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Claudia Imhoff

Welcome to my blog.

This is another means for me to communicate, educate and participate within the Business Intelligence industry. It is a perfect forum for airing opinions, thoughts, vendor and client updates, problems and questions. To maximize the blog's value, it must be a participative venue. This means I will look forward to hearing from you often, since your input is vital to the blog's success. All I ask is that you treat me, the blog, and everyone who uses it with respect.

So...check it out every week to see what is new and exciting in our ever changing BI world.

About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants ( You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

Editor's Note:
More articles and resources are available in Claudia's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Recently in Weird News Stories Category

It's June -- My birth month. I always require humor at these times. And have I got one for you...

I got the following gem from my good friend, Shelley S - a long-time Oregon resident. Turns out Oregon is one strange state... or at least has some very strange ideas about "waste disposal". The "powers that be" most definitely needed an injection of BI analytics before they decided on how to dispose of a dead whale...

Thirty-seven years ago, a dead whale washed up on the beach of a small Oregon town (Florence, OR). It sat there for many days (the smell was apparently overpowering) while the Highway Division and a bunch of civil engineers decided how to dispose of said carcass. Why the Highway Division got this little problem is beyond me.

Their options were:

1. Bury the 45 foot, 8 ton (that's 16,000 pounds of rotting whale to you) body. That was thrown out because the engineers and Oregon's Highway Division determined that it would just get dug up again. I can 't help but wonder who or what would dig up a putrefied whale but like I said, Oregon is one strange state.

2. Cut the whale up and haul off the pieces. They quickly discovered that no one in their right mind would do this so the idea was jettisoned.

3. Burn the whale. See reason 2 for why that didn't happen. Again the idea was thrown out (or up!).

The civil engineers then hit on the bright idea to simply blow the sucker into a billions little pieces. Yes, you read correctly -- disintegrate 8 tons of rancid, decaying whale by stuffing it with a half ton of dynamite. Woohoo!

The video says it all. Watch this and then we will return to the discussion...

From my friend, Shelley: "The part they don’t talk about is how the entire town was coated in “rotten whale mist” and it took weeks to wear off… Guess there wasn’t enough tomato juice to wash down the entire town."

She goes on, "To get esoteric, they could have created drift models for any resulting fallout. Basically, my biggest question is WHAT WERE THEY (NOT) THINKING? It’s the LACK of intelligence that makes this so funny, although not for the guy whose car was smashed (can you imagine that insurance claim?) or the town that stunk for weeks. These guys were civil engineers, for heaven’s sake! Even if they’re used to blowing up things a little more solid, like hillsides or boulders, you would think ONE of them would have said “We pause here to ask the question, what is inside a rotten whale? Stinky, gooey stuff. Right! And what will happen when we atomize this stinky, gooey stuff with explosives? It will drift through the air, covering everything in its path. But wait, which way will it drift? Well, at the beach, the airflow is usually from the water to the land. Correct! So to summarize, we are going to explode a huge whale full of stinky, gooey stuff so that we can cover the town in rotten whale mist. Brilliant! Let’s get to it!!!”

You might think they would at least analyze how far people would have to move away from the site to ensure that they would be out of the "strike zone". But alas, it was not to be -- no BI for these folks.

Unfortunately, history has a nasty way of repeating itself. ANOTHER dead whale just recently washed up on the shores of Oregon, a mere 40 or 50 miles from the original dead whale debacle. Apparently the Oregonian authorities are looking for the people who removed bits and pieces of this rotting whale (you have got to be kidding...) There have been several proposals put forth about how to dispose of this stinker: Shelley informs me, "One was to pull the whale back into the water and let it decompose at sea or (much more likely) come ashore some place else (where it would be someone else’s problem). This from a government official! And you wonder why blowing up the last one was considered a good idea…"

It was 80 degrees in Oregon when she sent me her note, and expected to get up to 90. Ah, the pungent smell of ripe whale in the morning.

It appears the Highway Division learned at least what not to do (as the reporter foretold 37 years ago). The current plan is to bury this whale this time...

I can't wait to see what digs it up.

How could you not love a state like Oregon?

Yours in BI and whale exploding success.


Posted June 7, 2007 2:27 PM
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In the category of weird news stories, my husband sent me the following YouTube video. Ever worked with someone who was just plain annoying?

The video shows an office worker throwing paperclips at a fellow worker (under the careful eye of a surveillance camera) and the response from the fellow worker. The one thing I found truly remarkable was the reaction of the other co-workers to the ensuing response. Talk about not wanting to get involved...

Happy end of April!

Yours in BI Success.


Technorati Tags: YouTube, office violence, annoying coworkers

Posted April 30, 2007 2:07 PM
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A bit silly perhaps but sometimes you just have to shake your head and wonder...

This bit of levity describes how two robbers tried to rob a bank. The only problem? It was a cashless bank....

I think I have been in this business too long -- I see a need for BI everywhere. I just read a story about 2 clowns who should have done their homework before embarking on their day of crime. A tadt of business intelligence would have saved them a lot of trouble. Here's the story:

Two masked robbers tried to hold up a cashless credit union bank at gunpoint -- I am not kidding. They started out just fine by bursting into the "bank" in Benicia. CA, weapons drawn, yelling at employees to lie down and hand over the money. Can you imagine their faces when told them there was no cash?

"I would say that apparently they weren't really prepared," said Benicia police Capt. Steve Mortensen.

The robbers apparently had no idea they'd attempted to rob a credit union that immediately deposits its money. This instant deposit process means that it is impossible for anyone to access it. What would Butch Cassidy say about this?

"It's a common theme among a lot of credit unions." says Mr. Mortensen... Just not common knowledge among theives, I guess.

Posted March 23, 2006 4:16 PM
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Here it is -- the long awaited weird news stories for November (OK I do have too much time on my hands). And there are some doozies in here. I hope you enjoy them...

Have a good Thanksgiving Holiday! I will be back blogging the week of November 28th.

1. First up -- "IT Firm Bans Whinging" I believe the word "whinging" is a British one -- pronounced with a soft "G". According to my dictionary, it means to complain peevishly, annoyingly or continuously about something relatively unimportant. In a German company, whinging about the food in the cafeteria or the broken printer can get you fired... Apparently employees at Nutswerk LTD, in Leipzig have to agree to be in a good mood as part of their employment contract -- or stay home. According to a manager there, "We made the ban on moaning and grumpiness at work official after one female employee refused to subscribe to the company's philosophy of always smiling." Maybe they should just hire Barbie dolls -- they have the ever lasting smile painted on their faces...

2. Then there is the story about a Tarzan wannabe - A Romanian man ended up in the hospital after he tried to swing from tree to tree to escape his wife and go drinking. The man, age 66, had been locked in the bedroom by his wife when she got sick of his drinking with his buddies. He tried the vine swinging routine but slipped, falling 15 ft to the ground. He broke his arm, an ankle and a leg. Sing it with me now: I wanna D-I-V-O-R-C-E...

3. Pilfered Parrot Used to Pad Bra" Talk about animal cruelty. A woman was arrested for padding her bra with a stolen rare parrot. She hid the Greenwing parrot in her bra after taking it from her employer, a pet store, police said. When the woman tried to trade the bird for a vintage car, she told the car’s owner how she got the animal, according to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Unfortunately for the "thief", the car’s owner is friends with the man who owns the $2,000 bird. Help me out here -- wouldn't you think the bird would have been kicking and screaming to get out...

4. And, sadly, one that is local to my part of the world "A big ‘but’ arises in toilet-seat story" A man who sued Home Depot last month claiming a prank left him glued to a toilet seat made a similar allegation about another restroom more than a year ago, an official told a newspaper. Bob Dougherty’s lawsuit alleges employees at the local Home Depot store ignored his pleas for help on the day before Halloween because they thought he was kidding.

But a former director of operations for the town of Nederland (just west of my home town), told the local newspaper that Dougherty told him in the summer of 2004 he was glued to a toilet seat in the town’s visitor center but pulled himself free. That's gotta hurt!

Dougherty’s lawsuit said officials at the store near my home called for an ambulance after he had been stuck for about 15 minutes. Paramedics unbolted the toilet seat, which separated from his skin, leaving abrasions, according to the suit. I don't know about you but I can usually tell when I sit on something not quite right...

5. "Dog Shoots Hunter" - A 35-year old man was hunting quail in Bulgaria when his dog, who had retrieved a bird, refused to drop it. When the hunter tried to dislodge the dead bird from the pointer's mouth with the butt of his rifle, the dog jumped on him, jarring the trigger and filling the guy's chest with bird shot. Guess that will teach you to be nice to Fido...

6. Ever been caught by those speed cameras? Here's what not to do. A Swiss driver flew by a speed camera and was captured on film for his offense. He decided to take matters into his own hands and attacked the camera with an ax. Then he ran over it and finally threw it off a cliff. It would have worked too -- the camera was definitely destroyed -- but unfortunately, the driver was spotted by police as he threw the camera off the cliff. He was arrested and faces a hefty fine of $22,300! The speeding ticket was a lot cheaper...

7. And the last one for November and so timely with the upcoming release of the latest Harry Potter movie. Currency experts have determined the value of galleons in JK Rowling's books. In case you ever wondered, they figure that each gold galleon is worth about $8.60, which makes an education at Hogwart's rather pricey. Harry Nimbus 2000 would set you back about $2,580 and a magic wand about $60.20! And I am not making this up -- the currency experts claim, "Magic money is a very study currency that could assert itself on the international money market". Yeah -- I can't wait to get my paycheck in galleons.

Well, there you go -- this month's strange and wacko stories. Sometimes it is good to just be a normal, boring person... If you have any you would like to share, feel free to post them in the comments section. I can't wait to see what we get...

Yours in BI success,


Posted November 17, 2005 11:25 AM
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You seemed to like the exploding snake story so much that I have decided to include a few of the strange and weird news stories that I run across every now and then. I even have a new category for them: Weird News Stories. They will most likely have nothing to do with BI or data warehousing but should give you reason to pause and consider how lucky you are... Let me know what you think.

Here goes another one.

Visualize this: Darlington, SC police say that they caught a would-be burglar apparently attired in only his grimace. Police think that he dropped from the ceiling of the cash advance business and was caught when he tried to open the door and leave. Guess he wanted to do an early withdrawal...

Where the heck did he think he could go? Like no one would notice?

When investigators arrived at the Check 'n Go, they noticed tiles, insulation, wires and metal braces hanging from the ceiling and on the floor. They surmised that the suspected burglar took off his clothes so he could squeeze through an air vent in the ceiling. Seems to me he was darn lucky that he was the only thing to get caught...

And the ultimate irony? Police said he was wasting his time -- the cash advance business doesn't even keep money on the premises!

Posted October 13, 2005 2:40 PM
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Sometimes I run across a story that is just too amazing to pass up. This one had me just shaking my head in disbelief. No, it has nothing to do with BI, data warehousing or even business unless an analogy can be drawn. Be warned though -- If you have a weak stomach, stop reading now.

OK -- here it is. I am calmly reading the Denver Post newspaper when this story pops out (literally) at me. Apparently a 13 foot python exploded when it tried to swallow a LIVE 6 foot alligator -- whole -- in the Florida Everglades recently!

AP / Everglades National Park
The carcass of a six-foot American alligator is protruding from the mid-section of a 13-foot Burmese python Monday, Sept. 26, 2005 in Everglades National Park, Fla., after the snake apparently swallowed the alligator resulting in the deaths of both animals.

Talk about your eating disorders!

Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife professor put it succinctly "It means nothing in the Everglades is safe from pythons, a top-down predator."

A top-down predator? Do they really talk like that?

One can't help but wonder if this is an ominous analogy for a large software company who recently gobbled up another large software company. Just thinking out loud...

Yours in BI Success,


Posted October 7, 2005 2:27 PM
Permalink | 36 Comments |