12/14/2012

Structure vs Unstructured

When people in BI think of Structured vs Unstructured, they first think of data.

But what I'm thinking of is the work environment.

Some developers like to know what they are working on way in advance.

By that, they want to know who the customer is, what the assignment is, and each step broken out into line items of a project plan or ticketing system.

That is what we call a Structured project.

And then there's unstructured.

Customer is undefined, business requirements don't really exist, database sources are scattered about, how to link them is anyone's guess, the business rules are not documented, anywhere.

And your job is to make things happen.

Some people prefer the first methodology, and head for the door once they figure out that's what they're up against.  They prefer to be hand held each step of the way.

And other people prefer the freedom to discover what the end result will look like.  This is what I see as the primary difference between the Business Intelligence developer (1st scenario) and the Data Scientist (2nd).

The Data Scientist has the experience to bring to the table their understanding of technology, the business and the analytics.  They may have worked through the ranks up from a report developer to BI person to Data Scientist, or they may have had the educational background to land at the top right off the bat.

So which do you prefer, structured or unstructured.  Once you know that, then you can head in the direction best suited for you.

And there you have it!

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