"This is worse than reading an RL Stine book. This is worse than reading YouTube comments! This thing sucks donkey ****!"
I've been in the office with a great many very smart, non-IT people using a BI tool for the first time. I see their faces twist and grimace, watch them turn shades of pink, see the sweat bead on their foreheads and drip on their keyboards. I know exactly what they think about the developers at that moment: "They were too busy watching Magnolia and cupping each other's balls."
I review and use a lot of enterprise software and "usability" is not a word I associate with most of it. I provide occasional toned-down feedback to vendors when I really want to track down and throttle the "usability experts" they hired to give them advice, usually people with zero domain expertise. I refrain because I'm afraid of choking off business.
I thought it would be an interesting idea to take this shared pain, go back to things that work and are engaging or infuriating in game design, and bring some of the design lessons to the application audience. Working with software, particularly BI tools, ought to be enjoyable, or at the least satisfying. The one-off mashups done by web 2.0 developers are sometimes a better model for BI than the approach BI vendors are taking today. At least the mashups make looking at data fun.