Put yourself in the shoes of a CEO at a small start-up company. Your time is precious as you seek out investors, customers, staff, suppliers–all while trying to cast the vision and get things done. The last thing you need is your staff bothering you with the nitty-gritty details. You want people who will just go and buy a new ream of paper if it runs out. You need people who will buy everyone coffee even though they where once CFO to a fortune 500 company. You need people who will be taking the initiative.
It’s not that different in software. If you could identify and choose software like you choose staff, you would want the software that takes care of the nitty-gritty details.
Now what if a staff member bought a ream of A4 paper because they didn’t realize there was a cupboard full of paper. Seriously, not a big deal; they are getting the job done. They have printed the documents needed to present to potential investors while leaving you in peace as you prepare for the presentation.
What about this? It’s early in the morning; most people have already bought their coffee. The CFO is met with sheepish grins as people point out their take-away “decaffeinated soy-latte double-choc frappe” already on their desk. Not a big deal! The CFO (who is not technically minded) has dramatically boosted the morale of the entire office by the sentiment and humility of the offer.
Likewise with software, sometimes the defaults will lead you down the path you didn’t want. But so long as they don’t obstruct you from changing it to what you do want, then it’s all for the good. Because (if done right) those defaults are saving you time, effort and distraction, most of the time.
Obviously if a person stockpiles massive amounts of A4 paper in the boardroom, it’s not exactly a good initiative. Clearly if the CFO buys lots of coffee and spills it on people and the floor, it’s something he should probably stop doing.
“Don’t block, and don’t break” is the lesson here, and it is also something that must be noted in software design.
There are a number of features in Rocket Discover that are taking the initiative. Here are just a couple of examples.
- In the data preparation area, it is assumed that if you are adding a table that you want it to be combined with what you already have. If the columns of what you have match the columns of what you are adding, then it is considered sensible to append it. Otherwise it can be reasonably assumed that you are complementing the data by joining it.
- When adding a file on the homepage, it can be reasonably assumed that you will want a report based on it straight away. It is then assumed that you will want a low cardinality text column for your labels on the report. When you add a measure it will invariably be a SUM as the form of aggregation.
The end goal of all this is to help you avoid having to get bogged down in the little details. Taking you faster and easier to the discoveries that can make a difference to you.