown under the meeting’s data-inquiry bus.
 
I look forward to you navigating me through the data fields of red and black
to bring business intelligence to others, and perhaps netting me a pat upon my back.
                                                                                                                                                                ADGrotz