trends that matter

About Steve Lieman

Steve Lieman is the principal at He has over 25 years of experience as a performance architect focusing on practical performance for high-end, mission-critical systems.

My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.
— Peter Drucker

Steve’s specialties are:

Steve is an in-demand speaker and workshop presenter having delivered full-day practical performance workshops at more than two dozen locations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

Steve is the author of a Computer Measurement Group (CMG) award-winning paper, “The Performance Audit Litany,” (PAL) which offers a quick-start, low-cost method to begin any performance troubleshooting engagement. An updated 2007 version of the PAL list of starting questions can be found on the PAL page.

Steve was a lead engineer and focal point for the creation and evolution of the T4 & Friends approach to performance trend analysis. This approach radically reduces the time it takes to tackle new performance problems. It has already proved to be applicable to a wide range of performance situations. The T4 methodology defines a unique, powerful, and lower cost approach to all of our performance engagements. The OpenVMS Technical Journal article on Timeline Collaboration (PDF, HTML) gives the background on this important project.

Our Name: A Brief Explanation

For millennia, those who cared most about understanding what had actually happened have employed the idea of measuring one or more key factors and keeping a record, a history of how these factors changed over time. They knew that trends matter and took pains to master the growing volume of data as best as they could.

For at least several centuries now (see Edward Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information), historians, mathematicians, physicists and others have been transforming that recorded trend history into a visual display as a time series or trend graph. The outcome was that previously hidden patterns blossomed into full view thereby opening the door to improved decision making. However, despite the benefits, the visual trend analysis approach did not become widespread or frequent. The reason was that given the technologies available at the time, there was a substantial cost associated with transformation of the data into a visual format.

With the advent of widespread computing in the mid 20th century, the technology was there but few took advantage of it due to the high cost of scarce computing resources. Once personal computers came on the scene and lowered the cost of computing, there were still few visual trend graphic practitioners due to the complexities of the graphic software which required an exceptional expertise level to take full advantage of its capabilities.

Fast forward to the 21st century where computing resources (CPU, memory, disk storage, network bandwidth, video graphics) to handle trend data visualization are abundant and available at ever lower cost, while our time is without a doubt our scarcest and most precious resource. The T4 & Friends incremental development approach tapped into this opportunity by dramatically reducing the complexity and learning curve and expertise level required to become a skilled trend data analyst. It is on this basis that was born with the intention of bringing the benefits and rewards of easy-to-learn trend analysis to an ever wider audience.

At our thesis is that trends do matter. They matter a lot. When we create a history of trend data, when we consolidate trend data from multiple sources, when we make those consolidated trends available for easy visualization, then we are literally re-membering the past, that is putting the pieces of the past together to form a moving picture of what happened. The T4 approach has provided a breakthrough in time-saving, a sharp reduction in required expertise level, and a substantial increase in the depth of analysis that is possible

Our plan here at is to employ and extend these new tools as our unique approach to performance consulting and services.

Remembering the past — creating the future

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Most recently updated 2007-04-28
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