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Stuffing Olives

Last week I was visiting a customer in New Jersey and after a full day of discussing and demonstrating the latest BI visualization and mobile solutions, we arranged to meet at a restaurant for dinner. The CIO had arrived about 10 minutes before me and was sitting in the bar with an interesting looking martini in front of him. He invited me to try it but I declined.  He explained that the unusually large object floating at the bottom of his glass was a giant Queen olive stuffed with blue cheese.

Now when he asked me if I wanted to try one of these olives, I did not hesitate since olives (along with chocolate) are my favorite food.  A good olive can make me salivate, a great olive can cause me to go weak in the knees and a special kind of Greek Kalamata olive stuffed with anchovies can provide me with an out of this world experience.

He was delighted I was going to try this olive and said that he had just been treated to a demonstration by the bar tender on how they were stuffed using a special tool. Now this I had to see.   So we persuaded the bar tender to do a repeat performance.  She grabbed a jar filled with the huge Queen olives already pitted and then pulled out this surgical-looking instrument that had a tiny scoop at one end which she dug into the blue cheese.  She then proceeded to insert the scooped end into the olive cavity and pressed the other end of the instrument with her thumb which caused a small flat-ended rod to protrude at the other end that both pushed the cheese off the scoop and compressed it into the middle of the olive. She repeated this process several times explaining that with this tool she was able to get a lot more cheese stuffed into the olive which is why their stuffed blue cheese olives are just the best!

A small group of us were now gathered around the bar, open-mouthed and completely mesmerized by this remarkable display. The bar tender then handed the first completely stuffed olive to me on a cocktail stick. I took it from her slowly admiring this work of art she had created and inhaled the enticing aroma of essence of olive and blue cheese. All eyes were on me as I delicately placed it in my mouth and savored the full powerful taste. The first bite caused a slight trembling in the knees.  I rated it somewhere between good and great but the stuffing deserved an accolade.

Of course, being computer and mathematical minded, we could not help discussing the fact that the density of blue cheese in the olive could only be achieved through the use of this special tool and that the conventional method of using a knife, spoon or fingers would not have resulted in as much filling in the olive.

Earlier that day, I had shown a very similar concept in terms of how much data you can view in a dashboard.  Using conventional methods with the Xcelsius dashboard product, you will often run into limitations regarding the amount of data you can access with the dashboard before running into performance issues. 

However, using tools like InfoBurst-XDS, which uses a unique method of intelligent data caching, you can overcome these limitations and push a lot more data into your dashboard without compromising performance. The tool also has a nifty technique for distributing disconnected dashboards by compressing both the dashboard and the data in a compressed format file that can be emailed and automatically installed locally on the user’s PC.

So just like special tools can help you stuff your olives with more filling, cool tools like InfoBurst-XDS can equally help you pack more data and performance into your Xcelsius dashboards.

I’m not sure I could ever rate a dashboard solution above an anchovy stuffed Kalamata olive, but I am now seriously thinking of designing a dashboard to rate the taste, quality and stuffing density of olives!

About Paul

Paul Grill, Co-Founder and CEO of Infosol Inc., is an information technology guru with more than 40 years’ experience in the IT industry. Recognized as an industry expert, Paul’s vision is to collaborate and develop long-term global relationships, resulting in the successful implementation of business intelligence solutions. Paul believes a company’s success with Business Intelligence is a combination of data and people’s insights and actions. He believes in the coexistence of technologies. With a strong portfolio of clients ranging from fortune 50 companies, start-ups, and middle market, Paul takes pride in his ability to deliver positive transformations impacting company’s productivity and profitability through the application of business intelligence. He is often heard saying that “data holds amazing nuggets that can be used to create limitless BI solutions that make a difference in people’s lives”. Throughout Paul’s career, he has been a speaker, lecturer, and writer sharing his passion for Information Technology and Business Intelligence. On a personal note, Paul is an avid runner, Tai Chi practitioner, and youth soccer coach. Paul’s curiosity for knowledge expands beyond technology with a passion for Ancient Egyptology and Gorillas.

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  1. A man truly after my own heart. Blue cheese stuffed olives are a must have in all of my martinis. The analogy is spot-on. Did you ever get traction on the olive dashboard? I think that an interactive mapping visualization that rates various martini hangouts and the quality of their olive stuffing craftsmanship would be nice as well. Let me know if you need a hand; solid martinis + BI = my passion.

  2. I have definitely been distracted the last couple of months but I have made it a New Year’s resolution to get that Olive Dashboard built. I’m thinking of adding “write back” capability so people like yourself can vote for your favorite olives. I also like the idea of the interactive mapping for best martini and stuffed olive hangouts and will definitely welcome your input and help. Great feedback -thanks.

  3. It is only 8:30 am and now all I want is a jar of green olives stuffed with blue cheese….I’m completely distracted. Please include Chicago on your best martini and stuffed olive dashboard. It will become the background on my laptop.