- Capturing as much reality as possible. This is the untapped potential of the big-data revolution in business. It is also the critical benefit of “creating feedback loops”.
- Representing reality with as little transformation as possible. Graph databases, naturally.
- A deep concept of data provenance, meaning that attached to each piece of data is everything you may want to know about how it came to be. This is really applying the graph database concept to individual pieces of data, be they input, imported or calculated.
- A related concept is deep versioning of code, data and processes. This enables agility in business processes and avoids further complicating exceptions due to institutional amnesia.
- Visualization as an exploration of data, process and human interaction. See exceptions sticking out farther than their cohorts. 3D density and sparsity shows positive and negative space. Graphs don’t have one representation; play with the levers to change perspectives, change the domain and compare to the past.
- Pervasive predictions and recommendations. This takes the modern approach of “look at a ton of data” rather than complex algorithms. Predict the data that is needed by the shop foreman at 12pm because it’s what has been requested in the past. In a graph database, paths become well worn like hiking trails, showing what activities and people successfully resolved the problem.
Still, I see friction. This is a resilient system that helps people fit software processes to the business needs. But it’s only an aid. Business won’t run on auto-pilot. Repeatable, accountable actions will always be necessary. Rule-breaking exceptions always happen, even with a system designed to minimize them. And there will be plenty of counter-examples where minimizing exceptions will destroy some competitive aspect of the company.
What would emerge? Some things like running an entire production facility from your phone because the system can anticipate patterns and predict needs. It then feeds you only what you likely need to know, with links for more details. Eventually the body of knowledge includes a good number of exceptions and the path to resolution gets recorded (and thus reinforced) time and again.