I've just spent two days in training on a system that generates business reports, and I understand so much more about the power of my company's particular tool and its application in my job. I also have a really bad headache from glancing at the teacher's screen up in front of the classroom and then back at my monitor for the better part of six hours each day.
But here's the thing. Now I really want a Janet's World Home Management Database. Why, the JWHMD already has the requisite long and unmemorable acronym — it will fit in perfectly in the IT world.
I know my world could operate more efficiently, more smoothly and certainly more reputably if I could just run a few reports and then highlight certain trends and facts, using my exemplary new grouping, sorting and reporting skills.
Let us consider this scenario, for example. Imagine I returned from a shopping trip with a new pair of navy wool slacks.
"Don't you already have pants like that?" my spouse might remark.
Without the proper reporting tools, I would be forced to engage in what some might consider tedious conversation highlighting the brass button detailing, the side zipper and the skinny legs on this particular pair of navy wool slacks. Using the reports pulled from the JWHMD, however, the discussion could proceed in a significantly more authoritative way.
"Well," I might say, after grouping my data in the "closet" category and running a date-time parameter report, "in the last 60 days alone, I wore the navy wool slacks I own 12 times, for an average of 10.75 hours per donning incident." I would use the phrase "donning incident" because it sort of obscures the meaning, thus following protocol in the IT world.
"Interesting," my spouse might say. (Although, to be honest, he would initially be stunned speechless by my reporting capabilities.)
"Further," I would go on — because thanks to the JWHMD I could go on and on, mining my data endlessly for statistics — "the slacks spent an average of two weeks at the cleaners every year. Clearly, the addition of a new pair of navy wool slacks into the rotation is not only demonstrated but warranted."
I might have to work a little with the data to highlight the need for a new formal gown for the coming Center Stage Gala, but one thing I have learned in two days is that data is incredibly manipulatable. And if you don't believe that is a word, here is another word from the world of data that was tossed around a lot in my training that seems just as inconceivable: "concatenate." Go ahead and look it up — it means to link or join together. And concatenation, well, it just makes data more manipulatable, in my opinion.
If I had the JWHMD, I would be doing some serious concatenation in the pantry data group. First, I would concatenate the pasta and the cans of sauce and bulbs of fresh garlic. Next, I would concatenate the ice cream and the cones and the syrups and the sprinkles. Then, I would run an inventory report before going to the grocery store. Finally, no more uncomfortable situations where I am faced with a plentitude of pasta, yet no sauce ingredients — or ice-cream cones without sprinkles. Perhaps with the proper application of filters, I could also cut down on the multiple bottles of soy sauce I seem to stockpile.
Pretty soon, I might be able to start reporting on the time I spend in the laundry room compared with the time I spend in a lawn chair. You can look forward to my annual fall "raking versus reading" report. In short, the JWHMD is going to change lives around here. And if you'll give me a minute, I will get you my detailed report on that — just as soon as I remember where to find the "Formula Workshop Window."