On a recent flight, I was talking to a colleague about the importance of collaboration in business intelligence, and how new collaboration tools are driving better, data-driven decisions. He listened to a few of my analogies as I explained the advantages, and then said, “too bad they didn’t have those tools in 1988.”
He went on to explain the circumstances behind what was at the time, a newly delivered “fully automated” Airbus A320-111. On June 26, 1988, Air France was demonstrating the plane at an airshow. The plane was supposed to do a fly-by at a low altitude of 100 feet. Instead, it dipped below 30 feet and crashed into the trees beyond the runway.
Apparently, the avionics on that A320 were built with only two “feedback loops,” and where there was signal disparity, the flight management system (FMS) was left to arbitrarily pick one over the other. Unfortunately in this case, it picked the wrong one. But this was only part of the problem. When the pilot realized the plane was flying too low, he tried to pull up to regain altitude but was over-ridden by the FMS.
My friend’s point, while somewhat unsettling (especially since we were on a plane), was a good example of what happens when companies combine lack of input with organizational arrogance. Important strategic decisions are made every day where lack of insight, suggestions, or feedback leads to force-fed decisions made in isolation.
Today’s collaboration tools solicit insight from sources all over your organization… sources with great ideas and input that you would have never imagined. Sources that help build in redundancies so your organization can make sure its decisions have been completely vetted, all while reducing the time and resources it used to take to get there. How can BI collaboration tools help your organization make better decisions? Learn more.

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