I remember a story a consultant once told me years ago, they embarked on a project that would not end. They were to develop KPI (Key Performance Indicators) for a business.
After 3 months they had a list of over 300, after 6 months it grew to 600. It never shrunk below that number. The reason it comes to mind is that good business intelligence allows for fast insight to drive the behaviour. Makes sense right. When a public company reports information to the street they often have 4-6 major metrics about how their business is doing (same store sales, churn, basket size, ARPU to name a few).
What happens and how do you help a customer when there are a ton of things they want insight into, but the very nature of the approach may lead them into unfathomanable volumes of data or metrics. You know that the business people you are dealing with do care about all of these metrics, that is never a doubt, but that many.
Can you truly drive insight out of a 36k row excel file? Sure if you use that data as a mart to start pivoting against to drive smaller volumes of data. This is when you need trusted relationships and a common vision to align everyone to.
Real insight comes from smaller amounts of data that provides insight. Larger volumes are for supporting, not presenting.