Knowing when to hold and when to fold is a crucial skill, not only in life’s adventures but also in preparing your business for better data-driven insights using data warehouse and advanced analytics like artificial intelligence.   

Let me share a personal experience that illustrates this point.  

Some time ago, a close friend from my grade school days and I embarked on a mountain adventure in Eastern Idaho, near Yellowstone Park. Initially, the journey was enjoyable as we made our way into the picturesque mountains. However, Mother Nature had a surprise in store for us. What began as rain soon transformed into heavy snowfall, catching us off guard. While we were aware of the inclement weather in the forecast, the rapid accumulation of snow at higher elevations was unexpected. Upon reaching our intended campsite, we were met with flooding and a hazardous trail back. The weather report indicated more snow overnight. After a thoughtful discussion, we recognized the danger of staying put. We understood that the effort we had invested in reaching our current location was a sunk cost. 

To ensure our safety, we needed to make a wiser, safer choice. Thus, instead of risking getting stranded in deepening snow, we turned around and descended below the snow line to find an alternate, safer campsite. This decision proved to be wise, and the remainder of our adventure proceeded as planned.  

Now, you might wonder how this relates to building a data warehouse. In many ways, a data warehouse project is like a wilderness adventure. Unless you’ve navigated that path before, you may be unfamiliar with the terrain, uncertain about when decisions should be made, and hesitant to revisit past choices.  

Sometimes, the pressure to stand by a prior decision can lead to worse outcomes than reconsidering it, a fact that becomes clearer with hindsight. It’s essential to heed the data and not double down on poor decisions. Even if a decision appeared reasonable initially, with time and better data, revisiting it might become necessary for the project’s success.  

The key is to prioritize the safety of the adventure (or the success of the project) by revisiting previous decisions when needed. Admittedly, revisiting past decisions can be challenging, especially if they have consumed time and resources that management is invested in defending. However, persisting with bad decisions and stacking new ones on top often leads to project failure.  

Treating sunk costs as the price of progress and evaluating the cost of change for the better is a prudent approach. In summary, doubling down on a bad decision can be detrimental. It’s often beneficial to revisit the original choice and reassess.  

I propose that hiring an adventure guide is akin to seeking expert advice in making these crucial decisions. Much like navigating mountainous terrain, having someone who has ‘been there before’ is invaluable.  

At infoVia, we serve as your data adventure guides. With involvement in numerous successful data warehouse implementations, we can help your company select suitable technologies, implement solutions that benefit your business, and adopt processes that save both time and money. infoVia exists to guide you on your data journey. Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can assist with your next Great Data Adventure.