Trivial example of what people need to know in enterprises:
“Tell me whether pet rocks are selling better than Barbie dolls in the south?”
What people really need to know:
I already know from existing reporting that 984 orders (18% of our backlog) are already past due. For those 984 orders:
- How many are for one item and how many are for multiples?
- Do we own what we owe those customers?
- If we do own it, is it in the proper warehouse?
- If it is in the proper warehouse, can we find it?
- If we can find it, is it undamaged and certified?
- If it's shippable, do we have enough labor to ship it?
- If it isn't certified, how soon can QA certify it?
- If it isn't in the right warehouse, can we move it?
- If we don't own any, where can we get some?
- Which vendors have it on the shelf?
- Which vendors do we have blanket purchase orders with?
- Which vendors do we have contracts with?
- Which orders can be split to satisfy a partial?
- Which orders are for customers already on credit hold?
- Which customers are threatening not to renew with us?
and (ironically) the most asked question of all:
- Which orders must be shipped to hit our quarterly numbers?
I can go on and on; this is just off the top of my head. We like to pick on enterprises, but this is the stuff that happens all the time. So whenever you get gas in your car, bread on your table, new shoes at the mall, steamed milk in your latte, etc., rest assured that “someone”, “somewhere” has asked these questions. Questions that were probably answered using some form of RDBMS, SQL, ACID technology (with really good application software on top of it).