By Ian Rowlands
Last month’s article left us with the troubling concept of “Mooers’ Law”: “An information retrieval system will tend not to be used whenever it is more painful and troublesome for a customer to have information rather than for him not to have it”. (1959) Information technology solutions are designed to provide value in spite of the limitations of the technology through which they are implemented. However, that’s not always how such solutions work. Sometimes systems that are designed to deal with complexity actually add layers of their own complexity, reducing their usefulness. Unfortunately, databases (and other information stores) often hit this wall. If we examine the causes of this situation, some clear suggestions for solutions emerge. Interestingly, both the problem and the solution start with people – the creators of information stores, and the users of the information they store!