Right, Before Your Eyes

Published by Lex on

It is right before your eyes, but you cannot see it.

Can you trust information systems to give you the information that you need when you need it …

…the answer is a definite maybe

Sadly, there are problems with information systems at every level.

All information systems are based on underlying assumptions. While most of these assumptions are known upfront by the developers, they are not necessarily known by the end users and they can make a meaningful difference.

Even if the built-in logic behind an information system is impeccable, the logic and the thought process makes a big difference to how the data is treated.

Ultimately, the code that is written generally reflects the underlying assumptions and the logic but sometimes there are exceptions.

And those are the ‘information’ issues before any of the end users data is added to the system.

The data that is fed into the system often has a different set of flaws. It may be inaccurate or ambiguous which causes incorrect information to flow all the way through the system.

The humans operating the system can make mistakes with the system and introduce more potential defects into the system.

And finally there are the issues of syncing all of the data up between all of the devices and different.

Despite all this, the systems appear to work most of the time. That is part of the danger. It looks so perfect from the outside. Seamless. But eventually you run into a situation that the system is not designed to handle, so you create your own workaround to get it to do what you want it to do. While this kind of hack feels good initially, it tends to breakdown over time.