“What you cannot clearly say, you know not. With the thought, the word is born on a man's lips: the obscurely uttered is the obscurely thought.”
These lines were part of an epilogue read by Esaias Tegnér at the Lund University graduation in 1820. The last line is famous in Sweden and has become a proverb in its own right:
“Det dunkelt sagda är det dunkelt tänkta.”
Tegnér was professor of Greek in Lund and one of greatest writers in Swedish history. The statue on the picture below is found in central Lund, not far from the statue of Nothingness.
He was at the time known not only in Sweden but also abroad. The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translated some of Tegnér’s works to English and at Tegnér’s death Longfellow wrote Tegner’s drapa, a poem that praised the man and his works.
Tegnér’s words at the graduation were an attack on the Phosphorists, a neo-romantic group with metaphysical ideals. Tegnér himself was more down to earth and believed in observations of nature and a scientific approach.
So basically Tegnér was saying to the students not to trust unclear speech because it is a sign of dim thoughts or lack of facts. This message is simple enough and very relevant still today.
What has all this got to do with QlikView? At first glance, nothing. But in fact, quite a lot.
People all over the world tend to rightfully distrust obscure speech, irrespective of whether they have heard of Tegnér or not. Further, an implication of Tegnér’s message is that you shouldn’t speak or act until you get your thoughts and facts straightened out. And when putting it this way, the analogy becomes obvious: get your facts right, get your thoughts straightened out – only then are you ready to communicate what you’re thinking. Only then can you act wisely.
In a professional situation where a database is a major source of information, you need to use the data not only to find facts and answers, but also to find the questions. You use your gut feeling to create ideas and you use the data to refine the ideas into knowledge. Or, to discard the ideas, if facts show that the ideas are wrong. You need to be able to play with the data, to turn facts around and look at them from different angles before you can say that you understand the data. And you need to understand the data before you can talk smartly about it.
This is what Business Discovery is all about: helping you to prepare before you speak, act, or make a decision. It is the process of going from the dark to the light, from the unknown to the known, from ignorance to insight. It is the process of going all the way from a blank mind to a substantiated allegation.
Because - The Unclearly Said is The Unclearly Thought.