Neil Saunders asks: Can every workflow be automate?
Workflows is something I've been thinking about myself, especially in the context of grid computing.
My "grid computing" collaborators are working on ways of running workflows on grid resources. This is a good idea, but I am worried about figuring out the workflows in the first place.
To me a workflow is rather like a scientific paper: an artificial summary of your work that you put together at the end, describing an imaginary path from starting point to destination that you couldn’t know you were going to follow when you set out. Useful for others who want to follow the same path, less so for the person blazing the trail.
I agree completely on this.
I spend much more time on figuring out how to analyse my data, then I ever spend on the actual data analysis.
Of course, I am still working with workflows when I am doing this, but I am fiddling with it all the time, and I have to go in and look at intermediate results in each step in the workflow to make sure everything is running the way it is supposed to.
Giving me tools to efficiently run finished workflows is not going to help me much. Better tools for experimenting with workflows, on the other hand, would win you a beer from me.