The Kinder-Gartner Magic Quadrant

The Kinder-Gartner Magic Quadrant

Ever have things you just can’t explain when it comes to the behavior of your reporting software? Wonder where those rows went or how your simple calculation converted into something unknown even by fuzzy math standards?

It’s magic, Kindergartner magic. There’s no need to explain, just say “it’s magic”. You know, the tooth-fairy, Santa Claus type of magic.

The Kinder-Gartner Magic Quadrant is made up of, pardon the pun, these four criteria; the scariness factor of what could have caused such a thing to happen, the factor of fun for who or what completed the action, the mystery or sheer inability of anyone to be able to explain how it happened and lastly trouble avoidance; not even the cat with bird feathers in her mouth goes without a treat when reaching this pinnacle.

From the mysterious breaking of the ceramic cookie jar to the fumbled equation that totaled the column total with the total of the rows, clever measurements are taken to ensure that the explanations from the other three quadrants are used to land the action or object in question clear of trouble.

Windward isn’t magic. It’s simply good software that abides the KIS principle, Keep It Simple. As users think of reports in Microsoft Office tools, they want their reports to be in MS Office. Windward makes that possible; empowering the users to design their reports and at the same time empowering developers to insert tags and use auto-joins to connect the data to the report template.

Check out how Windward hits the upper right quadrant!

Let me know how you reach the upper right quadrant, sans the magic of course.


A Striking Out-Of-Office Reply

I will be offsite giving an all day presentation.

Neither I, nor anyone in my audience will have access to email.

No electronic devices will used for my presentation; thus no PowerPoint, no videos and no web-access.

My packed-room audience will be respectful in that they will not double task  during my presentation. And outside of occasionally chatting with their neighbors, will give me their eyes and their ears.

My presentation is engaging which is great for this audience known to ask curious questions and offer eyebrow-raising and smile-cracking comments. They are also likely to eagerly raise their hands to answer my questions. Often times, the answer is blurted out in unison.

My schedule accommodates three breaks in which we are all encouraged to go outdoors and get some air rather than catch up on email.

Finally, at the end of my  six-hour presentation I will go home exhausted and likely avoid accessing email.

This rare occasion, and the cause for this lengthy out office reply, is the result of my volunteering to do Junior Achievement for a day.

No special parking. No pay. Not even an Edible Arrangement. However, I may receive a thank-you card with signatures, and maybe some artwork, from each of the audience members.

As you read this, I am currently giving my all in teaching the fundamentals of business and economics to an audience of 27 third-graders.  I am giving my all in being the best teacher I can be.

I will be in the office tomorrow with a new-found respect for the teaching profession. I will reply to your email then and whole-heartedly encourage you to reply to any requests for volunteers from Junior Achievement.


That Goes Without Saying – To Programmers Anyway

Nothing implied here. It’s not understood, nor is it a given.

In a support call to Marketo today, I was told, “it’s like for a programmer, it’s not stated, it’s implied.”

At last! I finally know why it takes some serious studying on my part to understand the world of software and how to speak with programmers.

I don’t take anything for granted. When on a two-lane highway and turning directly into the setting sun, I still check the mirror compass to ensure that indeed I am headed in the right direction, headed west.

Perhaps this is also why I am not a good cook. If it doesn’t say drain, I don’t drain. Makes for a very soupy stroganoff.

So, when it comes to evaluating reporting software, I wonder if I, as a business user, am similar to other business users and want to see a step by step explanation of how to do something.

I’m just an average user in that I know to click on blue text without seeing a “click here” command.” I know as well, that I’m very good at tying software up in knots; unintentionally of course. Prior to diving into a new system that involves the demands of a VP and the afternoon of our IT guys for installation, I look for undo options and assurances that I cannot “break” it.

After 30 minutes on the Marketo support call, and a few tests of the results, it was indeed determined that what the support guy assumed was implied, sans text anywhere to support this assumption,  was not correct.

Call me a horrible cook and a double-checker, but please also understand, I’m assumption free. This doesn’t always work to my benefit. When it comes to data though, I know what is in the details!

Am I alone? Do you like assurances that indeed you are going in the right direction. Do you also avoid assuming things?