Read stories about Blue Marble and its people.
We know of many interesting stories about databases and the people who build and use them. Here are a few fascinating and humorous ones that we can share.
A leads group colleague introduced Blue Marble to a client who was in a lot of pain with a database that was not working properly. The urgent issue was that some payment calculations based on a person's age were not always correct and when people want their money, they are not very happy with you if the amount is wrong. Going in to try to fix the problem, we expected to hear all about the bad math going on in the database but as it turned out, the client's biggest source of frustration was "the button" that lived smack in the middle of the screen and had to be clicked on every time you wanted to update the calculations in a record. For nearly 20 minutes, the client expressed his thoughts about "the button", declaring it evil and concluding that it was designed just to make him mad. He didn't understand why he had to see it, use it or like it at all! The button had become HUGE in his mind - a reminder of all the things that did not work well or automatically in his database. The previous programmer had clearly not known how to automate the task and when we took the button off that very night and made the program do its job without the user having to interfere, a great sigh of relief was heard in the client's office. We were later told that eliminating "the button" also eliminated daily tirades about the evil button from the man who hated it most.
It Can Do That?
Some customers don't have any idea how great a database can be. They call because their file cabinets are overflowing, they spend hours looking for things that should all be in one place and more hours trying to update all the different spreadsheets that are supposed to be the same but are not. One client asked if we could design a database to organize her business information so that she could work with it a bit better. We built the storage areas for the data and a nice simple data entry screen.
We knew, from the line of business she was in, that there were many things that her database could do to help her with daily tasks. We showed her how to choose to print mailing labels and she was thrilled. "It can do that?" she said. Yep.
We showed her how to make one letter and email it to all the contacts she selected. "It can do that?" she said. Yep.
We showed her how to keep records about her competitor's pricing over time. "It can do that?" she said. Yep.
We showed her how to import and export data quickly from her database and wrote programs that format the result so that she never has to. "It can do that?" she said. Yep.
We showed her how the computer could set flags to know when data was obsolete and could be deleted or needed updating. "It can do that?" she said. Yep.
One day she called and jokingly asked if her database could find her daughter a husband. "It can do everything else!" she said. Nope. We'd like to think we are that good and that the technology we design is top notch, but people still need to do what people do best - like playing nice with other people.
Ed Made Me Do It
In 1994, a successful PR executive at a Fortune 500 company mentioned to Debra, our president, that he believed that public relations was unmeasurable. It's good when it feels good, and it feels bad when your CEO is worked up about it, he claimed. Other than that, he couldn't see a way to really measure it. What happens, happens - that was his philosophy. He dared Debra to prove otherwise and the first BlueVision Media Measurement system was built on that dare in less than 90 days. It worked, it evolved and is used today by Fortune 500 PR executives and PR agencies all over North America.